Over the last week I have been repeating a point about what we are being told, simply put we have been given half truths and numbers without context.
The continued refusal to provide more than token numbers which are released out of context is a fairly normal tactic for this current (last 7 years) Tory regime.
They do it every time they are trying to cover up bad news.
Here by giving limited numbers they are hiding any reality, we have heard of 400 survivors but this number apparently includes people who have been evacuated from adjacent houses that were threatened by the fire in the tower. 79 missing thought dead, another 54 missing, reports of 42 dead in a single room, the stairwell choked with bodies the fire fighters climbed over, eye witnesses reporting numerous body bags being removed at night only.
People are afraid and being given half truths and what are blatantly massaged numbers just stinks of a cover up, which means people are even more afraid that the risk is much higher and is being covered up by the councils, corporations and government to protect their own arses.
The same with 34 buildings tested and found to be clad with non fire resistant materials. But the number that have been tested, the % that 34 represents, that is some sort of state secret.
And it's bloody important when making a judgement about how bad the risk is, if they have tested 1,000 buildings and found 34 that's a tiny risk and people can relax a lot. If they have tested 100 buildings and found 34 that's a bloody nightmare and puts hundreds of thousands of people at risk.
When it walks like a cover up, talks like a cover up and looks like a cover up, it's a duck.
Then last night, while I was tucked up in bed, some news was released. Being late on a Saturday evening it seems to have been missed, I didn't catch it until this morning when a passing comment was made by a reporter during an interview. I wasn't sure I'd heard it correctly becasue it was shocking, Sunday morning, barely started on my first coffee of the day, brain not working. So I wasn't sure I'd heard it correctly.
One quick check later and
JEBUS FUCKING WEPT ! ! !
Communities Secretary Sajid Javid finally answered my question as to how many buildings had been tested. He was talking about the 34 buildings that have failed the fire resistance testing and he revealed how many buildings had been tested so far. 34.
34 tested, 34 FAILED. 100% of the tower block cladding samples tested have failed. All of them failed, every last one of them is just as flammable as the cladding on Glenfell tower.
ALL OF THEM.
100% tested so far failed to meet the standards. If that holds true across all of the thousands of towers with cladding across the UK and with an average of 500 people per tower that is 2,000,000 people. Two million people.
TWO MILLION PEOPLE !
Living in towers that are potentially one flat fire away from being death traps.
OK calmed down and had some coffee. So. . . .
It could be that the towers thought most at risk are being tested first, but even so, every tower tested has failed, Every single one. That's appalling, no its beyond appalling. These towers were clad with materials that has failed the combustion testing mandated by the government to meet the minimum safety standards, the minimum, and they have all failed.
Not just failed, but failed disastrously, burning through in 2-3 minutes rather than the 30 minutes or an hour required. And with each panel burning through it spreads the fire higher and higher, a few minutes per panel and in less than half an hour entire tower blocks are covered in flames most of which are beyond the reach of firefighters.
Each of these buildings which was clad would have been subject to planning permission, details of what they were being clad in would have been approved. The actual work should have been inspected while it was being done. Once complete it would have been checked yet again by the customer before being signed off and then it would still be subject to regular fire checks. Work on the towers should have been carried out with an eye to maintaining fire safety and should have been inspected for the same.
AND YET !
Thirty four towers clad with something about as fire resistant as an oily rag and not one inspection was failed, not one check noticed the panels and all too often the insulation was not fire resistant or fire retardant but in many cases burned like dry wood and gave of letal fumes to boot. Multiple companies made this stuff knowing it would burn, multiple companies seem to have fitted it knowing it was a death trap, multiple councils signed off on the stuff without ever testing it or caring about the fact that it wasn't up to standard.
As much as I want to blame the Tories this isn't just there problem. The pitiful response, the chaos and confusion, the failure of any kind of organised response from the top down, that is the Tories fault.
