The Conservative Party -- and free market ideologues -- have waged a long war on "safety culture," insisting it was a nonsensical, incoherent regulation that acted as a drag on every business except no-win/no-fee lawyers, who exploited these rules to victimise poor corporations with punishing lawsuits.
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Theresa May, aloof and clueless, decided not to meet victims of the Grenfell tower fire. Her political rival Jeremy Corbyn and the Queen, however, each managed to fit them in. So May, accustomed as she is to politically transparent changes of heart, decided to meet some victims. It did not go well, and later she was filmed all but running to her car as a crowd taunted her.
Scuffles broke out in the crowd as the Prime Minister's car drove away from the scene of the disaster.
In an interview, the Prime Minister was questioned over whether there was a need for the Government to accept some responsibility for what had happened.
"Something terrible has happened," she answered. ...
Asked if she had misread the public anger, she replied: "What I have done since this incident took place is, first of all, yesterday ensure that the public services had the support they need in order to be able to do the job they were doing in the immediate aftermath."
A decade of punishing "austerity" policies, inflicted by the ruling Conservative party on the poor, ended in May's shock tie at the polls with Corbyn's Labour party in a snap election she was supposed to win in a landslide. And now more than 75 people — a total the authorities have consistently attempted to obfuscate — are missing after the fire, a fire they knew was coming because of the appallingly unsafe conditions in which they lived, a fire accelerated by cheap cosmetic renovations designed to make Grenfell more pleasing to the eye of rich neighbors. Read the rest
London's Grenfell Tower, built in the 1970s, is 27 stories tall and the subject of years of desperate complaints by its residents concerning safety. Last night it was completely consumed by fire, claiming the lives of at least twelve residents and sending hundreds more to hospital. Witnesses report that they heard no alarms and saw no sprinklers, despite a recent "renovation."
Eyewitnesses described people trapped in the burning Grenfell Tower, in north Kensington, screaming for help and yelling for their children to be saved.
Firefighters rescued "large numbers", but London Mayor Sadiq Khan said "a lot" of people were unaccounted for.
The 24-storey block, which is still on fire, looks at risk of collapsing.
During the night, eyewitnesses said they saw lights - thought to be mobile phones or torches - flashing at the top of the block of flats, and trapped residents coming to their windows - some holding children.
The Grenfell residents association's blog amounts to years of postings, desperately pleading with local government and the Kensington and Chelsea Tenant Management Organisation for their lives, in full knowledge that they would soon lose them. It's disgusting and terrifying.
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A baby was caught by a member of the public after being dropped from Grenfell Tower as it was engulfed with flames, a witness said.
Samira Lamrani said she saw a woman try to save a baby by dropping it from a window "on the ninth or 10th floor" to waiting members of the public below.
"People were starting to appear at the windows, frantically banging and screaming," she said.