British Conservative weekly praises Hitler’s Wehrmacht

This 2011 video says about itself:

War crimes of the WehrmachtHannes Heer

Winner of the prestigious peace award at the Film festival of the independent film in Osnabrück Germany, this documentary investigates the historically very sensitive Nazi raid in the Dutch village of Putten in 1944 that left 700 villagers dead and murdered. After WWII only two of the 1000 involved German soldiers of the infamous second pantzer division had been trialed or convicted. Even today German bureaucracy denies that severe war crimes had taken place in Putten. On the threshold of oblivion investigates the whereabouts of some of the absolved perpetrators and director Ton Verheul tries to interview them.

During Hitler’s 1940-1945 occupation of the Netherlands, German military vehicles rode in the Netherlands. They had signs WH (Wehrmacht Heer=army), WL (Wehrmacht Luftwaffe=air force) or WM (Wehrmacht Marine=navy). Dutch people who did not like the occupation interpreted the abbreviations as WH=Wij Halen (we steal); WL=Wij Liegen (we lie) and WM=Wij Moorden=we murder.

From the Jewish Telegraph Agency:

British Columnist Calls Nazi Troops The Heroes Of D-Day

17 May 2018

A far-right race baiter who works as a columnist for a respected weekly British current affairs magazine

The JTA aricle does not name the magazine. It is The Spectator, closely connected to the governing British Conservative Party.

wrote a piece sympathizing with the Wehrmacht, the unified armed forces of Nazi Germany.

In the column by Taki Theodoracopulos, a Greek writer who lives in London and New York, the author asks readers to feel sorry for the 76,000 Germans, reserve troops who had “not trained in combat,” as they fought against 150,000 British, American and Canadian troops on Normandy Beach on D-Day.

“It might sound strange me writing … from a German perspective, but fair’s fair. I asked my companions which side they’d choose, and all of them agreed that the attacking forces had a better chance of survival than the defenders”, he wrote.

Taki runs his own website publication, Taki’s Magazine, described as a libertarian

‘Libertarian’ used to mean exclusively ‘anarchist’; until the term was stolen by right-wingers who want ‘liberty’ only for the 1% richest people.

webzine of “politics and culture” but which often dabbles in sympathy for the far right. In 1998 he accused Jews of “trafficking in the Holcoaust”, saying their “constant harping on about the Germans seems to be motivated by profit.”

The headline over his D-Day article changed during the day. The first headline read: “In praise of Wehrmacht: The real story of D-Day is the heroism of the German soldiers who were vastly outnumbered but fought nobly and to the death.”


British Conservative Windrush scandal continues

1948 Empire Windrush ship passengers

By Peter Frost in Britain:

Friday, May 18, 2018

Still no justice for the Windrush generation

The continuing plight of whole generations has triggered personal memories of the shameful episodes after their arrival

When the steamship Empire Windrush docked at Tilbury 70 years ago, the West Indians on board had answered adverts placed in West Indian newspapers for jobs in British hospitals, for London Transport and other local public transport companies and several more similar institutions.

They came to help Britain out of its immediate post-war difficulties with a real shortage of workers and had expected a warm welcome.

In fact the welcome Britain actually offered was as cold and unwelcoming as they found the British climate.

As we know the treatment we gave what become known as the Windrush generation was atrocious then and we know that Theresa May, the departed Amber Rudd and the rest of the racist Tory gang have made it just as bad today.

Today Notting Hill Gate is one of the poshest places to live in London where properties sell for multi-million pound prices to Hollywood stars, Russian oligarchs and anyone else with a spare five million-plus looking for a nice address in London.

Sixty years ago, in 1958, it was much less desirable. Poor working-class housing and many slum streets made it a place where some of London’s new black citizens who arrived on the Empire Windrush and other ships since were forced into sub-standard housing.

I lived just a few miles away in Harlesden. I had grown up among many houses with landlords’ signs like — No Blacks! No Dogs! all over north-west London. I had learnt what racism was like.

This video from Britain says about itself:

‘No Blacks, no Irish, no dogs’

20 January 2017

Photographer Charlie Phillips remembers arriving in England in 1956. In Notting Hill he faced Oswald Mosley, race riots and curfews – but there was also a white woman who protected him.

