Saturday 17 June 2017

Open Thread

Kensington and Chelsea 

Time for another Open Thread


  1. There seem to be three groups of people on the streets of Kensington at the moment: grieving relatives, media reporters and professional agitators from rent-a-mob. I have every sympathy for the former, but in its eagerness to bash the Tories, the BBC appears to be doing its best to help the latter. This is a very dangerous game to play.

  2. Interesting times, as the Chinese Curse says...

    The Conservative Party is not fit for purpose. It claims to be a party for all the people of the UK. But it isn't. Had it been it would never have put out that manifesto with its absurd priorities such as grammar schools, fox hunting and means-testing of winter fuel allowances.

    The Conservative Party remains the party of property. Nothing wrong with that in principle in a democracy, but we see the dangers when they come up against Marxists prepared to use every trick in the agitprop book.

    We really are now in a rather unpleasant vortex - which the BBC and the rest of the MSM are feeding with the energy of grievance.

    On the one hand we see the Conservatives, along with all other major parties in the UK, having pursued an insane policy of poorly controlled mass immigration for decades. Chickens are now coming home to roost in abundance. We have huge population pressure on housing, education and health services. We have divided communities. Whole swathes of the country are losing their British cultural identity. We have an enormous problem with Jihadi terrorism. We have downward pressure on the poorest people's incomes. Meanwhile our population is heading towards 100 million at a rapid rate just as the point when technology is beginning to wipe out millions of jobs: fast food workers, sandwich makers, lorry drivers, taxi drivers, train drivers, even lawyers and GPs.

    On the other hand, the BBC - working as Labour's propaganda arm - forbids virtually all reference to the reality of what mass immigration is doing to the country, and constantly push a counter-narrative that it is all about austerity and the need to increase public expenditure. If we do nothing about mass immigration, which requires us to build the equivalent of ten cities the size of Liverpool every year, then even the most extreme tax and spend policies won't stop our decline.

    A centrist populist party whether with a right or left leaning is what is required now. A populist party would be honest with the people about the state of the nation and what needs to be done. It would agree with the majority of the people that mass immigration has to stop and immigration processes need to be brought under real control. At the same time we need to abandon the PC ideology of multiculturalism and replace it with unicultural approach.

    I don't accept by the way that Corbyn is a populist. He is a Marxist ideologue who believes in Leninism, which has at its core the idea of an intellectual elite who know better than, and who lead, the masses.

  3. The tragic events of Grenfell tower may have even more tragic consequences. The BBC have appointed Corbyn as the unofficial, but very real post of Prime-Minister in waiting. Tonight Pienaar was delighting in the prospect of "ever-growing demonstrations and unrest" could push us to the brink. Ironic that in sight of Genfell tower is the former TVC (even more ironically, currently being fitted with cladding) having been squandered by the Corporation, now being converted to £1million+ luxury flats. And the BBC wants to whip up civil unrest ! What would they make of NBH ablaze ? Be careful what you wish for BBC.

    1. "Be careful what you wish for..." is very much the phrase running through my mind. A Marxist ideologue has soggy left news presenters in his sights as much as billionaire bankers.

      And the well heeled Remainiacs need to think what they are unleashing with their determination to divide society: young against old, rich against poor, north against south, one nation against another, one religious community against another. The Remainiac campaign has been one of the most outrageously socially divisive since the Yeomanry laid into the Chartists at Peterlee.

      Then there are the ex-Blairites trying to save their careers by cosying up to Corbyn. A stay of execution does not mean your crime has been forgotten.

  4. Something else that needs focussing on (mentioned by a number of people on bBBC) is the strange disparity in "sanctioned reactions" between the recent terrorist outrages and the awful fire. As far as the terrorism has gone the BBC (and the rest of the MSM to be fair) have been strongly sanctioning reactions of love, togetherness and acceptance. Reactions of anger - which we all know are very much out there - were basically heavily censored. The constrast with the fire couldn't be more stark: the MSM but the BBC especially have been almost encouraging reactions of anger...predicting such reactions, framing them and justifying them, rather than querying them.

