‘London Grenfell Tower victims were murdered’

This video says about itself:

Slam poet, spoken-word artist and contemporary playwright Kate Tempest has delivered a brillant takedown of Tory party leader Theresa May at the Glastonbury Festival 2017.

By Lamiat Sabin and Will Stone, reporting from the Glastonbury music festival:

Grenfell deaths were murder

Monday 26th June 2017

McDonnell castigates decisions which led to disaster

VICTIMS of the Grenfell Tower fire were “murdered” by political decisions made by central and local governments, John McDonnell said yesterday.

Speaking at the Is Democracy Working? debate at the Left Field stage, the shadow chancellor said: “It didn’t work for you if you were a family living on the 20th floor of Grenfell Tower. “Those families, those individuals — 79 so far and there will be more — were murdered by political decisions that were taken over recent decades.

“The decision not to build homes and to view housing as only for financial speculation rather than for meeting a basic human need made by politicians over decades murdered those families.

The decision to close fire stations and to cut 10,000 firefighters and then to freeze their pay for over a decade contributed to those deaths inevitably and they were political decisions.”

Hundreds of people in the 24-floor block were killed, displaced and declared “missing” after the fire broke out in Grenfell Tower on June 14.

Some households that did not survive included elderly or disabled people living on the top floors.

PM Theresa May subsequently pledged £5 million to an emergency fund and ordered a public inquiry into the incident, which was exacerbated by shockingly poor fire safety — including silent alarms, only one exit staircase and combustible external cladding.

The tower had recently undergone a £10m refurbishment, which included cladding on the concrete exterior to improve its appearance for wealthier locals that was found to have been £2 cheaper per square metre than a fire-resistant version.

The Metropolitan Police has said that manslaughter charges are being considered by detectives after it was found that cladding and insulation samples failed safety tests.

The government has revealed that around 600 high-rises in England have some form of cladding, and combustible types have been found on at least 34 tower blocks nationwide.

Kensington and Chelsea Council chief executive Nicholas Holgate announced his resignation last Thursday after a barrage of criticism against him and council leader Nicholas Paget-Brown — who is still clinging onto his job — over the authority’s response to the fire.

Later in the discussion, Mr McDonnell told a huge crowd which spilled outside the tent that Labour is “on the edge of a huge victory” and that another election could come any day.

He vowed not only to defeat the Tories in Parliament but “mobilise in every community to demoralise, divide them and force them into a democracy” that will lead to a Labour majority.

A Labour government would then rip up the Trade Union Act in 10 days, he promised.

This video says about itself:

Jeremy Corbyn in a rousing speech to masses at Glastonbury Festival 2017 talking about Donald Trump and Theresa May among other issues.

By Will Stone at the Glastonbury festival:

Corbyn draws huge Glastonbury crowds

Monday 26th June 2017

Labour leader cheered to the high heavens at music festival

JEREMY CORBYN drew one of the largest crowds ever at Glastonbury’s Pyramid Stage on Saturday, surpassing even headline acts Radiohead and the Foo Fighters.

Introducing him onto the stage, Glastonbury founder Michael Eavis said: “At last we have a Labour leader who can put in place all the issues we have been campaigning for for 40 years.”

Supportive flags including one with the words “coalition of chaos” and “Ooh Jeremy Corbyn” beneath a heart shape could be seen among the crowds.

In an inspiring speech he challenged Prime Minister Theresa May: “We’re ready for another election as soon as you like.

The elite commentariat got it wrong. Politics is about the lives of all of us.

“Young people who got involved and voted for the first time, because they’re fed up of being told that their generation is going to have to work more and get paid less.

“Is it right that so many people are without a home and have to live on the streets?

“Is it right that so many people live in such poverty while others are surrounded by riches?

“I don’t want to live in a world where children are going to school hungry.”

Members of the crowd brushed away tears during his speech especially when he spoke about the Grenfell Tower fire which killed at least 79 people.

“Not so long ago we saw Grenfell Tower, a towering inferno in the middle of the richest borough in the country,” he said.

“People living in poverty, living in danger, in a place that simply went up in smoke.

“Not one of those people should have died.

“That fire was wholly and totally preventable.”

He argued the reason the tenants who raised safety concerns were “utterly ignored” is because they were poor and working class.

This video says about itself:

Distrust in Britain’s Media Grows Following Coverage of the Grenfell Tower Fire

24 June 2017

Al Jazeera reports that a tower block fire in London that left dozens dead has channelled rage over class, race, economic and social divisions not only at Prime Minister Theresa May but also at the British media.