The image shows children on Lancaster Road in Notting Hill in 1962. © Charlie Phillips

From ‘Private Passions’ on BBC Radio 3.

The Peter Frost article continues:

Oswald Mosley had briefly returned to Britain and was doing what he could to stir up racial hatred. He would fight the 1959 general election in Kensington North which covered Notting Hill.

His son Max — yes that Max Mosley — served as an election agent for his father’s Union Movement campaign.

I was just 12 in the summer of 1958 and late one night I was awakened from my sleep by an incredible noise.

A gang of people were attacking a house just two doors away from mine. They had flaming torches and they were intent on burning down the only house in our street occupied by a West Indian family.

Their racist taunts and abuse made their motives very clear.

This horrendous gang was made up of local Teddy boys, members of Mosley’s Union Movement and White Defence League people who were active in the area and who held street meetings in Harlesden.

Their clear inspiration were the Klu Klux Klan actions they had seen reported from US. We’d all seen the burning crosses on the cinema newsreels.

Our only black neighbours were driven out and their house gutted and I never saw my first black mate Winston again although I still remember his demon bowling in our cricket matches against the chalked-up wicket on the bombsite wall.

Just up the road, in Notting Hill itself, violence and riots were making the headlines. The main riot started on Friday August 29 when a gang of white youths attacked a Swedish woman, Majbritt Morrison, who had a Jamaican husband, Raymond.

Majbritt and her husband were attacked by a gang of white Teddy Boys at Latimer Road tube station.

They had shouted racial insults at the couple and but rather than be intimidated Majbritt had given as good as she got. The next night, the same youths came across her again. This time they pelted her with bottles and stones. One hit her with an iron bar. At last the police arrived and she was escorted home.

That same night a mob of 300 to 400 white people, including Mosley’s bully boys, some still in black shirts, Teddy Boys and other racists, attacked the houses of West Indian residents in a local street, Bramley Road.

The disturbances, rioting and attacks continued every night for some days, spreading across the area. The police arrested over 140 people during the two weeks of the disturbances. Some were white youths but a third were black people defending their homes and communities.

Of the 108 people charged with violent crimes, 72 were white and 36 were black. Predictably both the police and the government declared the violence had no racial content. In reality it was one of the most shameful times in Britain’s history of race relations.

One good thing came out of the riots — the Notting Hill Carnival. Claudia Jones, a Trinidad-born US communist, had been expelled from the US and come to London to live.

Jones bought together members of the black British community, as well as various international leaders including Cheddi Jagan of British Guyana, Norman Manley of Jamaica and Eric Williams of Trinidad and Tobago.

As a result, Jones identified the need to “wash the taste of Notting Hill… out of our mouths.” She suggested that the British black community should have its own Caribbean carnival.

The first was held in St Pancras town hall in January 1959. Jazz guitarist Fitzroy Coleman and singer Cleo Laine performed and the event was televised nationally by the BBC.

Funds raised from the event were used to pay the court fees and fines of young black men convicted in the riots.

Today Notting Hill is far more famous for its huge street carnival than for those obscene racist riots in that hot summer of 1958.

But the insulting way we treated the Windrush generation West Indians still continues.

Former home secretary Rudd fell on her sword to save the reputation of Prime Minister May who was herself the longest serving home secretary since the second world war.

Both of them supported a tough stance on setting immigration targets from the West Indies and other Commonwealth nations, particularly those with black populations. Both May and Rudd lied about it.

May has survived so far but only because it seems no other Tory wants the poisoned chalice that is her job.

She and other top Tories are generous with their cheap apologies for past racist actions but not much is happening to make up for the repatriations, imprisonments, loss of jobs and other humiliations that we have heaped on the Windrush generation.

Racism it seems is still one of the Tory’s top tactics.

Can the Tories be trusted to keep their promises to the Windrush generation? SARA CALLAWAY has serious concerns the Tories may delay compensation, renege on promises or try to use this moment to split Commonwealth residents from others.

