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It's called sticking your head above the parapet


mint

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and I am going to do just that.  It's OK, I can take some flak.............

[url]https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/jun/14/theresa-may-must-go-election-campaign[/url]

I told OH that those people died in that tower block because they were poor and had to live in dangerous housing.

We need to live in a more compassionate world and do what little we can as individuals to bring about change. 

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Mint - I don't think you need to say sticking your head above the parapet. It's obvious to anyone who has a brain that this type of housing policy - shoving all the poor into dangerous high rise blocks and ignoring the safety warnings -  comes from a heartless and greedy attitude. By those who are welloff who only want to increase their wealth.

There's going to be a huge re-housing problem.

It's an absolute disgrace, and I only hope Corbyn (who  I voted for) is strong enough to lead some kind of minor revolution against the greedy incompetents who are supposed to be running the country.

A lot of the cuts came when B. Johnson was mayor.

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Mint,

Firstly, we do not yet know the causes of this disaster though there has been much speculation. If there has been negligence then retribution should be exacted but not until we do know.

There is not yet any known link between the poverty of these people, if that is true, and austerity and the state of the building though it might be proven later, so don't, please, try to make false links.

I have heard that a perfectly good block was 'modernised in the Green cause - hmmmm.

Allowing your political views to cloud this issues is hardly a good idea.

Why do we suddenly see Corbyn hugging everyone; has he suddenly found the urge to love the world? No, this is a put up job I am afraid, suggested by his team of advisers, the same ones who are suggesting that the government should be kicked out by a chanting mob.

Remember Corbun's campaign fotos, always poised with female, young, multi-cultural sycophants. False, false, false.

TM is not a hugger nor does she need to be or to stoop to cheap foto opportunities.
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OK - I'll bite.   It was the oh-so-superior architects, town planners, social engineers - who thought that the streets in the sky were a great idea for building communities.

The very people who designed them - never lived in them but preferred their Georgian town houses, and mansions.

It was also supposed to help those on low salaries to live in big cities, without having to pay high rents to private landlords - and that block is council owned.

There was nothing wrong with the building - it was the cladding which was fitted during refurbishment.   Any such work has to comply with Blair/Labour governments Decent Homes programme which ran from 2000 to 2010.

Concerns had been raised back in 1997 about cladding being used on these tower blocks. 

1997 - Labour;  and Labour for the next 13 years ?   Labour did nothing about the concerns.

Councils turned to cladding to meet the insulation standards laid out under Blair's Government £22 billion Decent Homes Programme.

The scheme dictated that homes should have effective heating and insulation, modern facilities and be in a good state of repair.   For high-rise council blocks, local authorities were faced with either knocking them down which meant they would have to find or build homes eldewhere or refurbishing them.

The UK is a very over-crowded little island;  we shouldn't be building on arable land, or land that will be needed for so-called renewables like solar panel farms, or wind turbines.   All need space.

People need homes;  with an ever growing population where are people supposed to live in crowded cities.   High rise tower blocks are built in all large modern cities - and if more and more people want to live in big cities - then tower blocks are the only answer.

But it was Labour that was responsible for the cladding issue.   It was Labour in power for many years after 1997 when issue first raised; and Labour's commitment to Climate Change Act (Davey & Milliband) which included the push for 'insulate, insulate, insulate' - despite the concerns of the Fire Service.

So, yup, I've stuck my head well and truly above the parapet.

Here's another thing;  please don't misunderstand this, or put words into my mouth in any way - but I was intrigued by the multi-culti diversity - of ONE tower-block.

Chessie 

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There are so many things wrong about this tragedy and hopefully the public enquiry will uncover the truth so that lessons can be learned and it never happens again.

I don't doubt that many of the tenants are poor or on benefits yet at the same time there were also owner occupiers so the block was a mix of people from different socio-economic groups.

The block was run by a council approved management committee and one of it's former members is now the local MP so it will be interesting to hear what she has to say.
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Wooly - I got a bit carried away last night, having just watched Channel 4 news.

The bit I object to is your style of criticism of Corbyn - more like the DM style. The man hasn't had a chance yet, due to all the insults hurled at him by the press.

I'll shut up now, still upset.