    Another thing I would throw out it is why a £5 billion organisation like the BBC with its vast news gathering organisation, its great interest in social housing, and its many consumer programmes, failed to spot this story, that flammable cladding was being put up on tower blocks just a few miles away from its HQ.

    If the BBC spent a little less time pursuing its obsessions - Brexit, Trump, gender equality, misogynistic cycling coaches and manspreading to name a few - perhaps they might have averted this horrendous event. We will never know.

  5. I'm a Chartered Surveyor by trade, and I'm struggling to understand how this tragedy can be laid at the governments door.

    If the cladding and lack of sprinklers was to current building regs and passed all relevant fire inspections then it's just a tragedy. The regs are not some kind of class war plot to kill the poor, rather the exact opposite. Tragedies in the past have led to their refinement and they will again in the future.

    Some have suggested that those impacted by this tragedy should be housed in the homes of the "rich" interestingly these buildings, if high rise, will have been built and modified to the same regulations.

    This is now about toppling a government and has nothing to do with the actual event. Which is what the BBC and others should also be reporting and providing context about.

    1. Following a previous fire in a tower block, there was a recommendation to government to look at revising building regs. That recommendation is now 4 years' old - so I am afraid the Government IS in the frame, along with the Mayor of London (previous and current), the Council, the TMO, the construction company, that company's sub contractors, the makers of the cladding and the Fire Service (who let's not forget would have signed off the work). A lot will depend on the detail.

    2. ... This is now about toppling a government and has nothing to do with the actual event... If Jeremy Corbyn was a true leader, he would be curbing the excesses of his so-called supporters, not just basking in the limelight of his sudden and inexplicable popularity.

      My guess is that he is little more of a puppet, whose strings are being pulled by far, far-left agitators. Theresa May will do well to withstand this vicious onslaught against her. I, for one, wouldn't blame her for stepping down. No-one in a parliamentary democracy should be subjected to this personal vilification. If this is an example of a 'youth movement' into which Corbyn has tapped and is proud of, then our future looks grim indeed.


  6. In response to the first anonymous - yep there will have been recommendations for all manner of things during this governments time and those before. Some of which won't have been acted upon for various reasons.

    Nobody now thinks using asbestos in buildings is a good idea, but it was used until the the health implications became clear.

    Do I think it's malicious? No it's just a tragic set of events that has led to this disaster.

  7. I've just cut and pasted this from the Guido Fawkes website dunno if true if it is, it kinda proves my point about what this event is being used for.

    "Not my research - just a copy and paste from a Spectator poster:
    1 - the block of flats was run not by any council but by KCTMO. This body
    is made up of 8 TENANTS, 4 councilors and 3 independent members.
    2 - Lbour hold the seat that the block is situated in.
    3 - Labour run the London Council who manage the under funded London Fire Service
    4 - incidentally Emma Coad the sitting Labour MP for that ward also sat on the KCTMO.
    5 - the advise to stay put which Sadiq Khan has been so vocal about was given by the London Fire Service.
    6 - the decision to change contractors during the refurb was made by KCTMO.
    7 - the decision not to spend a paltry £138k on fitting sprinklers again KCTMO.
    8 - the decision to create ALMO organisation such as the KCTMO was made under the Right To Manage legislation passed in 2002
    as part of the Commonhold and Leasehold Reform Act.
    9 - this was put in place to give leasehold tenants a greater say and the ability to self manage, which has clearly proven to be a disaster.
    10 - and which Govt was in a charge when this law was passed? Yup you guessed it Labour.
    11 - Sadiq Khan as mayor of London Produced a report to say that the fire service did not need further funding.
    12 -Emma Coad elected Labour MP was on the board of the Tenant Management group who are being accused of not listening to tenants."


    2. Thanks, Ive seen the response from the "left" but you'll note the above is different to that blog - as I said I don't know if it's true. Obviously swarkbox or whatever only either print the "truth".

      The fact that it is being disparaged with no apparent irony that the same is being done in reverse to blame the tories - is the actual problem.