Tories roll out red carpet for the rich. Cushy visa options unveiled for millionaires while doctors and nurses turned away at the border: here.

Landlords fined 405 times for letting to migrants in ‘hostile environment’ policy: here.

The Windrush scandal shows why we need a change of direction. We need a full and open investigation into how the government could have treated so many people who had travelled here legally with such cruelty, writes DIANE ABBOTT.

Windrush passenger Alford Gardner recounts deportation warning from 30 years ago: here.

Abbott to Javid: Warm words to the Windrush generation are worthless: here.

London Grenfell disaster, Conservative government whitewash

This video from Britain says bout itself:

Grenfell Tower: Minute By Minute Documentary

28 March 2018

Survivors of the Grenfell Tower fire share their personal accounts of the blaze that killed 72 people, revealing the decisions that saved their lives, some of which were in defiance of official advice, and remembering the friends, neighbours and loved ones who did not make it out of the building.

By Lamiat Sabin in Britain:

Friday, May 18, 2018

Grenfell report ‘a betrayal’ of victims, say Labour MPs

THE GOVERNMENT was forced into an embarrassing U-turn today after Grenfell justice campaigners branded a review into the circumstances surrounding the devastating fire a “betrayal.”

Labour MPs led a furious backlash into Dame Judith Hackitt’s report on reforming building regulations in the wake of the June 14 disaster that left at least 71 people dead as it failed to recommend banning combustible cladding and “desktop studies” — approving the use of materials without real-life safety tests.

Housing and Communities Secretary James Brokenshire announced hours after the review was published that they would consult on banning combustible materials.

But MPs, campaigners from Grenfell United, the Local Government Association, Shelter housing charity and the Equality and Human Rights Commission said there was no need to consult over it, with Kensington Labour MP Emma Dent Coad saying the ban on combustible cladding was an “absolute 100 per cent no-brainer.”

Labour MP and Grenfell campaigner David Lammy branded Ms Hackitt’s report “a betrayal and a whitewash.”

He added: “It is unthinkable and unacceptable that so many people can die in a disaster like Grenfell and one year on flammable cladding has not been banned.

“I will continue to stand with the Grenfell families and will continue to call for an outright ban on any combustible materials.”

And Ms Dent Coad told BBC Radio 4’s World At One: “I don’t understand what they are consulting upon — are they going to say: ‘Would you like combustible cladding around your building or not?’

“… This is not an abstract issue. It is impacting on people’s mental health all over the country, people are not able to sleep because they have cladding and they are not sure whether it is safe, they have got fire marshals outside their doors.

“They need reassurance now and the government must act.”

Shelter chief executive officer Polly Neate said the charity was “deeply concerned” that less than 4 per cent of 189 social housing blocks with Grenfell-style cladding have had the material entirely removed.

Grenfell United chairman Shahin Sadafi said that the campaign group had specifically asked Ms Hackitt to ban combustible cladding at a meeting.

He added: “We are disappointed and saddened that she didn’t listen to us and she didn’t listen to other experts.

The cladding on the Grenfell Tower was deemed to be limited combustibility, but it cost 72 lives. It must be banned.

“We need to hear from government a clear promise that these dangerous materials will never be used on homes again.”

Mr Brokenshire said new laws would be introduced that delivered “meaningful and lasting” change to the building safety system.

Shadow housing secretary John Healey said it “beggars belief” that the report “continues to give a green light” to combustible materials on high-rise blocks.

He added: “I say to the Secretary of State: Don’t consult on it — do it.”

In her review, Ms Hackitt found that indifference and ignorance had led to a “race to the bottom” in building safety practices and set out a series of proposals to make high-rise flats safer to live in.

She said a ban would “not address the root causes” of the “broken system” of building regulations.

But, responding to criticism of her report, she said she was open to seeing combustible cladding banned in the future.

Ms Hackitt, who told reporters she was “not an expert on Grenfell”, called for tougher penalties for those who breach regulations, arguing that the cladding on the tower would not have got through her proposed system.

Dame Judith Hackitt’s Independent Review of Building Regulations and Fire Safety has evoked widespread outrage for failing to recommend that the type of highly flammable cladding installed on Grenfell Tower—and many other public and private buildings around the UK—should be banned: here.