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I'm going to bite my lip about the fire because we don't know the facts.

But about Corbyn - well you can argue for ever about other people's innermost convictions, but the fact that a person goes through the motions and says the right things does at least show that they have a social conscience insofar as the recognise social justice and injustice when they see it, and know is shouldn't be brushed under the carpet. Which is a start.
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Bonjour everyone.  My initial post was to give a link to the excellent Guardian article about TM and her policies.  Because I was upset about the tower fire, I used it as a reason to explain why I think that politicians need to be compassionate when formulating policies. 

Wools, I did not say I knew what caused the fire to spread in such a devastating fashion.  Please read what I said and do not jump to conclusions.

I watched that special question-and-answer session with the, I think, housing minister and I could not believe how he waffled on and on instead of telling us straight off what the government would now be doing for those made homeless and had suffered unimaginable trauma.  Corbyn was pressing for something (temporary) to be done immediately and for those made homeless to be housed in the same area so that they could continue their work and not have to break family and friendship ties.

All we get is "there will be a public enquiry"..........yeah....and that will take months and years.  Just hope they don't delay the inquest until forever.  At least an inquest will allow those affected to give their accounts as they experienced events.

I did not in fact blame anyone for the fire, merely pleading for some humanity from those with the power to help and for individuals also to do whatever they can on a personal level.

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[quote user="mint"]and I am going to do just that.  It's OK, I can take some flak.............

[url]https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/jun/14/theresa-may-must-go-election-campaign[/url]

I told OH that those people died in that tower block because they were poor and had to live in dangerous housing.

[/quote]

I can't agree, there are plenty of high rise, high expense private fire traps just waiting to be next.

I see the route cause as you say mint, for sticking your head up above the parapet.

I work on some high rise buildings, having a sprinkler system is only applicable (at the moment) to new builds. Because the "stay in" policy is the sound bite from the fire brigade only a fool would dare to say different, I am that fool. I have been kicked off contracts, had my agency terminated and been told to "Just get on with it" so many times.

Of course all the mouth pieces are now flooding the media with the wise after the event comment, whereas there are now a few real knowledgeable  people coming to the fore and demonstrating how quickly the cladding will burn and as theses panels are not a close fit to the side of the building also have a perfect air duct and chimney.  Bloody obvious and I wondered how long it would be post the Camberwell fire before someone woke up to the fact. Why when some know how bad things are are whistle blowers shouted down or kicked out?  Post Camberwell fire, I wrote to the London Mayor to report the building I was working on, the lack of fire alarm warning system etc. No reply.

I was warned recently not to open a can of worms on the building I was working on, the board of directors, mainly composed of accountants with no practical or engineering knowledge were the one who made all the big decisions yet were absolutely incapable of any practical ability. Why do we listen to accountants on any other matter but the finance? Why are people with the higher salaries always the accountants? why do these people feel they are above others who possess  practical knowledge and considerable experience?

Put the accountants back in their counting houses and listen to the words of the Engineers!    

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Why do we listen to accountants on any other matter but the finance? Why

are people with the higher salaries always the accountants? why do

these people feel they are above others who possess  practical knowledge

and considerable experience?

It has been the same in public services such as Education and Health.

Short-term accounting which creates long-term disaster.

It started with Thatcher, continued with Tory Blur and  has accelerated since.

As for Mrs. May (the original topic)  people are seeing though her policies:

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/theresa-may-jeremy-corbyn-less-popular-election-2017-campaign-leader-conservative-labour-poll-yougov-a7792006.html

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Could I just point out that accountants don't make the management decisions you describe. Its the owners and their staff who are out to maximise the profits. I read somewhere that for a mere £5,000 the cladding could have been fireproof. ( extra £2 per sheet ). The decision to go for the non-fireproof would not have been taken by an accountant.

Also I believe another fault lies within those making the technical laws, both technical and those applying the technical advise - the material used in this case is banned in some other countries.

Lets hope that a full enquiry is not whitewashed and those accountable (probably not financial accountants) are actually prosecuted.

NB My experience in public service health and probably same in education is that the dictat is from someone "higher up the chain" who would have some sort of "management qualification" and the blame would be put on the "accountants" - ie we need to save money.
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I notice Mint, that you have plenty to say on this tragic fire, which almost certainly was an ACCIDENT. No-one planned the death of those people deliberately.

