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Horrendous tower-block fire in W London

Senoufou 14 Jun 17 - 06:26 AM
David Carter (UK) 14 Jun 17 - 06:48 AM
Mr Red 14 Jun 17 - 07:00 AM
Senoufou 14 Jun 17 - 07:27 AM
Jim Carroll 14 Jun 17 - 08:52 AM
McGrath of Harlow 14 Jun 17 - 08:58 AM
DaveRo 14 Jun 17 - 09:06 AM
McGrath of Harlow 14 Jun 17 - 09:19 AM
Jim Carroll 14 Jun 17 - 09:29 AM
leeneia 14 Jun 17 - 10:59 AM
akenaton 14 Jun 17 - 11:07 AM
Mrrzy 14 Jun 17 - 11:51 AM
Bonnie Shaljean 14 Jun 17 - 12:16 PM
Jim Carroll 14 Jun 17 - 12:20 PM
DaveRo 14 Jun 17 - 12:21 PM
Senoufou 14 Jun 17 - 12:51 PM
Brian Peters 14 Jun 17 - 01:19 PM
Senoufou 14 Jun 17 - 01:35 PM
McGrath of Harlow 14 Jun 17 - 01:45 PM
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Senoufou 14 Jun 17 - 02:02 PM
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keberoxu 14 Jun 17 - 06:38 PM
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Subject: Horrendous tower-block fire in W London
From: Senoufou
Date: 14 Jun 17 - 06:26 AM

The fire started at about 1am and within minutes the entire building (27 storeys I believe) was ablaze. It's now completely burned out and still smoking. No-one knows the number of lives lost, but it's obvious it will be high. It's as if the film Towering Inferno has been made reality.

I have always had concerns about high-rise dwellings. This one apparently had poor fire-protection, no fire-alarms went off, the fire escapes were blocked and the recent modernisation to the exterior consisted of apparently flammable sheets which accelerated the fire alarmingly.
The surviving residents (suffering great shock no doubt) have no possessions left, just their night clothes they stand up in. Many many people have not yet been traced. Some jumped to their death alight from the upper floors.

This is going to turn out to be a tragedy of a huge magnitude.
All residential tower blocks should be inspected after this, and made safer.


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Subject: RE: Horrendous tower-block fire in W London
From: David Carter (UK)
Date: 14 Jun 17 - 06:48 AM

The newly installed plastic cladding seems to have been a large part of the problem. How many other blocks has this been put on? Yes its a tragedy, six people seem to have died and around 50 injured at the present count.


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Subject: RE: Horrendous tower-block fire in W London
From: Mr Red
Date: 14 Jun 17 - 07:00 AM

Now - didn't they learn this lesson from the Fire of London yet?

Flammable roof/cladding close proximity of dwellings.

Given the design of the building the speed of response from the "disaster decision" makers it is also analogous, except in this case life is infinitely faster these days. Firefighters have an impossible task.

Whoever is responsible for the upkeep of the building should (& will) be charged with neglect, if not manslaughter. Didn't the Dubai Address Hotel & its cladding wake them up?


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Subject: RE: Horrendous tower-block fire in W London
From: Senoufou
Date: 14 Jun 17 - 07:27 AM

It's early days yet, but it does seem as if the block was badly equipped for this situation. As in the film, the firefighters could do very little to access the upper floors, since the whole building was thick with smoke and burning fiercely.

The terrible thing is that there are hundreds of these residential tower blocks in large cities, and no doubt several of them are equally badly-designed, dangerous death-traps.

It's often, though not always, the poorer families who inhabit this type of accommodation. The huge business and banking tower blocks in the City of London have apparently been far better constructed and are monitored regularly for fire regulations and so on. One can draw conclusions from that I suppose...

I felt a chill of horror when I saw this News this morning, as just yesterday, we were out at B&Q, where there are two residential tower blocks (practically the only ones in the Norwich area, I'm glad to say - we don't go in for high-rise architecture here in Norfolk) And we remarked how dreadful it would be if there were a fire.

My heart goes out to all caught up in this inferno.


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Subject: RE: Horrendous tower-block fire in W London
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 14 Jun 17 - 08:52 AM

A bit premature to talk about causes yet, but one being discussed widely is a possible degign faul which required tenants to stay put in their individual flats rather than trying to escape - no basic escape route
Each individual flat is supposed to be airtight and capable of retaining a fair, but recent installation has interfered with that system
The extent of the fire throughout the whole building is horrific.
I am familiar with the buildings in that area from my working days, I may even have worked in that particular block - Malvina Reanolds' 'Little Boxes' is a perfect description.
It's not far from the area where Lady Porter moved tenants into asbestos infested dwellings in order to sell off their former homes to families who were more likely to vote for her.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Horrendous tower-block fire in W London
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 14 Jun 17 - 08:58 AM

Putting combustible cladding on tower-blocks being refurbished is insane and criminal.


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Subject: RE: Horrendous tower-block fire in W London
From: DaveRo
Date: 14 Jun 17 - 09:06 AM

This_thread has some informed speculation, including on the cladding.

The fire should have been contained on the floor of the outbreak. There have been several cases where 'modernization' has compromised a building's fire-safety, for example by making holes between floors or voids above false ceilings.


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Subject: RE: Horrendous tower-block fire in W London
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 14 Jun 17 - 09:19 AM

I was struck by this, in that link Dave gave, from a tenant's action group writing last year:

https://grenfellactiongroup.wordpress.com/2016/11/20/kctmo-playing-with-fire/

It is a truly terrifying thought but the Grenfell Action Group firmly believe that only a catastrophic event will expose the ineptitude and incompetence of our landlord, the KCTMO, and bring an end to the dangerous living conditions and neglect of health and safety legislation that they inflict upon their tenants and leaseholders. We believe that the KCTMO are an evil, unprincipled, mini-mafia who have no business to be charged with the responsibility of looking after the every day management of large scale social housing estates and that their sordid collusion with the RBKC Council is a recipe for a future major disaster.


KCTMO - that's the Kensington and Chelsea Tenant's Management Organisation. Which of course isn't run by the Tenants.


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Subject: RE: Horrendous tower-block fire in W London
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 14 Jun 17 - 09:29 AM

"Which of course isn't run by the Tenants."
"Kensington and Chelsea Tenant Management Organisation Limited (KCTMO) is responsible for the management of nearly 10,000 properties on behalf of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea."
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Horrendous tower-block fire in W London
From: leeneia
Date: 14 Jun 17 - 10:59 AM

Senoufou, I agree about the need for inspections and correction of dangerous conditions.


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Subject: RE: Horrendous tower-block fire in W London
From: akenaton
Date: 14 Jun 17 - 11:07 AM

One thing is certain the fire was allowed to get out of control before the emergency was reported the guy who owned the flat raised the alarm after the fire took hold......looks to me like a gas fuelled fire in one flat which ignited the cladding and ran up the outside of the building.

This would not set off fire alarms inside till the flames shattered the windows and gained entry one floor after another.


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Subject: RE: Horrendous tower-block fire in W London
From: Mrrzy
Date: 14 Jun 17 - 11:51 AM

It all seems horrible.


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Subject: RE: Horrendous tower-block fire in W London
From: Bonnie Shaljean
Date: 14 Jun 17 - 12:16 PM

"We have blogged* many times on the subject of fire safety at Grenfell Tower and we believe that these investigations will become part of damning evidence of the poor safety record of the KCTMO, should a fire affect any other of their properties and cause the loss of life that we are predicting?

The Grenfell Action Group predict that it won't be long before the words of this blog come back to haunt the KCTMO management."

Seven months.


Clickie: https://grenfellactiongroup.wordpress.com/2016/11/20/kctmo-playing-with-fire/

*[4 LINKS FOR PAST WARNINGS PROVIDED]


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Subject: RE: Horrendous tower-block fire in W London
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 14 Jun 17 - 12:20 PM

This would not set off fire alarms inside till the flames shattered the "windows and gained entry one floor after another."
It was stated today that this block was not fitted with fire alarms because the size of the flats made them go off at the slightest thing - like burning the toast
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Horrendous tower-block fire in W London
From: DaveRo
Date: 14 Jun 17 - 12:21 PM

From the Fire Brigade:
firefighters have "searched almost all the building". They have managed to get to the top floor

They rescued 65 people who were handed over to London Ambulance Service.
Remarkable.


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Subject: RE: Horrendous tower-block fire in W London
From: Senoufou
Date: 14 Jun 17 - 12:51 PM

The firefighters of the London Fire Brigade deserve medals. I don't suppose they have ever before encountered such a hideous conflagration as this.
Even residents in the neighbourhood were being bombarded with burning ash and debris. But it seems everyone rallied round and offered food, drink and blankets.

The appalling thing about the now homeless 'social housing tenants' is that, should they accept temporary accommodation from friends or family, the social services will put them at the end of their long lists for re-housing. That's absolutely disgraceful.


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Subject: RE: Horrendous tower-block fire in W London
From: Brian Peters
Date: 14 Jun 17 - 01:19 PM

I'm reminded of Leon Rosselson's song, 'Palaces of Gold'.


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Subject: RE: Horrendous tower-block fire in W London
From: Senoufou
Date: 14 Jun 17 - 01:35 PM

That song expresses it well Brian. Poorer people can only envy those privileged folk who never have to endure appalling living conditions.

Interesting BBC News extended programme on just now. They're talking about the cladding (merely a cosmetic addition to try and tart up the shoddy building) which appears to have been instrumental in spreading the fire from floor to floor; and various (ineffectual) safety measures for high-rise residential buildings.

Death toll now at twelve, but this will probably rise, as they've interviewed many utterly distressed people who have had no word from family members, including several families with two or three children.


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Subject: RE: Horrendous tower-block fire in W London
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 14 Jun 17 - 01:45 PM

There are tower blocks which have been upgraded and prettifed and sold as luxury flats. The people living in them must be feeling very worried now, in case they used the same cladding system as in this block.


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Subject: RE: Horrendous tower-block fire in W London
From: Iains
Date: 14 Jun 17 - 01:54 PM

To have "staying put" as the main directive for the safety of residents in the case of a fire seems as though lessons have not been learnt in the last nearly 30 years. To go back to the tragic events of Piper Alpha,those in the accommodation block were encouraged to stay put by the Offshore Installation Manager [OIM] to await rescue. Yet, as the Cullen Report makes clear, to remain there meant certain death.
High above the ground or high above the sea the risk of fire poses a similar hazard and mechanisms should be in place for evacuation.I would argue the vetting of refurbishment should be far more stringent than the original build with a detailed risk analysis for all operations and building modifications. A fire of this magnitude and severity with it's attendant death toll should never have happened.


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Subject: RE: Horrendous tower-block fire in W London
From: Senoufou
Date: 14 Jun 17 - 02:02 PM

I have a very elderly well-off friend who lives in a flat in a building for 'independent-living' retired folk. It's only four storeys high, but every Tuesday they have a full fire drill. The fire alarm is very loud. There are teams among the managers who run around closing fire doors and mustering staff at Fire Points. The lifts are stopped and the whole thing is very impressive. But even there, the residents are told NOT to leave their flats but to wait until the Fire Brigade arrive to evacuate them. My friend understandably said she would rather flee the building than wait to be grilled to a crisp.

But these are quite wealthy people and the whole concern is privately run and very luxurious. I just wonder now what the Social Housing tenants in the two tower blocks near B&Q I mentioned above have in place for (God forbid) a similar scenario. Maybe now, things will change...


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Subject: RE: Horrendous tower-block fire in W London
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 14 Jun 17 - 02:58 PM

The sympathy and anguish now appears to be turning into anger
Half a dozen people have described this as an accident waiting to happen and have told how the authorities were warned about this years ago.
They are also pointing out that the block was largely occupied by some of Britain's poorest people
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Horrendous tower-block fire in W London
From: Senoufou
Date: 14 Jun 17 - 03:40 PM

It's ironic that while the victims of the disaster were poor, this area of London includes some of the most wealthy places. Kensington is an odd mix of rich-and-poor. Notting Hill (trendy) and Kensington Palace are not far away. (I know W London quite well)

I'm not a bit surprised people are furious. But it's far too late for the powers-that-be to express concern and utter the usual platitudes such as 'lessons will be learnt' etc.

One thing which heartened me was to see the wonderful fellow feeling and mutual help offered. All ethnic groups and religions were represented. But of course, all the sympathy and help in the world don't compensate for losing all one's possessions and worse still beloved family members.


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Subject: RE: Horrendous tower-block fire in W London
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 14 Jun 17 - 04:02 PM

"If there are lessons to be learnt..." was how Theresa May put it. That "if" is breathtaking in this situation. It won't be long before it's "with the benefit of hindsight", as it always is when what's actually involved is a failure of basic foresight, and a failure to take notice of warnings.


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Subject: RE: Horrendous tower-block fire in W London
From: Peter K (Fionn)
Date: 14 Jun 17 - 04:07 PM

So the fire escapes were blocked and there were no fire alarms? Smart work, gang - you've got it sorted. Investigations not needed. (Could this thread be moved to BS?)


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Subject: RE: Horrendous tower-block fire in W London
From: Senoufou
Date: 14 Jun 17 - 04:20 PM

(It is in BS Peter. It was my own fault that I initially posted it in the Music section by mistake, but the Mods moved it for me.)

I feel that enormous sums of compensation should be paid to all the survivors, not that it will do anything for the bereaved and those with lifelong injuries of course. It will however help them to replace their belongings and get them comfortably housed. None of this is their fault and the owners/managers of the property are wholly to blame. They can demolish the burnt-out shell of the building, sell the site for a vast sum to an enormously rich property developer, and give all the proceeds to the pitiable victims.


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Subject: RE: Horrendous tower-block fire in W London
From: Iains
Date: 14 Jun 17 - 04:37 PM

From the little known so far it would appear a public enquiry is the only sensible course to pursue. Mealy mouthed platitudes from politicians of all stripes simply will not cut it. There are too many unresolved questions over this horrendous incident that require a root and branch overhaul of both fire safety in high rise building and the equipment and staffing levels of the fire service. The bravery and dedication of the fire service is beyond question, but are their tools
sufficient for this sort of fire? especially as it was not thought it possible.


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Subject: RE: Horrendous tower-block fire in W London
From: keberoxu
Date: 14 Jun 17 - 06:38 PM

The reports in the US, where I live, are covering the firefighters in glory,
describing them racing up stairways with hoses, trying to get water as high up as possible.


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Subject: RE: Horrendous tower-block fire in W London
From: michaelr
Date: 14 Jun 17 - 06:40 PM

How is it even possible that flammable cladding was used in the "upgrade" of the building? And that there were no central fire alarms? Here in the US that would never get past the code inspectors.


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Subject: RE: Horrendous tower-block fire in W London
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 14 Jun 17 - 06:58 PM

A fair amount already seems pretty clear. The essential cause of the disaster was the fact that the fire spread catastrophically, and this was enabled by the kind of cladding which was used, which has a relatively combustible layer at its core.

