Pursuing natural health & thinking beyond the superficial. Deconstructing Culture.

Posts tagged ‘Politics’

The ‘Right To Die’ – It’s not a ‘right’ afforded to us, it’s our own choice already, why do we have to fight for it?

As usual euthanasia and patient assisted suicide (PAS) is something that is decided for us by people (usually church/religion and/or state) who like to fully control every aspect of our lives including the most important parts.

Ironically enough I was just pressing the point to someone recently that barristers and hence judges have the title ‘Justice’ (when presiding/judging) which shows the kind of country and world we live in. They act like [and might think] they’re non-human entities/concept/Plato’s ‘forms’ created or in existence to ‘govern’ us (‘fairly’ – according to ‘might [money/funds] is right’ ideology), mostly chosen by people like them with a Silver spoon in their mouths and not through meritocracy or an egalitarian society. The listener did not believe me… And they’re always wrong.

The problem with the Noel Conway case is that he is fighting for the right to be heard and to possibly change the law, which you can do when you go to the High Court. What that means is even if he wins he won’t win permission to have a say over his own life, it’s getting the issue of the blanket ban on euthanasia and PAS to be debated again. The courts and parliament are too busy passing the buck between each other on deciding who or how to change the law if at all. Parliament in general (both Houses, not just the government) have shown over the years that they have little interest in doing so and don’t want to address whether they’re breaking Human Rights in denying choice either.

As far as I’m concerned a person should be able to end their life (especially as they don’t choose to live in the first place, their parents make that choice) whenever they want (and no I don’t on a whim or bad mood) but if we’re going the ‘doctor recommended’ route then it shouldn’t just be the terminally ill and patients with diagnosis (not all patients are diagnosed they can be under constant review), any patient who finds their life unbearable should have their wishes honoured. Plenty of them were suffering long before they became patients, plenty have lost all hope and plenty don’t have the strength or resources to terminate themselves in a peaceful, painless way. All they’re asking for is that doctors/medical professionals carry out the death part of their jobs fully. The profession is not just about life and preserving it no matter what and then patients dying because everything they tried failed and so the health professionals can’t blame themselves or face insurance/court backlash, it’s about full respect of your charge/patient. It’s about death rites and being there for them i.e. you assist in bringing them into the world, you’re there for them in between and it’s also your job to help take them out as well in the kindest possible way, before their suffering outweighs their quality of life. That’s not just the job of priests. Death is also a part of healing and many cultures know and have known that for millenia. We’re too far removed from what it feels like to be human and to be part of humanity, opting to be slaves to protocol instead and the ideology of ‘it’s my job, I might not agree but that’s what the rules say’ as a way of pushing aside and negating personal responsibility.

What are people supposed to do whilst the health industry, religion and politicians/monarchy are ‘playing God’ or ‘representative(s) of God’? It’s obvious that the divide between rich and poor keeps getting wider, that suicide rates and going abroad for euthanasia or PAS has increased especially in times of austerity (more stress = more illness and being affected younger) so why the reluctance to ‘allow’ people their ‘god-given‘ or ‘universal rights’ or quite frankly their human/being alive rights? In regards to those who perpetuate the class systems why hesitate to let the ‘surplus population’/’useless eaters’ (but still consumers though if on the NHS they’re pretty much going to suffer more and longer anyway) choose for themselves. Why is this even an issue about rich and poor? The rich worldwide and especially those with stakes in ‘Silicon Valley’/modern tech get to finance and have accessibility to both life lengthening procedures and costly euthanasia/PAS whereas the rest of us are left to wrist slashing, homemade concoctions, overdosing, overdosing plus alcohol, gas, traffic accidents (yes I know about the Leicester incident and news coverage the next day about dementia patients and motorways), drowning and all the rest of it, a lot of which goes horribly wrong. Seriously if guns were allowed in this country many people would’ve taken that way out and I don’t blame them.

Some people are very practical and realize that death is part of life and have been ready to live a decent life both moral and as a good citizen but also ready to die at any moment if it just so happens e.g. you get hit by a bus or something (almost happened to me recently lol and puts me in mind of what I and two friends – one Catholic and one Christian – used to say to each other every time we left each other “see you [insert time/date], god willing!” As a joke but one of those painfully true ones; and no I’m not religious I don’t even ascribe to a school of philosophy). You live your life in a way that you can be proud of, dutifully and well informed so that whenever ‘your time comes’ your relationships with people can end in a way that you don’t regret too much and your ‘house is in order’. You don’t have to be old-aged for that, I was ready to die by approximately 10 years old and have always supported euthanasia and abortion – pro-choice for both. I was ready for that as well as to live a life full of goals, optimism and health. Basically I knew that life can go in any direction and I was prepared/preparing. You don’t have to old to be wise. (And my title isn’t ‘Justice’ either thank goodness/ethics but my name is ‘Gift/Vision of God’ which outranks the former and is exceptional… I didn’t choose it though so I’ll beat down any god/demon/’other’ willing or unwilling to go the boxing rounds *ahem*.)

https://www.dignityindying.org.uk/news/noel-conway-case-high-court-july/

Noel Conway case to be heard in July

Press release | 23rd May 2017

Judicial review on assisted dying will be heard at the High Court in the week commencing 17th July 2017 by three judges over five days.

A judicial review brought by a man with terminal motor neurone disease to challenge the current law on assisted dying is due to be heard at the High Court in mid-July, following a directions hearing which took place yesterday (Monday 22nd May 2017). The Noel Conway v Ministry of Justice case, which is supported by Dignity in Dying, will be heard by three judges over five days in the week commencing the 17th of July 2017.

Noel Conway, 67, a retired college lecturer from Shropshire, was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a form of motor neurone disease, in November 2014. His condition is incurable and he is not expected to live beyond the next 12 months. Noel feels that he is prevented from exercising his right to choice and control over his death under the current law. He fears that without a change in the law he may be forced to suffer against his wishes. Noel, supported by Dignity in Dying, has instructed law firm Irwin Mitchell to bring this case to fight for his right to have the option of an assisted death when he is in his final six months of life.

Noel said:

“I am delighted that my case will be heard in full at the High Court in July. I am glad to hear that, given the importance of the case, it will be presided over by three judges over five days – a testament to how deserving this issue is of full and proper consideration.

“I have brought this case to fight for choice and control at the end of life – for me and for all terminally ill people and their loved ones who are being failed by the current law. I know I am going to die anyway, but how and when should be up to me. To have the option of an assisted death in this country would provide me with great reassurance and comfort. It would allow me to decide when I am ready to go, rather than be forced into a premature death by travelling abroad or be left at the mercy of a cruel illness.”

Sarah Wootton, Chief Executive of Dignity in Dying, said:

“We are pleased that Noel’s case will get the full High Court hearing it deserves and that his health has been taken in account when expediting the case.

“The current law means that terminally ill Britons are being forced to suffer against their wishes or take drastic measures at home and abroad in order to wrest back control over their deaths. Noel, supported by Dignity in Dying, wants the courts to examine the evidence in full and decide if a blanket ban on assisted dying is lawful.

“We are indebted to Noel and his family for devoting their time and energy to this hugely important case and we look forward to the High Court hearing in July.”

Yogi Amin, partner and head of public law and human rights at Irwin Mitchell, added:

“Noel would like the choice to be able to die with dignity. The world has changed phenomenally in the past few decades with many medical advances but the law on assisted dying for those who are terminally ill hasn’t changed for more than 50 years.

“Three judges will now hear his case in the High Court over five days which shows the level of importance this judicial review case has. The Court will be considering detailed evidence and legal arguments about whether a blanket ban breaches our Human Rights law.”

