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Old 15.06.2017, 20:17
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Re: London Tower Block Fire

This was a monstrous crime – there must be arrests after Grenfell Tower
David Lammy MP


If the preventable deaths of people burning in their homes are not a matter for the state, then what is?


A candle-lit vigil outside Notting Hill Methodist church near Grenfell Tower. Photograph: Chris J Ratcliffe/Getty Images

Don’t let them tell you it’s a tragedy. It’s not a tragedy, it’s a monstrous crime. Corporate manslaughter. They were warned by the residents that there was an obvious risk of catastrophe. They looked the other way. We don’t need another review kicked into the long grass and years of equivocation– what a civilised country should demand is arrests and a criminal trial before a judge and jury.

Where is Khadija Saye? A beautiful young woman, a hugely talented emerging artist whom my wife mentored and who had become a part of my family. She is just one of many human stories emerging from the disaster wreaked on Grenfell Tower. I have heard nothing since her Facebook post from 4am on Wednesday reading: “Please pray for me and my mum. Just tried to leave, it’s impossible.” I fear she may have perished in the inferno on the 20th floor.

Today people are waking up in community centres and church halls with nothing but the clothes on their backs. These are people who have lost everything – their homes, their possessions and even their identities and bank cards. As was the case after the 2011 riots in my constituency of Tottenham, and long after the news cycle has moved on, it will be the state that will rehouse and support them as they pick up the pieces and rebuild their lives from nothing – a process that will take years, and in many cases will never truly be complete.

The faces of Grenfell Tower victims are the faces of the residents of tower blocks across Britain: working-class, poor and often reliant on the state for their housing and safety. Yet for decades we have been pushing the state out and bringing the private sector in. We privatise profits for shareholders, but it is the insurance policy the state provides that lets them get away with it, always stepping in when the failures of the private sector spill over.

When we privatise hospital cleaning, we get MRSA. When the private sector fails to build affordable housing, the taxpayer foots the bill through soaring housing benefit costs. This week we got firefighters running towards a burning building following serious shortcomings on the part of a landlord.

This goes way beyond party politics and left v right. In 2017 we have to ask serious questions about what we have become when refurbishments were made to the outside of Grenfell Tower last year at great expense, as much to improve the view from the luxury flats that have been built around it as to improve conditions for residents. In one of the country’s richest boroughs there could be no starker encapsulation of the grotesque inequalities that plague our capital city.

Revisit the public inquiry after the Summerland disaster of 1973, the same year Grenfell was put up. In a leisure centre in the Isle of Man, 50 people lost their lives. The building was metal-clad and the metal was coated with plastic bitumen, which accelerated the rapid spread of the flames.

There are 700 tower blocks of 11 storeys or more in the capital alone, the vast majority of which were built in the 1960s and 1970s. The conditions in Grenfell Tower are mirrored in housing estates across the country.

I was on the Broadwater Farm estate in Tottenham last week on the eve of the general election, knocking on doors in Kenley Tower and reflecting on how little has changed since I was a young boy marauding around the estate with my cousin.

For decades we have consigned people to live in overcrowded conditions that are not just unacceptable but that, in many cases, are criminally unsafe. Families live in hutches, not houses. Plywood walls divide rooms in homes that were designed for families of three but are now occupied by six or more.

Back in Dickensian Britain, a letter printed in the Times in 1849 warned that whole swaths of Londoners were “living in a wilderness, so far as the rest of London knows anything of us”. Plus ça change. Successive governments have condemned the vulnerable and the voiceless to Corbusier-inspired blocks to which few improvements have been made since they were built half a century ago. Planners, politicians and property developers have never seen London from the heights – or when it comes to living conditions, the depths – of the capital’s worst homes.

Cutting council budgets by 40% has consequences far beyond street cleaning or libraries. Local authorities have been starved of the resources they need to refurbish council properties, and we have increasingly seen the management and upkeep of homes passed to arm’s-length bodies and the private sector. If local authorities are unable to hold property management companies to account, debates about the rights and wrongs of housing policy have overnight become urgent questions about public safety.

In every borough in the country there will be a tower block or council estate just like Grenfell. Why do we care about how these people live only when tragedy erupts into the public psyche? If the preventable deaths of people burning in their homes are not a matter for the police then what is?

