Saturday, 17 June 2017

We've Changed, And Not For The Better...

A Tweet from Tim Newman yesterday threw into sharp relief the changes we've seen in ... well, just my lifetime:

Quite. I don't recall the Leader of the Opposition openly fomenting revolution at those times, either. as Longrider points out. I may have disagreed with their politics, but there was no question that back then, Labour had politicians of stature. Now? They have monsters in red rosettes.

The roll call of the dead is quite telling, too:
Khadija Saye and Mohammed Alhajali are the first people to be named as victims of the Grenfell Tower fire.
The family of Saye, an artist whose work has been exhibited at the Venice Biennale, told Sky News that she had been killed.
The death of Syrian refugee Alhajali was confirmed by Albdulaziz Almashi, the co-founder of the Syria Solidarity Campaign in the UK, where he worked.
You'll be hard pressed to find any gor blimey, guvnor, salt of the earth cockneys in this roll call.

Which perhaps goes some way towards understanding the sense of entitlement and inability to believe that 'the authorities' aren't in some way concealing the fate of their loved ones for some nefarious purpose...
Beinazir Lasharie, a resident and local Labour councillor, said: “We’re a nuisance to the council. Their attitude is: ‘How dare so many ethnic minority foreigners who are not well off live in these ugly flats?’”
Lasharie had been evacuated from her flat in a block next to the tower, and was uncertain about when she could return. “They don’t care about us, they don’t listen to us. It’s as if they want us to move out. They are socially cleansing us across the borough.”
If 'socially cleansing' means 'moving people who cannot afford to live in Kensington without the taxpayer's help to cheaper areas', then, frankly, I'm all for it.

Why is it necessary that we house them in desirable areas? I'm happy to miss out on the 'benefits' of having a diverse culture:
Sentencing, District Judge Tanweer Ikram said: "The whole country, if not the whole world, has been shocked by what has taken place in the last few days in relation to the fire at Grenfell Tower.
"The horror is not to be underestimated. The dignity of the dead must always be respected.
"What you have done by uploading those photos shows absolutely no respect to this poor victim. To show his face as he lies there is beyond words.
"That view is shared in the horror and disgust that is shown by those people that have uploaded messages on your profile.
"It is an aggravating feature that when people said to you 'This is really sick, just call the police' and 'call the cops rather than post photos', you didn't. "You didn't remove the photos."
The judge accepted Mwaikambo had no previous convictions and was remorseful for what he did, but with the events of the fire the case was "unprecedented". Mwaikambo, of Testerton Walk, was given six weeks for each charge to run consecutively and ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £115 and and costs of £85.
There really are no words.


Mr Ref U Gee said...

If you have prepared a shopping list in advance of the inevitable looting, could you get me a replacement TV, JuliaM? The one you got me from Hackney almost set fire to my polystyrene wall cladding.

Just Trevor said...

My answer to Tim's question is a qualified 'No'. I do, however, remember the response to the New Cross fire when thirteen people died in a crammed-to-the-rafters house during an all-night party and a mob invoked the usual bogeymen to blame. (An additional tragedy was that the event provided dirge- and rant-fodder for the likes of Quasi-Linton Johnson and Zebedee Benjaphiah.)

So we may have changed - and certainly not for the better - but a certain section of the population hasn't changed (improved, evolved) at all.

twentyrothmans said...

My darling ex was a nurse at a hospital in Chelsea. Her colleagues had to schlep across from the other side of London to get to work, while idle people enjoy free accommodation in SW10, just down the road. I do all right, but I cannot afford to live there and had to compromise.

It is impossible to justify housing most of these people anywhere near the centre of London. It is equally impossible to justify why there are here at all.

When I was at University, one of my friends entered a marriage of convenience so that an English friend could stay in .au. I'm considering doing the same to rescue one of you (although I know you're busy, Julia). She was given $20,000 - a very tidy sum then. I am in the wrong business.

Robert the Biker said...