***ENDS***

For further information, photos and interviews with representatives from Dignity in Dying, please contact ellie.ball@dignityindying.org.uk / 07725 433 025 / 0207 479 7732 or thomas.davies@dignityindying.org.uk / 0207 479 7734

For interviews with representatives from Irwin Mitchell, please contact pressoffice@irwinmitchell.com / 0114 274 4666

Notes to Editor

About the case
Noel Conway, 67, from Shrewsbury, was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a form of motor neurone disease, in November 2014. His condition is incurable and terminal – he is not expected to live beyond the next 12 months.

Noel feels that he is prevented from exercising his right to choice and control over his death under the current law. He fears that without a change in the law he may be forced to suffer against his wishes. Noel is bringing this case against the Ministry of Justice to fight for his right to have the option of an assisted death when he is in his final six months of life.

Noel attended the High Court on March 21st to request permission to bring a legal case.

On Thursday 30th March 2017, a decision was handed down denying permission for the case to proceed. Noel Conway’s legal team successfully appealed this decision on Tuesday 11th April 2017, meaning the case will proceed to a full hearing at the High Court. A directions hearing on Monday 22nd May 2017 determined the procedural arrangements for the High Court hearing, namely that it will take place in the week commencing the 17th of July 2017 over five days, heard by three judges. The courts close for summer on Monday 31st July, and reopen on Monday 2nd October. It is anticipated that a decision will be published on the Conway case after the summer recess.

Also on the morning of Monday 22nd May, the court considered the case of Omid T, a separate legal case to that of Noel Conway. Omid T does not have a terminal diagnosis and is calling for assisted suicide to be made available to anyone who is suffering unbearably, not just those who are dying. His case was granted permission to proceed but it will not be joined with Noel Conway’s.

About Dignity in Dying
Dignity in Dying campaigns for greater choice, control and access to services at the end of life. It advocates providing terminally ill adults with the option of an assisted death, within strict legal safeguards, and for universal access to high quality end-of-life care.
For more information, visit http://www.dignityindying.org.uk

About Irwin Mitchell
Irwin Mitchell is over 100 years old and is one of the largest law firms in the UK. Last year Irwin Mitchell merged with Thomas Eggar LLP expanding its presence in London and the South East and has also acquired specialist Personal Injury firm MPH Solicitors and private wealth firm Berkeley Law in the past few years.

The firm is ranked as a market-leading personal legal services firm in the independent Legal 500 and Chambers UK guides to UK law with over 100 lawyers personally recommended. For more information, visit http://www.irwinmitchell.com

This was the most recent decision before the upcoming July hearing.

https://www.judiciary.gov.uk/judgments/high-court-judgment-noel-conway-v-secretary-of-state-for-justice/

High Court Judgment: Noel Conway -v- Secretary of State for Justice
30 March 2017 |High Court|Civil

Neutral Citation Number: [2017] EWHC640 (Admin)

Case no: CO/6421/2016

In the High Court of Justice

Queen’s Bench Division

Administrative Court

Divisional Court

Date: 30/03/2017

Before:

Lord Justice Burnett

Mr Justice Charles

Mr Justice Jay

Between:

The Queen (on the application of Noel Douglas Conway) – Claimant

– and –

Secretary of State for Justice – Defendant

https://www.judiciary.gov.uk/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/conway-v-justice-secretary-judgment.pdf

One of the Stingiest Bitches I’ve Come Across, And That Says Something… INQUEST NOT INQUIRY pt 3

We all knew £5m wouldn’t be enough for the victims of Grenfell Tower… And remember the council has £274m in surplus for failing to use their budgets properly as well as paying rebates to the highest tax payers because of it, might as well be embezzlement. Reminds me of the Hackney council 10m embezzlement some years back which was discovered when they managed to build a brand spanking new Town Hall and periphery [gorgeous] buildings yet rubbish was piling up on the streets… That said there was no ‘corporate manslaughter’ (or ‘murder’, since Kensington and Chelsea knew the risks of what they were doing all those years) involved because of it.

http://www.msn.com/en-gb/news/uknews/grenfell-tower-families-to-get-%C2%A35500-government-payout/ar-BBCQupg

Families left homeless by the Grenfell Tower fire are to receive more than £5,000 to help them rebuild their lives, with £500 available immediately in cash, Theresa May has announced.

The cash payments are already being distributed by Kensington and Chelsea council to affected households, and from Monday payments of £5,000 will be put into bank accounts.

The money, which comes from the £5m emergency fund announced by Downing Street, may be increased if necessary.

May, the prime minister, said: “As we continue to respond to the needs of the community, our focus is on ensuring that all of those affected by this unimaginable tragedy get the right support as quickly as possible.

“My government will continue to do absolutely everything possible to help all of those affected through the difficult days, weeks, months and years ahead.”

The money will come from the £5m fund announced by May on Friday. No 10 said the £500 cash payment was already being handed out and further payments will be available from the Westway Centre and the nearby post office in Portobello Road. Help will be given to residents who do not have bank accounts.

May said: “As we continue to respond to the needs of the community, our focus is on ensuring that all of those affected by this unimaginable tragedy get the right support as quickly as possible. My government will continue to do absolutely everything possible to help all of those affected through the difficult days, weeks, months and years ahead.”

The move came as the official response to the crisis drew fresh condemnation from residents. In a statement to the Press Association, residents who met the prime minister in Downing Street over the weekend criticised Kensington and Chelsea Tenant Management Organisation for its reaction to the disaster.

The group said: “In our meeting at Downing Street, we explained to the prime minister the anger of all residents towards the management of the estate over a long period of time, paving the way to this tragedy.

“With the exception of very few junior officers, the estate managers have been invisible in the aftermath of the tragedy.”

What the hell is that going to cover? Nothing. They have nothing; they’re starting from scratch, not even from scratch – they’re suffering from loss that they can never recover; loss of loved ones, home and memories. They’ve got no belongings except the clothes on their backs, having to look for/wait for missing persons/animals, having to wait for the dead, having to take time off work, having to sort out benefits, in need of counseling both legal and mental, possibly physical injuries to heal from, confused/grieving, overwhelmed and you think £5500 is going to mean anything? £500 in cash? Oh how charitable and responsible of you – the people of the country have done a much better job than that in one day than you and your stupid token fund and you’re the government, the place everyone looks to for regulation and ‘harmony’, peace and justice and all that. What a ‘joke’, a horrific ‘joke’. £500 won’t even cover temporary accommodation especially not in London, and where are they going for relocation, how will they pay for that? Food, clothing, household provisions, travel, medicine, furniture, funerals – all those basic essentials AND WHAT ABOUT COMPENSATION!? This doesn’t begin to even think about covering the orchestration that was done to them. The official establishments and have put them in debt and bankruptcy with this and you’re doing nothing but making their situation into a sinkhole. What about their loans, their ability to work; their whole lives have been turned upside down and you/your advisors/supporters think £5500 is ok. Butter wouldn’t melt in your mouth, I can’t believe your complete and utter lack of shame. You and everyone responsible/party to the tragedy should be humiliated at what’s happened, at what you’re offering; there’s no dignity in it at all. This is one of the worst incidents in modern history and the worst handling of it too.

INQUEST NOT INQUIRY pt 2 – Serious Corruption

Followed on from Governments and Bodies Can’t Investigate Themselves Impartially

It just gets worse and worse and worse and worse… People need to be stripped of titles, investigated, charged and convicted properly and companies shut down. Community cooperatives/management would have done better than local and central government on this.

http://www.msn.com/en-gb/news/uknews/grenfell-tower-fire-mps-attack-kensington-council-for-failure-to-spend-%C2%A3270m-reserves-on-housing/ar-BBCOzNc

Grenfell Tower fire: MPs attack Kensington council for failure to spend £270m reserves on housing

The council responsible for Grenfell Tower, where at least 58 people are now thought to have lost their lives after Wednesday’s horrific fire, has been accused of carrying out “unacceptable” financial practises after it emerged the borough had stockpiled £274m of usable reserves following years of chronic underspending.

