Socialist Party
| Print

5 July 2017

Fight establishment's Grenfell insults: no to cover-up, safety for all!

Paul Kershaw, Socialist Party London and chair of Unite the Union housing workers' branch LE/1111

Every day seems to bring a new insult to the survivors of the Grenfell Tower fire.

They are still seeking assurances of local rehousing. Their landlord has charged them rent for burnt-out homes in error.

A local therapy group was locked out of a community centre when locks were changed without notice. And when the council's attempt to hold a meeting on Grenfell behind closed doors - excluding press and residents - was overturned by a court order, the meeting was halted.

There have now been some belated resignations - the leader and deputy leader of Kensington and Chelsea council. But London's Blairite mayor Sadiq Khan has called for the government to send in unelected commissioners to take over operations.

The Socialist Party disagrees with this call. Local residents and workers need councillors who fight for them. Councillors not willing to do so should stand aside for candidates who are. And top of the list of demands: use the borough's 300 million reserves!

In any case, responsibility goes higher up than just councillors - and we have seen no moves towards prosecutions.

The establishment is in full cover-up mode. The planned 'inquiry' looks designed to put a lid on the affair.

Not only does the judge appointed have a record of judgments in favour of social cleansing - his technical advisor, Sir Ken Knight, recommended against retrofitting sprinklers as "not considered practical or economically viable." Will he be investigating if his own advice makes him in any way responsible?

Jeremy Corbyn was right to challenge Theresa May, calling alongside Grenfell campaigners for the inquiry's terms to be widened and survivors to have a central role.

A serious inquiry will need to look at reductions in regulation and the interlocking links between semi-public quangos and businesses that obscure accountability.

Sajid Javid, now overseeing the Grenfell response as the government's communities secretary, was in charge of getting rid of "red tape" to save 10 billion. The Homes and Communities Authority had its regulatory remit cut back.

Ex-property developer Anthony Preiskel was on the board of the Kensington and Chelsea Tenant Management Organisation which ran Grenfell Tower. He is also on the regulator's board.

The Fire Brigades Union and general union Unite have applied for core participant status which would help put a working class voice in the official inquiry. But the need for a truly independent inquiry is becoming increasingly clear.

Stop testing cladding and take it down - this is the message from David Orr, chief executive of the National Housing Federation, the umbrella body for housing associations.

"We are calling on government to halt the testing on cladding and shift its focus to making people safe... This process has powerfully demonstrated a systemic failure in construction, manufacturing and the way that regulation has been applied."

But the government is refusing to give assurances about funding.

Some will see Orr's statement as an attempt to shift responsibility away from landlords. But tenants and residents of tower blocks will agree that action cannot wait.

All council and social landlords must take down cladding and publish full safety reports, and the government must make private landlords do the same.




http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/articles/25784




Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

LATEST POSTS

triangle22 Feb Lecturers strike around country in defence of pensions

triangle21 Feb Facebook sides with state repression - reinstate the Tamil Solidarity...

triangle21 Feb Bosses divided - university pension strikes can win!

triangle21 Feb How can young people and students fight the Tories?

triangle21 Feb Northern Ireland talks process paralysed

triangle21 Feb Chatsworth ward victory shows we can save our NHS

triangle20 Feb After 80 strike days Mears workers achieve victory

More ...

WHAT'S ON

triangle24 Feb Socialist Students national conference

triangle26 Feb Teesside Socialist Party: The National Question

triangle26 Feb Leeds Socialist Party: Organising tenants in the private rented sector

triangle27 Feb Cardiff West Socialist Party: The campaign for a 10 an hour minimum wage

CONTACT US

Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777

Email: info@socialistparty.org.uk

Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 0798 202 1969

East Mids: 0773 797 8057

London: 020 8988 8786

North East: 0191 421 6230

North West 07769 611 320

South East: 020 8988 8777

South West: 07759 796 478

Southern: 07833 681910

Wales: 07935 391 947

West Mids: 02476 555 620

Yorkshire: 0114 264 6551

ABOUT US

What we Stand For

About the Socialist Party

Our 2015 election manifesto

Joining the Socialist Party - what will it mean for you

ARCHIVE

Alphabetical listing


February 2018

January 2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999