Saturday, 9 November 2019

Grenfell; who or what is responsible?

Earlier this week leading Brexiteer and still a cabinet minister  Jacob Rees Mogg gave it has his opinion that the residents of the Grenfell Tower Block who obeyed the Fire Service's instructions to stay  in their apartments during the fire,  "lacked common sense."  This has caused outrage and it is understood the Tory campaign managers hope to keep Mr Rees Mogg out of the limelight for the rest of the election period.

The following information is culled from a letter from a Sasha Simic published in the Guardian on7th November.

  • When he was Prime Minister David Cameron promised to abolish the "albatross" of "overregulation " in the building industry and claimed that his Conservative government would "kill off the health and safety culture for good."
  • In 2015 Sajid Javid, then Business Secretary and now Chancellor of the Exchequer,  launched a government initiative called "Cutting Red Tape" which, among other things, claimed that "Businesses with good records have had fire safety inspections  reduced from six hours to 45 minutes, allowing managers to quickly get back to their day job."
  • When he was Mayor of London Boris Johnson closed 10 London fire stations, took 30 fire engines out of service and slashed over 500 firefighter jobs to  "save money."
  • It was the Tory-controlled Kensington and Chelsea council that "saved" £293 000 by draping Grenfell Tower with flammable cladding rather than fire-resistant cladding.
 I have not checked all these facts, but have no reason to believe that any are incorrect or exaggerated.  

They should be printed and published in every non-Tory election communication
M/s Simic  concludes with the view  that "[i]t was the Tory doctrine of the unfettered free-market perusing profit above all other considerations that paved the way  to the Grenfell Tower fire that killed 72 people."

It's hard to disagree.

Out of the EU and in cohorts with the US as a quasi 51st state we can expect more of the same.  

When anyone mentions "the nanny sate" or  "red tape" it is essential to remember that one person's red tap is another's health and safety and better prospects of decent and safer working and living conditions.

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