Labour MP for Tottenham David Lammy, whose friend Khadija Saye was killed in the blaze, said very serious questions needed to be asked about why the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea (RBKC) was running a budget surplus despite repeated warnings from residents that the block posed a fire risk. The shadow Communities Secretary Andrew Gwynne said the council needed to “immediately explain itself” over why the funds were not used to ensure safe housing.

“If some of this money was spent on sprinkler systems and non-flammable cladding we wouldn’t be where we are today,” Mr Lammy told The Independent.

“Residents are saying that they feel as though they have been treated as second-class citizens because they are poor. It cannot be right that the council ran a budget surplus whilst families in their borough were living in such unsafe housing. That is simply unacceptable.

“The people of Kensington and Chelsea are angry and they have every right to be. We need answers and we need justice. Serious questions have to be asked about why the council was running a budget surplus when the Grenfell residents were warning about fire risks.”

Mr Gwynne said: “The council needs to immediately explain why these funds were not used to ensure safe housing for Kensington and Chelsea residents. There are too many opportunities for this tragedy to have been avoided.

At this time of intense stress and trauma, the least that these communities deserve are answers.”

In 2013/14, RBKC underspent by £30m “thanks to an overachieving efficiency drive,” according to Council Leader Nick Paget-Brown. [My Comment – this guy chats too much, he’s been allowed to why? https://fashionthatpays.wordpress.com/2017/06/16/grenfell-tower-conservative-tory-failures/%5D Instead of reinvesting the funds, top rate council tax-payers were subsequently offered a £100 rebate to account for the overspend.

“In deciding what to do with it, we have taken the view that it is simply wrong to discount from our calculations those whose money this was in the first place. In short, we think the right place for it is back with our residents,” Mr Paget-Brown wrote at the time.

While some of the reserve money is ring-fenced, the revelation follows claims that additional spending on the west London block could have prevented the tragedy that killed at least 58 people on Wednesday.

Questions were raised about the cladding that was fitted to the building during a 2015 refurbishment, which experts suggested may have helped the flames spread more rapidly throughout the tower than they would otherwise have.

Fitting a fire-resistant alternative would have cost as little as £5,000 extra to instal. The British Automatic Fire Sprinkler Association also said installing a sprinkler system would cost just £200,000.

“We have heard that the council gave residents a £100 rebate in 2014, when just £5,000 would have paid for non-flammable cladding on the outside of Grenfell Tower,” Mr Lammy said.

It follows claims by Labour Councillor Robert Atkinson the council was “bribing the electorate with its own money” after it “systematically and deliberately created underspends”.

“Our suspicion, based on past experience, remains that this council will bring in and hoard the people’s money in non election years (such as this) only to give it back as a pre-election bribe immediately before a council election – such as next year,” he said in a speech after 2017’s budget was announced.

“We think this council’s long standing practises of, every year, running huge underspends in its revenue budgets which it then transfers into Capital reserves is wrong, and, given the damage to services that has resulted over many years from the squeezing of revenue budgets it is not to put too fine a point on it – wicked.”

Mr Paget-Brown justified the rebate in 2014, saying it could not be ploughed back into services because it was a “one-off surplus”. Despite this, over the last four years, the General Fund at RBKC has consistently underspent, with draft figures for 2016/2017 showing a surplus of £10m.

The underspend figures come in contrast to those produced by the Borough of Islington, which has a similar demographic makeup to Kensington. In 2015/16, the Council underspent by £0.2m. In the same year, Newham, one of London’s poorest boroughs, underspent by £311,000.

The Chartered Institute for Public Finance and Accountancy details three reasons for a council to have reserves, one of which is to act as a “contingency cushion” for unexpected emergencies or events. But residents of the gutted block were growing increasingly angry over the council’s relief efforts following the fire.

Protesters stormed Kensington Town Hall chanting “justice” on Friday, carrying a list of demands they said authorities must meet. The Government was criticised for seemingly U-turning on a pledge to rehouse residents affected by the blaze within the borough, admitting on Friday that they may have to be relocated to other areas in London.

Despite the budget surplus, it appeared the RBKC was struggling to find accommodation in the borough for residents who were left homeless in the blaze.

Grieving relatives of the dead pointed to the repeated failures by those managing the properties to prevent such a tragedy on an unprecedented scale.

Residents of Grenfell Tower complained two years ago about the refurbishment of the building being done “using cheap materials” and workmanship that “cut corners”, The Independent revealed.

They later claimed the RBKC had done nothing to address their concerns.

It has also emerged that in order to save money, the council ditched the original proposed contractor, Leadbitter, for the refurbishment, and instead went with Rydon, a cheaper bid for the work.

In July 2013 the council’s Housing and Property Scrutiny Committee proposed to “market test the works through an open tender” after noting: “Leadbitter currently estimate the cost of the works to be £1.6m above the current, proposed budget.”

Rydon eventually completed the refurbishment in May 2016, for £2.5m less than the £11.278m quoted by Leadbitter.

Rydon has repeatedly said that all the refurbishment work carried out at Grenfell Tower met both building and fire regulation standards and was signed off by the council.

The Independent has contacted the RBKC for comment.

Another point is – usually businesses and institutions do their best to spend as much of their budgets as possible in order to justify them in the first place and make sure they get the same if not more funding in future, not less because they’ve been ‘efficient’. How did the money keep flooding in to Kensington and Chelsea despite not needing it because they never spent it?

And if they’ve got £270-4m in axillary, um isn’t this as deserving/qualifying a case as it gets? Why are the victims of Grenfell Tower only getting a measly £5m fund? Why is it even a possibility that they’ll be moved from their borough? Pay the f*cking private landlords b*stards, put ’em up in Buckingham Palace for all I care (yes I know it’s in Westminster) just stop being like some of the worst tyrants on the planet that you often advertise yourselves as superheroes and saviours against and go to war with and then moan about their people when you do the same to them and your own. Stop being like them and pay the price for your crimes against humanity, our animal companions and the environment.

Governments and Bodies Can’t Investigate Themselves Impartially – INQUEST NOT INQUIRY

This is not an internal inquiry.

This is a public investigation over public injuries, loss, deaths, property/mismanagement of funds, other landlord responsibilities such as not listening to complaints and intimidation  and the responses of public emergency services – let’s not add further mismanagement to the equation by making this an ‘inquiry’. The phrase ‘public inquiry‘ has always set my teeth on edge because they’re usually presided over people far removed from the public and what they go through e.g. Lords. And then what about actionable punishment? Oh yeah, that doesn’t really happen with inquiries – you get masses of report, observations, ideas, commentary and little else – and who is going to pay for it? It could cost more than the paltry 5 million fund Theresa May has promised to the victims, that won’t even accommodation let alone new homes. Then there’s no deadline, we’ve been promised interim reports but this could go on with parties passing the buck until the urgency of the situation has passed (sorry to say but damage limitation is preferred by some than taking responsibility for what they’ve done and it’s better for them in a less outraged environment when we’ve had other news take primary attention). The judges that sit at these inquiries tend to distance themselves afterwards as well because the public generally isn’t happy at the end but still, it’s better than an…

INQUEST.

