Friday, 16 June 2017

Akala blames Grenfell Tower Fire on Neo-Liberal Capitalism

Akala interview on the Grenfell Tower Fire. A disaster because of Capitalism. Austerity is a matter of  life and death that leads to tragic events like this.
At least 30 people have died police  have revealed. At least 70 people , including children and entire families have been reported missing following the devastating fire. An investigation led by a senior detective from Scotland Yard's homicide and major crime command is under way with calls for "corporate manslaughter" arrests to be made.
The political dimension to the Grenfell Tower catastrophe became apparent on Wednesday as the government came under scrutiny over a failure to commission a review of fire safety regulations following a past inquest, which had raised questions about existing rules, spending cuts and mismanagement may also have contributed to the deadly fire, it has been claimed while Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn questioned whether cuts to local funding contributed to the tragedy.
“If you deny local authorities the funding they need then there is a price paid by a lack of safety facilities across the country. I think there needs to be some very searching questions as quickly as possible in the aftermath of the fire,” he told LBC Radio on Wednesday. 
Residents who witnessed the blaze as it began spoke of how cladding, added to the building in a recent ‘refurbishment’, appeared to be highly flammable, “catching up like a matchstick” according to one. Another observer referred to the “shoddy plastic things” on the exterior of the tower that “set up alight”. Reports suggest this cladding was added to appease luxury property developers.
.*The tale of Grenfell Tower is a tale of two Kensingtons. It is the story of how scores of people were left to perish in what is being described as a block riddled with fire and safety problems and disrepair, just meters away from some of the wealthiest streets in the country. ” * [HuffPost]
We cannot reasonably give in to pleas not to ‘politicise’ what occurred, for it was nothing if not fundamentally ‘political’. For example, residents of the property had repeatedly told the local council, controlled by Tories , that living conditions inside the building were ‘dangerous’ and that it was not up to standard as far as fire safety was concerned, but of course being poor people and people of colour their suspicions were simply not listened to. It has led to massive public anger at the landlords, the Kensington and Chelsea Tenant Management Organisation (KCTMO), who were warned repeatedly by tenants that Grenfell Tower was an accident waiting to happen. The Grenfell Action Group raised concerns about the fact that there was only one entrance and exit to the building complex, and in the event of a fire the fire brigade “could only gain access to the entrance to the building by climbing four flights of narrow stairs.” More than this, they also complained that “the fire escape exit on the walkway level” had been sealed. Grenfell will be seen to represent the inequality that is sweeping through our country at this moment in time. There is growing anger, people are demanding answers. Prime Minister Theresa May has been criticised for not showing enough humanity or compassion.
Theresa May's decision to carry out a public inquiry into the Grenfell tragedy ensures that the government has control over any uncomfortable revelations about the negligence and poor planning of the Grenfell estate by the Tory-run Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea.
By choosing a PUBLIC INQUIRY the government protects itself as well as those who should be held accountable. It also blocks any possibility of an INQUEST from taking place: the necessary process that would unearth the true causes of the fire for the public interest.
Prevent the government from whitewashing the truth and from keeping the UK's planning and regulation laws in the dark ages any longer. Stand with the residents of Grenfell as well as the residents of the UK's 4,000 other tower blocks and make sure this does not happen again.

My thoughts are with the victims this awful disaster. Donate to the crowdfunder to help the  families of the Grenfell tower tragedy. Justice now, rehouse the survivors, prosecute those responsible.

Donate now to the London Fire Relief Fund

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