When reporters arrived to cover the blaze, local residents expressed anger that the media had not heeded warnings about safety or engaged more closely with issues affecting their communities during years of government austerity. Voices from a neighbourhood in grief demanded to know if only the spectacle of tragedy could make their lives newsworthy.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Austerity kills

Monday 26th June 2017

WERE there sharp intakes of breath when shadow chancellor John McDonnell said the Grenfell Tower fire victims were “murdered by political decisions?”

McDonnell, Jeremy Corbyn and other political activists, supported by the Morning Star, have been agitating for decades to demand that housing be seen as a human right not a marketable asset.

Council housing was the primary means by which Britain combated the scourge of slum dwellings and destruction of countless homes through aerial bombing during the second world war.

Requisition of land, compulsory purchase, fire regulations and restrictions on the ability of private landlords to gouge rent from tenants for below-standard homes were all part of the postwar housing campaign.

They weren’t seen as dangerous revolutionary fancies, although the desire to rehouse the homeless in modern, sanitary and safe homes certainly had its roots in the left. But even Tory governments in the 1950s boasted of building hundreds of thousands of council homes each year.

Margaret Thatcher’s Tory government unleashed an ideological offensive against council housing in the 1980s, flying her “property-owning democracy” propaganda kite. She encouraged individuals to buy their council homes, while subsequent neoliberal premiers from both major parties pushed the transfer of entire council estates/schemes to housing associations or delegated their running to arm’s length management organisations.

Making savings not human decency became the watchword for managing council housing.

This meant taking out caretakers/concierges from tower blocks, cutting corners on safety and scrimping on the cost of insulation, as the minimal savings achieved through fitting flammable panels rather than flame-proof cladding at Grenfell shows.

Safety warning followed safety warning and complaint followed complaint, but they weren’t taken seriously because the tenants were poor and didn’t warrant extra expenditure, having failed to buy into the capitalist dream.

The Grenfell victims were effectively murdered by heartless political decisions and by the profits-first ethos of capitalism.

British singer Maddy Carty interviewed

This music video from London, England says about itself:

Maddy Carty – ‘Stay Away’

6 May 2010

Maddy and band play ‘Stay Away’ live in Earls Court’s The Troubadour, 19th March 2010.

Maddy Carty – Vocals
Tom Battye – Guitar
Josh Ingham – Bass
Adam Colwell – Drums
Rosalind Ledger – Backing Vocals

By Len Phelan in Britain:

From an honest place

Friday 23rd June 2017

Singer-songwriter MADDY CARTY tells Len Phelan where’s she’s at, musically and politically

ANYONE who’s been fortunate to see Maddy Carty perform knows that she’s blessed with a belting voice and self-penned songs that belie their infectious pop hooks with subtle takes on how the personal and the political intertwine.

But she’s at pains to avoid pigeonholing. “I don’t really see myself as a political or protest singer,” she tells me. “I just write what I know and feel and naturally sometimes politics are involved. I don’t know if I ever have an intended message as such, it’s more that I want people to feel something and know that it’s coming from an honest place.”

She references her song No Shoes in the Summer, written about her Irish grandparents. “It was quite personal to me and my family but the reason I started writing it was because we were hearing so much of the ‘all these immigrants coming over here’ rhetoric and, like so many other people in Britain, it struck a nerve with me.

I wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for immigrants and neither would most of my friends. I think my songs are just a social commentary on things I’m seeing and a lot of the time things that make me angry!”

Raised in south London, she’s from “a very socialist, left-wing family” and brought up to believe that social injustice is unacceptable.

“We have to look at history as well as the present to learn from people’s experiences and mistakes,” she says.

“The International Brigades are an amazing example of people not just caring about their own but wanting to help their fellow man. It’s something we could all learn from.”

Carty’s musical influences range through pop and soul to reggae and ska — she provided backing vocals to Keety General’s tremendous Take the Stage, one of the anthems of the JC4PM tour, and her house-infused single Got No Love with Sezwez is getting a lot of airplays.

She puts that variety down to her mum’s “very eclectic” taste. “I do seem to be a bit all over the place musically!” she laughs. “Got No Love is pretty different to what you’ve heard from me. Usually, I’m more pop/soul but happened to use a couple of reggae samples on my last album that people seemed to pick up on.

“But I’m a songwriter first and foremost so I can write a song and it can ultimately be produced in any style.

“I’ve always admired the ‘real’ songwriters like Tracy Chapman, Bob Dylan and India Arie. I love lyrics so if I hear something poetic or clever I’m hooked.”