Exactly the word that has been on my mind since I heard about Grenfell Tower. Not ‘inquiry’ but the voices in my head have been trying to go for ‘inquiry’ and making me forget. Thanks to the following article I snapped awake. I want a proper investigation with legal standing and that’s just me and outsider, can you imagine the victims of this situation and their loved ones? An inquiry is just a formal enquiry e.g. (not technical but a colloquial example) a person makes an enquiry, an establishment makes an inquiry – however both are just asking a question and in official Inquiries parties are presenting evidence they’re not necessarily being examined. Information comes out of an inquiry (without summary), not necessarily the ‘truth’ and there is no culpability. An Inquest is a trial.

http://www.msn.com/en-gb/news/other/grenfell-tower-fire-lawyer-calls-for-inquest-instead-of-public-inquiry-asking-what-needs-to-be-hidden/ar-BBCKKXT

Grenfell Tower fire: Lawyer calls for inquest instead of public inquiry asking ‘What needs to be hidden?’

Grenfell Tower residents should demand an inquest rather than a public inquiry to get answers about the tragedy, according to a solicitor who acted for people affected in the 2009 Lakanal House fire.

Sophie Khan said that in an inquest the Government would “lose control” and a jury would be able to deliver its conclusion regardless of whether it was uncomfortable to hear.

In a public inquiry, such as that ordered by the Prime Minister into the fire that killed at least 17 on Wednesday, a minister will set the terms of reference, which guide how the hearings proceed.

Ms Khan told BBC Newsnight: “In an inquest they lose control of what a jury verdict will do. Juries will come out with narrative verdicts which may be very difficult for the Government to hear.

“You can’t have both, you can only have one or the other. They [residents] should really be demanding an inquest.

“I’m very concerned as to why Ms May came out so quickly to say, ‘public inquiry’. What is there, that she knows, that needs to be hidden?”

She added: “We have to look at the fire assessments because here there is a fire issue as well. It’s not just the council we need to look at. What were the fire brigade doing? Refurbishments have been done, what tests did they do on the building?”

Ms May has said there will be a “proper investigation” following the Grenfell Tower fire, adding that if there are “any lessons to be learned they will be, and action will be taken”.

Announcing the inquiry, she added: “We need to ensure that this terrible tragedy is properly investigated. People deserve answers. The inquiry will give them.”

Downing Street declined to comment further when approached by The Independent.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan said residents were “understandably very angry” that previous concerns had not been addressed in one of the wealthiest areas of the UK, calling for the inquiry’s leading judge to release an interim report over the summer.

© Provided by Independent Print Limited

Inquest Not Inquiry – we’re going for justice not just information. Suspicious circumstances = INQUEST. Make them legally accountable, don’t just offer recommendations that rarely see the light of day.

Telling People to Stay Put, and Repeatedly, was Not the Right Answer

There’s a lot of information on missing people on this page but here’s a few quotes:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4610428/Artist-named-fourth-victim-Grenfell-Tower-blaze.html

Rania Ibrham: No contact after filming harrowing video from 23rd floor

Ms Ibrham also sent a heartbreaking Snapchat message to another friend at 2.45am in which she said in Arabic, ‘forgive me everyone, goodbye’. In the video Ms Ibrham, who is from Sudan, screams ‘Hello, hello, come here’ as she ignores the advice of a friend and family members to keep her door closed.

Residents are seen rushing through her door as they try to shelter from the smoke and flames of the inferno.

El-Wahabi family: Couple and three children who lived on 21st floor

The family all lived on the 21st floor of the tower, according to Mr Wahabi’s sister. Hanan Wahabi told reporters: ‘I rang him and the fire had not reached the top of the block at that point. He said he had been told to stay inside, stay in one room together and put towels under the door.

‘I told him to leave. He said he was going to come. Then I called him and he said there was too much smoke. The last time I saw him they were waving out the window. The last time I spoke to his wife, he was on the phone to the fire brigade.’

Housewife Amina Ahmed, 28, who lives on the 19th floor of next door tower block Winstable, knew the Moroccan family of five.

She said: ‘They were on the 21st floor of Grenfell and were told not to leave their flat when the fire started. Had they left at the time they would have got out alive.

‘I’m so heartbroken as I could see it and could hear families screaming. I felt so helpless. Our building is very similar so we are just terrified of it happening to us one day.’

Zainab and Jeremiah Dean: Told to stay in their 14th floor flat

Francis Dean said his sister Zainab told been told by firefighter to remain in her flat on the 14th floor along with her son Jeremiah, 2.

He told The Telegraph: ‘My sister called me to say there was a fire in the tower. I told her to leave by the stairs but she said she had been told to stay inside her flat. That was in the early hours of today and I’ve not heard from her since. I fear the worst.’

Mr Dean said that a firefighter used his phone to speak to his sister. ‘He told her to keep calm and that they were coming to get her,’ he said. ‘He kept saying that to her again and again.

‘But then he handed me the phone and said to me ‘Tell her you love her’. I knew then to fear the worst. The phone went dead and I couldn’t talk to her.’

Raymond ‘Moses’ Bernard who lived on the 21st floor

Friends of the popular Raymond ‘Moses’ Bernard, one of at least 70 people reported missing after the Grenfell Tower fire in London, say hopes of finding him alive are ebbing away as the days pass.

But on Wednesday night he decided to stay in his own flat on the top floor with the dog the couple shared, a King Charles spaniel named Marley. ‘There’s no way he would have left the dog,’ said Trish. ‘The dog was like their child.’

Grenfell Tower block fire in London Before and After Cladding

Daily Mail
File photo dated 05/05/11 of the Grenfell Tower in west London, where several people died after a huge fire destroyed the tower block with witnesses reporting residents trapped on upper floors as the flames tore rapidly up the building.

What was the point in the cladding at all, in wasting how much of the refurbishment budget on it? What was the point!?!? The people didn’t need that (let alone for it to burn to almost the top of the building 20 minutes), how many improvements the residents could have had instead… The old building minus the ugly prison looking cladding wouldn’t have burned like that.

And what is this:

Grenfell Tower Time Fire Took to Spread Infographic

Daily Mail

Why is there 21 floors in this infographic, 27 floors in the caption and reportedly 24 floors elsewhere in the news plus info from missing persons on 21+ floors in this article and other places. I keep seeing this discrepancy everywhere.

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All those people – if they hadn’t been told to stay put they’d have a much better chance of surviving, they could of gotten to lower floors where they could’ve been reached and/or taken in by others who were about to be rescued or even made it out the door. Along with that they could’ve grabbed their families, pets, friends, neighbours and money/essentials and gone. Always, always, always have a bag packed. Most people are not ready for emergencies and the only time they have an overnight bag packed is in pregnancy or with those who need constant care; tons of people have forgotten how to react in a power outage for crying out loud and don’t have any backup. Always have an overnight bag packed as if you were going camping and your valuables/medicine easy to get to. No one is going to that for you and in terms of retrieving items, that’s in the aftermath – if they survived. Don’t pack the kitchen sink just everything that is really important to you, you won’t be able to get back your parent’s/grandparent’s gift such as a necklace or photos that could you haunt you for years in regret because you forgot it. Just pack it away ready, if you use it put it back in your safety bag immediately afterwards. For everything else such as a torch, dried food, water canister, dry clothing, toilet paper etc keep a spare set in that bag. Don’t pack more than you can carry. Even if you’re single and don’t have to hold on to/support other people/animals you don’t know who/what you’ll meet on the way now how tough your route(s) is going to get. Time is of the essence and you have to use that time wisely – a few seconds and minutes can both seem like not enough and an eternity when you’re in an emergency/fight, sometimes it seems like slow motion and you can get a lot done in them especially if your rescuer is hours away and the threat moves faster and in this case a lot faster towards you.

