Friday, 16 June 2017

The lived experience, before the fire. Evidence.

Grenfell Towers. 

Immediate necessities, a starting point, and a timeline of action.

I think - and bear in mind my lack of expertise, or access to any resource, or experience in any of this, and my lack of knowledge on so much of the detail of this dreadful trauma, this unforgiving event, this horror and it's implications, I think that
without delay – the nation, we the people and the state must meet the needs of the people who are affected, bearing in mind that  each and everyone of them will be an individual case, with individual dynamics and will need precisely attenuated support to meet their needs. No one size fits all protocols. Meet those needs in full, without any reservation. Attention to detail essential as these people process and deal with what has just happened, and is happening to them.

Appropriate support without question. Just a thought.

Provided with love, and shared grief, and all due care and intention.

Here's something else I thought about.

I'd like to share this perspective.
I have not seen it anywhere else, though I have not looked so hard to see... I want to have it checked.

My question is am I making sense?

The answer is not about me.
Here goes.

The lived experience, before the fire.

Bear in mind for a moment the time 2 - 3 year period, planning, installation, emergence of problems, emergence of evidence, emergence of detailed complaints brought to the management ‘organisation’ based on available evidence, and not being heard when raising these matters again, and again, and living all that time with a sense of the risk…. of a fire.

If I and my family were living on upper floors.

How nervous would I be?

Day in, day out.

Morning, noon and night, 24/7?

Over a period of two years or so.

Inadequate response and minimal action taken, grudgingly.

Issues avoided.


There is evidence of all  this in the public domain.




A constant state of being aware of an unbearable risk, and not being heard by those responsible for that risk? Your children? My mother?

Leaving those families, imagine leaving your family in that potentially lethal uncertainty for an extended period?

How that that happen? How is that possible? Where is this possible?

Cui Bono?

This  egregious incident, this dreadful trauma is set in a context of a political and economic ideology that is re-directing taxation revenue, (a shared community resource, with all that that should imply), and turning it towards commercial profit based contracted out work, as a cultural practice, placing the taxpayers funds into an arena where the ideology of business is to make something and do something, and then cut costs – usually labour costs, material costs, externalised costs – to increase profit yield well beyond the cost of the civil infrastructure and a fair fee, which ought to be the correct approach for a civil project of any kind.

Taxes are not for shareholders, or bond holders.

Taxes are for people.

Civic infrastructure cannot be a profit center.

Civic is not business., it is not commerce.

It is about us, as a people. Our home. Land.

Our money. Our lives. Our children.

The State can afford to bail out the Banks, whose behaviour was the root cause of the problem, yet it cannot afford to implement the recommendations of the Lakanal House Coroners Inquest … immediately?

That said, Eric Pickles first public response to the Coroner’s recommendation’s is interesting. He avoids more than he embraces. Have a read. Read it again. Break it down.

So from here, today I suggest a timeline:

1. Complete fire investigation, and while that is underway collect ALL evidence from residents related to the incident, and all material, hard copy or digital, related to the entire process from planning to delivery to emergence of issues to the incident, from all sources. Assign adequate, sustainable resources to complete the task rapidly, thoroughly.

PROTECT THE 650,00 people living in High Rise buildings. Now.

2. Initiate a police inquiry. Let that roll.

3. At the same time, as I outline above, which is now, should have been immediate, without delay – the nation, we the people and the state must meet the needs of the people who are affected, bearing in mind that  each and everyone of them will be an individual case, with individual dynamics and will need precisely attenuated support to meet their needs. No one size fits all protocols. Meet those needs in full, without any reservation. Attention to detail essential as these people process and deal with what has just happened, and is happening to them. Appropriate support without question.

4. Immediate implementation of the Lakanal House Coroners recommendations, by legislation, then  immediate action, starting with checks. 

5. Surely this is worth more to the tax payer, the ordinary citizen, and all our children than the 100 billion ear marked for Trident, another destructive nasty lethal mass accident waiting to happen.

6. Inquest on completion of the Fire Investigation.

7. If any form of criminal responsibility emerges, indictments, criminal investigations, sanctions, prosecutions.

8. Inquiry.  Must examine the culture, the behaviour,  the outcomes based on all the available evidence.

8.a There must be robust legislative response to the Inquiry, immediately after the Inquiry has published its findings.
9. Material action must follow on its heels.

And we must maintain oversight at the grass roots level, and have executive rights in terms of decision making during progress. Government instructed by the people.

Civic Infrastructure must be set aside from the corporate profit culture. It is wholly inappropriate and it creates a series of well known and well documented conflicts of interest. It’s a shit storm.

Hillsborough, et al.

The fact that folks think the emergence of the Hillsborough Inquiry is the exception that proves the rule, when it is the rule. The exception meme is a veil.

Denial, mitigation, preserving power, status, rank, organisation is the rule.

The History of Public Inquiries and Government or State response in the UK is appalling, and it is frequently toxic mime of Justice that is acted out, time and time again, against a relatively disempower people.

And some people have the temerity to complain about British Sovereignty? Give me a break!

This behaviour is not rational at the human level.

It is rationalised at the institutional level.

That cannot stand.

Start today.

Hold our brothers ad sisters, our mothers and fathers close.  Be strong enough to bear it and act on what we know, with what we have - our Human Rights.