  8. I do think there needs to be an element of humility when this is discussed, by politicians of either side and the media - after all, who foresaw this coming? Point me to the articles or speeches where this was highlighted or political pressure was applied - most, apparently, didn't imagine this could happen. So, yes, whilst there needs to be an investigation to understand what happened, there needs to be a recognition that this was a collective failure to spot what is now evident was a major risk.

    More broadly, there is a general lack of awareness by the media of their own responsibilities and accountability when it comes to stories such as this, or indeed the recent shooting in the USA.

    Questions such as " why didn't you focus on...", or "did your rhetoric contribute to..." can equally be asked to the media as to politicians, but it doesn't appear that many in the media have considered this - it's almost as if there is a blind spot there, which is why blogs like this are so useful.

  9. The problem for the Tories is that Theresa May doesn’t know how to engage with people. That doesn’t mean she doesn’t have compassion, which she clearly does, but it is a serious failing in a leader. At the same time she appears too ready to listen to her advisers rather than use her instincts. When she failed to meet the families directly after the tragedy of course Corbyn made political capital out of it. That’s what he does. We saw that after Manchester. In fact it’s what the far left always do. I’m afraid after that May’s subsequent hospital visit couldn’t have looked more like a stage managed publicity stunt - even if her intentions were completely sincere.

    True to form the BBC is playing the same game. John Humphys’s faux anger (a Humphrys speciallity) at Sajid Jafid yesterday perfectly demonstrated this. His constant interruptions and demands that the Government should be doing things that Jafid was carefully trying to explain were already being done was obscuring the issue rather than clarifying it. I don’t know if this is bias or Humphrys’s inflated ego, but the effect is the same.

    At least this morning Radio 4 did report that the demonstration at Kensington town hall was not just the families of the victims but SWP activists. Maybe the even BBC realises that in helping the left turn this into an issue about race and class, rather than a terrible tragedy, they could be playing a very dangerous game.

  10. The Grenfell fire was an accident and the public enquiry will determine the reasons for it's catastrophic and rapid escalation. However, the BBc has decided to start another (political) fire against Theresa May and her Government. And they are adding as much fuel as possible to make sure it is catastrophic for the Government. Can we have an enquiry into that please?

    1. Not correct.

      A case of manslaughter or an incident involving negligence is not "an accident". We don't yet know the circumstances of what happened.
      Here is a legal definition of an accident:

      "An accident is simply an incident which no-one could have reasonably foreseen and for which no-one should be held responsible."

      The potential consequence of cladding a building with flammable material can reasonably be foreseen. Any fule can see that.

      If for instance someone at some point said "Use the flammable material, it's cheaper and if there is a fire we can live with that" then you have manslaughter not an accident.

    2. The accident was the fridge exploding in flames. As I said, the investigation will determine any blame for what continues.

    3. According to newspaper reports, a less flammable version would have cost an additional £5,000 for the whole building. £5,000 on an £8.6 million budget, this was never about saving money. Same with the sprinkler system, the cost of which wouldn't even bust out the contingency on such a project.

    4. There's too many instant experts on the BBC. I believe the aim is only to blame the Government and support the BBC narrative that it is a failing, heartless Government that will fall and allow Uncle Jeremy to be carried shoulder high into Downing Street.

      There will be a full technical enquiry into the fire. The focus on the cladding and renovation works is premature and is political. Think about what a full investigation will look at:
      - did the cladding start the fire: No
      - did the cladding have the function of fire detection and alarm? No
      - did the cladding have the function of providing clear and timely evacuation? No
      - did the cladding have the function of performing fire drills and awareness training ? No
      - did the cladding influence the number of occupants and their location in the building? No.

      All the above will find issues that should have been covered by regulations, the tower management company, and local authority, etc..

    5. Ozfan, the BBC Narrative is that nasty Tory cuts are responsible for all of it not being done.

  11. However if someone said "I know let's use the material that meets all current uk safety requirements, the clients specification and it's £2 cheaper per m2" that individual is just doing his or her job.