If past disasters have taught us anything, it is that things change only when powerful people are put in the dock. So, for the sake of the victims, call it what it is: a crime of the most horrendous kind.

Source
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  #122  
Old 15.06.2017, 20:29
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Re: London Tower Block Fire

Ok... This is a couple of years out of date, but here goes...
Quote:
High-rises: the facts
  • There are 432,000 homes in high-rise blocks in England, including 49,000 housing association homes (2.3 per cent of association stock) and 178,000 council homes (9.5 per cent of local authority stock)
  • 25 per cent of house fires during 2009/10 occurred within purpose-built blocks of flats
  • 23 per cent of all fire deaths in dwellings in 2009/10 occurred in tower blocks
  • A 2011 pilot sprinkler retrofit project at Callow Mount, Sheffield, found the combined cost of installation and maintenance was £40 per flat per year over a 30-year time frame
http://www.insidehousing.co.uk/landl...002149.article

This article also contains details of council and private housing authorities who have followed recommendations made by coroners in the light of previous fire investigations.
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  #123  
Old 15.06.2017, 21:17
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Re: London Tower Block Fire

The way this disaster is already being politicised whilst bodies are still smoldering only exemplifies the shitty state the country is in at the moment. Demanding answers is one thing, but laying blame and trying to make this political before any sort of inquest or inquiry has been carried out is pretty low. They haven't even yet determined the cause of the fire FFS.
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  #124  
Old 15.06.2017, 21:28
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Re: London Tower Block Fire

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The faces of Grenfell Tower victims are the faces of the residents of tower blocks across Britain: working-class, poor and often reliant on the state for their housing and safety.
Here's the rent of an actual flat in the Grenfell Tower off of Rightmove. £2,145 pcm. But let's not let facts get in the way of me blaming this on Tory cuts.

http://www.rightmove.co.uk/property-...-56848189.html
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  #125  
Old 15.06.2017, 21:32
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Re: London Tower Block Fire

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Here's the rent of an actual flat in the Grenfell Tower off of Rightmove. £2,145 pcm. [/url]
Without wanting to derail the thread, maybe our favourite troll should see this, as I can get something similarly in Zurich cheaper.
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  #126  
Old 15.06.2017, 21:37
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Re: London Tower Block Fire

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Here's the rent of an actual flat in the Grenfell Tower off of Rightmove. £2,145 pcm. But let's not let facts get in the way of me blaming this on Tory cuts.

http://www.rightmove.co.uk/property-...-56848189.html
London prices.

Was that a private rental?
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  #127  
Old 15.06.2017, 21:44
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Re: London Tower Block Fire

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London prices.

Was that a private rental?
Looks like it.

I imagine they're also going to have a hard time trying to identify the victims bodies because so many of the social housing flats will have been sublet.
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  #128  
Old 15.06.2017, 22:18
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Re: London Tower Block Fire

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All private UK landlords are required to provide smoke alarms, fire extinguisher and a fire blanket. They're also required to provide at least one fire escape window in the upper storey of a house, unless it's a listed property.
No. They are not.
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  #129  
Old 15.06.2017, 22:27
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Re: London Tower Block Fire

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Looks like it.

I imagine they're also going to have a hard time trying to identify the victims bodies because so many of the social housing flats will have been sublet.
Which they probably shouldn't have been. Who are you blaming for that? Because some tenants sublet without telling the council/agency and pocket the extra themselves. Plus of course they're claiming benefits too.

And blame Labour too btw. They've been in power long enough and often enough to have done something, but didn't, despite their borrowing sprees over the years.
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  #130  
Old 15.06.2017, 22:43
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Re: London Tower Block Fire

I have a strong suspicion that this is going to bring the government down once and for all. And - speaking as a natural conservative (small c) - I'll be delighted to watch.

Re: politics while bodies still smoulder: this is totally about politics. Totally. This is all about irresponsible, corrupt, selfish, short-sighted wankstains whose utter bloody incompetence is going to usher in a government that will make Venezuela look like Switzerland.

Theresa May is, without a doubt, the worst Tory PM since that oily old pederast. She didn't light the match that burnt down the tower block, but she sure as hell lit the match that will lead to the nation burning.

