Socialist Worker

LETTERS - Where next in fight for justice after Grenfell anniversary?

Issue No. 2610

The Grenfell Tower fire exposed the contempt that the authorities and the Tories have for ordinary people

The Grenfell Tower fire exposed the contempt that the authorities and the Tories have for ordinary people (Pic: Guy Smallman)

A year on from 72 avoidable deaths in Grenfell it’s disgusting to see Theresa May and housing minister James Brokenshire appropriating the green heart badges, which have become a commemorative symbol of Grenfell.

They do not care about those lost lives and traumatised survivors. If they cared they would have actually helped the surviors. Instead, they are doing all they can to divert blame to firefighters and anyone else while the real culprits walk free.

And May has yet to fund the vital fire safety work needed around the country.

I am proud to have been part of bringing solidarity for Grenfell into Unison conference last week and raising the issue.

This Tory government pushed privatisation and cut funding for safety so as to allow unlimited profits for their friends. No to scapegoating us for their corporate failures. No justice, no peace!

Phoebe Watkins, North London

Well done to Socialist Worker for a brilliant report on the Grenfell Tower tragedy. Your report shows us that we can’t forget the reasons why people died.

Like Hillsborough the state wants us to move on and forget what happened. We need to keep this social murder and those who caused it in people’s minds.

Alan McShane,Croston

Socialist Worker is right to highlight Boris Johnson’s cuts to the London Fire Brigade when he was London Mayor (Socialist Worker, 13 June).

And he did not only make cuts in frontline fire cover.

The number of fire safety inspecting officers (FSIOs) in London has been reduced from 210 in 2008 to 156 today.

Most of these cuts were made on Johnson’s watch.

An adequate number of FSIOs is essential if even a fraction of the thousands of high risk buildings in London are to receive a regular fire safety audit.

Over the same period Johnson and the Tories also cut the number of support staff. And there are only five FSIOs for the whole of Surrey.

The picture is similar in much of the rest of the country.

The Tory government rejected current London Mayor Sadiq Khan’s request for more funding for the London Fire Brigade in the aftermath of Grenfell.

Even the best fire safety legislation will not be effective if there are insufficient resources to enforce it.

Tony Phillips, Branch secretary, London Fire Brigade Unison

Marching past Parliament on the Justice for Grenfell demonstration recently made me think of all the Tory and Blairite MPs who sat on their hands.

They did nothing as construction standards and building control regulations were weakened. It meant companies such as Rydon, Celotex and Arconic could transform the tower into the inferno it became.

If by chance there is a hell, may they all burn in it.

Alan Gibson, East London

The guilty must be named. What has happened to Hillsborough?

The culprits must not avoid jail. In the end it boils down to just four or five people at the top. Obfuscation must not rule.

Tony Webb, On Facebook

In light of the survivors of the Grenfell Tower fire demanding justice I shall quote from William Shakespeare’s Macbeth, “Let grief convert to anger.”

Will Counsel, Peterborough

Brexit—we won’t pay

A report released last week claimed that the cost of Brexit per household could be £1,000.

Maybe that’s just scaremongering.

But, if it’s true, then why should we pay when big firms make millions of pounds whatever the trade deals?

We shouldn’t have to pay. Make the people who benefited pick up the tab.

Theresa Cummings, South London

New attack in Haringey?

Council tenants say that 2,500 homes at Haringey council’s High Road West development in North Tottenham will more than double the maximum density permitted under Sadiq Khan’s London Plan.

And council tenants whose homes are knocked down will be rehoused in a corner of a site behind a railway line.

The site was planned in 2014 for 1,200 homes, but now the council and the global developer Lendlease want to build more than 2,500.

The plan was to deliver a net residential density of 770 habitable rooms per hectare—already 10 percent higher than the London Plan’s maximum.

The increase to 2,500 dwellings would mean 1,600 habitable rooms per hectare.

This is 128 percent above the maximum permitted density of 700.

Paul Burnham, North London

Universal discredit

Universal Credit (UC) is now being imposed throughout Britain. It is likely to exclude many who need support the most.

Individuals will have to prove their identity by opening a “Verify” account, for which you need multiple forms of ID such as mortgage receipts.

It means those most in need could be unable to even apply for help.

UC has to be scrapped.

Duncan Brown, Glasgow

Tory hypocrisy over cannabis

We have been told for years that cannabis is dangerous and addictive.

Now at least some Tories are having to admit that’s false and it can be helpful and safe.

Labour needs to come out confidently for full legalisation.

Margaret Harris, East London

Banks fail the customers

How on earth can the Royal Bank of Scotland justify closing branches when I had to queue for half an hour to be served today at their former head office branch in Edinburgh?

John Hein, Edinburgh

Keep private hands off NHS

Theresa May has promised the NHS an extra £20 billion a year by 2023.

Given the speed with which the Tories are privatising the NHS, why doesn’t she just cut out the middle-man and give the extra money straight to the likes of Richard Branson’s Virgin Care?

Sasha Simic, East London

Not cheering for England

At the school where I work we had a “dress up in red, white and blue day” for the royal wedding.

I refused to participate and wore a Shelter help the homeless T-shirt.

Now it’s World Cup football fever and the same kind of flag-waving has reared its head.

But I don’t believe in a national interest.

The far right is on the rise and attempting to organise around football fans—a victorious England team gives them confidence.

Tommy Robinson supporters revel in the patriotism that goes along with England victories.

Every time nationalism is given a boost it gives the racists a bit more confidence.

I will be happy the quicker England are on their way home and the bunting is taken down.

Julie, York



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