Austerity kills and gentrification genocide

This image from Dr.Dunno / Chris Barker says it all about the horror of Grenfell Tower…rather drained about it, as not only did my mother live near there so I know that area fairly well, I have a personal connection to someone helping out and it doesn’t sound good.

This might be the worse fire in British history, with at least 76 missing and 30 dead as of writing and that’s probably going to climb because there might be sublets or unregistered families, visitors etc that haven’t been marked as missing. If not it’s still going to be the worse fire over a hundred years…even though it seems the government is trying to downplay and micromanage the numbers.

Where to start? The lack of regard from the Tory council, the management company to years of complaints and their local Labour councillor Judith Blackman on the management board being almost drummed out cos she raised 19 complaints about the safety and refurbishment, they were repeatedly refused an independent safety adjudicator was told it was ‘unnecessary’

Then Gavin Barwell who sat on a safety report on high rises for years, to Nick Hurd the new Fire Minister who as a landlord voted against an amendment to make homes ‘fit for habitation’ and stricter safety measures which wouldn’t have affected Grenfell but private landlords, but shows the contempt these people have for us ‘little people’.

And Theresa May who’s colleagues make excuses about ‘security concerns’ as to why she didn’t meet locals but Corbyn and Sadiq Khan did and the Queen and Prince William rocks up with minimal security. ‘Hold my crown…’ indeed.

And then you have Boris Johnson telling the London Assembly to ‘get stuffed’ over fire safety fears after cutting THREE fire stations in the area? Sheer arrogance, but what do you expect from the Nasty Party. They don’t care about us.

But certainly austerity cuts and gentrification kills – because the reason for the cladding that’s suspected to have made the tower into an inferno was in part to make the grey blocks pretty for the rich that look onto the flats. And it would have cost only £5,000 to upgrade the flats to the fire retardant version. Worryingly they also fitted out the Chalcot estate near my old hood in Swiss Cottage – far bigger than Grenfell. And gas mains didn’t have fire retardant boxes on them, no sprinklers, alarms didn’t sound or couldn’t be heard, emergency lighting failed….there is a litany of failure that should pile at the very least to the door of the management company and council, but I’d suggest it should go higher. Heads SHOULD roll, and if the election had happened a week later I can tell you the Tories wouldn’t even have the DUP-aided minority they have now.

And then you have the media – The Scum and the Daily Fail harassing the poor man who might’ve had the fire start in his flat cos of a faulty fridge, and pretending to be a friend to try and get interviews – this is just the tip of the iceberg, media are intruding everywhere on the ground apparently. And people are getting angry about it.

But the question is: who is the city for? Is it for the empty safety-deposit boxes in the sky bought by distant oligarchs and money launderers – which definitely don’t have the cheap cladding – or is it for the people: the Syrian refugee, the italian couple, the black Venice Bienniale photographer?

Oh and people saying ‘don’t politicise the tragedy’ – well where were you when no-one listened to the residents and completely stonewalled them? This isn’t some random terror attack or tragedy that no-one could have for sawn – the residents warned them again and again and wanted independent fire safety surveying and were repeatedly refused.

And people are justifiably angry – like this protest that is currently happening:

Relatio Clash

Tim B Written by:

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