Other factors contributed - the lack of any sprinkler system, of the sort that is universal in modern offices and in private residential developments, and no doubt other things - but what shaped everything, and made things so disastrous was the rapid spread of the fire.

But the physical cause is only the start of it. What matters is to make it impossible for this to happen again, which is going to mean major building work all over the place, getting rid of fire hazards like this kind of cladding wherever it has been used. And alongside that, finding how it was allowed to happen, and how all the lessons of previous fires had been ignored. If there are scapegoats, they need to be the right ones, at the top.


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Subject: RE: Horrendous tower-block fire in W London
From: Gallus Moll
Date: 14 Jun 17 - 07:03 PM

The initial tv reports were pretty graphic / unedited through last night and earlier in the day, but there is no excuse for the extended news this evening showing a baby being dropped out of a window (and apparently caught by a man on the ground) - and worse, zoomed in shots of poor trapped souls screaming and waving for help, to be saved , trying to attract attention to their plight.
I think it is immoral to use this agony, possibly their last moments, as 'entertainment' - -- it is certainly not for informing the public, graphic illustration of peoples' terror and perhaps dying moments is not acceptable.


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Subject: RE: Horrendous tower-block fire in W London
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 14 Jun 17 - 07:10 PM

"But it's far too late for the powers-that-be to express concern and utter the usual platitudes such as 'lessons will be learnt' "
I seem to remember similar platitudes were expressed after Ronan Point
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Horrendous tower-block fire in W London
From: Senoufou
Date: 14 Jun 17 - 07:11 PM

I agree entirely. It's just gratuitous horror for its own sake. Surely the building engulfed in flames was enough to convey the situation to the viewing public.

Just saw the latest pictures of the building now (in the dark) and it's still glowing red, obviously still burning in spite of the fire fighters' efforts. The heat must have been tremendous.

I'm really worried for the poor survivors tonight. Probably sleeping in community centres and sports halls etc., totally disorientated and in deep shock.   Poor poor souls.


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Subject: RE: Horrendous tower-block fire in W London
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 14 Jun 17 - 08:28 PM

Kensington Council - who own the flats, which are managed by the KCTMO - didn't actually ignore the warnings by Grenfall Actions Group. Of course they didn't do anything to reduce the danger. What they did do was to threaten legal action against, in an attempt to shut them up.

Here is a solicitors letter from 2013 to the group.


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Subject: RE: Horrendous tower-block fire in W London
From: akenaton
Date: 15 Jun 17 - 02:55 AM

Gallus...couldn't agree more, and some of the TV interviewers were actually prompting witnesses to the horror to obtain the most graphic descriptions........they seemed to be almost salivating.

Disgusting and completely unnecessary.......what kind of society have we become?


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Subject: RE: Horrendous tower-block fire in W London
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 15 Jun 17 - 04:21 AM

That kind of thing has always been around in one way and another. There's a kind of fascination with the details of disaster and death. Think of the crowds at public executions, or the way many people slow down to look at road accidents.

The other side of it is the way people can rush to help and to provide assistance for total strangers, and that's been very evident this time. And that's just as much a measure of "what our society has become".


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Subject: RE: Horrendous tower-block fire in W London
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 15 Jun 17 - 05:10 AM

"what kind of society have we become?"
A society capable on rising above the anodising of these events - a mixed blessing
I haven't spotted much spurious curiosity so far and I am grateful to be able to view the tragedy before the establishment begin to neutralise it on behalf of Chelsea and Kensingtong Council, as they inevitably will
It's a little like the approach to Capital Punishment - it's OK as long as we don't have to watch.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Horrendous tower-block fire in W London
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 15 Jun 17 - 08:04 AM

Now we know what a "bonfire of regulations" looks like.


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Subject: RE: Horrendous tower-block fire in W London
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 15 Jun 17 - 09:10 AM

Some of us will argue that Corporate UK TV news services have actually become far too over sanitised and harsh reality adverse
within the last few decades...


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Subject: RE: Horrendous tower-block fire in W London
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 15 Jun 17 - 12:06 PM

I was just looking at a BBC clip of Theresa May giving a brief interview in which she announced that there's to be a public inquiry.

The thing that struck me was how, asked three things, she completely ignored all three questions in her response (you can't call it an answer). It's instinctive with her. I can't remember a single occasion in which she has actually given any indication that she has heard whatever she has been asked. She really is a piece of work.


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Subject: RE: Horrendous tower-block fire in W London
From: Greg F.
Date: 15 Jun 17 - 12:13 PM

she completely ignored all three questions in her response

Did she serve an apprenticeship with Jeff 'Davis' Sessions?


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Subject: RE: Horrendous tower-block fire in W London
From: Pete from seven stars link
Date: 15 Jun 17 - 03:09 PM

Apparently the cost of installing sprinkler system was the reason they were lacking according to one news analysis on TV


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Subject: RE: Horrendous tower-block fire in W London
From: Iains
Date: 15 Jun 17 - 04:27 PM

Looking at the footage this fire was extremely severe and the building apparently had no sprinkler system. Yet structurally it is still intact.
This does raise some questions as to the official story of the collapse of building 7 so many years ago, does it not?


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Subject: RE: Horrendous tower-block fire in W London
From: akenaton
Date: 15 Jun 17 - 04:44 PM

It seems that many people received instructions to stay in their apartments and wait for the fire to be brought under control, this contributed to the death toll.

The cladding was without doubt the cause of the rapid spread of the fire, the outside of the tower block was ablaze while people waited inside with no knowledge of what was happening.
The original fire, supposedly for a fridge explosion??? was the reason for the ignition of the cladding. It took over an hour for the cladding to ignite....so why was the alarm not raised and the building vacated during this period?


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Subject: RE: Horrendous tower-block fire in W London
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 15 Jun 17 - 05:11 PM

it sounds like something you hear happening in the third world.
there is no possible excuse for this happening to our citizens.


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Subject: RE: Horrendous tower-block fire in W London
From: Rob Naylor
Date: 15 Jun 17 - 05:38 PM

michaelr: How is it even possible that flammable cladding was used in the "upgrade" of the building? And that there were no central fire alarms? Here in the US that would never get past the code inspectors.

The cladding is actually a US product, Reynobond, made in Eastman, Georgia, and is used widely in the US and worldwide.


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Subject: RE: Horrendous tower-block fire in W London
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 15 Jun 17 - 09:54 PM

According to today's papers, while it is made in US, it's made in several versions. The cheaper, non-fireproof version used in the Grenfull Tower is banned for use in any tall buildings in the US, because of fire risk. It's banned also in various other countries. But it"s not banned in the UK, because calls for it to be banned.

Using the fireproof version of the material would have cost about another £5000 for this building.


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Subject: RE: Horrendous tower-block fire in W London
From: Mr Red
Date: 16 Jun 17 - 05:18 AM

There is a lot of talk about sprinklers. And the leader of the local council was trying to deflect the arguement by saying they have to be embedded in the fabric of the building, and that poses risks too.

In my naive view they may not stop a fire, or prevent it spreading, but they would certainly delay it, and ask any fireman/prevention officer and they will tell you, time is a saviour. At a reported £5000 per residence!

There are considerations about damage to the sprinklers in everyday living, hence embedding. Water supply problems, and once fire takes hold, water pipes' integrity. But the fire started in one place and it was at a time when water was not much used. I refer you to the delaying of spreading.

It would have saved lives, how many of the not in triple figures (?) would now be alive? They are required in new build!


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Subject: RE: Horrendous tower-block fire in W London
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 16 Jun 17 - 06:25 AM

"there is no possible excuse for this happening to our citizens."
There is no possible excuse for it happening ANYWHERE, but say that in hushed tones as we fill our shops with goods made by people wh live and work in such conditions.
It really isn't surprising that this happened to some of the most deprived people in Britain
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Horrendous tower-block fire in W London
From: Senoufou
Date: 16 Jun 17 - 08:09 AM

I see from reports that Theresa May was initially reluctant to meet survivors and make a more personal visit to the site. She perhaps felt that a low-key attendance was more restrained and respectful. But she has now decided to return and be more 'hands on'. Corbyn however was hugging and comforting people personally and showing his feelings more openly from the start.

To me this is interesting, and demonstrates two different attitudes and approaches to demonstrating sympathy. Touchy-feely responses, lighting candles, setting up shrines and so on is quite a new phenomenon. Perhaps the first examples of this were seen after the very sad death of Diana Princess of Wales.

I personally don't know how to behave in sad circumstances nowadays. My instinct is to offer a hug and a shoulder to cry on, but not everyone would welcome that. And when I was growing up, such demonstrative behaviour was much frowned upon. ('Stiff upper lip' and all that)
I don't feel that Theresa May should be criticised for her restraint, as people have different ways of responding. I'm sure she felt immense sorrow and shock, as does everyone watching this horror unfold.


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Subject: RE: Horrendous tower-block fire in W London
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 16 Jun 17 - 08:54 AM

Nice to see the Queen out and about...
good to see her family taking her out to a community day care centre...

She must think ordinary lower class folks live there lives side by side in line politely waiting for regal gestures of goodwill and understanding...

Even in a catastrophic emegency crisis...

"Ok team, drop everything.. line up side by side.. Liz & Phil are on their way with media and security entourage..
no smirking or bad language..
All you lefty loudmouths and agitators can bugger off outside for a fag break, or nip out to the shops, until the royals have gone home...
"


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Subject: RE: Horrendous tower-block fire in W London
From: akenaton
Date: 16 Jun 17 - 09:56 AM

Very thoughtful post Sen.


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Subject: RE: Horrendous tower-block fire in W London
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 16 Jun 17 - 11:05 AM

I see the police are looking into the possibility of criminal charges against those responsible.

I wouldn't adviseholding your breath. If, as seems likely, the cladding is the essential cause, and the planning regulations in this country mean it's legal to use the combustible kind banned in Germany and the US, I can't see how people could be found guilty, however irreponsible they had been to allow its use. The most guilty people would walk free.

Perhaps it will turn out that some contracted workers will have drilled holes in the wrong place, and they'd be the ones to be surrogate scapegoats.


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Subject: RE: Horrendous tower-block fire in W London
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 16 Jun 17 - 01:34 PM

Protests by angry survivors have already begun
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Horrendous tower-block fire in W London
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 16 Jun 17 - 01:52 PM

treeza was just getting grilled on BBC news...

[at last.. they're giving her some of the relentless antagonistic treatment they'd previously targetted at Corbyn...]


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Subject: RE: Horrendous tower-block fire in W London
From: David Carter (UK)
Date: 16 Jun 17 - 02:01 PM

This is a failure of process, an engineering and health and safety issue. The Mail is attributing it to environmental legislation, the Guardian (and Jim) to inequality. Its none of these. Its a complete stuff up which could just as easily have happened in an affluent area as in a deprived area. Now if governments have relaxed building standards regulations, or if management companies and subcontractors have failed to apply these correctly, then lets go after them. But please don't pretend its a class issue, it just isn't.


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Subject: RE: Horrendous tower-block fire in W London
From: Iains
Date: 16 Jun 17 - 02:23 PM

I think you will find the police are automatically involved because of the horrendous death toll and difficulty of identifying the casualties.
To say it is a criminal investigation without full possession of the facts is premature.Many other areas of expertise will have to be involved to establish what, if, any contraventions have occurred and what will need to be done to prevent a repeat.This will be an essential part of the promised public enquiry.


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Subject: RE: Horrendous tower-block fire in W London
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 16 Jun 17 - 02:26 PM

This kind of cost cutting and failure to put safety as a priority would never have been possible in luxury developments. Even if the authorities have irresponsibly failed in its duties, with the result that unsafe materials are not banned by building regulations, no such development would ever have cut safety standards to that bare legal minimum.

In that sense, this was indeed a class issue.

Kicking all this into the long grass with the kind of public inquiry designed to last for years before reporting is inadequate. Theresa May knows she will be well out of it by the time it reports. And yet she stonewalls every time, and never admits even a shred of resoonsibility. You can't even call it shamefaced, but she never indicates any kind of shame. I wonder what her vicar father would have thought of her.


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Subject: RE: Horrendous tower-block fire in W London
From: David Carter (UK)
Date: 16 Jun 17 - 02:43 PM

Yes it would McGrath. Jobsworths do not respect social status. They are just as capable of cutting corners whatever the margins.


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Subject: RE: Horrendous tower-block fire in W London
From: Iains
Date: 16 Jun 17 - 02:53 PM

m of H. Kicking it in the long grass shows a woeful ignorance of the purpose of a public enquiry.

"Public inquiries investigate issues of serious public concern, scrutinising past decisions and events. It is therefore crucial that information created or used during the course of an inquiry is managed to ensure its survival for future policy makers and researchers.

Without effective information management right from the start a public inquiry will struggle to run efficiently, justify its findings or provide a lasting record.

Public inquiries are conducted on behalf of the Crown, which therefore means that records created or given to the inquiry are public records as defined by the Public Records Act 1958. Those responsible for public records, including the chairman of a public inquiry, have a duty to make arrangements for the selection of those records which ought to be permanently preserved and for their safe-keeping. Under the Inquiry Rules 2006 it is also the responsibility of the chairman to ensure 'the record of the inquiry is comprehensive and well-ordered'.


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Subject: RE: Horrendous tower-block fire in W London
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 16 Jun 17 - 03:59 PM

But they take a long time, which means Theresa May knows that she will be long gone as Prime Minister or Leader of the Tory Party. That's what I mean by long grass.

It would be wrong if action that can be taken now, such as an Inquest, possible criminal charges, and disclosure of relevant information about political and professional breaches of trust, were held up by this public inquiry. I doubt if Theresa May will be able to use it in that way, but I suspect that is what she might be hoping.

Clearly a public inquiry is needed, to sort out the full story, and the changes that are needed.


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Subject: RE: Horrendous tower-block fire in W London
From: Ed T
Date: 16 Jun 17 - 04:56 PM

It seems that the Reynobond product has two types of cores sandwiched between the inside and outside aluminum panels. One is a polyethylene core that is lighter weight. The other one has a simioar exterior but has a heavier fire-retardant mineral core for higher resistance to fire. I suspect that the first option may have been used?



Renoybond 


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Subject: RE: Horrendous tower-block fire in W London
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 16 Jun 17 - 05:25 PM

Well, it costs £2 per square metre. It would have come to nearly £5000 extra for the whole building to have had the safe.

I imagine that countless other agency's that have had the responsibility for social housing contracted out to them up and down the country will have made the same choice.


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Subject: RE: Horrendous tower-block fire in W London
From: Greg F.
Date: 16 Jun 17 - 06:46 PM

Well, that's only 166 pounds per dead person so far- seems pretty economical to me!


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Subject: RE: Horrendous tower-block fire in W London
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 16 Jun 17 - 07:15 PM

I am afraid when the actual numbers of those killed is known, I am afraid that cost-per-victim will be a great deal lower than that.

I fear that decades of a regime of "efficiency savings" has introduced a mindset that sees minimising costs as the priority, with consideation of safety far behind. A corporate culture in which "health and safety" is seen essentially as a topic for sneers and jokes.


