Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/988/27104

From The Socialist newspaper, 28 March 2018

Grenfell: survivors not rehoused, inquiry not independent, blocks not safe

Grenfell Tower, photo James Ivens

Grenfell Tower, photo James Ivens   (Click to enlarge)

Paul Kershaw, chair, Unite union housing workers branch

Tories fail residents

The government has admitted that 82 households are still in temporary accommodation following the Grenfell Tower fire and not all will be in permanent accommodation by June, the first anniversary. So much for Theresa May's promise they would be rehoused within three weeks of the fire.

Sajid Javid, the minister responsible, said "this is totally unacceptable. The suffering that these families have already endured is unimaginable. Living for this long in hotels can only make the process of grieving and recovery even harder."

Quite true - he condemns both the government and himself!

There are around 1,400 empty homes in Kensington and Chelsea. In the immediate aftermath of the fire Jeremy Corbyn rightly called for requisitioning of empty homes to rehouse survivors swiftly. It is time to put that idea in to action.

Establishment stitch-up

Inside Housing magazine has now revealed that Sir Ken Knight, the government's safety expert, signed off a certificate which claimed Grenfell-style cladding is allowed under official guidance. And the provider of the cladding material, Arconic, still insists its product was not in breach of building regulations.

But the government has repeatedly claimed regulations did not allow the material used on Grenfell on buildings over 18 metres tall.

Lawyers representing survivors and the bereaved at the public inquiry headed by Sir Martin Moore-Bick have rightly pressed the issue. They argue the materials did not meet regulations and that Moore-Bick should resolve this by making a ruling.

This well be a real test for Moore-Bick. As a judge he supported councils' social cleansing efforts by ruling in 2014 in favour of Westminster Council's removal of a tenant to Milton Keynes.

The inquiry faces increasing questions that undermine its credibility and claim to 'independence'. As well as Moore-Bick's past role, participants have pointed out that the inquiry panel as a whole does not include any representation of working class communities like Grenfell. And there is the problem that the inquiry's remit is too narrow, allowing the establishment to duck responsibility.

Meanwhile, Knight was also responsible for advice that sprinkler fitting was not economically viable, despite a judge recommending sprinklers be retrofitted to tower blocks after the 2009 Lakanal House fire in south London. Is he still giving that advice to the government?

The London Assembly now calls for mandatory sprinklers in buildings taller than 18 metres - six storeys. But the government remains silent and has refused funding for sprinklers while high rise buildings are failing safety tests.

To really get to the bottom of the issues will need an inquiry based on the community and labour movement.

Fire door checks

The police have recently announced that an undamaged 'Manse Masterdor' fire door recovered from Grenfell protected against fire for just 15 minutes instead of the 30 minutes' resistance it was designed to give.

Government ministers responded irresponsibly by jumping to say there was "no evidence that this was a systemic issue" and that no further action was needed from social landlords.

But quite rightly many landlords have started checks where Masterdor FD30 doors are used. Shouldn't the government have insisted on this minimum action?

Investigations continue to reveal a maze of private companies which must not be allowed to obscure responsibility. Manufacturer Manse Masterdor has gone into liquidation; its assets have been acquired by a company called Synseal which then established a new, separate company that trades as Masterdor.

Action on safety

Tenants and residents nationally are right to demand to see updated fire risk assessments and to monitor progress. Residents on the Lancaster West estate living in homes facing Grenfell tell the Socialist they have waited six months for promised replacement fire doors with no information as to when they will be fitted.

After the fire the government pledged that lack of money would not stop safety work, but since then has not put a penny in place. The estimated bill to reclad at least 288 towers in England which failed combustibility tests is now on course to reach 1 billion.

The Socialist Party continues to support residents organising to explore methods of withholding rent if action is not taken - no safety, no rent!


Correction: an earlier version of this article mistakenly stated Sir Ken Knight is acting as an advisor to the public inquiry into the Grenfell disaster. In fact, he has no advisory role in the Moore-Bick inquiry.

Instead, he sits on the government's "independent expert advisory panel" on safety recommendations following Grenfell - a separate body. The 'independence' of this panel is also subject to question, including because of Knight's role in it.