    I've read that the intital quotation was more than the councils budget and value engineering had to be carried out to reduce the price. This goes on everyday across the UKs construction sites and is not some kind of evil Tory plot.

    1. Where did I say it was some kind of "evil Tory plot"? Nowhere. I said that it's not an accident if people knew they were taking risks with people's lives. The key issue will be whether people knew that the cladding material was flammable. If they did, whether or not it meets the regs, they were negligent. It's like saying "I know this tyre meets the legal requirement on tread, but I know it's made out of crap stuff that will fall apart at speed". Knowledge is the original sin as far as negligence goes. They can't hide behind regs if they knew they were taking a risk. Who knew what remains to be seen. But given the material must have been marketed as NOT being non-flammable, it's difficult to see how anyone in on that particular knowledge can not be considered negligent.

    2. Tyre A meets all uk law but is offers 10% more grip in the wet than Trye B that also meets all uk law.

      Tyre A is £2 more expensive.

      The customer decides that they want Tyre B because it's cheaper, the mechanic fits Tyre B knowing it offers 10% less grip.

      The customer crashes and dies by sliding off at a wet corner. Is the mechanic negligent?

  12. Well, the "heartless Tories" got the blame from Corbyn for the London Bridge Islamic terrorist attacks ... it was all due to police cuts remember? The BBC gave this line of reasoning plenty of air time. Just as they do now with Corbyn's nonsense that the Grenfell tower fire is also due to "heartless Tories".

    It's an obvious tactic for any opposition party to blame the sitting Government for all and every accident, mishap, disaster and so on. Obvious, but simplistic and it's alarming that the BBC is now so in Corbyn's pocket that they not only go along with it but actually promote it. I think it's likely that BBC has been infiltrated by Momentum. After all it's what those types do.

    On top of the apportioning the blame to May, the BBC is going overboard on presenting her as cold in her in response to the victims. This mornings Today was still quoting Portillo and Parris's obscure but negative comments on her, days after their original quotes. Propaganda I say.

    Personally I prefer an in-control, rational, response to the over emoting (but false) catch in the throat style perfected by Blair, and now "Uncle Joe" Corbyn.

    1. Oh, just heard a pundit on R5 Pienaar's Politics state that the Prime Minister's job is "to express the emotions of the nation like Tony Blair did at Diana's funeral" ... oh dear oh dear.

    2. I heard Pienaar this morning. He spent several quite some time pushing his 'questions' (that he has already answered before his guests have the chance) about the class war aspect to this dreadful fire - these victim's rights (Labour) had, he said, been ignored whereas if they had have been rich (Conservatives) they would have taken the Landlords to task over fire safety issues.

      As has been said on ITBBCB earlier, the same building regulations apply regardless of the ethnicity or wealth or otherwise of the occupants.

      One further thought: Would this issue have received so much coverage if it had been in Leeds, Birmingham or Glasgow? Is it the fact that it can be used as a stick with which to beat Theresa May, and support a BBC/Labour initiative to damage the credibility of the Government-in-waiting - all because they fell short and lost the General Election?

  13. A new low in the BBC's anti-Israel and pro-Palestinian bias:

    Some heroic Palestinian freedom fighters were killed - while boarding a Jewish children's school bus and trying to stab to death as many children as possible. BBC sick tweet:

    "Three Palestinians killed after deadly stabbing in Jerusalem"

    BBC News. Your license fee hard at work. Of course they deleted it as soon as someone complained. It really didn't occur to the Beeboid who posted it that this was wrong.

    1. Tx. Twitchy was very good. I’ve updated my post (below) accordingly

  14. Apparently nasty Tory cuts caused the Grenfell Towers fire, says Faiza Shaheen. But when Iain Dale brought up the facts behind it - i.e. local Labour leadership, resident management, and 'experts' were responsible for the building's status - and Victoria Derbyshire agreed, she did the "Yes, but..." routine. Never mind, still yet anouther national disgrace for Theresa May, having to bring in American government and Red Cross officials to help. The narrative with whic Marr initially framed the incident was saved in the end.