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Subject: RE: Horrendous tower-block fire in W London
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 16 Jun 17 - 07:43 PM

Looks like successive governments have been dragging their feet. I can't do links but google this: "Tower block fires: Did government act on advice?" (it's the Beeb). Looking at the list of high-rise fires in the article, I'd say that luxury flats don't figure. So much for the non-class argument.


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Subject: RE: Horrendous tower-block fire in W London
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 16 Jun 17 - 07:51 PM

" is managed to ensure its survival for future policy makers and researchers."
LOCKING THE STABLE DOOR SOMEWHAT
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Horrendous tower-block fire in W London
From: Iains
Date: 17 Jun 17 - 03:56 AM

http://www.probyn-miers.com/perspective/2016/02/fire-risks-from-external-cladding-panels-perspective-from-the-uk/


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Subject: RE: Horrendous tower-block fire in W London
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 17 Jun 17 - 04:09 AM

i can't help thinking how grateful we would have been to have been offered one of those flats when we were first married.


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Subject: RE: Horrendous tower-block fire in W London
From: Mr Red
Date: 17 Jun 17 - 06:09 AM

The guilty party is the law (aka regulations), and by association law makers.
And the behaviour of Treeza puts her squarely in the fire of criticism. She is a law maker!

She has a lot on her plate, a busy lady, a target physically, but in the eyes of the public she should have taken the flak from selected residents. There is a security issue but speaking to selected survivors would have ameliorated the ire. Doing it a day later is a cop-out.

The fall-out of this must be a change in the law. And retrospective action. It will cost a lot of money, but failing to act will cost at the ballot box. And what is the price of a life (or 70)? A repeat, however less extreme, will bring down any government IMNSHO.

In a documentary on airplane crashes this concept was so significant:
Safety aspects are like a series of layers, errors are like holes, one error in itself can often be tolerated, and more than one may go un-noticed but when the holes line up - we have a catastrophe.


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Subject: RE: Horrendous tower-block fire in W London
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 17 Jun 17 - 08:56 AM

Maybe she can't help being so lifeless - a cold fish as she's been labelled. But her perstant refusal ever to deal with any question except by using it as a cue for a prefabricated formula soundbite, with not even a token nod in the direction of actually answering the question, is her choice. Most politicians get trained to do that, but not generally to the same obsessive extent.

And what makes her really insufferable in present circumstances is how she never makes even a nod in the direction of acknowledging any responsibility for what has happened, or even any recognition of the possibility that she and others in her circle are being blamed.

She's like some driver who in the aftermath of an accident stonewalls, because the insurance company reqyuires it. In place of the "strong and stable", which increasingly invites ridicule, the shabby John Waynesque formula "Never apologise, never explain" is her mantra.


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Subject: RE: Horrendous tower-block fire in W London
From: Iains
Date: 17 Jun 17 - 10:52 AM

Inquest versus public enquiry. The facts.


https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2017/jun/16/how-theresa-may-could-make-the-grenfell-tower-inquiry-more-credible


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Subject: RE: Horrendous tower-block fire in W London
From: Greg F.
Date: 17 Jun 17 - 12:16 PM

Facts, Iains?

In a leftard newspaper like the Guardian? Surely you jest.


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Subject: RE: Horrendous tower-block fire in W London
From: michaelr
Date: 17 Jun 17 - 01:49 PM

My paper now says 30 dead, 70+ missing.


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Subject: RE: Horrendous tower-block fire in W London
From: Mr Red
Date: 17 Jun 17 - 02:04 PM

we are hearing 58 on the BBC as pretty much confirmed. But not a complete total. I have heard the figure of 70 and find it believable.

There is always the possibility of visitors or undeclared inhabitants that may not have had friends &/or relatives to confirm the story. The police are right to be cagey on numbers.

You can blame T'reezzzza all you like, she is guilty merely by association. She is a lawmaker and the law is the prime culprit. All parties are lawmakers and a succession of political colours have made those laws. The recession of 2007/8 contributed, who should we blame for that?
I have stated it will blacken her name, but it is by her handling of it only.


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Subject: RE: Horrendous tower-block fire in W London
From: Senoufou
Date: 17 Jun 17 - 02:26 PM

It's a distinct possibility Mr Red that the Muslim residents had friends/family over as visitors to break the fast, since it's Ramadan.
This would make it much more difficult to ascertain the numbers involved.

I didn't envisage when I started this thread that the usual mud-slinging and political point-scoring would creep in.
To me the subject is so terribly sad and shocking that a little respect and restraint might be in order.

Blame, investigation and action will come later.


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Subject: RE: Horrendous tower-block fire in W London
From: Pete from seven stars link
Date: 17 Jun 17 - 04:25 PM

If only senoufou !    Seems like left and right here are using this tragedy to paint the opposite leaders in as bad a light as possible .


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Subject: RE: Horrendous tower-block fire in W London
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 17 Jun 17 - 05:45 PM

Well I don't believe that's true. I'm a leftie and I don't do that sort of opportunism. But, Pete, it doesn't mean that the powers that be should be immunised from blame by the application of restraint and common decency. We won't make politics better by letting ham-fisted politicians such as Theresa May off the hook. That's democracy for you. And it's healthy. You wouldn't get away with it in North Korea or Saudi Arabia, would you? If we do see opportunism, it usually sticks out like a sore thumb.


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Subject: RE: Horrendous tower-block fire in W London
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 17 Jun 17 - 06:11 PM

I have no doubt whatever that if there was a Labour government that had been in power from 2010, and which had failed to do anything to implement the reforms that were identified after the smaller but essentially similar tower block fire in 2009, they'd be getting the same reaction.

It seems pretty clear that this catastrophe was very largely caused by the use of materials that have been banned as unsafe in many other countries, including Germany, Frrance, and the USA, but are still used here. That's criminal responsibility, whoever failed to act.

The people who have boasted about slashing regulations, and promise to go further down that road, and who have special scorn for "health and safety" are the Tories, not Labour. As Grenfell Tower blazed we saw what a "bonfire of the regulations" actually looks like.


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Subject: RE: Horrendous tower-block fire in W London
From: Iains
Date: 18 Jun 17 - 07:54 AM

M of H. Could you give examples of heath and safety legislation being repealed?. The most important legal act is the European Framework Directive (1989/391/EEC), which establishes general principles for managing safety and health, such as responsibility of the employer, rights/duties of workers, using risk assessments to continuously improve company processes, and workplace health and safety ...
Over time these regulations are subjected to constant review and revision.
I do not believe repeal is part of the agenda. Since 1973 much has been added to the Statute book for Health and Safety, and the regulations are constantly being widened and made more comprehensive. Once a deficiency has been identified and acted upon I do not think any government would have the audacity to roll back legislation. Sins of omission may occur in government but not deliberate increase of risk. I suspect this horrible event is due to the will to reduce the carbon footprint of the building( in line with EU legislation) with the insulating cladding but neglect of a thorough risk assessment and perhaps a deficiency of the building regulations concerning high rise residential buildings. Many EU counties ban gas fired appliances in high rise buildins. Even after the Ronan Point collapse gas is still utilised in uk high rise apartments. The public enquiry will consider these and many other factors in order to reach conclusions.


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Subject: RE: Horrendous tower-block fire in W London
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 18 Jun 17 - 09:06 AM

Key spokespeople Moves to reduce health and safety red tape will be welcomed by British Chambers of Commerce


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Subject: RE: Horrendous tower-block fire in W London
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 18 Jun 17 - 10:41 AM

That link ddn,t work properly. Or rather, the press release I was linking is somewhere in the middle of the site.

Here's a salient quote:
Key spokespeople
Moves to reduce health and safety red tape will be welcomed by business, says BCC
Dr Adam Marshall comments on the reduction of health & safety red tape announced by the government today

10/09/12

Commenting on the government's announcement about the reduction of health and safety inspections, and other forms of business red tape, Dr Adam Marshall, Director of Policy and External Affairs at the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), said:

"Efforts to reduce the burden of health and safety regulation will be welcome news to many businesses. Ensuring that low-risk workplaces are exempted from inspections is a sensible change that will save employers time and money without reducing the safety of workers. The cost savings to HSE and local authorities of fewer inspections should be reinvested in business support services so that fewer employers are forced to pay for costly consultancy services whose advice often goes beyond what the regulation...


Search for "bonfire of regulations" and you find masses of stuff from Tories going on about how wonderful it is to get rid of piffling regulations, and looking forward to doing more of that.


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Subject: RE: Horrendous tower-block fire in W London
From: Iains
Date: 18 Jun 17 - 11:23 AM

M of H. This would seem to be about reducing inspections and realizing that regulation concerning a business employing thousands requires a more intensive policing regime than say a lone farmer.Ot that a mining enterprise poses more risk than that of market gardening. A large business would employ health and safety experts to reduce risk in the workplace and ensure regulations are complied with. I think you will agree that a one man business cannot often employ safety consultants, desirable though it may be and inspection should be where the risk is deemed the most high.
This would seem a rational deployment of resources in a finite world.
It is obvious that a one size fits all approach is a waste of valuable resources.An entire health and safety industry has come into being over the last quarter century and no sane person would expect to see any part of it rolled back. This is not the inspection regime I am talking about but the extension of business management to encompass risk reduction through the establishment of health and safety departments in order to ensure safety is not sacrificed for expediency, and that thorough risk assessment is carried out prior to any procedure.Previously to some extent this was done by instinct and experience. Today the procedure is both formalized and documented. This is not to establish a blame culture but an attempt to try recognise, codify, and reduce risk. Sadly sometimes the system shows flaws.


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Subject: RE: Horrendous tower-block fire in W London
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 18 Jun 17 - 11:54 AM

Interesting aspect of the case here
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/grenfell-tower-fire-london-dead-legal-action-campaign-fire-safety-mariem-elgwahry-nadia-choucair-a7795586.html
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Horrendous tower-block fire in W London
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 18 Jun 17 - 01:21 PM

That merits an easier link, so no one here has an excuse for not reading it.

Two women feared dead in Grenfell Tower were 'threatened with legal action' E


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Subject: RE: Horrendous tower-block fire in W London
From: Monique
Date: 18 Jun 17 - 02:10 PM

Kevin's link


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Subject: RE: Horrendous tower-block fire in W London
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 18 Jun 17 - 02:49 PM

Thanks folks
I always have problems blue clickying The Independent
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Horrendous tower-block fire in W London
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 18 Jun 17 - 07:43 PM

As did I. Thanks Monique.


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Subject: RE: Horrendous tower-block fire in W London
From: Senoufou
Date: 19 Jun 17 - 10:36 AM

The Police have now said the number of lives lost is 79 so far.
I just can't imagine the suffering, grief and horror this figure represents.
The pictures being released of the interior of the apartments are appalling. It's obvious no-one trapped inside would have had even a remote chance of coming out alive.


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Subject: RE: Horrendous tower-block fire in W London
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 20 Jun 17 - 01:07 PM

"Normal job centre rules, including financial sanctions issued to claimants who miss appointments, have been suspended indefinitely for former residents of Grenfell Tower and other local residents who claim unemploment benefits, it has emerged.

The decision, by the Deparment for Work and Pensions, emerged after representatives of local residents were apparently told that no guarantees could be given that claimants caught up in the fire and its aftermath would not be penalised if they failed to sign on"
from The Guardian, 20th June.


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Subject: RE: Horrendous tower-block fire in W London
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 20 Jun 17 - 01:25 PM

"I just can't imagine the suffering, grief and horror this figure represents. "
Plenty of visual examples Sen, if you can bear to look at them
The latest twist are reports of families who have been temporarily housed in hotels being moved from pillar to post at the whim of the hotel owners.
The inhumanity seems to know no bounds
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Horrendous tower-block fire in W London
From: Senoufou
Date: 20 Jun 17 - 01:51 PM

The lack of co-ordination and effort to help the poor survivors by Officialdom is disgraceful. If it were not for the general public coming forward to support in many ways (clothing, food, offers of help etc) one wonders whatever would have become of them. I read that one family were housed miles away from the Benefits Office and told to 'get a taxi' to access official forms, payments etc. What world do these blasted people inhabit? Planet Stuffem?

I was heartened to see the wonderful applause, hugs and praise given to some fire-fighters as they passed in front of a crowd of people yesterday. Some of them were so moved they were tearful.
Imagine the enormous risk they took trying to save lives. After a short break that night, lying gasping together on the ground, they staggered to their feet and entered the building again to carry on searching for victims. What they must have seen will surely haunt them forever.
They each deserve a medal and a huge bonus.


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Subject: RE: Horrendous tower-block fire in W London
From: Donuel
Date: 20 Jun 17 - 02:12 PM

You said it all Senofou.


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Subject: RE: Horrendous tower-block fire in W London
From: SPB-Cooperator
Date: 21 Jun 17 - 02:45 AM

Just heard on the radio that the works were not even signed off. Looks like the owners and the managers are passing the buck between each other.


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Subject: RE: Horrendous tower-block fire in W London
From: Senoufou
Date: 21 Jun 17 - 03:11 AM

A block of flats in Camden (NW London) has been found to have the same cladding as that on Grenfell Tower. And several other councils have been asked to send samples from the exterior of their tower blocks for analysis. I expect the wretched stuff is on many buildings.

I can't imagine how those 'responsible' (from omission or commission) can ever sleep at night, knowing that eighty or more people are dead thanks to their evident lack of interest in and despicable attitude towards the poorer members of our society. Not only that (as if that were not enough) but the victims must have died in terrible suffering and terror. How dreadful to have that on one's conscience!


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Subject: RE: Horrendous tower-block fire in W London
From: SPB-Cooperator
Date: 21 Jun 17 - 03:22 AM

This needs to be addressed as EU-wide standards, with structural funds set aside for replacement of sub-standard cladding. And UK must pay into this fund for as long as needed even if it leaves EU in 2019.


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Subject: RE: Horrendous tower-block fire in W London
From: Senoufou
Date: 21 Jun 17 - 03:57 AM

I also think that the day-to-day management of these communal dwellings should be far tighter and better controlled and monitored. For example, the emergency lighting system wasn't working due to the fact that the batteries had expired (!!), a fact which the residents' committee had tried to bring to the attention of the managers, to no avail. So in the event of the mains power being cut off, the corridors would have been pitch black.

There was much rubbish and unwanted items in the stairwell and corridors, which obstructed egress and presented a combustible danger. This should have been continually addressed.

And (as happens all over big cities where accommodation is at a premium, and is deplorable) unscrupulous tenants were sub-letting their residences at extortionate rates, and in overcrowded and unsuitable conditions. This meant that the actual number of residents was unknown.

I always foolishly imagined that large residential buildings were inspected by a representative of the Fire Service at least annually, and any dangers/shortcomings rectified under enforcement. And that fire drills occurred regularly. If this wasn't the case, then it jolly well should have been.