Like many musicians, the election campaign has been a shot in the arm for Carty. “It’s been amazing to see how Jeremy Corbyn and his different type of politics has had such an effect on young people and artists coming forward and actually taking an interest politically. I think that probably for the first time in our generation, we have someone who is actually saying things that we want to hear and that we can believe in.

“I hope we can keep it up and that people continue to support him and fight for change, for the many. We just need to get rid of the Tories!”

On July 8, Carty’s appearing with radical Turkish singer Canan Sagar and spoken word supremo Tim Wells at the latest in what are proving to be hugely popular fundraising gigs for the Morning Star at the Constitution pub in London’s Camden Town — an opportunity, if ever there was one, to celebrate the seismic political events of recent weeks.

“The Morning Star has always supported my music which I really appreciate,” she says, “and I’ve been lucky enough to get to know a few of the staff through gigs and campaigns and clearly we have a lot of the same views.

“The fact that the paper is so widely available and covers so many issues from different perspectives like the arts is great.

“It’s important to have an alternative to the mainstream media who are ridiculously biased the majority of the time. You guys are fighting the good fight.”

Not only staff on this paper — Carty’s doing her bit too.

Maddy Carty plays the Tolpuddle Martyrs Festival on July 16, and Got No Love is available on iTunes, Spotify, Deezer and other download sites. Tickets (£10/£5 concessions) for the Morning Star fundraiser at the Constitution pub, 42 St Pancras Way, London NW1 OQT, are available by phone (020) 8510-0815 or from mstar.link/constitution2.

Artists for Grenfell, charity song

This 21 June 2017 music video from Britain is called Artists for Grenfell – Bridge Over Troubled Water (Official Video).

From the Sydney Morning Herald in Australia, 22 June 2017:

Pop stars including Robbie Williams, Rita Ora and members of One Direction have teamed up for a charity single to raise funds for victims of London’s Grenfell Tower fire.

The single, a cover of Simon and Garfunkel‘s 1970 song Bridge Over Troubled Water, was organised by music and TV producer Simon Cowell, and released on streaming services including iTunes and Spotify overnight.

It topped iTunes charts in the UK just hours after its release and has already reached the top 20 in Australia.

All proceeds from the song will go to the London Community Foundation, to assist those affected by last week’s disaster, which saw a fire sweep through the 24-storey apartment block in London.

79 people have so far been confirmed dead in the tragedy, with hundreds still unaccounted for amid protests at Theresa May’s government’s response to the disaster.

The track, which begins with an emotional verse from grime rapper Stormzy, also features stars including Jessie J, James Blunt, Craig David, Geri Halliwell and Roger Daltry, each taking turns singing lines from the song.

It’s backed by Queen’s Brian May, Chic’s Nile Rodgers and The Who’s Pete Townshend who provide musical accompaniment, as well as a choir of locals from the tower’s North Kensington community, including survivors of the blaze. …

The song has been praised online, particularly Stormzy’s rap, which listeners described as “moving”.

The rapper begins the song telling victims “I refuse to forget you, I refuse to be silenced, I refuse to neglect you”, before reflecting personally on the tragedy.

“That could be my mum’s house, that could be my nephew, that could have been me up there, waving my white plain tee up there… I just hope that you rest and you’re free up there,” he says.

Young Syrian refugee gets special violin

Aboud Kaplo plays violin in Lebanon, photo by Amr Kokash

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Oxford lends historic violin to Syrian musician

Tuesday 20th June 2017

OXFORD University has sent a 19th-century violin to a young Syrian refugee living in Lebanon.

The German-made violin was part of a collection of historic instruments held by the university which has lent it to 14-year-old Aboud Kaplo.

Mr Kaplo and his family were forced to flee their home city of Aleppo amid the Syrian civil war.

Film-maker Susie Attwood noticed Mr Kaplo’s passion for music while she was making a film about Syrian Christians in Lebanon.

However she noticed that the talented teen did not have an instrument.

Bate Collection of Musical Instruments curator Andy Lamb said that “the moment I read about this lad’s situation I thought the collection could make some kind of positive contribution.”

See also here. And here.

Jeremy Corbyn to English Glastonbury music festival

This 15 June 2017 video from London, England is called Jeremy Corbyn Visits Grenfell Tower Emergency Centre; Meets Brave Surviving Residents.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Corbo to rock stage at Glasto

Saturday 17th June 2017

JEREMY CORBYN will appear on the main Pyramid stage at Glastonbury festival next week.