But while they have clearly been turning a blind eye for the last 7 years in their usual sacrificing lives for profit, this goes back before them.
This whole situation represents a complete and utter abandonment of even the pretext of building codes and standards. People's lives deliberately out at risk for a profit, cheaper materials that are below standard used because they were £2 a panel less than the fire resistant stuff!
The fire department in London who are supposed to do these random tests, the specialised departments that carry out such tests, have been devastated by budget cuts. And when the fire broke out they were responding with less people and less equipment becasue of years of Tory cuts. Boris the complete and utter Bastard sold off fire stations to developers to turn into luxury flats, sold the fire engines to his palls for a few quid each and sacked the firemen while presiding over the slaughter of their pensions.
Remember Boris is the bloke whose idea of spraying water extends to water cannon and rioters, NOT BURNING BUILDINGS!
Thirty Four Buildings. 34 x 500 people.
Every building tested so far, FAILED !
That's not even covering the fact that the UK has 4,000 of these towers and thousands more schools, office buildings, hospitals and the like with such cladding. And most of them without sprinklers, or alarms. Because over the last seven years sprinklers cost money that is better spent giving tax cuts to corporations.
After all, it's just poor people at risk. If they are rich they will be using private schools and hospitals.
We have truly reached the level of Banana republic. Corruption at every possible level, a government maintained by religious extremists, El President being greeting by booing crowds while hiding inside a ring of big burly police and guards. And now our very homes, for millions of people, the schools we send our children to, death traps. Deliberately made unsafe to save money so the builders, the buyers, the government can line their corrupt pockets with yet more money.
Well now it's blood money. People have died, not just at the hands of the DWP, an organisation that is now a byword for cruelty, but through corporate manslaughter. Men, women, children. DEAD! Because their lives got in the way of corporate profit. And countless thousands more are at risk, are going to find themselves homeless because some piece of shit saved £2 a panel and everyone else turned a blind eye!
And hundreds of thousands more looking at being forced out of their death trap homes because our government and councils are suddenly concerned about people dying, bad publicity and lawsuits have got them moving where mere human life wasn't a concern.
We are looking at an evacuation of people not seen in the UK since the Blitz and the threat of German invasion during world war two. Back then it was organised, planned, it was a massive undertaking but it was done and done well.
One tower caught fire. Four other towers have been evacuated and it has been a disaster of bad planning, no planning and governmental incompetence from the highest levels downwards. Elderly people sleeping in chairs because they have been evicted and have no bebs to sleep on, people sleeping in cars or on the ground because the facilities provided by the local councils are hopelessly inadequate to the task.
No communication, no coordination. Charities that normally work in war zones stepping in to take up the slack left by incompetent or uncaring bureaucracy.
This is five towers. There are 600 known to be at risk, 4,000 such towers in total. This government has proved itself incapable of dealing with five towers, how the actual FUCK will it handle a few hundred.
We have gone far beyond mere Tory incompetence, we are now in the realms of a looming national disaster. Hundreds of thousands of people facing becoming homeless, OR DEAD, and outside of the local level as people step in to help each other we have, what?
The minister in charge, FUCK OF TO THE BACK BENCHES, seriously you are a joke, piss off and get someone competent in to take over, we have military and civilian experts who fly out to disaster zones to take control and deal with the situation. USE THEM HERE. Because the Government response is far too little, far too late.
BUT THEN IT'S JUST POOR PEOPLE DYING !
UPDATE. After writing this the following happened.
The government communities minister Sajid Javid has just said that the number of towers tested and failed now stands at 60
60 ! ! !
30,000 people living it high rise government supported death traps for poor people.
I'm running out of swear words actually harsh enough to reflect my opinion of this situation.
COCK SUCKING, PIGS HEAD FUCKING, MURDERING, GUTTER BORN, WANKSTAIN, COCKWOMBLE, FUCKMUPPET, MOTHERLESS, WALKING SACKS OF DIAREHA !