British Conservatives forced to concede on Grenfell Tower disaster

Burnt out Grenfell Tower in Kensington, London, England

By Peter Lazenby in London, England:

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Grenfell inquiry ‘panel’ confirmed by Theresa May in U-turn

THERESA MAY today caved in to public and political pressure by agreeing to appoint a panel to oversee the inquiry into the Grenfell Tower fire.

Two people will “support” chairman Judge Sir Martin Moore-Bick for phase two of his investigation, which starts hearing evidence this month.

The Prime Minister’s U-turn came after intense pressure from bereaved family members and a 156,000-strong petition.

Survivors’ groups said the inquiry risks being a whitewash without independent oversight.

Grenfell United spokesman Adel Chaoui, who lost four relatives in the inferno and co-led the petition, said survivors were “relieved,” but should not have had to campaign for it.

The petition has also guaranteed a parliamentary debate. It will take place on Monday, and Labour had warned that a vote would be forced on the issue if Ms May refuses to act.

Shadow justice secretary Richard Burgon said: “The decision to finally grant a panel in the Grenfell inquiry is testimony to the campaign waged by the bereaved families and the survivors — and to the overwhelming public support they attracted.

“But after everything they have been through, the bereaved families and the survivors should never have had to wage this campaign.

“The demand for a panel was always about ensuring the trust of the community in the inquiry and it should have been delivered from the start.

“For the Grenfell inquiry to deliver truth and justice, it must always have the full confidence of the bereaved families and survivors and it is essential that, going forward, all their other demands are properly met.”

According to official figures, the west London tower block fire in June last year killed at least 80 people.

London Conservative politicians blamed for flammable Grenfell Tower cladding

This 26 June 2017 video says about itself:

The firm which supplied the cladding used to insulate London’s Grenfell Tower says it’s stopping global sales of such panels for use in high-rise buildings, Reuters reports.

It follows reports that Arconic knew the cladding was to be used for the tower block despite warning in its brochures that particular type was a fire risk for tall buildings.

Read more here.

From daily News Line in Britain:

Thursday, 10 May 2018

Grenfell Tower council opted for flammable cladding

KENSINGTON and Chelsea council turned down a proposal to clad Grenfell Tower in fire resistant material and instead opted for a cheaper option, allowing the tower to be clad in flammable material, experts have shown.

Construction company Leadbitter quoted the council £3.3m to fit fireproof cladding to the tower.

The council decided that £3.3m was too much to spend on the refurbishment and instead put the contract out to tender.

Construction company Rydon gave a cheaper quote of £2.1m, but in doing so, their refurbishment included a cheaper cladding which was flammable.

In order to save £1.3m, Chelsea and Kensington council awarded the contract to Rydon.

Rydon fitted the combustible cladding. On June 14, 2017, when the Grenfell Tower fire started, the fire rapidly spread up the side of the building as the cheap cladding caught alight resulting in the deaths of so many men, women and children. If the council had gone with the original quote and awarded the contract to construction company Leadbitter, which planned to use fireproof solid aluminium cladding, lives would have definitely been saved, fire safety experts said.

Grenfell United described the development as heartbreaking. ‘It is more news that tells us our loved ones would be alive today if different decisions had been taken and if the people in charge had put safety first,’ said Sandra Ruiz, who lost her niece in the fire. ‘We need the inquiry to get to the bottom of why plans for the refurbishment were changed and why, when the community raised concerns, they were ignored.’

Geoff Wilkinson, an independent fire safety expert, said that if the solid aluminium cladding had been used, it would have performed better in the fire. While Stephen Mackenzie, an independent fire safety consultant said: ‘There would have been little or no fire spread, so the lives lost at Grenfell may have been prevented.’

At least 300 other tall buildings in England are clad in similar systems to Grenfell and need to be reclad after they failed fire safety tests. To date the number of buildings which have been reclad you can count on the fingers of one hand.

Grenfell Tower: fire-resistant cladding plan was dropped. Exclusive: Nonflammable panel system might have saved lives, expert says, and ended up cheaper: here.