Every emergency drill I’ve been in tells you to leave your items (bag, coat etc), leave everything (your work for example) and go but then you find people are rushing out pushing past and leaving pregnant women behind who have to make a much slower descent, older people, disabled people etc – only to be followed by co-ordinators/officials saying you should’ve waited and helped them too. D’uh. Common sense is hard in any situation let alone a life threatening one, I just wish we didn’t defer so much of our personal responsibility and freedom to others/’professionals’ who don’t always have our best interests at heart, are bogged down by protocol or who like are human and can’t always think straight even if/when they’re trained – so many of those people/animals in Grenfell Tower and other places all around the world all the time didn’t ‘need’ to die.

We shouldn’t have ‘examples’ like this to learn from, we should know and remember already.

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On another tangent, there’s something which has been bothering me at the back of my mind which I haven’t wanted to admit – but when I look at the names and photos of the dead and missing there’s one thing which keeps coming up (and something I wondered when initially hearing about this just because it tends to be a factor whether we like it or not, think its overhyped or not)… Most of the people shown so far are not White or not obviously so.

He brings up a lot of salient points; the race issue, the fact that if a regular person injured or killed someone they’d be brought up on it straight away but corporations and institutions aren’t it’s like they faceless and hard to pin down, desensitization to the ongoing wars, that we all live here together why are some people more prone to suffering than others e.g. through class/wealth etc.

Grenfell Tower Missing People

Grenfell Tower Missing People

Wow the Tories Can’t Do Anything Right

EDIT – Update 16/06/27 9pm:

Call for info for Grenfell Tower Survivors findingneelo

Call for info for Grenfell Tower Survivors

Grenfell Tower Donations and Drop Off Points

Grenfell Tower Donations and Drop Off Points

I don’t support one party over another or play them off against each other because ultimately the direction of the country doesn’t change. However with everybody looking at the tragedy that is Grenfell Tower in the richest borough of London, Kensington and Chelsea, and how they treat their poor people – a number of dangerously embarrassing factors have been unearthed.

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http://www.msn.com/en-gb/news/uknews/eight-failures-that-left-people-of-grenfell-tower-at-mercy-of-the-inferno/ar-BBCKiw9

Eight failures that left people of Grenfell Tower at mercy of the inferno

A litany of failings in building regulation and safety rules have left residents in tower blocks vulnerable for decades. Despite constant warnings from fire experts, nothing was done to improve fire-proofing standards, or even review the current situation. Here are the eight times that the victims of Grenfell Tower were let down.

A change in the law

Until 1986 all buildings in London fell under the London Building Acts which ensured that external walls must have at least one hour of fire resistance to prevent flames from spreading between flats or entering inside.

But under Margaret Thatcher’s government, those rules were replaced by the National Buildings Regulations and the crucial time stipulation was scrapped.

Flames and smoke billow as firefighters deal with a serious fire in a tower block at Latimer Road in West London, Britain June 14, 2017. © Toby Melville/Reuters Flames and smoke billow as firefighters deal with a serious fire in a tower block at Latimer Road in West London, Britain June 14, 2017.

Flames and smoke billow as firefighters deal with a serious fire in a tower block at Latimer Road in West London, Britain June 14, 2017. © Toby Melville/Reuters Flames and smoke billow as firefighters deal with a serious fire in a tower block at Latimer Road in West London, Britain June 14, 2017.

Instead, materials used on the outside of buildings now only had to meet ‘Class O’ regulations and show that they did not add to the heat or intensity of a fire. But crucially they did not have to be non-combustible.

For the past three decades fire safety experts have warned that the ‘Class O’ designation was based on small-scale tests conducted in laboratory conditions and did not properly evaluate cladding in a live fire.

A recent London Fire Brigade investigation into the fire at a tower block fire at Shepherd Court in West London in August 2016 found that external cladding had helped the fire to spread. [My Comment: Yet in the same year Kensington and Chelsea Tenant Management Organisation went ahead and used known high risk cladding on the partial refurb of Grenfell Tower and used Aluminium instead of Zinc because Aluminium doesn’t spark/ignite when its melting point (lower than Zinc’s) is reached, however that is undermined when coupled with flammable panel parts and insulation.]

They found that when exposed to high flames the metal sheet of the cladding had melted away, setting the inner polystyrene foam on fire and allowing ‘flaming droplets’ to fall onto lower floors while helping flames to spread higher up. Fire chiefs wrote to every council in London to warn them of the dangers but no action was taken.

Dangerous cladding

A leading fire safety expert warned Government advisors three years ago that a tragedy like the Grenfell Tower inferno would happen unless they changed rules to ban cheap, flammable insulation used on the outside of buildings.

Arnold Turling said the Grenfell blaze was “entirely avoidable” and that a gap between the panels acted as a ‘wind tunnel’, fanning the flames, and allowing the fire to spread to upper levels.

Mr Turling, a member of the Association of Specialist Fire Protection, said: “Any burning material falls down the gaps and the fire spreads up very rapidly – it acts as its own chimney.”

Three years ago Mr Tarling, a chartered surveyor, addressed the British Standards Institute’s seventh annual fire conference in London, at which government fire safety advisor Brian Martin was present.

“I said we will have this type of cladding fire in this country and it will lead to large numbers of deaths,” he said.

Following the Shepherd Court fire, insurer RSA wrote a report warning that flammable material in insulation panels “melts and ignites relatively easily”, and can cause “extremely rapid fire spread and the release of large volumes of toxic smoke”.

Flames and smoke billow as firefighters deal with a serious fire in a tower block at Latimer Road in West London, Britain June 14, 2017. © Toby Melville/Reuters Flames and smoke billow as firefighters deal with a serious fire in a tower block at Latimer Road in West London, Britain June 14, 2017.

Flames and smoke billow as firefighters deal with a serious fire in a tower block at Latimer Road in West London, Britain June 14, 2017. © Toby Melville/Reuters Flames and smoke billow as firefighters deal with a serious fire in a tower block at Latimer Road in West London, Britain June 14, 2017.

They concluded: “This allows extensive and violent fire to spread, and makes fire fighting almost impossible.”

Architect and fire safety expert Sam Webb said there was a “conflict” between fire safety and the materials that are used to make buildings more energy efficient.

However Harley Curtain Wall Ltd said that it had installed cladding, with polyisocyanurate inside, a material which is better than most at resisting fire in tests.

No government review

After six people died in the Lakanal House fire in south London in 2009, the All-Party Parliamentary Fire Safety and Rescue Group called for a major government review of building regulations.

They argued that 4,000 tower blocks across London were at risk because of a lack of fire risk assessments, and panels on the outside walls not providing the necessary fire resistance.

The coroner on the Lakanal House inquest also recommended the government simplify regulations relating to fire safety so they were easier for landlords to understand.

In 2013, then communities secretary Eric Pickles responded to the coroner’s recommendations and promised a review with an updated version of building regulations published in 2016/17.

(AP Photo/Matt Dunham) © Matt Dunham/ASSOCIATED PRESS/AP Images Smoke rises from a building on fire in London, Wednesday, June 14, 2017. Metropolitan Police in London say they're continuing to evacuate people from a massive apartment fire in west London…

(AP Photo/Matt Dunham) © Matt Dunham/ASSOCIATED PRESS/AP Images Smoke rises from a building on fire in London, Wednesday, June 14, 2017. Metropolitan Police in London say they’re continuing to evacuate people from a massive apartment fire in west London…

However, four years on and no review has been completed despite assurances from former housing minister Gavin Barwell, who is now Theresa May’s chief of staff. [My Comment: strip him of his titles and find out WHY he’s been stalling such essential review.]

A spokesperson for the Department for Communities and Local Government said the work is “ongoing” and would not give a date for when the updated regulations will be published.

