High Rise Warnings

 

“Grenfell Tower fire: Labour demands answers on high-rise warnings” 

(SKY NEWS)

Labour calls for action after leaked letters appear to show ministers were warned people in blocks like Grenfell were “at risk”.

Sky News today carries this story which seems to suggest (not for the first time) that ministerial inaction may be to blame for the tragic loss of countless lives in the Grenfell Tower disaster.   For full story click here

I have previously stated (Grenfell Fire – Now is not the time)  that until the formal investigations are completed and the facts known, then we should observe restraint and reserve judgement, and in the intervening time concentrate on the needs of the victims and their families which seem to have been largely ignored so far.   I stand by that, but and there is a but;

The Government Ministers that this article refers to  are the very same group of Ministers in  Government right now – Ask yourselves this, if the story is correct, what right do these individuals have to hold senior government positions.   Party politics aside, this is a real practical question and in need of public debate.   If true the residents of Grenfell Tower were truly let down, as indeed were their families, loved ones, friends and the community at large.   Now, assuming this is all true, how many more people out there and how many more high rise residents are at risk?    What other warnings have been ignored by our elected representatives in the past.   What other recommendations have they received that have been dismissed or ignored that will put lives at risk.   What don’t we know and what skeletons are in the cupboard awaiting the door to open.   Let us hope the doors are opened voluntarily, before they are blown open by another disaster waiting to happen.

 

 

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Terror is Terror and nothing less

Monday 19th June 2017

London hit again by an act of terror overnight and this time the target is peaceful worshippers leaving their Mosque after prayer.   Yes the victims were members of a Muslim community, a London Muslim community, and a community we should all stand together with for the same reason the vast majority of Muslims stood together with Manchester and London in the wake of the recent terror incidents perpetrated by Islamist extremists.

You see contrary to popular belief and the views that certain political parties might have you believe, terrorism is not the sole property of Islamist Fundamentalists.   Quite the opposite in fact.   The Muslim victims of this attack are our people, they are British, they live here, they contribute to our economy and they are welcome to continue to do so for as long as they choose.   They like the victims of previous attacks have done nothing wrong, they did and do not deserve to be targeted in this way.   This attack may well have been a revenge attack, or an attempt to get justice for the victims of the previous London and Manchester incidents, but it is no different, an act of terror unjustified and unnecessary which will always be the case.

What will it achieve, certainly not justice, most likely further attacks as some of those fundamentalists will see it as an act of war or provocation.   This attack does nothing for the stability of our country and local communities.   What we need now is a period of restraint, stability, no vigilante acts, no retribution, calm and considered thought, community spirit and cooperation.   Without this, the UK could very easily become a new frontline in the war on terror and that will make this a very dangerous place to live.

The world has serious problems, but for those of you who might be thinking that the current terror threats are predominantly from Muslim extremism against the western world, think again.   There are more Muslim on Muslim terror acts carried out around the world than there are Muslim/western attacks.   This is a World War but being fought in very different ways and fronts.

Final thought, the Muslim community have been encouraged  to report any suspicious activity, or suspicions of developing extremism within their community.   This latest attack serves as a reminder that extremism is out there in different guises and communities,   Stay safe, stay vigilant and report anything suspicious whoever it is, wherever it is and don’t delay.   Someone knew about the perpetrator of this latest act, knew his views, maybe, just maybe if they had reported it, the security services might have been able to prevent it.

 

Grenfell Fire – Now is not the time

This week we have been witness to yet another tragedy in our country.   This time terrorism was not to blame, the fire at the Grenfell Tower in London was not the first tower block fire in this country but it’s scale and devastation is something never seen before on our shore.   As I write this, the official death toll is being reported at around 58, but Senior Figures in the Metropolitan Police and the London Fire Brigade are reported as expecting the death toll to be much higher, one senior figure having reportedly said he hopes the final number isn’t into three figures.   So what does the UK political system and our media do, simple and predictable, they try to score points off each other, with blame being apportioned here, there and everywhere.    The media indeed helps to fuel this with their bias towards different political parties.