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.


In The Socialist 28 March 2018:


What we think

Antisemitism slurs: latest attempt to derail Corbynism


Socialist Party workplace news

NEU conference 2018: Strike to take on the Tories

UCU: Strike action forces bosses to retreat but keep the pressure on

NHS pay: Reject the Tories' divide and rule offer

British Museum: Carillion workers demand to be brought back in-house

Victimised recycling strikers uncowed as Hull strike wave builds

Liverpool Uni staff set to fight 220 job losses

Aberdeen bus drivers strike against pay cuts

Migrant cleaners win living wage at Mail


Local elections 2018

For Whom the School Bell Tolls: Our kids or the Tories?

Southampton asks "What will you do to stop education cuts?"

Campaign against Newham academies boosted by victories

Save Free School Meals!


Martin Luther King

The life and legacy of Martin Luther King


Socialist Party news and analysis

Grenfell: survivors not rehoused, inquiry not independent, blocks not safe

Walkout from undercover policing inquiry


Social media

Social media - the potential and the limits


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Tories fear youth revolt - fight for our future

Goldsmiths students occupy and protest in support of UCU strikers

Walthamstow Save Our Square protesters thrown out of city hall for demanding a say

Northern Socialist Party conference

North West Socialist Party conference

Building fund appeal

Bristol Socialist Students join Yarlswood demo

May Day greetings: Lend your support to the fight against the bosses


International socialist news and analysis

France: Pressure mounts on Macron government

USA: Huge 'march for our lives' protests

Russia's predictable presidential election


 

Home   |   The Socialist 28 March 2018   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate   |   Audio  |   PDF  |   ebook






Related links:

Grenfell Tower:

triangleStormzy is right to slam Tories for Grenfell

triangleThe Socialist inbox

triangle2m to remove Grenfell-type cladding: residents to get bill

triangleDebate: should tower blocks form part of socialist housing policy?

triangleNo more excuses: fit sprinklers now!

Independent:

triangleAppeal from Iranian independent unions

triangle4,800 young people hurt after officers 'restrain' them

triangleKurdish referendum declared illegal

Fire:

triangleFighting fire cuts in Wirral

triangleFire service victory

triangleSix months on - still no justice for Grenfell

Government:

triangleMay elections: a chance to fight attacks on health and social care

Homes:

triangleLondon tenants and workers protest against social housing auction

London:

triangleWaltham Forest Socialist Party: Our local TUSC council challenge

Housing:

triangleWirral Socialist Party: A socialist housing policy

Accommodation:

triangleInternational Women's Day

Tenants:

triangleButterfields tenants join TUSC campaign

Jeremy Corbyn:

triangleRMT Labour Party affiliation debate - where do socialists stand?

Households:

triangleProfits up Wages down

News and socialist analysis

News and socialist analysis

25/4/18

Labour

RMT Labour Party affiliation debate - where do socialists stand?

25/4/18

Immigration

Windrush scandal: Tories and Blairites must go

25/4/18

Election

Tories out!

18/4/18

Racism

Enoch Powell's racist 'Rivers of Blood' rant 50 years on

18/4/18

Them & Us

Them & Us

18/4/18

Super-rich

Billions for the bosses, benefit cuts for us

18/4/18

NHS

1,400 beds empty as patients lay in corridors: health unions must act now

18/4/18

Housing

Young people need homes

18/4/18

Labour

For a fighting, democratic Labour Party

11/4/18

EU

A socialist approach to Corbyn and a customs union

11/4/18

Child poverty

Child poverty to hit 5m by 2021 - strikes can stop the cuts

11/4/18

Equal pay

Gender pay gap figures show need for trade union action

10/4/18

Young people

Alienation and austerity behind London deaths - fight for socialism

4/4/18

Labour

Fight the Tory enemy

4/4/18

Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland: peace process on the brink

triangleMore News and socialist analysis articles...


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

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: 0784 114 4890

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

ARCHIVE

Alphabetical listing


April 2018

March 2018

February 2018

January 2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999