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Subject: RE: Horrendous tower-block fire in W London
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 21 Jun 17 - 10:38 AM

Interesting new approach to fire safety; from this morning's Times
Dan those interfering Unions!
Jim Carroll

UNIONS' ANGER OVER PLANS TO DOWNGRADE SCHOOL SPRINKLERS
Nicola Woolcock

Plans to soften guidance over sprinkler systems at new schools show "a total disregard for the health and safety of children and staff", union leaders told the education secretary yesterday.
The original guidance for schools, published in 2007, said: "All new schools should have fire sprinklers installed except in a few low-risk schools."
The proposed update to the Department for Education's (DfE) Design in Fire Safety in Schools, published last year, stated that "building regulations do not require the installation of fire sprinkler suppression systems in school buildings for life safety. Therefore [guidelines] no longer include an expectation that most new school buildings will be fitted with them."
Leaders of the Fire Brigades' Union (FBU), the National Union of Teachers and the Association of Teachers and Lecturers wrote to Justine Greening seeking "urgent reassurances" about draft rules which, they said, would lead to fewer sprinklers. They expressed alarm that the "expectation" that sprinklers should be fitted in new schools in England had been removed.
The unions said the government proposals also compromised safety by changing rules on how buildings were compartmentalised to contain fire. The government insisted, however, that the guidance clarified existing wording and that the same standards would apply.
Matt Wrack, general secretary of the FBU, said: "It is staggering we still have to have this debate in the current circumstances. It highlights the endless problems we have faced when raising fire safety issues over several years." Kensington Aldridge Academy, the school that opened in 2014 beside Grenfell Tower, is not fitted with sprinklers. Nor were there sprinklers in the 1970s block, which housed around 600 people and recently had an £8.6 million refurbishment in which combustible cladding and insulation was fitted.
Since the fire, which claimed at least 79 lives, local authorities have been examining their housing stock. Thou-sands of buildings, including hospitals, leisure centres and offices, have been fitted with cladding in the past 30 years.
Fire safety assessors said they were inundated with requests for inspections from councils, one of which, in Croydon, south London, has said it will fit its high-rise blocks with sprinklers.
The government faces pressure to announce who will lead the public inquiry into the fire promised by Theresa May. Sadiq Khan, the London mayor, wrote to Mrs May urging transparency in the process, including "timescales involved and likely milestones". Blaze survivors and the families of those killed should be instrumental in draw¬ing up the scope of the inquiry and be granted "core participant" status, giving them access to evidence and letting them suggest lines of inquiry, he said.
John Healy, Labour's housing spokesman, called for the release of correspondence on fire regulations between four ministers and the all party parliamentary fire safety and rescue group after a high-rise fire in 2009.
In one exchange reported by the BBC, Stephen Williams, a former Liberal Democrat minister, told the group: "I have neither seen nor heard anything that would suggest that consideration of these potential changes is urgent."
The group replied: "We're at a loss to understand how you had concluded that credible and independent evidence which had life safety implications, was NOT considered urgent."
The dispute over advice on sprinklers in new schools also raises concerns about an apparent clash between regulations and the drive to "cut red tape".
Figures earlier this year showed that there were more than 700 fires at schools in London between 2009 and early 2017, but that sprinklers were installed in only 15 cases.
The DfE said: "There will be no change to the fire safety laws for schools or our determination to protect children's safety. It has always been the case that where the risk assessment required for any new building recommends sprinklers are installed to keep children safe, they must be fitted."


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Subject: RE: Horrendous tower-block fire in W London
From: Senoufou
Date: 21 Jun 17 - 11:26 AM

If nothing else (and it's almost impossible to find any good in the events of the past week) authorities are now examining their public buildings of all types with regard to fire precautions and defences.

We had a bad fire at the school where I taught for many years, an old Victorian building only two storeys high. It started in a ground-floor cloakroom, where a child had been playing with matches. Everyone was safely evacuated, but the speed at which it took hold was terrifying. And afterwards, I went back into what was left of the cloakroom to see a small black puddle underneath every metal coat peg. These were all that was left of the melted nylon/artificial fibre coats and bags. The dangerous smoke fumes had blackened the entire area in thick soot. Luckily, this building was fairly isolated on the complex and the fire was contained and put out rapidly.

I started another thread a few months ago about our neighbours' house which went up like a torch and burned almost completely away, while the oil tank exploded like a bomb. It was during the day and luckily they got out unharmed, despite the thick smoke and intense heat. We could only watch in horror as the Fire Brigade struggled to deal with it.

These examples show just how dangerous a fire can be. And no Authority can defend shoddy badly-designed buildings/dwellings for the sake of cost-cutting, or lack of interest in poor, ethnic-minority unemployed folk, who (as we have seen) burn to death the same as anyone else.


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Subject: RE: Horrendous tower-block fire in W London
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 21 Jun 17 - 06:41 PM

A great shame a sprinkler system hadn't been fiited in that school.
.............

An EU wide approach to fire safety as SPB suggested would make sense. There may even be some other countries as bad as the UK in this respect.


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Subject: RE: Horrendous tower-block fire in W London
From: SPB-Cooperator
Date: 22 Jun 17 - 05:25 AM

Sadly, if EU did apply Europe-Wide fire safety standards, and assistance to comply with this the rabid mob would whinge about being told that they have to protect the lives of people in social housing, and would moan about UK having to pay more as they see those in poorer European countries as being less worthy to live in safe homes than their British masters.


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Subject: RE: Horrendous tower-block fire in W London
From: Jack Campin
Date: 22 Jun 17 - 06:22 PM

Latest developments in investigating where else might face the same risks. Doesn't look good.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-40366646

I suspect a lot of potentially seizable assets of building companies are being shunted offshore right now, and a lot of firms are working out how to best declare insolvency before the prosecutions and lawsuits hit them.


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Subject: RE: Horrendous tower-block fire in W London
From: Jack Campin
Date: 23 Jun 17 - 10:24 AM

The Government trying to make sure the EU doesn't interfere with yet more fires like that:

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2017/jun/22/government-backed-red-tape-group-eu-fire-safety-rules-grenfell-fire


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Subject: RE: Horrendous tower-block fire in W London
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 24 Jun 17 - 08:28 AM

800 homes were evacuated lat night because they are regarded as unsafe
Many residents have refused to move because, among other reasons, their offered temporary accommodation refuses to cater for domestic pets
Some 800 tower blocks are now under scrutiny
It doesn't seem to be getting any better
Time to take up Teribus's "refugee" suggestion maybe
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Horrendous tower-block fire in W London
From: Jack Campin
Date: 24 Jun 17 - 06:22 PM

The crappy cladding that caused the fatalities at Grenfell Tower is all over the place:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-40391395

100% failure in samples sent for testing suggests it can't be hard to identify.


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Subject: RE: Horrendous tower-block fire in W London
From: Senoufou
Date: 25 Jun 17 - 07:01 AM

If nothing else, fire precautions and regulations, inspection of building materials and that wretched 'cladding' will be scrutinised to the Nth degree now. It all needs much tighter legislation and enforcement.

What also needs addressing (but I doubt it will happen) is Local Authorities' attitudes to the poorer tenants under their aegis. It's only too obvious now that there's a deplorable disregard of their comfort, safety and well-being. Even after the fire, survivors were still being treated with half-hearted disdain by those who should have been falling over themselves to help them.

Those evacuated yesterday from tower-blocks in Camden found to be faulty were alerted at 8pm to get out, with no prior warning and no arrangements made for their pets. Some elderly folk were refusing to budge at that time of night. They'd been left there for years with no concern for their safety, then suddenly a whirlwind of 'covering one's back' arrived. Complete disregard for their predicament. Makes one despair.


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Subject: RE: Horrendous tower-block fire in W London
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 25 Jun 17 - 11:37 AM

Sen - absolutely spot on..
Bureaucratic panic, and callous disregard / disrespect for citizens suddenly herded out of their homes under duress..

Still, I supposes if looked upon as a major emergency fire drill
or a 'what if' scenario bomb scare alert...
maybe something positive to be gained / salvaged from this fiasco....????


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Subject: RE: Horrendous tower-block fire in W London
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 25 Jun 17 - 01:38 PM

100% failure rate for every building tested so far
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Horrendous tower-block fire in W London
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 25 Jun 17 - 01:41 PM

The latest total for high rises blocks that have now been identified as having unsafe cladding is 60. It seems as if every block being tested fails.

I hope that when the people responsible for supplying, installing and approving the use of such materials at Grenfell Tower get jailed, the people who put the lives of thousands at risk by supplying, installing and approving the use of the same materials for all these other tower blocks all over the country won't escape trial and punishment.

.........

One significant point - it's claimed that regulatiins about fire safety officially banned their use higher than 18 metres, which would mean it's a matter of failure to apply those reulatiins and enforce them, which would conveniently let off the hook those who made the regulations.

But 18 metres could mean a six storey building. That's an awful lot of potential death traps that are still perfectly legal, including schools and hospitals.


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Subject: RE: Horrendous tower-block fire in W London
From: Greg F.
Date: 25 Jun 17 - 06:01 PM

Another question arises: has the U.S. manufacturer of the cladding panels been mis-representing the flammability/fire rating of their product?


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Subject: RE: Horrendous tower-block fire in W London
From: Senoufou
Date: 25 Jun 17 - 06:17 PM

It may be so Greg that a manufacturer makes claims about their product in order to sell it, but it behoves the relevant authorities to test it themselves before committing to a contract for supply, especially when it may involve risk to life.

This tragedy has opened up a massive can of worms. It will probably take over a year at the very least to remove all unsafe cladding, obtain stuff of a higher standard and get it fitted. Meanwhile, where are the unfortunate tower-block dwellers all over the country to live?
There's already a grave housing shortage for rented property,and long lists for social housing.


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Subject: RE: Horrendous tower-block fire in W London
From: Senoufou
Date: 25 Jun 17 - 06:17 PM

It may be so Greg that a manufacturer makes claims about their product in order to sell it, but it behoves the relevant authorities to test it themselves before committing to a contract for supply, especially when it may involve risk to life.

This tragedy has opened up a massive can of worms. It will probably take over a year at the very least to remove all unsafe cladding, obtain stuff of a higher standard and get it fitted. Meanwhile, where are the unfortunate tower-block dwellers all over the country to live?
There's already a grave housing shortage for rented property,and long lists for social housing.


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Subject: RE: Horrendous tower-block fire in W London
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 25 Jun 17 - 08:25 PM

So many questions remain unanswered. Given that so far 100% of the cladding of the sixty tower blocks tested so far has turned out to be unsafe it seems clear that the criminal irresponsibility of those involved must apply to councils, builders and suppliers across the country. If any of those had done their jobs properly none of those deathtraps could been constructed.

And there are hundreds more blocks that haven't been tested - and on top of that schools and hospitals and other buildings covered in cladding everywhere you look.

Moreover these manufacterers have been exporting cladding to be used in countries around the word. I doubt very much if the people who have used it, and allowed it the be used, can be assumed to be any better than those in Britain who have been so criminally irrresponsible.


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Subject: RE: Horrendous tower-block fire in W London
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 25 Jun 17 - 08:41 PM

I wonder what the final tally of buildings will be McGrath. The impression I have so far is that the use of the dangerously unsuitable materials has been more or less "standard practice" throughout the country.


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Subject: RE: Horrendous tower-block fire in W London
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 25 Jun 17 - 09:16 PM

This corrupt mess was inevitable from the moment the tories started slashing local authority departments & public sector workforce;
so they could put all building maintenance work out to tender to their corporate cronies...


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Subject: RE: Horrendous tower-block fire in W London
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 25 Jun 17 - 10:00 PM

Standard practice - but officially illegal. Let's see how they explain that.


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Subject: RE: Horrendous tower-block fire in W London
From: akenaton
Date: 26 Jun 17 - 02:39 AM

I've been in the trade all my life and the "regulations" are a complete joke. Many safety and building regulations regarding insulation have been completely reversed at some point, with some finally reverting to their original form.

It is a shambles. Trial and error seems to be the most important phrase in the rule book.
In fairness the problems concerning the properties of new materials and the fact that our climate is altering dramatically has an effect on relatively untried materials like plastics and expanded insulation.


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Subject: RE: Horrendous tower-block fire in W London
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 26 Jun 17 - 03:05 AM

"This corrupt mess was inevitable from the moment the tories started slashing local authority departments & public sector workforce;"
It goes back further than that PFK (did you know your initials sound like a substandard building material - sort of like MDF)
It is the inevitable consequences of the ghettoisation policies that were developed from the slum-clearances and wartime rebuilding - a profiteering corruption of Labour's plan to build 'homes fit for heroes to live in'
The 'high rise' upward development came about when it was decided that land was too expensive to be wasted on the poor, so they built upward and eventually, as cheaply as possible.
The first major disaster was Ronan Point - this one should be the last, but it probably won't be.
As a child, our first modern council home was in a three storey block on a new housing estate, Speke - soul-less enough, but capable of sustaining communities.
I've worked in these multi storey monstrosities - as had as tenants tried to turn them into homes they were never more than 'little boxes inside bigger boxes'
Something's gotta give!
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Horrendous tower-block fire in W London
From: Jack Campin
Date: 26 Jun 17 - 04:35 AM

Standard practice - but officially illegal. Let's see how they explain that.

My father was an architect, designing middling-expensive public buildings for the New Zealand Government. NZ buildings often use timber, both because of availability and for earthquake resistance. But you want anything big to be adequately fireproof. He once got a report back from his clerk of works (construction manager, sort of) that he'd visited the site and found the workers brewing up their tea over a fire made with scraps of the "fireproof" timber. The supplier didn't get to do that again.


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Subject: RE: Horrendous tower-block fire in W London
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 26 Jun 17 - 06:02 PM

If the building regulations say fireproof materials are required in a type of building, there is an absolute obligation on whoever commissions the building to specify such materials.

If fireproof have been specified when the plans are approved, there is an absolute obligation on the builder to ensure that that is what is installed. Failure to do so is criminally irresponsible.

Somewhere it went badly wrong on a national scale. If all the people who must have been responsible get what they deserve we'll need some new prisons. I suggest we adapt a few of those tower blocks to provide the needed room.
........
Relying on tower blocks to provide mass housing was crazy. They suit some people, but not many. Harlow where I live was part of the wartime rebuilding and slum clearance programme Jim mentions, one of New Towns. Homes for about 60,000 people, with seven modest sized tower blocks to allow for people who might prefer that, and the rest of us in small houses. And it works well still, though it's been ground down a bit by changes outside our control.

I hope when Labour comes to power under Corbyn that that is a model of social housing we see once again, in the spirit of the government of 1945.


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Subject: RE: Horrendous tower-block fire in W London
From: Jack Campin
Date: 26 Jun 17 - 06:08 PM

Somewhere it went badly wrong on a national scale.

And you are using "national" right - nobody's found the same cladding problems in Scottish tower blocks, and they've checked. Whatever went wrong happened on some lower hierarchical level than the whole UK.


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Subject: RE: Horrendous tower-block fire in W London
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 26 Jun 17 - 07:13 PM

I Intentionally right, Jack. I'd never speak of the UK, or even of Great Britain, as a nation.