Well certainly something disastrous has gone wrong, but exactly what we do not know, so let’s show respect for the victims, their families and loved ones, not to mention all of those exceptional people in our emergency and health services who have risked life and limb to help the victims.    Let us not try to score political points and apportion blame at this time.   The time for this – if appropriate, is after a thorough investigation has been completed into the cause of the fire and how it came to spread so rapidly.   There may need to be a criminal investigation in parallel or indeed afterwards, but trial by media before we know the facts, is unjust, and disrespectful to the victims.    Yes there is anger in the local community and beyond, but that anger must not be allowed to compromise the investigation and any subsequent proceedings. otherwise the truth may never emerge and lessons never learned.

Let us concentrate on the needs of the victims and the local community, whilst the professionals do their work of investigating the cause/spread and failings of any corporate bodies or individuals without prejudice.

The state of the Nation

This is my first post on my new blog and it stems from all the political positioning, re-positioning and maneuvering of the various political parties since the General Election which has left us with a hung parliament and great uncertainty about the future.   It is not intended to be a statement of support for any one party, but it does I feel describe where we are as a nation through my eyes.   Please feel free to comment and discuss, the more the merrier.

As a country we find ourselves in a pretty dire position as I see it, summarized below;

FINANCE

  • Inflation Rate 2.9%
  • Wage growth 1.7%
  • Public sector wage growth 1% – unless you are an MP when its 11% at a cost of 5.2 Million, which would pay the bursaries of nearly 600 student nurses for a year, (give or take, I am not a mathematician)

So in just one year we are on average 1.2% worse off or 1.9% if you are public sector don’t forget that’s just 1 year.   Result not surprisingly –

  • Retail sales down – we can’t afford to buy stuff
  • Gap between poor and rich widening

HEALTH

  • Nursing vacancies unfilled as not enough nurses
  • NHS waiting lists increasing
  • NHS waiting time lengthening
  • A&E targets missed and getting worse
  • Ambulance response time targets for life threatening calls missed
  • Police cells and A&E departments being surrogate mental health beds due to chronic shortage of proper mental health unit beds
  • Less doctors taking approved training posts after basic training
  • Less young people going into nurse training – likely Due to removal of bursary
  • Applications for work in the NHS from Europe down 94% since Brexit vote

SECURITY

  • Police numbers down
  • Firefighter numbers down
  • Security services are struggling to protect the public and that is not a slur on security staff, they work bloody hard and do an amazing job.
  • Counter terrorism teams unable to watch and monitor as many people as necessary to ensure our safety.

POLITICS

  • Minority government with support from a party with its roots steeped in violence
  • Brexit negotiations to start without a stable government

Apparently the EU negotiators want to agree the bill before we agree the terms, hope the media got that wrong, otherwise the EU will say thanks for the donation, now piss off

SOCIETY

  • Public confidence in political system low
  • Tolerance of immigration reducing despite the value that having a diverse population brings including trade and skilled workers
  • Hate crime rising
  • Justice system that lets criminals get away with light sentences with insufficient jail accommodation to change this
  • A prison system that is so full, rehabilitation programs cannot be provided.
  • Politics somewhat controlled by media
  • Public services abused by an ever increasing number, A&E really is not the place to go because you can’t stop sneezing people

 

As I said this isn’t a political advert, it’s a statement of where we are, doesn’t sound at all like a GREAT Britain, or a UNITED Kingdom does it.   People will read this and say, well it’s the Tories Fault for their austerity program, or they will say the Labour Party started the rot under Blair, and no doubt other accusations against all governments and PM’s of the last 30 years.   Well I challenge you all to say that doesn’t matter right now, what does matter is how we make it right, what we do moving forward, how do we put the GREAT back into GREAT BRITAIN or the UNITED back into the UNITED KINGDOM, and no, closing our borders isn’t the gateway to paradise.   We all deserve better, regardless of where we came from, who we are and what we do, as do our children and our children’s children.   I don’t know how we change this, but it has to start with pressurizing our elected representatives, lobbying them and not taking no for an answer, they have to make us GREAT again and they have to do it for all, not just the few. – (sorry to borrow from the Labour Party manifesto).