A single staircase

Residents in Grenfell Tower made repeated warnings that a single staircase was their only means of escaping the building.

© PA

Despite safety concerns of experts, tower blocks in Britain still only have to have one staircase, leaving Britain out of step with other countries in the world.

Russ Timpson, of the Tall Buildings Fire Safety Network, said his “foreign colleagues are staggered” that there is no requirement for a second staircase as he called on the Government to look again at fire safety regulations.

Residents fleeing in Tuesday night’s blaze complained that stairways were blocked, full of smoke and had no sprinkler systems fitted. Firefighters also struggled to get to the upper levels.

Fire rips through Grenfell Tower in London. © AFP/Getty Images

Fire rips through Grenfell Tower in London. © AFP/Getty Images

Fire rips through Grenfell Tower in London. Ronnie King, secretary of the All-Party Parliamentary Group Fire Safety & Rescue Group, said: “The staircase should have been protected route for firefighters and people escaping but it was clear that it wasn’t.”

The flats had recently been refitted and fire experts warned that gaps in the walls where new pipes were installed could have allowed flames and smoke to spread quickly through the communal areas.

Missing sprinklers

There was no central sprinkler system at Glenfell which members of the Fire Protection Association said would have “undoubtedly” saved lives.

MPs from All-Party Parliamentary Group Fire Safety & Rescue Group also said that MPs had been calling for sprinklers to be fitted on the outside of tall buildings for years, but said their calls been ignored.

Currently, sprinklers only need to be fitted up to 30 metres, but in tall buildings like Grenfell it is impossible for fire hoses to reach the upper heights, leaving the top floors without any protection.

The Fire Protection Association said more sprinklers would “undoubtedly” have saved lives.

“Whether they’d have stopped that fire spreading at the speed it did up the outside of that building is another matter,” Jon O’Neill of the FPA said.

“But to have had sprinklers in that building would have created an environment where it would have been easier to rescue people and increase survivability.”

However in 2014 housing minister Brandon Lewis stopped short of forcing building developers to fit sprinklers, over fears it could discourage house building. [My Comment: He was Minister of State for Housing and Planning 2014–2016, Minister of State for Policing and the Fire Services 2016–2017 and is currently Conservative Member of Parliament
for Great Yarmouth
2010–present Minister of State for Immigration 2017–present. Wow this guy is given too much credit given his deplorable track record, strip him of his titles and investigate WHY he made such a shitty decision. If Sprinklers or any feature was made a normal part of building procedure costs would go down and wouldn’t discourage building especially since the government has to contract for ‘affordable housing’ in a country where there’s already tons of property sitting empty because its too expensive or used for holiday rentals, also too expensive.]

He said at Westminster Hall Debate: “The cost of fitting a fire sprinkler system may affect house building – something we want to encourage.”

Missing fire doors

Flames and smoke billow as firefighters deal with a serious fire in a tower block at Latimer Road in West London, Britain June 14, 2017. © Toby Melville/Reuters Flames and smoke billow as firefighters deal with a serious fire in a tower block at Latimer Road in West London, Britain June 14, 2017.

Flames and smoke billow as firefighters deal with a serious fire in a tower block at Latimer Road in West London, Britain June 14, 2017. © Toby Melville/Reuters Flames and smoke billow as firefighters deal with a serious fire in a tower block at Latimer Road in West London, Britain June 14, 2017.

London Fire Brigade said claims that doors were not fire-proofed would form part of its ongoing inquiry.

Two separate sources have told The Telegraph that not all the front doors in the tower block were fire-proofed. Official fire brigade advice to stay put in the event of a fire is based on fire doors offering protection to residents told not to leave the building.

Fire doors are designed to stop the fire spreading rapidly through the building rather than being “compartmentalised”.

'It's like something out of a horror movie' - London fire eyewitness © Provided by Reuters 'It's like something out of a horror movie'

‘It’s like something out of a horror movie’ – London fire eyewitness © Provided by Reuters ‘It’s like something out of a horror movie’

Regulations state that all tower blocks being built must have fire doors on the flat, the stairwell and the riser doors, which give access to the pipes.

Building regulations are not retrospective, so cannot force the installation of modern equipment on old buildings.

However, Richard Brownlee, Managing Director of Surrey Fire and Safety Ltd, said that it would be expected that fire doors were installed as part of any refurbishment and installation would be recommended as part of any refurbishment.

Inspections

According to information released by Kensington and Chelsea Council under the Freedom of Information Act, the last time that Grenfell Tower was subject to a full Fire Risk Assessment was December 2015.

There is a requirement for every building to have regular fire risk assessments, but the regulations do not specify how frequently this should take place. Industry experts say that best practice is every 12 months.

It is also a requirement to have a fire risk assessment carried out if there is a “material change” to the building. The regulations do not specify how soon that inspection must take place.

The refurbishment to Grenfell Tower was completed in May 2016 and yet it does not appear that any safety checks were carried out, even though the new cladding work consisted of ‘material change.’ The council did not respond to a request for comment.

Firebreaks

Fires on outside of cladded buildings should have been controlled by firebreaks – gaps in the external envelope to prevent the continual burning of material.

Under Building Regulations 1991, developers are warned that they must install systems to prevent flames from leaping from floor to floor.

However the Fire Brigades Union and the Loss Prevention Council and the Buildings Research Establishment have frequently warned that guidance is not adequate in the event of a fire.

And fire safety experts said it was unlikely that firebreaks would have stopped the conflagration at Grenfell.

Dr Stuart Smith, a building surveying and fire safety lecturer at Sheffield Hallam university, said: “The rate at which the building was burning suggests that even if the fire breaks were there, they didn’t work.

“Once the fire had got into the cladding, the rate at which that burns, I’m not sure fire breaks would work anyway.”

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So from the Conservative point of view – We had Margaret Thatcher put people in danger, we had Gavin Barwell stall repeatedly recommended review of Fire Safety Regulations, Brandon Lewis then neglected to make adding sprinklers into law and on the very day of forewarned disaster (feared by experts and felt by tenants (who’d also been threatened to take their blog with complaints offline)) Theresa May gave scripted sounding responses, turned up for a ‘private’ meeting with emergency staff whilst ignoring all the victims present… Right after an epic election fail. Pathetic.

The Iron Bitch Margaret Thatcher

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Gavin Barwell

Brandon Lewis

The opposite of Tony B.Liar – Theresa May is a Conservative who loves the colour Red

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http://www.msn.com/en-gb/news/uknews/shameless-tory-council-leader-blames-grenfell-tower-block-residents-for-lack-of-sprinklers-claiming-they-didnt-want-disruption/ar-BBCK0uN

Shameless Tory council leader blames Grenfell Tower block residents for lack of sprinklers claiming they didn’t want ‘disruption’

A shameless Tory has blamed Grenfell Tower block residents for the lack of sprinklers in the building.

Nick Paget-Brown, the Conservative leader of Kensington and Chelsea Council, claimed tenants didn’t want the ‘disruption’ of them being fitted.

Conservative, Leader of Kensington and Chelsea Council

Conservative, Leader of Kensington and Chelsea Council

Experts have suggested that sprinklers could have been fitted in the 24-storey building for just £200,000 during the £10 million refurbishment.

Asked if installing sprinklers was considered as part of the refurbishment, Mr Paget-Brown said the advice was that the best way to combat the spread of a fire was to contain it.

He told BBC2’s Newsnight: “There was not a collective view that all the flats should be fitted with sprinklers because that would have delayed and made the refurbishment of the block more disruptive.” [My Comment – no but at least the stairway (and corridors) where some idiot decided to put gas pipes and no backup in case of fire.]