So far as I've seen it's only been in England that these tests have revealed unsafe materials have been used, and reports from Scotland are that their tower blocks are safe. I haven't seen anything from Wales or Northern Ireland.
...................

From tonight's Newsnigh it appears that the officially recognised body supervising the industry in England has been specifically telling builders they should feel free to ignore the official regulations, and use significantly more combustible materials. And the government appears to have been happy for them to do so.

It's vital that the responsibility for this should be recognised as lying at the top. Not just at the top of course, in cabinet offices, but right down to the people installing stuff they knew was dangerous, and the jobsworths in the council.


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Subject: RE: Horrendous tower-block fire in W London
From: Jack Campin
Date: 27 Jun 17 - 01:22 PM

First sighting of the inflammable cladding in Scotland, on a newish student hall of residence:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-edinburgh-east-fife-40414502

Owned by an insurance company. Hmmm.


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Subject: RE: Horrendous tower-block fire in W London
From: Senoufou
Date: 27 Jun 17 - 01:39 PM

Brennan Bank Tower in Norwich (near the football stadium) has been found to have the same cladding. There may yet be others.
This is a total nightmare.

My Halls of Residence at Edinburgh Uni were ancient Victorian old things (Craigmillar Park) build of solid stone and not high rise. We thought they were grim, but there was never any fear of fire. I think they've been demolished now, or made into posh flats.


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Subject: RE: Horrendous tower-block fire in W London
From: Jack Campin
Date: 28 Jun 17 - 04:34 AM

Inflammable cladding goes global, found in Australia and New Zealand:

https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/property/94182814/apartment-group-scanz-worried-more-combustible-apartments-will-be-found


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Subject: RE: Horrendous tower-block fire in W London
From: Iains
Date: 28 Jun 17 - 06:08 AM

A little relevant history.Ignore the UPVC comment.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/property/article-1232094/Do-uPVC-windows--cladding--help-fires-spread-high-rise-blocks.html


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Subject: RE: Horrendous tower-block fire in W London
From: Iains
Date: 28 Jun 17 - 06:24 AM

Apologies I forgot to highlight the date of the above article.

18:10, 4 December 2009


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Subject: RE: Horrendous tower-block fire in W London
From: Jack Campin
Date: 28 Jun 17 - 06:54 AM

...and the content of the article makes it clear that anyone who wanted a clue could have got one cheap in 1991.


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Subject: RE: Horrendous tower-block fire in W London
From: Teribus
Date: 28 Jun 17 - 07:30 AM

"Harlow where I live was part of the wartime rebuilding and slum clearance programme Jim mentions, one of New Towns. Homes for about 60,000 people, with seven modest sized tower blocks to allow for people who might prefer that, and the rest of us in small houses. And it works well still, though it's been ground down a bit by changes outside our control.

I hope when Labour comes to power under Corbyn that that is a model of social housing we see once again, in the spirit of the government of 1945." - MGOH


Population of the United Kingdom in 1945 was ~49.19 million
Population of the United Kingdom in 2015 was ~65.14 million

In those intervening 70 years the Island hasn't got any bigger.
I hope that Labour never comes into power under Corbyn or any other leader - every time they do the country gets poorer and poorer.

I see John CuRtice has a poll of 3,000 people out today saying that 48% of them back Corbyn's tax and spend programme. Not really surprising really In March 2012 the Centre for Policy Studies, using ONS figures showed that 53.4 per cent of total households received more in benefits than they paid in taxes in 2010/11 ? compared to 43.1 per cent in 1979 and 43.8 per cent in 2000/01. I dare say the percentage is even higher now.

Only problem with tax and spend is that the rich you wish to tax, are rich enough to move, leaving Corbyn & Co. to pay the bills by taxing those that are left (All those that were right having quite sensibly buggered off).

Come up with solutions Kevin - NOT pipedreams based on yesteryear.


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Subject: RE: Horrendous tower-block fire in W London
From: Jack Campin
Date: 28 Jun 17 - 08:03 AM

So, rather than stop corporations squirreling their profita away in offshore tax havens, we just leave the working class to burn in high-rise hovels, do we?

Remember how utterly fucking trivial the costs of preventing the Grenfell fire were.


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Subject: RE: Horrendous tower-block fire in W London
From: Iains
Date: 28 Jun 17 - 08:07 AM

I hope when Labour comes to power under Corbyn that that is a model of social housing we see once again, in the spirit of the government of 1945." - MGOH

I would say they had the chance after Thatchers massive social housing program. I wonder why they never managed to equal it?
The circumstances that lead to the horrendous death toll from this fire occurred on the Tory, Labour and coalition watch.
Trying to make political points out of it is futile and hardly helpful.


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Subject: RE: Horrendous tower-block fire in W London
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 28 Jun 17 - 08:49 AM

Australia and New Zealand have just discovered combustible cladding
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Horrendous tower-block fire in W London
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 28 Jun 17 - 09:02 AM

"I hope when Labour comes to power under Corbyn t"
There's been an incredible double standard form the rabid rg-ight on this fire
May takes Britain into an election and tells the electorate that there is no "money tree" to promise to mend a broken health service
She doesn't get a working majority so she does a deal with a Northern Irish Party riven with scandal and with links to terrorism and is blackmailed into bunging them £Billion for their support - whoosh - up sprouts a money tree
Thousands made homeless and the law says they cant be housed in empty property - the right bust a gut to support that law
Part of May's deal with D.U.P. is that members of the military suspected of murder and torture should not be prosecuted - May agrees (and so do the rabid right on this forum)
Why does the law over property have to be adhered to in the case of homeless tenants while national and international law not count for anything the behavior of British soldiers abroad
Double standards or what?
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Horrendous tower-block fire in W London
From: Greg F.
Date: 28 Jun 17 - 06:54 PM

Lets all celebrate the fruits of deregulation and privatization.


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Subject: RE: Horrendous tower-block fire in W London
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 28 Jun 17 - 08:15 PM

I'm a bit puzzled at the relevance Teribus thinks the fact that the population has risen in the last 70 years has to my hope that a new Labour government will act in the spirit of the 1945 governmment.

Clearly the changes which have come about in the intervening years mean that different problems are here and different solutions will be needed and will be possible. But what is needed is the wisdom to recognise those problems, and the determination to act to solve them. That's what I mean by "the spirit of 1945".

And in many ways we are in a much better position to do that than they were, in the wake of a terrible war. We are far wealthier as a society, have a far healthier population, and have technology which makes it incomparably easier to organise major projects, compared to 70 years ago.


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Subject: RE: Horrendous tower-block fire in W London
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 28 Jun 17 - 08:53 PM

..but we've also accumulated 70 more years of festering right wing resentment & bitterness...
and they also have the technology of the internet to spread their infectious malevolence... 😣


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Subject: RE: Horrendous tower-block fire in W London
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 28 Jun 17 - 09:04 PM

btw... "Thatchers massive social housing program"....?????????????????????

...ermmm.. what..you mean convince factory workers to buy their discounted council houses;
then close down the factories making them redundant and defaulting on mortgages,
so these council house can be snapped up in bulk at auction by profiteering buy to let landlords....??? 😖

My parents nearly fell for that one...

'Fortunately' dad got made redundant whilst still renting,
so mum now still lives in the home she's loved for 50 years...


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Subject: RE: Horrendous tower-block fire in W London
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 28 Jun 17 - 09:10 PM

There was rather a lot of festering right wing stuff to deal with in the 1940s.

And the technology of the internet and social media works both ways. It enabled the supporters of the left to counter and bypass the media chorus of hate and derision and distortion.


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Subject: RE: Horrendous tower-block fire in W London
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 28 Jun 17 - 09:22 PM

.."festering right wing stuff"..

There always has been, and forever will be...

It's human nature and the natural order of things..
as the right wing like to constantly remind us 'naive idealistic' humanist lefties...

..still fingers crossed, roll on the next tory big time fa@ck up and snap election... 😜


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Subject: RE: Horrendous tower-block fire in W London
From: Teribus
Date: 29 Jun 17 - 02:34 AM

pfr google "who built more council houses Margaret Thatcher or New Labour"

Extract:

Tom Copley, Labour's housing spokesman in the capital, said that Margaret Thatcher's government had built more council flats and houses in a single year than New Labour's managed in its entire period in office.

This is correct. The official data shows that the Blair and Brown governments built 7,870 council houses (local authority tenure) over the course of 13 years. (If we don't include 2010 - the year when David Cameron became PM - this number drops to 6,510.) Mr Copley has contrasted this figure with the record of Mrs Thatcher's government, which never built fewer than 17,710 homes in a year.

Between 1997 and 2010, of the 2.61 million homes constructed, only 0.3% were local authority tenure. Mrs Thatcher's government supervised the building of a similar number of houses (2.63 million), but 18.9% were LA or 'council' properties.

To look at it another way, New Labour built an average of 562 council houses per year. And Mrs Thatcher's Conservatives? 41,343.


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Subject: RE: Horrendous tower-block fire in W London
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 29 Jun 17 - 04:23 AM

"Margaret Thatcher or New Labour""
I always find this comparison amusing
Thatcherism and New Labour were were two sides of the same coin - Thatcher an elitist and (almost) self-declared Fascist in her heaped praise of a mass-murderer and Blair, a pale shadow who rose in the ranks to become a war-criminal - one a limp-wristed version of the other
Thatcher's main claims to fame was her repectabilising of greed and her turning homes into commodities by conning householders that in doing so they might better their lot in society
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Horrendous tower-block fire in W London
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 29 Jun 17 - 04:35 AM

Terry - New Labour...!!!???

oh.. right.. them....

Just how does anyone begin to understand the anomaly that was New Labour...????? 😖


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Subject: RE: Horrendous tower-block fire in W London
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 29 Jun 17 - 05:12 AM

btw... I'd hazard a guess that any thatcher era social homes were a poor substitute for the houses on our council estate that became sold off and lost forever from the council social housing stock..

Post war 1950s red brick 3 bedroom terraced homes, each house with a massive front and back garden.
and plenty of space and grassed areas surrounding the connecting roads...

Good quality homes constructed to last, for families who were considered 'respectable working class',
who most probably nearly all worked in the factory the estate was built to house.

An excellent healthy environment and safe community to grow up in.

But that factory [ the areas main employer ] was allowed to go out of business within a couple of years of it's workforce being persuaded to start buying their own homes....

That was a shock these newly yuppified & torified mortgage holders didn't see coming...!!!
Certainly a bonanza at auction for all outsiders who were quick to recognise the ££££s value of these spacious ex council homes..

Any new build social developments in our town afterwards during thatchers reign were mostly pokey gardenless flats built on reclaimed demolition sites,
that were immediately stuffed with a new influx of jobless 'problem cases' and young families.
becoming squalid sink blocks very quickly soon after...

Yes why did New Labour fail so badly to reverse this thatchrite nightmare...???


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Subject: RE: Horrendous tower-block fire in W London
From: Iains
Date: 29 Jun 17 - 05:41 AM

PFR
you are making some sweeping generalisations that simply are not supported by the reality.
There is no simplistic explanation as to the decrease of social housing completions over time. Economic realities, greenbelt legislation, prolonged planning process, increasing population, immigration, changing aspirations, political will, etc, etc, all contribute.
To argue that people were suckered into buying council houses and instantly turned into cute little tories and then betrayed is a total nonsense. Also selling council houses was once supported by labour.

The type of housing produced was a child of its time, as can be seen by the changes in style over time. The units produced were not built up, or down, but simply reflected what was in vogue at the time.
http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-14380936

and for the architect of hi rise horrors.Was he a saint or sinner?

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/the-legacy-of-le-corbusier-429194.html


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Subject: RE: Horrendous tower-block fire in W London
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 29 Jun 17 - 06:09 AM

Iains - did you live on my estate from the 1960s to 1980s.
Did you experience first hand the history I relate...???
Did you feel the despair of a community abandoned to joblessness and hardship.
Did you witness the decline and fragmentation of a stable community that had lasted decades..???

That is my EXPERIENCED and well considered reality..

I benefited from Grammar School and Higher education, and was equipped to experience all this with a balanced view of personal emotional ties and educated objectivity....

Your glib dismissal of thatcher bribing my neighbours for votes with fantasies of home ownership,
then abandoning them to survival of the fittest when the factory closed is clearly indicative of your harsh dismissive tory mindset of denial.

My dad was destroyed when the world he knew and trusted fell apart...
My family never recovered.

I watched that....

..and to think my dad had been a moderate shop steward who laboured hard to avoid shop floor disputes and risk aggro from his work mates,
to keep that factory running and productive..

Management must have thought he was a sucker...

May you wonder why folks like me care so much about the issue of social housing
and how that relates directly to this current disater and it's fall out...???


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Subject: RE: Horrendous tower-block fire in W London
From: Teribus
Date: 29 Jun 17 - 06:13 AM

Love the way "Labour Supporters" now like to shy away from any responsibility for electing not once, not twice, but THREE times the party they all decry as "New Labour". The likes of Shaw can claim never to have voted for New Labour but he did vote for anybody to keep the Tories out in a constituency where Labour didn't have a hope in hell - That Shaw is tantamount to voting for them.

Sure in 1997 Labour moved towards the right of the centre ground - it was the only chance they had of EVER getting into power and you the "supposed Labour supporters" cheered them on as they did so. Unfortunately like all Labour Governments they made a complete and utter bollocks of it, leaving the country in the mire as they were seen slinking out of office leaving "No money left" notes for their successors.

Corbyn and his "next-disaster-in-waiting" crew would be no different and could possibly be a damned sight worse judging by the content and supposed costing of their populist manifesto that various financial organisations and think tanks thought at best was 100% underestimated as far as the costs went (Labour hadn't even bothered to factor in the cost of leaving the EU and had underestimated the cost of scrapping student loans and cancelling the debt of existing students by over two-thirds)

Fact still remains pfr for every ONE council house built by Labour in the Blair & Brown era, Margaret Thatcher's Government built SEVENTY-FOUR.

Are we (The World) better off than we were 40 years ago?

DAMN RIGHT WE ARE:

World economy has doubled in size
Number living below the poverty line has halved
The middle-classes are the largest and fastest growing economic group throughout the world
Infant mortality rates have fallen
Life expectancy has increased


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Subject: RE: Horrendous tower-block fire in W London
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 29 Jun 17 - 06:23 AM

..and while I think about this...

The town 'up the road' I now live in is much bigger and growing.

About 5 years ago there was much publicity about a new build out of town estate of affordable homes for young first time buyers..