I wonder how they will manage to fake the results of the inquiry to ensure there is no blame attached to any of the 'diversity'?
Let's see:
Flammable cladding installed to 'green' the buildings by adding an air space for insulation, also allows the fire to rush up the building. Certain people who are now Mayor connected with the company.
Stairways blocked with rubbish, does anyone believe there are specially trained teams of White people who truck the stuff in, or is it the lazy shit who live there.
Fire alarms and detectors 'not working'. Really, or had they been vandalized/stolen? They are hard wired in for Gods sake, they don't just break or walk off.
"The fridge caught fir and blew flames out the window" What? They have weaponised fridges now? Perhaps we should drop some over Iraq.

This will be a fit up, trust me on this, "oh, all the poor dead brown people, lets bring more in and give them council houses" Here's a better idea; Fuck Off and leave the mutts where they came from, before they burn the rest of the city down.

Bloke in Germany said...

You forgot to highlight the Judge's name.

James said...

There are interesting parallels with the Kings Cross fire, and it is correct that back then there was no rush to apportion blame or to blame "teh toreez", just quiet dignified sadness for the victims.

Kings Cross was hard to fight because it was an unprecedented fire. Nobody had ever set fire to a wooden platform in a diagonally vertical space before, so it behaved like no observed fire in history. As a result of that we now have an understanding of the way escalator fires can cause superheated flashovers that act like targeted flamethrowers, and action is taken to stop them catching fire ever again to prevent a repeat.

The massed ranks of every firefighter in West London were last week unable to prevent a concrete building from more or less burning to a shell. That suggests to me there was something unique about this fire, something unanticipated and against which standard containment procedures proved ineffective. No tower block in history has burned like tinder from the outside in. Now we will know that they can, and you can be sure moves will be made to prevent the same thing happening.

Yet tell that to the blameiacs, those searching for scapegoats and plugging their own bitterness into what is probably nothing more than an unpreventable and unanticipated human tragedy. But out of which we will all grow just that little bit safer.

TJ said...

Good idea,
So no explosive fridges, no opening windows, no culturally diverse (flammable) fabrics, no BBQ goat, no cooking pot on a butane stove in the living room, no idiots that leave windows and fire doors open, no idiots that vandalise fire alarms etc., regular fire safety inspections... oh and immediate execution of those idiots that leave unwanted (flammable) junk on the landings because they are too lazy to carry it down.

I thank there must be a Scottish island with room for a few tents that would be an ideal place for those that can't cope with high rise buildings.

Just Trevor said...

I used to live in a rather nice housing association flat in a block of twelve. My neighbours were all pleasant people who kept their own properties and the communal area clean and tidy. This happy state obtained for a few blissful years until over the course of several months we had two deaths and a couple of other long-term tenants moved on. Their replacements were most certainly not like for like. Until then we had been a rather conspicuous oasis of pallor in a joyously enriched suburb. I suspect that the association, which had by then undergone what one might call an affirmative overhaul of its staff and management, was desperate to change this. The results will come as no surprise to any regular visitor to this blog: blatant sub-letting and overcrowding, anti-social behaviour, loud music blaring, the communal garden commandeered by large groups of babbling visitors, a fire caused by careless use of candles, obvious drug dealing, a Thai lady plying her trade (badly, if the frequently broken windows were any indication), the entire block suffused with the stench of cannabis, wantonly careless disposal of food waste leading to repeated infestations of rats, and then more wasted visits from the fire service thanks to an Eritrean lady's weekly coffee morning involving not an electric kettle and a jar of Nescafe but an actual fire on her living room floor. The association's staff seemed helpless or unwilling to do anything about any of this, and looked askance when I suggested that newcomers would benefit from advice on what are acceptable and unacceptable practices. When pressed on the rat problem, they did post on the bin store an utterly illiterate notice that none of the miscreants would have been able to read anyway. I left.

Apologies for an off-topic rant, Jules, I'm sure none of my experiences bear the slightest relevance to this story.