“We are now talking retrospectively after the most enormous tragedy, but many residents felt that we needed to get on with the installation of new hot water systems, new boilers and that trying to retrofit more would delay the building and that sprinklers aren’t the answer.”

He added:”I didn’t consider retrofitting sprinklers because we were told that what you try to do when you are refurbishing is to contain a fire within a particular flat so that the fire service can evacuate that flat, deal with the fire.”

But he said: “Of course I regret anything that we might have done differently that would have avoided this tragedy.”

The British Automatic Fire Sprinkler Association has put the cost of installing a sprinkler system at £200,000.

Mr Paget-Brown was unable to say how many tower blocks in his borough lacked sprinkler systems.

Amid speculation that the cladding fitted to Grenfell Tower could have been a factor in the fatal blaze, Mr Paget-Brown said no other refurbishments in the borough would use the system.

“As far as I know there are no other towers with that cladding,” he said. [My Comment: And how many others didn’t have risk assessments, a fundamental part of planning.]

Asked if the borough would use similar components on towers in the future, he said: “No.”

He added: “We have asked the London Fire Brigade to look at all our towers and give us a report on whether fire safety in all of the towers – because we are very conscious residents are worried about this – whether they can give us the assurance that we need that all of those towers are safe and that they comply with fire standards, fire regulations.” [My Comment: And their advice has been ignored for years by the Conservatives. ‘Shameless’ doesn’t even begin to describe…]

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http://www.msn.com/en-gb/news/uknews/fire-resistant-grenfell-tower-cladding-would-have-cost-just-%C2%A35000-more-than-flammable/ar-BBCJYO0

Fire-resistant Grenfell Tower cladding would have cost just £5,000 more than flammable

It would have cost just £5,000 to use fire-resistant cladding on Grenfell Tower, it emerged last night.

Hundreds of aluminium panels are thought to have been fitted to the outside of the tower by Harley Facades, a small family firm subcontracted as part of that refurbishment.

US-based Reynobond makes three types of panel: one with a flammable plastic core and two with fire-resistant cores.

Last night investigators were probing whether the cheaper and more combustible, versions were used by the contractors.

Reynobond’s fire-resistant panel sells for £24 per square metre— £2 more expensive than the standard version.

Estimates suggest that the cost of using the more expensive version would have cost about £5000.

A salesman for US-based Reynobond told The Times that this version, which has a polyethylene core and is known as PE, was banned in American buildings taller than 40 feet (12.2 metres) for fire safety reasons.

He said:“It’s because of the fire and smoke spread. The FR [variant] is fire-resistant. The PE is just plastic.”

The PE version is used for small commercial buildings and petrol stations, he said, rather than for tower blocks or critical buildings such as hospitals.

The PE panels which conform to UK standards but are rated as “flammable” in Germany, putting them in the same category as “unprotected wood with a thickness of no more than 12mm”.

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So £2 a head is what the average human being at Grenfell Tower was worth in terms of standard spending and ‘premium’ spending/materials, the difference between life and death or a ‘decent’ and a mentally/physically crippled one. Nice (sarcasm). I thought people were worth much less to decision makers.

Only was used 8.7mil in the 2016 partial refurbishment – that’s all they could be bothered to do and for what purpose was the cladding? To maintain property prices in the most expensive borough in London, to make the building look prettier not to make it more livable. It was likely better off before with the original ‘exposed’ and ‘ugly’ inflammable building materials. This event was preventable and shouldn’t have happened, period. I doubt calls for corporate manslaughter will go far but they should. The risks were known, there were examples worldwide including in the UK, Kensington and Chelsea Tenant Management Organisation (KCTMO) ignored concerns/recommendations from the fire service and tenants, a different to norm metal was used for the cladding, there wasn’t a proper central fire alarm system, the resident association were threatened, the same building method reportedly used on other buildings in their portfolio etc etc etc they’re being cheap and reckless and they know it. They killed, maimed people and animals, made them homeless, put fear into the hearts of people all over in similar conditions -its corporate manslaughter at the very least not [just] building code violations/technicalities with possible fines. Damage control is cheaper than prevention which is why shoddy work like this is done, even in places like uber affluent Dubai who also don’t care about human rights. Tower blocks from the 70s should’ve been demolished not ‘refurbed’ and tenants temporarily re-homed in the process with guaranteed places in the new developments.

This is what happens when they take the cheap route, even ‘not-for-profit’ organizations. What I also hate is there is tons of property in London, tons of it sitting empty because they’re too expensive. We all keep looking for ‘affordable housing’ renting, buying or shared ownership. It’s not a lack of property, its the packing of people into cramped spaces so that buy-to-let landlords can make money. Rents are too high and overall prices far above labour, materials and margins. A ton of property in London and most people dont have access to it and never will let alone buy it. Most people are forced into the rent trap where they’re spending most of their income on rent which doesn’t get them much more than a shelter over their heads especially if you’re living in low standard housing and you can be kicked out at any point with many being ineligible for emergency housing and possibly social housing and innumerable private landlords refuse housing benefit claimants or any ‘benefit’ claimants, people with pets and even people with children instead wanting ‘professionals’ and ‘professional couples’ – what about maternity and paternity leave? Do they have to move out if they’re going to have children? Not to mention that many can’t make decorative let alone structural changes to their residence – say goodbye to the pencil marks/height charts on the walls of your ‘home where you grew up’ (as opposed ‘temporary shelter’) people, sad. We’re not hiring and housing robots, these are people – they eat, sleep, get ill, have children, have family issues, need holiday/rest, change over time, retire – yet governing bodies, insurance firms and mortgage lenders act like they should be automatons. Coupled with a lack of council properties and councils having to look to housing associations and private landlords, what are people supposed to do?! Even professionals have a hard time with teachers being the latest upset in the ever ongoing housing crises, ironic given the previous drive for affordable housing for them. Housing plus travel and household costs means you’re broke and/or in debt, you can barely keep up with the mounting bills. People in the 80s and prior did well when they bought their properties ‘cheap’ for approx £10-40,000, many could pay it off in less than a lifetime mortgage (currently 40 years, previously 25 years) AND on wages that were ok for the time instead of stagnant like they have been for ages against rising prices for everything else. Those people are safe, everyone who came later who isnt rich (and not being ‘successful’ and/or rich doesn’t equate to being lazy, unintelligent or untalented – it just means not as lucky or well connected in order to show off the hard work and be rewarded [fairly or unfairly] for it) are in crises.

A lack of proper precautions and care leads to people having to resort to desperate measures like this:

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http://www.msn.com/en-gb/news/uknews/quick-thinking-mum-saves-her-family-in-grenfell-tower-blaze-by-running-a-bath-and-flooding-their-flat/ar-BBCJRqR

Quick-thinking mum saves her family in Grenfell Tower blaze by running a bath and flooding their flat

A brave mum saved her family as they were trapped in the Grenfell Tower inferno – by running a bath and flooding her entire flat.

Natasha Elcock was trapped along with her boyfriend and her six-year-old daughter in their 11th floor home when the blaze ripped through the building.

The family had followed instructions to stay in the flat if a fire broke out, but after 90 minutes fire crews told her to flee the flat.

Natasha explained the front door was too hot to touch and when it started to buckle and the windows began to bubble, the John Lewis worker knew she had to take drastic action.

The 38-year-old mum, who has lived in the tower block for 20 years, turned on her taps and flooded the bathroom.

She told the Daily Star : “I let the bathroom flood. It kept the flat damp and it may have saved our lives.”

Natasha kept her daughter on the wet floor and made sure her family stayed in the coldest room.

Firefighters eventually reached the stricken family at 3am and led them to safety.

The death toll after the tragedy has now risen to 17 and fire bosses have warned the number of people killed could be more than 100.