Since you mention 'you can take the flack', how come you posted 'that you had no words' on another thread when a scum bag, murdering Muslim, blows up 22 young people at a pop concert in Manchester, but have plenty to say about this, and copious other pointless subjects ??

I would suggest that this one fits in nicely with your lunatic liberal view of the world, and the other totally destroys any argument you have for it.

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I have no technical knowledge and can't comment on it but I listened to a safety expert talking about the fire; he fully agreed with the fire department's advice.

One reason was that such high apartment blocks were built to be compartmentalised, so that any fire wouldn't spread; all sides of each flat were concrete plus each had a fireproof door, so fire wouldn't spread.

Edit to add that he did mention that subsequent work carried out in modernisation could have broken down some of the compartmentalisation and materials used during modernisation could have added to the speed of the fire spreading.

The other reason was that with just one staircase, frightened people rushing down all those stairs, maybe carrying children or just whatever they could carry, would impede firefighters with equipment trying to get to any fire.
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Sticking to my original intention to talk about political decisions, here is the new MP for Kensington:

[url]https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2017/jun/15/unforgivable-local-labour-mp-vents-fury-over-grenfell-tower-fire[/url]

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[quote user="richard51"] I read somewhere that for a mere £5,000 the cladding could have been fireproof. ( extra £2 per sheet ). [/quote]

 

That is complete bulls**t although I dont doubt that you read it, I was one of the pioneers of using Alucobond in engineered structures back in the 80's, it was and pretty much still is used solely for building cladding, I know how expensive it was back then when materials are cheap, the addition of a fireproof core to any composite adds massively to the cost and in the case of alucobond would lose most of its structural integrity.

 

Alucobond with a polyethylene core which burns as you see is a fireproof material according to the fire regs, perhaps I should repeat that, it is a fireproof material, it has class M0, I have used alucobond as the fireproof bulkhead on my racing cars and as the containment box for bladder fuel cells, indeed I even built a monocoque out of it, it was lighter and stiffer than anything around at that timec, ritically it needs to be retained and the edges contained by an an aluminium extrusion so that the combustible core is not exposed, done in that manner fire will not pass through it until the aluminium sheet melts or the frame structure fails.

 

Chessie and Théière are spot on with their comments, the refurbishment was for energy efficiency, the 5cm gap is a building reg requirement for an airgap before the insulation, clearly inapropriate when using a composite cladding but thats what they all had to work to, I would be very surprised to find after the enquiries have been done that the contractor was to blame and that he had substituted non fire rated materials, if that is the case then they deserve everything that is coming to them but if it is as I believe the guy who may have had the moral compass of myself and Théière could not have changed anything but he has his face and aerial shots of his home plastered on the front pages as does the poor guy whose fridge caught fire.

 

This is not a social thing as has been suggested, the biggest concentration of Alucobond cladding that I can think of would be Canary Wharf both the offices and the flats, it makes me mal au cœur to think what the comments from people would have been if the fire had been there, make no mistake this could happen anywhere, pretty much every prestige building with cladding built since the 80's could go up in the same way, here is an HLM in France that did just that in 5 minutes flat:

 

https://youtu.be/KHZfLDxYBuU

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[quote user="ebaynut"]I notice Mint, that you have plenty to say on this tragic fire, which almost certainly was an ACCIDENT. No-one planned the death of those people deliberately.

Since you mention 'you can take the flack', how come you posted 'that you had no words' on another thread when a scum bag, murdering Muslim, blows up 22 young people at a pop concert in Manchester, but have plenty to say about this, and copious other pointless subjects ??

I would suggest that this one fits in nicely with your lunatic liberal view of the world, and the other totally destroys any argument you have for it.[/quote]

Ebaynut, if you are trying to imply that I somehow support the killing of youngsters who were out enjoying themselves at a pop concert, then you are truly nuts.

IMO, nothing wrong with "pointless subjects"..........one person's pointless is another's "essential to know"[:)]

Of course, the fire, as you say, is an accident.  But doesn't the word "accident" itself implies that it was preventable?

