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From The Socialist newspaper, 14 November 2018

Grenfell - no more cover-ups!

Grenfell Fire demonsrators, 17.6.17, photo Mary Finch

Grenfell Fire demonsrators, 17.6.17, photo Mary Finch   (Click to enlarge)

Paul Kershaw, chair, Unite union LE/1111 housing workers' branch

An engineering firm hired by the government to test cladding in the wake of the Grenfell Tower fire was banned from criticising or embarrassing Theresa May.

The Times reports that that a clause in engineering company WSP's contract with the govern-ment stated that it must not create "adverse publicity" about the cabinet office or other crown bodies, including the prime minister's office.

WSP was hired to test whether government buildings were likely to comply with building regulations, but it seems the top concern was to dodge mounting criticism of the government in the aftermath of the fire.

Them and us

Grenfell Tower brought home the brutal class divide in Britain. The government's response since the fire has shown the callous incompetence of it and the capitalist establishment.

According to Inside Housing (9 November), Dr Bob Docherty, chair of the Institute of Fire Safety Managers, sent an angry email to housing minister James Brokenshire questioning the independence of the government's 'expert' post-Grenfell advisory panel.

In it, Docherty said: "I think you really need to revisit who is on your 'independent expert advisory panel' and maybe take advice from the experts who are 'out there' working in the field, either through contacts with individuals, professional bodies or the Fire Sector Federation.

"Does no one in your department check with the real industry before these notes go out? I just find the whole content of the note and the process of issue totally bemusing."

The Guardian leaked a report (12 October) that showed that contrary to assurances given in the aftermath of the fire 'huge concentrations' of toxins have been found in dust and soil in an area two-thirds of a mile from the tower.

In the aftermath of the fire the Information Commissioner recommended that Housing Associations - which manage the majority of UK social housing - should proactively make fire risk assessments available to residents.

But many are still dragging their feet on this. At a recent meeting of the London Assembly housing committee they told incredulous members they didn't show them to residents because they wouldn't understand them!


Shac, a campaign linking housing association residents supports residents demanding to see fire risks assessments and has produced a standard letter

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In The Socialist 14 November 2018:


What we think

A mass, trade union-led, socialist anti-racist campaign can defeat the far right


Socialism 2018

Socialism 2018: Huge confidence in the working class to change society


International socialist news and analysis

US midterms: Republicans weakened - but workers' fightback needed to end Trumpism


Socialist Party news and analysis

Major private care operator puts thousands of vulnerable people at risk

Grenfell - no more cover-ups!

Tories out now to save our NHS


Socialist history

1918: revolution ends World War One - and shakes the capitalist world


Workplace news and analysis

TGI Fridays strike wins control of tips

British Gas workers need rank-and-file leadership

PCS union members: why we're backing Chris

Victory for democracy at CWU 'redesign' conference

National Education Union: vote for action on funding


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Haringey's 'Corbyn council' must refuse to make cuts!

NHS Tayside facing massive job cuts

Mansfield: keep our park open!

Newham by-election: We need anti-austerity councillors

Leeds meeting backs striking rail guards

Welsh Socialist Students campaign and meet in Swansea


Opinion

Engaging book about Corbyn's rise doesn't provide answers on how to change Labour

Theatre: The Last Seam - a lasting tribute to Mary Jackson

The Socialist inbox


 

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Related links:

Grenfell Tower:

triangleGrenfell fire inquiry spin deflects blame from establishment

triangleGrenfell inquiry serves to deflect opinion away from the establishment

triangleAngry Barking residents protest outside sales office

triangleAngry residents' meeting demands answers and action following fire

triangleGrenfell two years on - Still fighting for safety and justice

Fire:

triangle'Worst crisis in housing since World War Two' - Barking Riverside inquiry into fire

triangle20 years of housing failure

triangleGrenfell watch: Unions challenge 'mockery of justice'

triangleCladding scandal: Government steps up defence of landlords

Housing:

triangleStarmer in full retreat over C-19 rents crisis

triangleHomes needed to end overcrowding

triangleSelf-isolation class divide: decent homes for all!

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