Then it came to light that significant numbers of these new homes had already been pre-sold at bulk discount to corporate investment speculators for 'buy to rent'... 😣


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Subject: RE: Horrendous tower-block fire in W London
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 29 Jun 17 - 06:31 AM

"now like to shy away from any responsibility for electing not once, not twice, but THREE times the party they all decry as "New Labour""
New Labour resulted in an exodus of Socialists out of the Labour Perty they lost their traditional voters and relied on the support of middle-of--the-roaders, and undecideds
Even Keith boasted of voting for Blair.
Corbynheralded the return of many of those who defected from the Labour Party - New Labourites described it as "infiltration".
Thatcher, on the other hand, turned out to represent true Tory values, elitism, subservience by the poorest sections of society and a destruction of any semblance of voice working people had in their own lives.
She voiced her view of democracy while busting a gut to keep a mass murderer out of court by describing his mass murder, torture and rape as 'her kind of democracy'
No mass defections from her party while her three Governments tore the country in half and respectableised greed in Britain
That was true Toryism with the mask ripped away
World better off than forty years ago?
MAYBE FOR SOME
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Horrendous tower-block fire in W London
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 29 Jun 17 - 06:32 AM

Terry - consider the provincial post war council house I grew up in and compare it to any of the shoddy hemmed in little boxes
slapped together since the 70s that are passed off as homes fit for families to live in...

.. are we really better off... are we happier...???


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Subject: RE: Horrendous tower-block fire in W London
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 29 Jun 17 - 06:34 AM

Technological advances bring about the improvements in today's society - our politicians make sure that the benefits of those advances are not wasted on "the wrong people"
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Horrendous tower-block fire in W London
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 29 Jun 17 - 06:39 AM

Btw.. We finally got round to watching Ken Loach's "I,Daniel Blake" last night..

Of course our resident tory right propagandists will automatically dismiss this film
as a grossly exaggerated lefty distortion
of the happy fulfilled real lives of work-shy scrounging northern 'chavs 'n' oiks'... 🙄


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Subject: RE: Horrendous tower-block fire in W London
From: Iains
Date: 29 Jun 17 - 07:10 AM

PfR
unlike those you describe I anticipated Mr Tebbits most excellent advice some years before he actually gave it. On my first redundancy I got on my bike to find work, or in my case a jet. The next five years I was away from home. Subsequently I indulged in inter continental commuting to work, frequently in what would be considered hazardous environments.
So I am afraid any argument that people should stay in one place, and sit on their arse bleating about how hard done by they are while shovelling away benefits like a trojan, cuts very little ice with me.
Go try your arguments on someone with more sympathy than me - I have zero.


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Subject: RE: Horrendous tower-block fire in W London
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 29 Jun 17 - 07:56 AM

Iains - we already realised that about you..

My dad did get on his bike.. literally..

In his late 50s, on his 1950s bike, cyling miles up and down the busy dangerous dual carriage way in all weathers and seasons
seeking any kind of employer that would accept an aging unqualified factory worker with a history of active trades unionism..

He finally found one in a shite evil hot metal casting factory with no care or compassion for it's workers..
The much younger under educated thuggish workers on the shop floor treated him cruelly as a laughing stock,
and management dismissively told him like it or lump it.
..the total opposite of the relatively benign factory that he had spent most of his working life devoted to.

This daily exhausting cycling, and harsh hostile factory work conditions and macho bully management ethos rapidly hastened his physical and mental decline....

So don't worry Inanes..
you and your kind of toryism serve a purpose to strengthen my resolve & resilience, and focus my resistance..

thanks...


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Subject: RE: Horrendous tower-block fire in W London
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 29 Jun 17 - 08:08 AM

Inanes - btw.. learn to read..

I stated the community declined and fragmented..

what kind of blinkered twisted rightwing blockhead can misread that as

"people .. stay in one place, and sit on their arse bleating about how hard done by they are while shovelling away benefits like a trojan"...!!!???

How the f@ck could the families who lost their homes on the estate
when the town's main employer went bust have been staying there...???


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Subject: RE: Horrendous tower-block fire in W London
From: DMcG
Date: 29 Jun 17 - 08:20 AM

I am not sure why so many people seem to think getting benefits is easy. Here is a little for the "get on your bike and look" brigade. This is anecdotal but worth saying all the same. My daughter worked abroad for a couple of years, most recently for around 3 months in Portugal. She then came back to the UK and immediately took a temporary job ovwr the Christmas period for around three months as well. As that ended she applied for a number of jobs and for job seekers allowance.

She has a British passport, was born and raised in the UK and lived and paid taxes here conrinuously except for around two years when she had a job abroad.

She was declined jobseekers allowance on the grounds she woŕked in Portugal and therefore was considered an EU citizen not a UK one. That he most recent job was in the UK was of no interest.

(She has another job now, btw)


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Subject: RE: Horrendous tower-block fire in W London
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 29 Jun 17 - 08:29 AM

Our resident hardcore tories are such preposterous stereotypes,
you'd be forgiven for thinking they were sit-com caricatures written by Ben Elton... 😜


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Subject: RE: Horrendous tower-block fire in W London
From: Teribus
Date: 29 Jun 17 - 09:13 AM

What was the factory that went bust pfr?

Was it the benign factory that he [Your Dad] had spent most of his working life devoted to. - "devoted to what? Engaged as you yourself describe as "active trades unionism" - in the Britain of the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s I am fully aware of what "active trades unionism" meant.

Here is a little story for you pfr about "active trades unionism" for you.

The company, wholly owned by it's Chairman, was one of the largest manufacturers of knitwear in the UK and possibly Europe at the time. On arriving at work one morning he was told that the immigrant workers employed in the factory were going to go on strike as they did not feel that there were enough of "their own" foremen - Solution proposed was promote the required number from that group, which was done. At lunchtime he was told that the British workforce were going to go on strike as they were not prepared to be ordered about or work under the newly made-up foremen. He then called a meeting to be held in the Boardroom between union representatives of all groups threatening strike action and himself at four o'clock that afternoon. At that meeting both sides outlined their cases, which the Chairman summed up as follows:

Group A will call a strike because they feel unrepresented in terms of foremen on the shop floor - I am perfectly willing to promote men to those positions - However if I do allow that to happen, Group B will go on strike as those they represent will not work under those foremen. The representatives agreed that that was an accurate summation of the problem. On hearing this the Chairmen then told those present the following and I paraphrase:

"Gentlemen, I have a message I would like you to relate to those you represent. This business is without any shadow of doubt the largest employer in this area. It is a business that I have built up over the past decades and I own it lock, stock and barrel. Every nut and bolt of every machine, every brick and every pane of glass. I have made my money from this business and can retire whenever I wish. I will give those present in this Boardroom now until nine o'clock tomorrow morning to come up with a mutually agreeable solution to both parties without any strike being called. If for whatever reason you cannot do that, I will retire and shut the business down forthwith and then all of you can go and explain to the groups you represent why 5,000 people are now out of work. Good-day Gentlemen, this meeting is now over."

Needless to say he never heard another word about any strike being called - what that Chairman was facing was the sort of "active trades unionism" that was prevalent in the Britain of the 1950s, 1960s and much of the 1970s.


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Subject: RE: Horrendous tower-block fire in W London
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 29 Jun 17 - 09:54 AM

Terry - As I clearly stated, my dad was a moderate shop steward who actively did his best to negotiate and avoid disruptive action by shop floor 'hot heads'...

Was my dad a management stooge to be ashamed of..???

That's a question I've had to contend with...

But... the factory was family owned by devout Quakers.
They sincerely believed in providing the best 'modern' [post war] conditions possible for their workforce.

New factory & machines, canteen, social club, educational lectures..
a full active community life..
and most importantly, a new build 'model' estate to house them...

This was the job my dad settled down to after national service and getting married.
The Quaker family inspired my dad's confidence and loyalty,
and as a worker and shop steward he proved himself as an asset
from before I was born in the late 50s
to the factories sudden shock closure in the 80s'

This factory estate was a real tangible good example stable friendly society.

Maybe it was an idyllic bubble in an other wise divided and fractious nation...???
The workers could not be blamed for believing they had job security and homes for life....

No coincidence the estate primary school annually sent enough of us on to grammar school in the nearest big town to justify the daily school bus..

Now I look back, I realise as never before how fortunate we were before thatcher...


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Subject: RE: Horrendous tower-block fire in W London
From: Teribus
Date: 29 Jun 17 - 10:00 AM

DMcG - 29 Jun 17 - 08:20 AM

Interesting story. I assume that your daughter is a British citizen - It actually states that in her British Passport.

No idea what the person in the Job Centre was waffling on about - your citizenship is not defined by where you have recently worked. Whoever it was in the Job Centre they should have been informed having stated what they said was that the question would be referred to the Home Office who would formally ask the Department of Work and Pensions why they were stripping a British Citizen of their nationality.


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Subject: RE: Horrendous tower-block fire in W London
From: Iains
Date: 29 Jun 17 - 10:20 AM

To blame the decline of the textile industry on Thatcher is ridiculous.
The industry had been in decline for decades before. On both machinery complexity and price it could not compete with competitors overseas. Consequently it lost market share, declined and was closed down.
Five minutes research on the internet will confirm this view repeatedly.


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Subject: RE: Horrendous tower-block fire in W London
From: DMcG
Date: 29 Jun 17 - 10:30 AM

That's probably true, Terebus. But the person at the job centre wasn't waffling on: they were using a computer system and the first few questions were aimed at identifying EU citizens to filter them off somewhere else. That the program wasn't sophisticated enough to be sensible or that it perhaps correctly implements rules that are themselves poorly thought out were way beyond what anyone at the job centre had any control of. They had no means of authorising anything outside the computer, and it said no.

We could and probably should fight it. But it would be entirely pro bono; I predict many months of argument and the benefit to us would be tiny compared our costs. The timing was also bad: I would have tried to get our MP involved but as there was an election on at the time we did not have one.


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Subject: RE: Horrendous tower-block fire in W London
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 29 Jun 17 - 10:44 AM

Inanes - did I mention textiles...???

..and even if that Factory & it's parent company were no longer competitive,
if younger directors and managers in that Quaker family made stupid decisions ?
It's closure and the sudden shock impact to the community need not have been so brutal and callous,
as was allowed and encouraged by thatcher's harsh regime and ideological culture of survival of the fittest...

.. oh well.. at least my dad had a rusty old bike in the shed to get on..

He should have kept his tandem from his courting years,
then the whole family could have strapped on to it with bundles of possessions and furniture,
and cycled off into a glowing future of new opportunity over the rainbow... 🙄


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Subject: RE: Horrendous tower-block fire in W London
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 29 Jun 17 - 10:58 AM

At this point of course we are all still EU citizens, and we will be until we lose that status, and all the rights it entitles us to, when Brexit finally kicks in. (As an Irish citizen born and living in England of course I retain all three citizenships...)
......
The claim that under Thatcher more council houses were built than under Blair is true, but it's misleading. Council house building was reduced steadily throughout Thatcher's years. By the time Major replaced her it had been virtually eliminated in England. Such social housing as continued to be added was through housing associations. When Labour came to power it continued to rely on housing associations to provide social housing and increased significantly the rate at which these were provided.

There was no move back towards council housing during the Blair Brown years. I believe that it was a serious mistake by those Labour governments not to restore the provision of council houses, or at least to ensure that houses sold by councils were replaced by building new ones, or repurchasing existing properties, on a one-for-one basis. But that's the kind of Labour government it was, the kind now called "moderate".

Jeremy Corbyn of course fought consistently against that policy. That was presented as being "hard left", though the policy he advocated was one which had been held in common with Conservatives before Thatcher came along, under such quasi-Marxists as Churchill, Eden, Macmillan, Alec Douglas-Hill and Heath.


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Subject: RE: Horrendous tower-block fire in W London
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 29 Jun 17 - 11:06 AM

..but.. too much time dwelling in the past...

2017.. let's at least see our current government rise to the challenge
of positively tackling the present day social housing crisis,
brought more clearly into focus by this terrible Tower block tragedy...

Of course I'd judge the quality of social housing by the 'model' council estate I was fortunate enough to grow up on...


But I used to have a mate living in a tower block in Dagenham, that was a shithole [literally - the stench in the lifts],
with constant atmosphere of threat from other occupants..
Oddly enough he was fairly happy, he was in his 20s, it was an affordable home, it was what he was used to, it was close enough to the music venues and his social life in the city...
Maybe a nice council house with big gardens in the provinces would have driven him nuts..

So in that respect i can understand Grenfell survivors not wanting to be shipped out of London
and dispersed all over the country...


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Subject: RE: Horrendous tower-block fire in W London
From: Teribus
Date: 29 Jun 17 - 11:12 AM

"We could and probably should fight it. But it would be entirely pro bono; I predict many months of argument and the benefit to us would be tiny compared our costs"

Damn right you should fight it - it was totally outrageous - as to time effort and costs - two letters, three if you involve your MP then it is an inter Government Department issue - on second thoughts definitely get your MP involved you can prod him to prod them along should they try and delay in the hope that it will just go away. It is worth doing so that it does not happen again.


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Subject: RE: Horrendous tower-block fire in W London
From: DMcG
Date: 29 Jun 17 - 12:49 PM

If those were all the costs etc involved, Terebus, I would not hesitate. But there will be face to face meetings (days off work, travel costs); the rules are as they are because of agreements all EU citizens are treated equally and they effectively classed her as equivalent to an EU citizen arriving without a job; misclassified maybe but there is a mountain of legislation behind that - I don't anticipate a simple "admon error, sorry" here.

But this is just one story of one person trying to claim benefits. I can tell you another case I know personally who was told to turn down a job interview because it clashed with a sign-on date that could not be changed: no sign on, no money. I can tell you of disabled friends where their benefits are cut again and again ...

And I am sure many people know similar things from theirq personal experience. I haven't seen "I Daniel Blake" but from what I have heard I know people who have lived aspects of it.


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Subject: RE: Horrendous tower-block fire in W London
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 29 Jun 17 - 01:07 PM

DMcG - We grabbed a chance to watch it for 99p in HD on Amazon Prime..

It's by turns hilarious and heartbreaking...

A similar film of petty officialdom gone mad is the Romanian black comedy "The Death of Mr. Lazarescu"


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Subject: RE: Horrendous tower-block fire in W London
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 29 Jun 17 - 05:28 PM

Government Departments never back down and apologise, even when they've one something outrageous. They persist in justifying themselves way past the time it's become ridiculous, knowing that a lot of the time the people they're dealing with will get discouragedm, give up in despair, or with luck drop dead.

The smaller the amount the more they resist, because people are more likely to shrug and abandon a small claim.


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Subject: RE: Horrendous tower-block fire in W London
From: Teribus
Date: 30 Jun 17 - 05:19 PM

"Government Departments never back down and apologise, even when they've done something outrageous." - MGOH

Is that a verifiable absolute Kevin, or merely an assumption of your own?

I believe I mentioned recommending DMcG writing three letters:

- Home Office (They issue Passports and make decisions on Citizenship)
- Department of Work and Pensions (Junior by a long shot - they do not have anything to do with Passports or Citizenship - for them to do so they would be standing on the toes of the Home Office)
- DMcG's MP (He/she could get the ball rolling - The Civil Servants in the Home Office cannot ignore questions from a Member of the House of Commons)

Government Departments tend to be very territorial and the Home Office would have no hesitation at all in telling the Department of Work and Pensions where to get off making declarations about who and who is not a British Citizen especially when the Home Office has issued that person an official document that states quite clearly that that person is a British Citizen.