And you know, there ARE times when words are unnecessary........the Manchester atrocity was too much to take in as, in that case, the killing was deliberate, carefully planned and executed.  In the face of such evil, what is there meaningful to say?

Do take all the pot shots you want, I am perfectly strong enough to take them in my stride[:)]

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Here's an interesting post from the DT -

'   Meanwhile the culpable mismanaging hand of the EU begins to come to light in its role played in the Grenfell fire.

On

17 January 2008, the European Economic and Social Committee, acting

under Article 29(2) of its Rules of Procedure, decided to draw up an

initiative on the restructuring and evolution of the household

appliance industry (white goods in Europe) and its impact on employment,

climate change and consumers.

The EU's Consultative Commission on

Industrial Change, sought centralisation and uniformity across the

continent of all white goods but conspicuously failed to consider EU

white goods designed for a lower voltage system would not operate well

on a HIGHER UK voltage system of 240 volts.

This fire risk was

once a commonly acknowledged fact and all people knew the dangers of

operating appliances "overseas". Why then should we be surprised when

shoddy EU goods designed for a lower voltage grid set fire?

This is over and above the death trap cladding that spread the fire and was also determined by environmentally friendly EU regs.

EU

regulations set out rules for buildings’ energy consumption with

Britain signed up to the 2010 Energy Performance of Buildings Directive.

Under

the directive, the UK is required to report to the European Commission

on progress towards national energy efficiency targets each year.

Article

24 of the directive was cemented into UK law in April 2014 and a

Government report says “bringing as many residential and commercial

buildings as possible up to a high level of energy performance is a

priority for the UK Government”.

Cladding is often used to improve

energy efficiency and it is thought there could be up to 30,000

buildings in the UK fitted with similar cladding to that used on

Grenfell Tower.

Foam boards coated in zinc rainproof sheets were

spaced across the 24-storey building as part of the refurbishment.

Boards deemed a fire risk in the US and subsequently banned.'

Throws some light on why the fridge exploded, doesn't it ?   Read a reference elsewhere as to eu regs about this imflammable gas - which the eu wanted to be used in cars, and which bmw and merc fought to eu to prevent that happening.  

Many fingers.....in many pots......

And as for the humanity side - the charities concerned have asked people to stop donating items of clothing etc - they have more than enough..........

Chessie

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Voltage is harmonised at 230vac across the EU Chessie.

 

Plenty of fridges, washing machines and tumble driers especially catch fire these days, the isocyanate foam used to insulate the coolwall auto-defrost ones burns like magnesium and releases deadly fumes.

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"There's going to be a huge re-housing problem."

This is what I wrote in my first post, and I didn't just mean the poor survivors from this tragedy. Others living in similar highrise flats will now be wanting to be out. There are just too many people living in London, and more to come, and no political party wants to grasp the nettle.

My knowledge of post war housing problems in London ( and a few other big cities) is limited, but I do remember, as a student, going on a visit to Hemel Hempstead in the '50s, which was one of the model  New Towns built to solve the re-housing problem of bombed out Londoners. We were very impressed.

Now the precious green belt has to be preserved. [:@]

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[quote user="chessie"]

And as for the humanity side - the charities concerned have asked people to stop donating items of clothing etc - they have more than enough..........

Chessie

[/quote]

I wasn't confining my remarks to donating stuff for the victims of the fire.  I was talking more broadly about politics having a kindlier face and treating the disadvantaged with a bit more compassion.

Do not want policies made purely for the benefit of large businesses and wealthy individuals.  And, before anyone objects, I don't mean tax them out of existence.  Nothing extreme, just a bit more thought before manifestos and indeed policies are made![:D]

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[quote user="chessie"]

And as for the humanity side - the charities concerned have asked people to stop donating items of clothing etc - they have more than enough..........

Chessie

[/quote]

I wasn't confining my remarks to donating stuff for the victims of the fire.  I was talking more broadly about politics having a kindlier face and treating the disadvantaged with a bit more compassion.

Do not want policies made purely for the benefit of large businesses and wealthy individuals.  And, before anyone objects, I don't mean tax them out of existence.  Nothing extreme, just a bit more thought before manifestos and indeed policies are made![:D]

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