The Labour leader will address revellers attending Britain’s biggest music festival on Saturday afternoon.

He was forced to cancel a planned appearance at the festival’s Left Field tent last year following the Brexit vote and the Blairite MPs’ “chicken coup” attempt to oust him as party leader.

Mr Corbyn will introduce US rap duo Run The Jewels, who voiced huge support for Democratic senator Bernie Sanders during his bid to win the party’s presidential nomination.

Glastonbury founder Michael Eavis will appear on stage with Mr Corbyn and described the Labour leader as “the hero of the hour.”

Mr Eavis also praised Corbyn’s anti-austerity stance and his views on nuclear disarmament.

Shadow chancellor John McDonnell is also scheduled to appear at the festival in Somerset as well as Labour MP Clive Lewis.

British Blairites’ hypocritical U-turn on Corbyn

This video from Britain says about itself:

Jeremy Corbyn’s a popular man – but what did [the Blairite right wing of] his Party say about him before?

13 June 2017

Before the general election, many Labour Party figures said Corbyn was unelectable, unqualified and ruining the party. Now, some of them may want to come back into his shadow cabinet.

This video from Britain says about itself:

Standing ovation for Jeremy Corbyn on 13.06.2017 as he entered the House of Commons.

This satiric music video from Britain says about itself:

PLP – “Sorted for Seats and Shit”

14 June 2017

Oh is this the way they say the future’s meant to feel?
Some old lefty scruff has gone and garnered mass appeal
And I’m not entirely sure just how to process it
But that’s okay, ’cause we’re all sorted out for seats and shit
And tell me what the lesson is, ’cause all this has just got to mean something

At 9pm [one hour before the general election exit poll on TV] on the dot, he was a dirty Trot
But one hour later, ooh, ooh the news came through

Oh yeah the exit poll told us just what was going down
As did a parade of quite dismayed Conservative frowns
And I’m still not sure if he’s for or against Brexit
But that’s okay, ’cause we’re all sorted out for seats and shit
At half past two, the chicken coup seemed very, very, very far away

At 9pm on the dot, he was a dirty Trot
But one hour later, ooh, ooh the news came through
Ooh, red was competing with blue

British Conservative-Irish terrorist coalition, parody song

This satiric music video from Britain is called Dr May (feat. Snoop DUP) – “The Next Episode”.

It is a parody of the song The Next Episode, by United States rappers Dr Dre and Snoop Dogg.

The parody video says about itself:

12 June 2017

A classic G-funk anthem celebrating the coalition between Theresa May’s Conservatives and the DUP.


Na na na na na
It’s the motherfucking DUP
(Snoop DUP!)
Na na na na na
You know we’re mobbing with the Tory party

Snoop DUP, we be burning shit up
UVF, UDA, we be blowing shit up
No wait, actually, we’re NOT blowing shit up
We’re a legitimate organisation
Snoop DUP signing up to a coalition
Arlene, Snoop Dodds, Sir Jeffrey Donaldson
Ian Paisley and all the Orangemen
We’re socially conservative and now we’re in government
Free Presbyterian Church of Ulster, ripping it up
Getting whorey with the Tories, now you’re living with DUP
Don’t be getting an abortion, don’t do anything gay
But if you do, get on your knees and fucking well pray
DUP, Tories reigniting the Troubles
Loud bang as we burst your liberal bubbles
Paramilitary violence is okay with us
If you’re Catholic, stay the fuck away from Carrickfergus

Na na na na na
It’s the motherfucking M-A-Y
(Theresa May, motherfuckers!)
Na na na na na

You know I’m mobbing with the DUP guys
We need a government that’s strong and stabilised
So we struck a deal for confidence and supplies
Brexit donation came from someone in disguise
Could be the Saudis ‘cause they are such key allies
They helped the Leave campaign get advertised
But not in front of Northern Irish eyes
Now my Brexit mandate is compromised
‘Cause Lynton Crosby filled my campaign with lies
It used to work, but then the public got wise
To the overarching PR exercise
And all the while, lefties mobilised
Now Boris Johnson’s got his eyes on the prize
Standing next to Lord Buckethead in Maidenhead
Watching swathes of the country get painted red
I felt smaller than Donald Trump’s chode
And I realised that it’s the next episode

Snoop DUP and May
Coalition on a mission for Brexit
We’re Snoop DUP and May
Keep the progressive alliance at bay
We’re Snoop DUP and May
Fuck the Good Friday Agreement
We’re Snoop DUP and May
Hope you’re ready for the next episode

We’re DUP and May!