Stupid, stupid, stupid bastards.
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  #131  
Old 15.06.2017, 22:50
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Re: London Tower Block Fire

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Which they probably shouldn't have been. Who are you blaming for that? Because some tenants sublet without telling the council/agency and pocket the extra themselves. Plus of course they're claiming benefits too.

And blame Labour too btw. They've been in power long enough and often enough to have done something, but didn't, despite their borrowing sprees over the years.
I'm not blaming anyone at the moment, it's still too early. I strongly suspect it will come down to the Housing Association though - which combine the worst aspects of public sector ineptitude together with the greed of a private company.
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  #132  
Old 15.06.2017, 22:54
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Re: London Tower Block Fire

Which part of the Council and Government had been warned for years? The other major fire with loss of life in a high rise block in London was in 2009- and the report has been sat on

The cause of the fire is almost irrelevant at this stage- the fact the cladding allowed the fire to spread so quickly is the problem and caused so many deaths and misery.

https://www.change.org/p/release-and...rm=autopublish
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  #133  
Old 15.06.2017, 22:55
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Re: London Tower Block Fire

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combine the worst aspects of public sector ineptitude together with the greed of a private company.
Private companies with access to large quantities of public money are always, without fail, a bloody nightmare.

Thanks, Tony.
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  #134  
Old 16.06.2017, 00:18
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Re: London Tower Block Fire

Quote:
I have a strong suspicion that this is going to bring the government down once and for all. And - speaking as a natural conservative (small c) - I'll be delighted to watch.

Re: politics while bodies still smoulder: this is totally about politics. Totally. This is all about irresponsible, corrupt, selfish, short-sighted wankstains whose utter bloody incompetence is going to usher in a government that will make Venezuela look like Switzerland.

Theresa May is, without a doubt, the worst Tory PM since that oily old pederast. She didn't light the match that burnt down the tower block, but she sure as hell lit the match that will lead to the nation burning.

Stupid, stupid, stupid bastards.
I could not agree more, there is something very join-the-dots about this.

The newly elected Labour MP for Kensington, the first in its history and winning by only 20 votes had a mandate to address many of the inequalities in the constinuency (the richest in the UK). Then there is the Housing Minister Gavin Barwell who somehow had a part to play in this tragedy, lost his seat and is now May's chief of staff.

The government could have recovered a little bit of glory had they responded better to the aftermath with more help for the victims and their families and better coordination. Instead we've seen chaotic rescue efforts by individuals and charities and an almost mute response from the council and government (nb the first responders Police, fire and ambulance have been heroic). She could have sent in the army or disaster relief personal to coordinate efforts, instead of allowing traumatised people to wander the streets and mountains of rotting food to pile up under flyovers from well meaning members of the public.

This is an uncaring and indifferent government that deserves to fall.
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  #135  
Old 16.06.2017, 00:46
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Re: London Tower Block Fire

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Private companies with access to large quantities of public money are always, without fail, a bloody nightmare.

Thanks, Tony.
Ain't that the truth.

Just seen on ITV News that the original tender of over £11 million for the refurb was rejected and put out for tender again. The company that eventually won the contract under cut the original bid by over £2 million. I'd have been asking lots of questions about materials and going over the proposals with a fine tooth comb at that stage.
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  #136  
Old 16.06.2017, 00:55
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Re: London Tower Block Fire

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No. They are not.
Please read page 8, Paragraphs 2.4 and 2.8.
https://www.modernupvcwindows.co.uk/...ide---2014.pdf
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  #137  
Old 16.06.2017, 09:43
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Re: London Tower Block Fire

Statements like this sow the seeds of unrest.

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Old 16.06.2017, 10:35
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Re: London Tower Block Fire

On the news just now, the type of cladding used and approved as fireproof in the uk has the same fire rating in Germany as untreated wood, unbelievable
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  #139  
Old 16.06.2017, 11:33
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Re: London Tower Block Fire

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On the news just now, the type of cladding used and approved as fireproof in the uk has the same fire rating in Germany as untreated wood, unbelievable
Wow, I thought that the EU had the same environmental and safety laws throughout. That shocks me.
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  #140  
Old 16.06.2017, 11:37
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Re: London Tower Block Fire

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On the news just now, the type of cladding used and approved as fireproof in the uk has the same fire rating in Germany as untreated wood, unbelievable
Sadly, believable. The UK has long been a place of public penny-pinching and few scruples.
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