Government Departments and Ministry's have a definite pecking order (Ask Jom about those, he knows all about pecking orders) The Home Office carries a great deal more weight than


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Subject: RE: Horrendous tower-block fire in W London
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 30 Jun 17 - 11:21 PM

If you've got any examples of goverment departments backing down and apologising it'd be interesting to hear them.

There are precious few "verifiable absolutes" in this world. Maybe the maximum speed of light might qualify, but I wouldn't even be certain about that. "Never" is virtually always a rhetorical overstatement meaning "rarely", but I think in this case it's a pretty fair approximation.


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Subject: RE: Horrendous tower-block fire in W London
From: Teribus
Date: 01 Jul 17 - 02:10 AM

That is rather a long winded way of saying that your original "Government Departments never back down and apologise, even when they've done something outrageous." was indeed just your own personal opinion based on nothing.

Your requested example (Oddly enough from the Department for Works and Pensions):

In August 2015 the department admitted using fictional stories from made-up claimants on leaflets advertising the positive impact of benefit sanctions, following a Freedom of Information request from Welfare Weekly, claiming that they were for "illustrative purposes only" and that it was "quite wrong" to pass these off as genuine quotes.

Sources verifying the above:
- Dial2Donate. 26 August 2015.
- The Guardian Kevin Rawlinson; Frances Perraudin 18 August 2015.
- The Guardian Kevin Rawlinson 21 August 2015.
- The Guardian - The Minister for Work and Pensions, Iain Duncan-Smith, admits a leaflet about benefits containing fake quotes from fictitious claimants was 'wrong' Andrew Sparrow (24 August 2015).


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Subject: RE: Horrendous tower-block fire in W London
From: DMcG
Date: 01 Jul 17 - 03:36 AM

As the one who startled this particular hare, let me explain why I said it would be pro bono - by which I mean of public good but not actually in my own interest - and also why I think it would be immensely difficult. Writing a few letters is easy but I do not think that would achieve anything.

The sums we were denied - because my daughter found a job quite quickly - are less than the train fare to London. So if we had to meet anyone in a department, as opposed you just our local MP, we would be out of pocket on that alone. Have several meetings with different people and we are racking up costs to no personal benefit.

Now, instead of looking at things from my point of view, let's look from the department's. The decision was taken by the computer. If we accept the decision was wrong, we have little alternative to have the programme amended and reinstalled. Optimistically, that is probably several thousands. Our other alternative is to risk the knowledge getting out and facing an unknown number of legal challenges. If we do get an update out on the other hand, we face an equally unknown number of claimants who were underpaid.

And that is assuming just a programming error. Now suppose the programme is correct and that the rules are themselves wrong. These stem from EU rules which are due to complex negotiations. The 'least cost' way of fixing them would be to wait until Brexit is over one way or the other and then we may be able to adjust them without having to negotiate with lots of other people. Even if we decided not to leave at all in the end, it still makes sense to wait. But as before these costs are on top of those of getting the programme amended and rolled out everywhere.

So: it may look like a few tens of pounds from our side of the fence, but it looks like many tens of thousands, or even hundreds of thousands from theirs.

As with my usual position, I have stated and explained, so that's as far as I go.


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Subject: RE: Horrendous tower-block fire in W London
From: Teribus
Date: 01 Jul 17 - 06:03 AM

DMcG - ever read, or see "The Winslow Boy"?

But thanks anyway for explaining that your daughter and possible thousands of others found themselves defrauded of what was rightfully theirs by EU regulations.

Perspectives:
- Your side
- Their side
- The whole picture

In this particular instance you caved and let them get away with it, they will therefore continue to get away with it - so you now have no right whatsoever to moan about it - which is what I think you were doing when you first introduced the story (DMcG - 29 Jun 17 - 08:20 AM).


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Subject: RE: Horrendous tower-block fire in W London
From: DMcG
Date: 01 Jul 17 - 09:21 AM

I wasn't moaning; I introduced that little story by saying getting benefits can be more difficult than you might imagine. We are forever hearing tales of people living in vast houses paid for by the government, to "Benefits Street" and so on. Coupled with that we hear from some.of the press opinions that "I Daniel Blake" are wild exaggerations. So I gave an example from my experience.

As to whether my daughter and others are being defauded of what is right fully theirs: that is your interpretation. I grant you that it sounds odd, but as to whether the refusal is right (ie in full compliance with the law) I have no idea. And I dont think whether a person shojld fight for a change in the law should be driven by whether they are personally affected.


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Subject: RE: Horrendous tower-block fire in W London
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 01 Jul 17 - 09:35 AM

It's pointless [though entertaining] playing these 'empathy' games with teribus...

If and when he personally is faced with a severe drop in living standards
to the point of suicidal desperation,
due to the actions / inactions of a Govt welfare dept..

..well then he'll truly know and understand.....????


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Subject: RE: Horrendous tower-block fire in W London
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 01 Jul 17 - 09:14 PM

I take it Teribus would object to anyone who had the temerity to say "It never rains but it pours".

I concede that when I said "never" I meant "hardly ever". which is in practice how we tend to use the word most of the time. "Never say never".

I freely accept that it may in fact be possible to find some rare instances of government departments backing down and apologising, since there is nothing intrinsically impossible in that happening. Teribus comes up with a case where they have admitted that a mistake has been made. Whether that involved an actual apology is another matter.

My experience is that even when it becomes impossible to avoid backing down after a mistake is made there is hardly ever (if ever) anything that amounts to an apology. "Mistakes were made" is an example of a typical formula used to avoid apologising.


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Subject: RE: Horrendous tower-block fire in W London
From: Teribus
Date: 02 Jul 17 - 06:11 AM

MGOH - "Mistakes have been made" - IS both an admission of fault and an apology.

"I Daniel Blake" was right to be slated. The whole premise is ridiculous to anyone who has suffered a heart attack.

Synopsis:
Daniel Blake suffers a heart attack at work and is told by his Doctor and the Heart Consultant that he cannot work and that he must rest - (This advice is universal right across the board - believe me I know this from personal experience)

Daniel Blake then toddles off down to the "Welfare" to get his disability and is knocked back because they say that he is fit enough to work.

Daniel Blake then goes to an Appeal hearing gets knocked back again and then dies.

And this everybody claims is reality.

Now from someone who has suffered not one but two heart attacks:

1: The Doctors tell you not to work (Note that - they don't tell you that you cannot work) and rest - that is good advice as you require a period of recuperation depending upon the procedure you have been through ( In my instance the first required no such recuperation and I went straight back to work. The second involved open heart surgery and I did need a period of recuperation and rest)

2: After treatment you actually do feel a great deal better (In my case more so after the surgery the second time). I went back to work after two months and continued working for another ten years and I felt fine - still do.

3: The Appeal Hearing: Where was Blake's Doctor? Where was his Heart Consultant? Why did Blake not contact then and make them aware of his situation? In short Ken Loach deliberately portrays Daniel Blake as a clueless, pathetic idiot just to tilt the scale in the desired direction. I mean honestly you have been knocked back once and you are given the opportunity to appeal so you seriously just go back in with what you had when they knocked back before?? Come on it just does not make sense. Jesus-H-come-dancing-Christ here's all you advocates and worshippers of the "working-class-hero" class warrior type - it would appear that none of you have any fight in you at all - you are all to busy concentrating on, and revelling in, the status of being "victims".

By the way DmcG if you do not fight for what is rightfully yours when it directly affects you - you are a complete and utter bloody idiot and deserve everything that comes your way. What change in law? - what you were describing was an arbitrary decision by some very minor Civil Servant who had no right making that decision in the first place - someone in the Department for Work and Pensions does NOT decree who is and who is not a British Citizen - your daughter should have taken her passport down to the Office and showed it to the person involved and then told him/her to take it up with the Home Office, while reminding that said Civil Servant at the same time that the Passport, issued by the British Government is THE MOST official document that anybody can carry detailing their citizenship status - that official document taking precedence over all others.

I take it that you have not read or seen Terence Rattigan's "The Winslow Boy" then DMcG?


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Subject: RE: Horrendous tower-block fire in W London
From: DMcG
Date: 02 Jul 17 - 06:24 AM

Subject: RE: Horrendous tower-block fire in W London
From: Teribus - PM 
Date: 02 Jul 17 - 06:11 AM 

MGOH - "Mistakes have been made" - IS both an admission of fault and an apology.

"I Daniel Blake" was right to be slated. The whole premise is ridiculous to anyone who has suffered a heart attack.

Synopsis:
Daniel Blake suffers a heart attack at work and is told by his Doctor and the Heart Consultant that he cannot work and that he must rest - (This advice is universal right across the board - believe me I know this from personal experience)

Daniel Blake then toddles off down to the "Welfare" to get his disability and is knocked back because they say that he is fit enough to work.

Daniel Blake then goes to an Appeal hearing gets knocked back again and then dies.

And this everybody claims is reality.

Now from someone who has suffered not one but two heart attacks:

1: The Doctors tell you not to work (Note that - they don't tell you that you cannot work) and rest - that is good advice as you require a period of recuperation depending upon the procedure you have been through ( In my instance the first required no such recuperation and I went straight back to work. The second involved open heart surgery and I did need a period of recuperation and rest)

2: After treatment you actually do feel a great deal better (In my case more so after the surgery the second time). I went back to work after two months and continued working for another ten years and I felt fine - still do.

3: The Appeal Hearing: Where was Blake's Doctor? Where was his Heart Consultant? Why did Blake not contact then and make them aware of his situation? In short Ken Loach deliberately portrays Daniel Blake as a clueless, pathetic idiot just to tilt the scale in the desired direction. I mean honestly you have been knocked back once and you are given the opportunity to appeal so you seriously just go back in with what you had when they knocked back before?? Come on it just does not make sense. Jesus-H-come-dancing-Christ here's all you advocates and worshippers of the "working-class-hero" class warrior type - it would appear that none of you have any fight in you at all - you are all to busy concentrating on, and revelling in, the status of being "victims".

By the way DmcG if you do not fight for what is rightfully yours when it directly affects you - you are a complete and utter bloody idiot and deserve everything that comes your way. What change in law? - what you were describing was an arbitrary decision by some very minor Civil Servant who had no right making that decision in the first place ...


Wow, are you over excited!

I will choose what things to fight for by myself, if that is ok with you. I would think this a wonderful world indeed if this was its most serious problem.


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Subject: RE: Horrendous tower-block fire in W London
From: DMcG
Date: 02 Jul 17 - 06:28 AM

Sorry for the cut'n'paste error. I only meant to include the ones addressed to me.


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Subject: RE: Horrendous tower-block fire in W London
From: Peter the Squeezer
Date: 02 Jul 17 - 09:11 AM

Another one today at the opposite side of London.

Evening Standard Report

Thankfully, this block was unoccupied.


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Subject: RE: Horrendous tower-block fire in W London
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 02 Jul 17 - 03:00 PM

"Mistakes have been made" certainly does not constitute an apology. It is a way of avoiding an apology. It's rather like the other one "I'm sorry if you have been offended."

Daniel Blake in the film is actually on the point of winning his appeal when he died. His earlier attempts to fight the mistaken decision to deny him benefit were frustrated because he was unable to cope with doing it on line. I've had to deal with that kind of thing, and it's pretty difficult even you you are used to dealing with official forms, and with computers, and have your own machine which doesn't time out.

We were shown a job centre worker trying to be helpful and being harassed in that by a senior. I Daniel Blake wasn't exaggerated there. It represented what it's really like for many many people.

If you've been luckier in any dealings you've had with the system, Teribus, congratulations. And I'm glad you recovered from your heart trouble, Teribus, the same way I did (and it took a long time in my case). And "feeling better" isn't in itself that significant. I felt great the day I had a cardiac arrest, when I dropped down dead with no warning. I gather neither of us have dropped down dead since. What a stupid bloke Daniel Blake must have been to do that...

I Daniel Blake was well researched and extremely accurate, as many people who have worked inside the system have confirmed, in job centres or as social workers or as legal advocates as well as claimants.

Here is a piece from The Independent (which in the 2010 election afvised voting for the Conservatives - not exactly a hard left publication) which looks at this matter The deaths, sanctions and starvation that prove I, Daniel Blake is accurate ? despite what some critics say


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Subject: RE: Horrendous tower-block fire in W London
From: Pete from seven stars link
Date: 03 Jul 17 - 11:14 AM

I've seen the Winslow boy . In the film at least , the father was a capable and persistent advocate for the boy . And it involved a lot of meetings and journeys to get justice as I recall . When it comes to the average joe the system seems daunting , I remember feeling the same when it was less complicated. My daughter has always needed benefits , and when there was any change of circumstances payments were invariably delayed. . I don't know how others without parents bailing them out get by , though I have to admit often there is a chronic lack of financial sense in those depending on benefits , but I don't think that is entirely the problem


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Subject: RE: Horrendous tower-block fire in W London
From: Senoufou
Date: 03 Jul 17 - 12:09 PM

The whole Benefits system is fraught with obstacles and red tape (whether deliberately or due to bad organisation I'm not in a position to know.)

I well remember helping newly-released prisoners wade through it all. Their Probation Officers weren't terribly bothered. As a Volunteer/Prison Visitor, I was happy to go with them after release here and there to try and sort out the officialdom. Some needed support with staying off drugs, others were really not well enough to work (I had one lad with Hepatitis B whose liver was in a poor state and his face was very jaundiced. The hospital was miles away for his treatment and he had no money for the fare) The delays were frightening. How they were expected to exist on thin air for 'a few weeks' and how to find accommodation etc was quite beyond them.
It was never a surprise that they ended up getting 'employed' as drug runners for the big dealers, dossing on the floor of appalling slums and going back into jail after a short while.

I also donate to our local food bank, which has no end of desperate people being referred for basic food items in a couple of carrier bags. But this is only for about 3 days, so as not to render them too dependent. To think in these days that folk have no food at all in their cupboards is so very sad.

I realise that Benefits staff have a rotten time of it, but the attitudes I came across were infuriating. They were overtly disdainful and obviously despised their clients. I would never have accepted being spoken to like that. Disgraceful.


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Subject: RE: Horrendous tower-block fire in W London
From: DMcG
Date: 03 Jul 17 - 12:33 PM

I have also read "The Winslow Boy". For those who haven't it concerns a young man accused of stealing a fairly trivial sum (5 or 15 shillings, I forget which.)

The father fights long and hard, *not* about the sum, but to ensure the boy is not branded a thief, both legally and socially. Let me repeat that in different words: the fight is about a life-long penalisation of the young man. The sum is not the point. Hence in cost-benefit terms, it is well worth a prolonged fight.

Now, it should be apparent that is a very poor analogy for my daughter's case: there is no such social or legal penalty and the sum of money is all that is involved. In cost-benefit terms, only a very limited fight is justified on personal economic grounds.

So to justify such a fight it needs to be based on a general good (as I have been saying all along), not a specific one. And on those grounds, anyone who feels UK citizens are being defrauded is perfectly at liberty to take it up with the relevant departments, since the fight is for a social good, not a specific case. But for me, I see other issues that are more important.