There are still 17 people fighting for their lives in hospital, with dozens more injured, including nine firefighters.

Other acts of extreme bravery have been reported during the desperate escape from the flames.

Hero dad Marcio Gomes had fled the burning building holding onto his 12-year-old daughter.

Grenfell Tower Tribute Wall

Pic Credit: Getty.

But in the confusion the pair were separated. The 38-year-old raced back into the flames to carry his daughter to safety.

And 16-year-old Ines Alves fled the tower block carrying only her mobile phone and GCSE revision notes before heading into school to sit her chemistry exam.
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Respect to those people. It’s not easy to keep your wits about you in such extreme circumstances let alone people who’ve lived in survival mode for months and years e.g. living in class categorized ‘poverty’ (not necessarily squalor, there is such a thing as the ‘proud poor’ whose floors you could metaphorically ‘eat your dinner off’) and under the breadline. Adrenaline and fear are helpful in temporary emergencies for adequate to lifesaving fight or flight, escape or evade instinct but that refers to minutes and hours – after years of depressing situation and conflict/frustration your conditioned behaviours can get in the way because you’ve been numbed/blunted.

The turnout has been amazing, people have really come together to support the victims it’s just a shame that it takes something like this to see community spirit of this level – a level that can get something done, a level that if we were all working for consistently there wouldn’t be a small number of people causing like these events in the first place or exacerbating their chances. The death toll as I write this stands at approx 17-30 but that is really downplaying the estimated figure; as per eye witness accounts the emergency services have left dead bodies in clear body bags on the lower floors of the building shell for all to see instead of immediate removal to morgues etc, some bodies will unlikely be found, others charred beyond recognition and in a 120 flat block with numerous bedrooms, residents, pets and guests a full body count is difficult and probably weeks away. Reports can’t even agree as to whether the tower had 24 or 27 storeys, a relatively simple thing you’d think but then it was part of a 3 building complex, apparently the last one in the regeneration and the ‘ghetto’ one. In my opinion it should have been demolished and residents moved until new accommodation was made and given guaranteed places in that new development. However if the site is to be used for commercial property residents should have been paid out and/or given better accommodation nearby. Instead they got a shoddy, cheap refurb and then lost almost everything in a fire that was supposedly caused by a fridge. In any other building that wouldn’t have happened, your fridge might somehow develop a fault that would somehow cause it to explode… Really? And then 24-27 storeys would go up in flames in less than 2 hours with half the side up in flames than less than one and by the end of it the whole building is a carcass… No. The original and perhaps a few surrounding flats would go at the most and people and pets/service animals should be evacuated not left to jump our of windows, throw babies out of windows ten storeys up and hope someone (not even a firefighter) would catch it, wave out of a window and get rescued 10 hours later, flood their flats etc. I’m really hoping the land doesn’t end up in commercial hands after this, that would be such an evil mockery. We have ‘tent cities’/refugee style camps in the UK, in London for god-sake – on top of our already increasingly homeless population – who’d have thought that would happen? One of the most expensive cities in the world where we moan about immigration, refugees and asylum seekers all the time whilst the poorest countries in the world take the bulk and then look we do it to our own. Nice. Not.

http://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/news/uk-news/lily-allen-grenfell-tower-interview-13193449 [My Comment – Go Lily, some great quotes there and the article has poignant commentary on Theresa May’s ridiculous behaviour and address towards people:]

“I feel like the government are trying to micromanage people’s grieving here.”

“I have never in my entire life seen an event like this were the death count has been downplayed by the mainstream media.

“Seventeen? I’m sorry but I am hearing from people the figure is much closer to 150 – and that many of those people are children.

“They are off-the-record numbers I have been given from policemen and from firemen.”

“The humanitarian effort on the ground here, the volunteering, which is being led by community leaders and volunteers, it is not being led by the council, it’s being run by the people of this community,” she said.

“It is chaotic, they don’t have any experience of it and I think it’s actually playing into the hands of the Government because once these people’s hope turns to anger, they have got a real problem on their hands.

She said there was no attempt from the council to bind the rich and poor residents in the borough, home to council flats among some of the most expensive properties in the world.

She said the council had instead driven them apart – by closing community centres and pubs in favour of posher versions.

[My Comment – That’s exactly what I was wondering; where are all the millionaires, multi-millionaires and billionaires (oh wait they’re sitting on and funding boards and sponsoring/lobbying legislation that causes things like this) though I did see Adele in pictures yesterday and the royals just had to do their PR stint today but then unlike Theresa May they have plenty of practise winning over people after Diana’s fiery death/sacrifice, Charles’ indiscretion although it was an arranged marriage in part to produce acceptable heirs, remarriage, Harry’s behaviour growing up, William’s baldness/loss of his mother’s looks and bobble headed super glued smile wife and their offspring – people who will never ever and have never ever had to worry about such things but show up at every letter opening to prove their in touch with the people and know how they feel whilst really being as detached as possible and the biggest ‘welfare spongers’ on the planet whilst making money and resources left, right and centre. They even braved the ash/smoke to get their practised facial expressions in and ruin their luxury designer clothing. As some people have been saying – there’s plenty of space in Buckingham Palace or any of the Royal/Public funded/paid to visit households.]

Prime Minister Theresa May had earlier faced criticism for failing to meet survivors when she visited the scene of the blaze.

Mrs May met police and firefighters dealing with the aftermath of the disaster during a private visit to the west London site, but unlike Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and London Mayor Sadiq Khan, she was not seen to speak to families and residents.

“She wanted an entirely controlled situation in which she didn’t use her humanity.

“The Prime Minister would have been shouted at by the residents, but she should have been willing to take that.”

In a message on Twitter, Ms [Harriet] Harman said: “Theresa May should have met Grenfell Fire residents. She should have been prepared to listen to them Not OK to speak at them via TV.”

It seems Ms May went for a ‘professional’ briefing, pep talk and a look at the victims only not to talk with them like a human being.

http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/grenfell-tower-death-toll-count-number-dead-lily-allen-media-a7792871.html

Lily Allen and Channel 4's Jon Snow

Lily Allen and Channel 4’s Jon Snow

Grenfell Tower: Lily Allen accuses the media of ‘downplaying’ death toll

Most publications have been reporting official death counts from the Met

On Twitter, she retweeted users saying: “Death toll of #grenfelltower being suppressed by UK MSM” and “when i was down there they said well into triple figures so is probably even more than 150.good on you for telling some truth”

Waiting for the papers and then 6am was a long wait – gawd I’m sleep deprived

Snap elections are usually called because those calling it are pretty damned sure of themselves winning, especially amidst of a string of street theatre on a national scale. The ‘war prime minister’ (or president) role usually gets said ‘first among equals’ through a term and cements their place in history. However, the old tactics don’t work anymore.

I got my say in with a few minutes to spare, not even fashionably late but minutes to midnight. And I won. Thank goodness I don’t gamble. I called it exactly.

I don’t appreciate being attacked let alone having my existence ripped apart.

‘I’m late, I’m late, I’m late’ – I’m no Alice, running around headless. And who told May she could wear Red so brazenly. It’s a sacred colour. She’s not The let alone a Red queen (remember the king of Hearts is the only one with a knife in his head). She should’ve stuck to conservative colours but that’s what you get for ushering in Hot Pink/Fuchsia (for her and equivalents like Merkel) at the beginning of her term.

Don’t ever try to be a god, you don’t have what it takes. It’s takes a god to kill a god, and permission for a god to kill a god. He thinks he runs the world, he thinks he’s Mr Big, the no: one on this planet. Oh his time has come and gone. That little so-call Mr Extra Macho Masculine Men of Men and his Snake woman; they should never have gotten out of place to begin with. They should never of been created.