Human rights commission to launch its own Grenfell fire inquiry

From The Guardian: Britain’s human rights watchdog is to launch an inquiry into the Grenfell Tower fire that will examine whether the Tory government and the Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea failed in their duties to protect life and provide safe housing.

The dramatic intervention by the independent Equality and Human Rights Commission, which has the potential to draw damning conclusions about the role of the state, could foreshadow the official inquiry, which has been criticised for excluding social housing policy from its remit. The commission’s recommendations are due to be published in April, considerably earlier than the official inquiry’s full findings.

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Kensington Tories survey local residents to see if they’ve stopped caring about Grenfell yet

From Evolve Politics: Just five months after a catastrophic fire at Grenfell Tower claimed the lives of approximately 80 people, Kensington’s local Conservative party have been exposed conducting a survey asking local residents if they still cared about the tragedy.

In the letter, first published on the Guido Fawkes website, the Kensington, Chelsea & Fulham Conservatives survey asks residents ‘how important’ the Grenfell Tower tragedy was to them still. Read more

The Grenfell residents still living in hotels: ‘This is no normal life’

From The Guardian: Only two families who escaped Grenfell Tower have moved into permanent new homes, despite a firm commitment from Theresa May two days after the fire that everyone would be rehoused within three weeks. Approximately 150 households are still scattered across London in 36 hotels. The hotel bill (excluding meals) already stands at more than £5m.

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George Monbiot: “What happened in Grenfell Tower was murder, mass murder”

George Monbiot tells Double Down News: “What happened in Grenfell Tower was murder, mass murder.

“It’s ‘let’s strip away’ all the public protections which prevent lots of people from being incinerated.

“There’s a whole infrastructure of fake think tanks, of these neoliberal lobby groups, funded by dark money, journalists, columnists in the corporate press, government ministers and advisers, whose whole role in life is to try to destroy public protections. because those public protections limit corporate profits. Read more

Jonathan Pie: “This country spends millions papering over poverty with flammable cladding”… and it’s a metaphor for Tory ideology

Jonathan Pie on Tory Britain: “This country spends millions on social housing. Not building social housing or making it safe, clean and habitable, but where we spend millions papering over poverty with flammable cladding.”

Papering Over Poverty

Is austerity putting lives in danger?

Posted by Jonathan Pie on Sunday, June 18, 2017

“If that isn’t a metaphor for what this government’s ideology has done to our country, I don’t know what is.

“Cladding over poverty, so that posh people simply don’t have to look at it. Not in any way improving poor people’s lives, just ensuring that posh people don’t have to look at shitty houses. Priority #1.

“For an extra £2 you can make each section of cladding fireproof. ‘What’s the fucking point of that?’ Says it all, doesn’t it. Cladding over poverty, a veneer of compassion, a dangerous, sub-standard, least-amount-of-hassle-possible facade, to ensure the rich don’t have to acknowledge the existence or realities of being poor.

“We don’t need to make social housing better, we just need to make it look better. Because then property prices in the area will increase, and that is good for our economy, which is good for everyone… But mainly good for people in nice houses. Read more

Protesters storm Kensington Town Hall as anger boils over

Video from ITV News captures the moment that protesters stormed the local town hall in Kensington, demanding action from the Tory-controlled council in the wake of the devastating Grenfell Tower fire:

Corbynator‏ @Corbynator2 The moment protesters stormed Kensington town hall, amid anger over the response to the fire#kensingtonandchelsea ITV NewsProtesters storm Kensington town hall as anger boils overProtesters stormed the local town hall in Kensington demanding action in the wake of the devastating Grenfell Tower fire. ITV News

Posted by Walking the Breadline on Friday, June 16, 2017

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North Kensington: Angry community protests during standoff-ish Theresa May visit

Watch video from 5 News of angry community protests, including shouts of ‘coward’ and ‘get out’, as Theresa May departs St Clements church near Grenfell Tower, surrounded by an angry community.

Warning: this clip contains profanities and strong language.

Angry crowd shouts at Theresa May

Shouts of 'coward' and 'get out' as Theresa May departs St Clements church near #GrenfellTower, surrounded by an angry community. A warning this clip contains profanities and strong language.

Posted by Channel 5 News on Friday, June 16, 2017

Journalist Robert Peston on Grenfell Tower: It “shames us all”

ITV journalist Robert Peston writes on Facebook in response to the Grenfell Tower tragedy:

“Austerity seems to have become particularly toxic in a system where responsibility for vital safety decisions is so diffuse: we have ministers in charge of regulations, councillors funding an arms length management company, and a management company placing a refurbishment contract with the cheapest bidder.”

robert peston

He continues: “The system… we have [is] designed to drive down costs and save money, not to put the safety of people first.”

Read his full Facebook post below:

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Justice For Grenfell march chants “May Must Go” in unison as it passes Downing Street

This video gives a sense of the number of people and the energy of the Justice4Grenfell action as it passes Downing Street.

Corbynator‏ @Corbynator2 22m22 minutes agoMore #JusticeForGrenfell arriving at Downing Street. Anger being directed at Theresa May.#kensingtonandchelsea Michael Gray

Posted by Walking the Breadline on Friday, June 16, 2017

“The culture of greed, selfishness and narcissism that’s been promoted across this country has to change.” – North Kensington resident Ishmahil Blagrove

North Kensington resident Ishmahil Blagrove is one of many expressing anger in the aftermath of the West London fire. He talks to Channel 4 News.

Writer Ishmahil Blagrove expresses anger over West London fire

"The culture of greed, selfishness and narcissism that's been promoted across this country has to change."North Kensington resident Ishmahil Blagrove is one of many expressing anger in the aftermath of the West London fire.

Posted by Channel 4 News on Friday, June 16, 2017

Cladding for Grenfell Tower was cheaper, more flammable option

From The Guardian: Material used in the cladding that covered Grenfell Tower was the cheaper, more flammable version of the two available options, an investigation of the supply chain has confirmed.

Manufacturers Omnis had been asked [by Tory-run Kensington and Chelsea to supply Reynobond PE cladding, which is £2 cheaper per square metre than the alternative Reynobond FR, which stands for “fire resistant” to the companies that worked on refurbishing Grenfell Tower.

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Labour says government must answer ‘serious questions’ after Grenfell fire

From The Guardian: Labour has called on the government to answer “some very serious questions” about why it failed to act on coroners’ concerns about two previous tower block fires before the catastrophic blaze at Grenfell Tower.

John Healey, the shadow housing minister, demanded that a government minister come to the Commons for a special statement session on Thursday. “Overnight we have asked the government: get a minister into parliament today, let parliament recognise how serious this tragedy is,” Healey told ITV’s Good Morning Britain. Read more