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Subject: RE: Horrendous tower-block fire in W London
From: Iains
Date: 03 Jul 17 - 01:21 PM

The labour mp David Lammy has attacked the appointment of the judge who is to chair the public enquiry on the grounds that The job is not just to be independent and judicious, it is also to be empathetic and walk with these people on this journey.

Wrong.The job is to be independant, judicious and impartial. To have empathry as a requirement to be chair rather negates the concept of showing no favour and would raise many eyebrows as to the impartiality of the chairmen.
The latter assumption is implicit in the appointment of a judge to head up this major public enquiry.

This same mp is a barrister-one would think he would know better, or could he be stirring political waters?


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Subject: RE: Horrendous tower-block fire in W London
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 03 Jul 17 - 01:51 PM

Perhaps Lammy is hinting that a tory govt appointed judge might not be so impartial...
for obvious reasons...

hint.. which tory hardnuts at mudcat have made it soooo clear they are absolutely devoid of empathy, verging on sheer hostility to those less fortunate...???? 😣


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Subject: RE: Horrendous tower-block fire in W London
From: Iains
Date: 03 Jul 17 - 02:19 PM

pfr. Do you seriously think the public would allow a partisan report to be published unchallenged. The enquiry is entirely public and the results are public. The only public enquiry that has been total travesty
was that into the death of Dr. David Kelly. Another Labour success story.
So stunning in fact that Dr kelly's medical reports were locked up for 70 years. Now that was a government cver up.


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Subject: RE: Horrendous tower-block fire in W London
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 03 Jul 17 - 02:27 PM

Allowing for the fact I can't remember if Lammy is one of the 'better' labour MPs... or a bit of a knob,
I simply gave him some benefit of the doubt in having a guess at his motivation for a comment
that has got you so up in arms...again... 😜


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Subject: RE: Horrendous tower-block fire in W London
From: Iains
Date: 03 Jul 17 - 02:51 PM

https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2006/01/fire-j09.html

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Piper_Alpha


https://www.nuffield.ox.ac.uk/politics/aberfan/tri.htm

The first example is of a public enquiry that never was(Labour)
The second example is the Cullen report. I cannot recollect any criticism of it's findings. It lead to a step change in safety, not only offshore, but in other industries. It was largely responsible for the growth of an entire safety industry and no sane person would argue for its abolition.
The third example the Abervan Disaster was chaired by a S. Wales barrister with much experience of mining law. Many felt the enquiry would be a whitewash as so many other investigations into mining fatalities. In fact the coal board was held responsible and changes to legislation quickly followed modifying practices in quarries and on tips. Indirectly it advanced soil mechanics and ground investigation in general. Few disputed the findings.
    The chairman for the coming grenfell tower block inferno would also cover every aspect of the disaster. Do not forget all interested parties can contribute.


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Subject: RE: Horrendous tower-block fire in W London
From: akenaton
Date: 03 Jul 17 - 04:20 PM

PFR....Lammy is a knob, an unreconstructed "Blairite", worse than the Tories in my book.......the Fifth Column always lurking in the shadows.


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Subject: RE: Horrendous tower-block fire in W London
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 03 Jul 17 - 06:31 PM

The judge chosen to hold the public inquiry has already declared that plans to limit the scope of it to looking at the causes of the fire starting and spreading.

That would suggest that issues about who was responsible for permitting the use of dangerous materials in building work, both in Grenfell Tower and right across England won't be addressed, nor whose responsibility it was that clear breaches of safety rules were widely permitted, or the extent to which warnings by tenants have been ignored.
Any number of other issues - how can it be that people with severe mobility problems have been housed in flats many stories above ground.

What's needed is a rapid inquiry focussing on Grenfell Tower in all its aspects, both at the time of the fire, and in the years building up to it, and a wider inquiry into the wider issues, which may take longer, but shouldn't be allowed to stretch on for ever like so many.

And the responsibility for setting it up and giving it its brief shouldn't be left to this minority government on its own. It should be a joint effort involving the opposition as well.


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Subject: RE: Horrendous tower-block fire in W London
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 03 Jul 17 - 07:48 PM

I think a degree of confusion has crept in here. The enquiry is not a trial. The head of the enquiry doesn't have to be a judge. It so happens that the person who has been selected IS a judge. That isn't surprising, as judges are well trained to examine evidence forensically and to not miss things. But obliging him to behave like a judge in a trial is to misunderstand the role he's been given and is entirely inappropriate. In a trial, a judge must apply the law dispassionately and impartially according to the book. He must not take into account his own opinion of the plaintiffs or defendants. In the case of this enquiry, a very large number of people have been subjected to trauma including bereavement. It was right that the head of the enquiry visited the scene today to see the effects on the victims for himself. Of course it's right that he starts off with a position of empathy for them. He wouldn't be human if he didn't. This is not a trial, I repeat. Without that empathy on show, the victims will quickly become alienated from the process and the enquiry will be a waste of time.


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Subject: RE: Horrendous tower-block fire in W London
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 03 Jul 17 - 08:56 PM

There's a massive criminal investigation going on, so there should be some trials coming up. I hope they don't hold off on that until the wider public inquiry is finished.

One worrying thing is that it's reported that they haven't been doing the normal stuff in a major investigation, such as removing computers to stop people trying to get rid of evidence. This is a mass homicide investigation, after all.


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Subject: RE: Horrendous tower-block fire in W London
From: Iains
Date: 04 Jul 17 - 05:34 AM

The scope of the enquiry dictates the time taken to reach conclusions. To investigate why the fire spread so quickly would have to consider the suitability of the cladding.
There is no reason why a preliminary enquiry cannot report and the broader issues be studied subsequently. We do not want a repeat of the foot dragging Chilcot Report(6 years???)

Chasing the paper trail to uncover potential fraud as to specified versus actual materials used, lax inspection, advice given to residents during fires, single avenue of escape, deficient regulation, possible manslaughter charges, etc, etc would take time.

Getting these sort of results in and gift wrapped for christmas simply cannot happen in the time frame.
The residents are making a lot of noise and frankly if I was one of them, I would too. But realistically what input can they provide.
The arguments will revolve around such things as building codes, fire advice, sprinkler systems, route/s of escape during fires. These questions can only be addressed by experts in the various fields.

When all these questions have been resolved I would anticipate new legislation on all the above points and a far more rigorous inspection regime throughout the lifetime of the building, covering all aspects.


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Subject: RE: Horrendous tower-block fire in W London
From: akenaton
Date: 04 Jul 17 - 05:57 AM

The main reason for the quick fire spread has more to do with the lack of firebreaks behind the cladding which would be a Building Control issue the gap between the insulation/cladding and the concrete face of the building forms a "chimney" for fire if firebreaks are not inserted every couple of metres.
Without this chimney effect the cladding would have burnt out within a small area and would certainly not spread at such an unbelievable rate.
I watched the tragedy on TV with my son who is also a builder and we both realised immediately what was happening.

Many of the deaths could have been avoided if tenants had not been advised by the fire services to stay in their flats and more internal fire escapes had been available.


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Subject: RE: Horrendous tower-block fire in W London
From: Teribus
Date: 04 Jul 17 - 07:08 AM

DMcG - 03 Jul 17 - 12:33 PM

No DMcG it is about what is right and about what is wrong, especially when that wrong is perpetrated by an anonymous bureaucracy who believe that they can treat British Citizens any way they chose and not be held to account for it. If they are not challenged then they do get away with it.


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Subject: RE: Horrendous tower-block fire in W London
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 04 Jul 17 - 07:21 AM

Terri - absolutely agree with your last comment...

But at a point in life when an individual's moral is already sapped by adverse life events that necessitate help from welfare agencies,
the further grinding negativity of protracted disputes with indifferent, frequently hostile petty officials...
whilst submerging deeper into financial ruin..
... is it fair to blame them for sinking into defeatist despair and surrender...

Yes.. sadly.. people are weak and become victims..
it's not good enough that 'tough hearted' tories blame them for accepting 'victimhood' as a lifestyle choice..

It could potentially happen to most of us...


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Subject: RE: Horrendous tower-block fire in W London
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 04 Jul 17 - 07:31 AM

Disclosure - after my degree I spent a couple of years volunteering with a city centre Victims [of crime] support agency,
and Benefit claimants advocacy union..

At that point in my mid 20s, that experience of dealing with diverse
problem 'case histories'
helped me realise and accept I just did not have the personal qualities to apply for a career in Social Work...

It was too bloody difficult and stressful... trying to stay emotionally detached..
and not wanting to throttle some benefits office jobsworths...


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Subject: RE: Horrendous tower-block fire in W London
From: DMcG
Date: 04 Jul 17 - 07:33 AM

Well, Teribus, if we are getting into literary criticism now, I would add that in the book/play the question of right and wrong extends into the damage the father does to the family and whether by the end the interests of the son have been superseded by the ego of the father which will not allow him to compromise even though it is wrecking everyone's life.

But we have battered this one around enough - everyone knows my vuew and yours so there is nothing to be gained by repeating it. Let's get back to the question of the fire, which is many many orders of mahnitude more important.


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Subject: RE: Horrendous tower-block fire in W London
From: Senoufou
Date: 04 Jul 17 - 07:47 AM

At our village fete on Sunday there was a fire crew and a fire engine for the children to crawl over. I had a most interesting chat with the fireman-in-charge. He had obviously followed the events at Grenfell Tower with intense interest and dismay. His view was (as is now generally accepted) that the original fire crew had got the fire inside the flat under control within eight minutes. But because the windows had been open in the warm weather, and a neighbour of the resident whose flat it was had said his door was open and she could see the flames from the corridor, it seems the fire had got outside the flat and from there was impossible to quench.

He said that most tower-block fires don't spread to the outside of the building. But this relies on the flat's windows and door being shut and well-insulated from the exterior, and as is evident to all, the cladding does not conduct flames in any way, or provide 'chimneys' for it to travel upwards.

This chap was very self-effacing, but I felt a tremendous admiration for him. He and his family must know he risks his life daily to keep the public safe.


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Subject: RE: Horrendous tower-block fire in W London
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 04 Jul 17 - 08:54 AM

The bureaucracy is acting in accordance with the decisione of political masters. The system of sanctions was imposed by politicians. The cruelty is not an accidental consequence of bureaucracy. It is what has been intentionally imposed for reasons of ideology.


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Subject: RE: Horrendous tower-block fire in W London
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 04 Jul 17 - 09:12 AM

McGrath.. My diverse experiences and 'insider' knowledge tends to lead to that same conclusion...


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Subject: RE: Horrendous tower-block fire in W London
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 04 Jul 17 - 09:26 AM

Just as an anecdotal aside...

1986, after realizing I'd be an inadequate social worker, I moved to East London to pursue my arty farty aspirations..

As was standard practice I used my qualifications to get a civil service day job.. in the DHSS...
and my real world experience with claimants was considered an asset..

Clerical Officer I recall was the job grade, one down from degree level, but easiest to get interviewed and employed quicker....

Day 1 induction for our new batch intake, and start of training to be a front desk benefits officer...
2 months later still all of us in the classroom training to memorise, understand & apply all the regulations...
Then the rules were changed overnight, and we had to start training all over again from scratch..

I never saw the front desk before I left after a few more months of training later, resigning in frustration & relief,
to start my post grad Arts & Ideology course in a central London Higher Ed College...


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Subject: RE: Horrendous tower-block fire in W London
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 07 Jul 17 - 09:24 PM

Newest twist to the nasty story about the official response to the people who somehow survived thus holocausr - the announcement that in order to encourage survivors to come forward, there won't be any problems if their immigration status is in question. To last for the next 12 months. At the end of which they can look forward to being deported.

Sometimes the viciousness of our rulers takes even me aback. I really didn't think they could have it in them.

And yet I am pretty sure there'll be the odd voice here defending this decision. Talk about extremists...


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Subject: RE: Horrendous tower-block fire in W London
From: Iains
Date: 08 Jul 17 - 04:07 AM

DM of Harlow.If they are illegal immigrants why should they stay? Is a bank robber entitled to his loot after being caught?
What a totally perverted sense of justice you have! Please justify why a law to keep illegals out should be flouted.


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Subject: RE: Horrendous tower-block fire in W London
From: Teribus
Date: 08 Jul 17 - 05:53 AM

MGOH's post and Iains response reminded me of a conversation I was party to when I was working up in Glasgow. During the General Election campaign of 1992 in the days of the "Poll Tax". A Labour Councillor was defending those who had refused to pay their "Poll Tax" while at the same time he was roundly condemning the Government for lack of funds (He seemed to miss the point completely that the reason the Council was lacking funds was because people were not paying their "Poll Tax"). At the end of his little speech he was asking people what they thought and how they would be likely to vote. To my surprise someone I knew who was a Conservative voter said that he would most certainly be voting Labour and that because of what he had just heard he hoped Neil Kinnock and Labour were elected to Office. The Councillor was rather astonished at this "epiphany" and thanked his newly won convert to the cause. To which the life long Tory explained, "Oh no I have not changed my political views but it would be idiotic of me to ignore such a financial opportunity. You have just explained to us that you and your party commend and fully support those who are blatantly flouting the law by not paying perfectly legal taxes. If Neil Kinnock and Labour win this election I will elect to refuse to pay any income tax and I will expect you and your Party to back me to the hilt - after all if one section of the population can pick and choose what laws they wish to ignore - then everyone should have that right."


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Subject: RE: Horrendous tower-block fire in W London
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 08 Jul 17 - 08:52 PM

As I said And yet I am pretty sure there'll be the odd voice here defending this decision. Talk about extremists...

And the reason to avoid despairing about humanity is that the Katie Hopkins brigade really are "the odd voice". Even if it sometimes seems they aren't.


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Subject: RE: Horrendous tower-block fire in W London
From: Teribus
Date: 09 Jul 17 - 03:48 AM

MGOH - You were asked what I thought was a reasonable question:

"If they are illegal immigrants why should they stay?"

Why have you chosen to ignore it? And what other laws do you believe we should all just ignore?


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Subject: RE: Horrendous tower-block fire in W London
From: Iains
Date: 09 Jul 17 - 04:26 AM

"As I said And yet I am pretty sure there'll be the odd voice here defending this decision. Talk about extremists..."

So an extremist is a person that believes in the rule of law? A typical retarded view of certain of the left. One can easily see how the latin sinistra evolved to become sinister. What a funny little world mg of h inhabits. Tell me do you wear shorts and sandals and hug trees as well?


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Subject: RE: Horrendous tower-block fire in W London
From: akenaton
Date: 09 Jul 17 - 06:26 AM

The anomaly that you point out Iains, is not confined to the views of Mr McGrath, who is IMO a thoroughly decent person, but pertains to the whole of the "liberal left" who live in a world of make believe, sustained by an all encompassing view that every political ill can be laid at the door of the Conservative Party and those who are stupid enough to support them.

In reality WE are the masters of our own destiny and must seek unity to produce a better society.....at present the biggest impediment to that is a corrupt media who thrive on conflict.


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