No more Grenfells - Fight for social housing

justice for grenfell demo

The narrow terms of reference for the Public Inquiry into the Grenfell Tower fire, and the attempts to sideline and intimidate survivors, reveal that the government has no intention of seeking justice for those who have lost everything. As ever, those with wealth and power will continue to protect their own interests no matter the cost to the working class. The result of their tireless pursuit of profit will be further insecurity, poverty, homelessness and death. The public inquiry is designed simply to demoralise, demobilise and exhaust those fighting for justice, against austerity, and for social housing. Jack Lukacs reports.

 

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Housing In Briefs

Scotland Housing
Glasgow TAG members stand up for tenants' rights

MANCHESTER

At the end of June, housing association One Manchester announced it would remove potentially lethal cladding from its tower blocks after 16 of them failed fire tests following the Grenfell fire. However so far only five have had any serious work done. There are also further issues in its buildings with poor stairwell exits and doubts as to whether a fire horn blown by fire wardens would be heard in the higher flats.

At Bikerdike Court in Longsight, One Manchester has simply put up a notice on the ground floor stating that the cladding had been widely adopted in schools, hospitals and other tower blocks, and was therefore assumed to be safe!

 

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Birmingham’s Labour councillors cut vital services

protest agaings buget cut birminham
Protest against buget cuts, February 2017

Rather than offer any opposition to continual reductions in its central government grant, Birmingham’s Labour-run council has imposed cuts totalling £650m since 2010, with a further £100m due in 2017/18.

Schools have had £108m slashed from their budgets, the equivalent of 3,000 teacher’s salaries, with a further £94m of cuts to come. Teaching assistants have been the first to lose their jobs, but teaching jobs will also be lost and class sizes will rise. As a typical example, Erdington Academy has lost nearly £500,000, £576 per pupil. Many schools are asking parents to donate to school funds. This means that schools in working class areas are affected even more severely because parents there have less money to donate.

 

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Grenfell Tower: Condemn capitalism!

justice for grenfell

Capitalism is in deep and unending crisis. Profit increasingly takes a parasitic and criminal form: interest, speculation, tax havens, money laundering, organised crime, financial fraud, rigged markets. These are the means by which capitalists retain their profits as they are compelled to battle with each other for a share of the surplus value. Cheating and corruption become necessary to monopoly capitalism in crisis and is invaluable to the ruling class. Trevor Rayne reports.

The fire at Grenfell Tower exposes the scale of corruption that permeates authority in Britain. It is driven by corporations scrambling for profits, bending rules and regulations and breaking them to do so. In these calculations, human beings must yield profits and they are disposable. This crime was years in the making and the guilty hands are many, but the names will be few. The culprits hide behind masks of respectability and are protected by the narrow terms of reference of the public inquiry.

 

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Grenfell fire: social murder

grenfell riot

The fire that devastated Grenfell Tower on 14 June, leaving a yet unknown number of people dead and hundreds homeless, was not some terrible accident, but rather the culmination of a housing policy marked by decades of deliberate degradation of social housing. It could have happened on almost any council estate in the country, where what is left of publicly-owned housing is systematically sold off by Conservative and Labour councils alike, or left to rot as a prelude to demolition and ‘regeneration’ as profitable private assets. Successive governments have turned their backs on the housing needs of the working class. The residents of Grenfell Tower were murdered by a barbaric and crisis-ridden capitalist system that carelessly sacrifices human need to its relentless drive for profits. The Grenfell fire was what Aditya Chakraborrty, writing in The Guardian (20 June 2017) and citing Engels, rightly describes as social murder. CAT WIENER reports.

 

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