Meet the needs of the people who are affected, afflicted with this horrific trauma - each and everyone of them will be an individual case, with individual dynamics and will need precisely attenuated support to meet their needs.

Call in the UN?

The UN issued a damning Human Rights Report on the UK in 2016, after a previous report in 2009 that was not exactly glowing, on Human Rights Breaches by the British Government, committed in the UK.

have a read : it's quite clear.

“This was the Committee’s first review of the UK since 2009 and thus its first verdict on the Austerity policies pursued by successive governments since the financial crash. Over eight months the Committee conducted a dialogue with government officials, the UK human rights commissions and civil society groups. 

In a wide ranging assessment, expressed in unusually strong terms, the Committee sets out the following findings:

  • Tax policies, including VAT increases and reductions in inheritance and corporation tax, have diminished the UK’s ability “to address persistent social inequality and to collect sufficient resources to achieve the full realization of economic, social and cultural rights”. The Committee recommends the UK adopt a “socially equitable” tax policy and the adoption of strict measures to tackle tax abuse, in particular by corporations and high-net-worth individuals.
  • Austerity measures introduced since 2010 are having a disproportionate adverse impact on the most marginalised and disadvantaged citizens including women, children, persons with disabilities, low-income families and those with two or more children. The Committee recommends that the UK reverse the cuts in social security benefits and reviews the use of sanctions.
  • The new ‘National Living Wage’ is not sufficient to ensure a decent standard of living and should be extended to under-25s. The UK should also take steps to reduce use of “zero hour contracts”, which disproportionately affect women.
  • Despite rising employment levels the Committee is concerned about the high number of low-paid jobs, especially in sectors such as cleaning and homecare.
  • The Committee urges the UK to take immediate measures to reduce the exceptionally high levels of homelessness, particularly in England and Northern Ireland, and highlights the high cost and poor quality of homes in the private rented sector and the lack of sufficient social housing.
  • The UK is not doing enough to reduce reliance on food banks.
Jamie Burton, Chair of Just Fair, said:

“The UN’s verdict is clear and indisputable. It considered extensive evidence and gave the Government every opportunity to show why its tax and policy reforms were necessary and fair. In many important respects the Government proved unable to do this. It is clear that since 2010, ministers were fully aware that their policies would hit lower income groups hardest and deepen the suffering of many already facing disadvantage without offering any long term gain for the pain they inflicted. We urge the Government to take heed of the Committee’s recommendations and commit to ensuring that it does not diminish human rights further in the UK.” 

Simon Duffy, Director of the Centre for Welfare Reform, a member of the Just Fair Consortium said:

"The past six years of Austerity have seen the UK Government intentionally diminish the rights of its own citizens. 

The Centre for Welfare Reform welcomes the news that the United Nations has strongly criticised the UK Government for these policies - policies that have harmed immigrants, asylum seekers, disabled people and those living in poverty. There is no good reason for these ongoing attacks; instead it seems likely that these groups have been targeted simply because they are convenient scapegoats for problems they did not cause.

"The UK Government's policy has been shameful, and so is the ongoing failure of most of the media to attend to the impact of Austerity. So, we are all the more grateful to Just Fair for coordinating the efforts of civil society organisations like ourselves, and for helping to draw attention to these injustices.

"The Government of the UK is now in chaos and its future leadership is uncertain. Sadly it is unlikely that any immediate change in leadership will lead to the recognition of the UK's human rights obligations. Given recent events, it is even to be feared that the Government might try to blame international bodies for holding them to account for the obligations they freely entered into.

"The Centre adds its voice to all those who seek an end to Austerity and to the mounting injustice we've seen over the past six years. We will continue to work with groups or organisations who seek to advance justice, human rights and respect for all human beings - in all our diversity."
The Just Fair Consortium includes 76 national and local organisations and has published a series of reports that have highlighted the impact of austerity measures .

Full report here:

Business as usual.

This dreadful, lethal fire, this horror must therefore be assessed within the wider context of an ideological political and social setting.

It is so much more, such that one can say that it is an institutional power culture.

An institutional culture that assumes the risk is, more often than not, worth it, when the poor pay the price.

And think too of the many, many others, innocents all, who die in wars our taxes are spent on. Risk Assessed. 

A culture where one will assess the cheapest manner in which to appear to meet the risk, and deal with any consequences, no matter how grave, with resistance to the evidence, followed by Public Inquiries, and much later on related some legislative change.. and as we see, repeatedly, responsibilities are not assigned for the harms caused, even if a settlement is made. The status quo is preserved.

Justice as a business model.
Pay the fee, off scott free. Business expense.

Now then, what’s next?

Is it not quite appalling that we taxpayers are forced to accept this as good Governance?

“Strong and Stable?”

“Things can only get better?”

“All in it together?”

“Big Society?”

Empty slogans.



Surely, in 2017?

Twenty First Century….

This is where we are.

And it's shit.

Which is why we gotta deal with it, and clean it up.

Like healthy adults would.

The dead are now our ancestors.

We must listen to our ancestors.

We too will become ancestors.

What will we leave for our descendants?

We are alive now.

Start today.

Kindest regards


"Do what you love, it's Your Gift to Universe"

Thank you for reading this blog. All we need to do is be really honest, responsive to the evidence we find,and ready to reassess when new evidence emerges. The rest is easy.

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