    What an amazing boon for all the identity politics progressives that so many of the victims were non-white immigrants. It's a racial issue and a class issue. Even Dale has to signal his virtue by pointing out the neighborhood is "a great example of multicultural London". As everyone was just talking about how it's a neglected, poor neighborhood, I'm not sure that's the compliment he thinks it is.

    When she called the snap election, who actually thought Theresa May was a 'colossus', would sweep all before her, outside the bubble? More about making this a political disaster for May and the Conservative Party. BBC Tory propaganda as usual, right?

    This is followed by the usual tear-jerking personal stories of victims, with Marr also having another activist on the sofa. A woman with a name stolen from a Nathaniel Hawthorne novel actually worked as an activist with residents back when some major work was done on the building. Corners were cut, cosmetic work done which may have contributed to the fire, but important safety measures were deliberately not done. Problems catalogued going back for years. Who is in charge back then? Who knows? Marr didn't ask. Who was in charge of the local council responsible? Who knows? Marr didn't ask. The important thing to remember is that this is a blow to Theresa May and the Tories.

    "Theresa May says she's got things wrong in the short term," says Marr, and asks what the PM could now do to make things right. As if the message hadn't gotten through yet. Half the program is about it.

  15. Oh, wait, there's more. After the weather, Labour MP Keir Starmer is on to explain to Marr how the tragedy really was caused by nasty Tory cuts. Presumably Brexit will come in eventually, Marr's pet issue of the year. When Marr presents this to Starmer as Labour talking points, he's tacitly admitting that the entire first half of his show was promoting Labour talking points, or at least an anti-May, anti-Tory agenda.

    Finally, Marr brings up that fires happened under Labour as well, who had ten more years in power to address the 'cladding' and other issues. "We all need to ask serious questions," Starmer dodged. Marr let him get away with it. After a discussion about how to assign blame and file charges, Marr managed to introduce his pet issue.

    As if nobody has ever said, he asked Starmer if Labour did accept that the UK was leaving the EU. Starmer answered in the affirmative, and Marr acted as if he had gotten some sort of scoop. Then more of the same stupidity. Is the UK leaving the Single Market? Leaving the Customs Union? As if nobody has ever said. It's a manufactured story at this point. More of the usual, "Labour's position is clear as mud". This isn't journalism, it's agit-prop. Nobody can possibly say what the final result will be, and it's intellectually dishonest to claim that politicians aren't being open about what will happen. I know everybody does it.

    In perhaps his last appearance on Marr for the foreseeable future, Philip Hammond was there to defend the Tories against being blamed for the Grenfell fire. Nasty Tories sat on their hands, did not respond to alarming reports because these were poor, non-white people. Hammond's defense was crap, more or less admitting it was the Tories' fault. At one point, he actually stooped so low as to suggest that installing a sprinkler system isn't always helpful for safety. Smelling blood, Marr then tried to ramp it up to blaming the nasty Tories on "sneering" at the 'elf 'n' safety culture. Hammond wasn't up to explaining how they're not the same thing at all. It just got worse after that.

    Marr will see today as a success for his agenda.

  16. Driving home (8ish) just heard Roger Bolton on Radio Four state that the Grenfell Fire was a "far more preventable tragedy" than the three recent terrorist outrages.

    What an astonishing statement!

    Not preventable? Not even by the perpetrators Roger?

    1. Says everything you need to know about the boneheaded elite who rule us.

      One good thing that might emerge from this fire is - yet again exposing how "unexpert" the experts were. The likelihood is that the cladding and ducting were signed off by numerous experts in planning, building control, the contractor firms, the architectural and surveying professions and the fire service.

      If it smells and looks like a raging conflargration,it probably is...that's how we should feel about the fire consuming our culture, our nation and our state.

    2. I have this annoying habit of taking everything to its logical conclusion, even if it does mean repeating what has already been said. Roger Bolton has claimed that the terrorist acts in London and Manchester were carried out by people who had no choice but to murder innocent people, thus absolving them of any responsibility. Apparently the only responsibility lay with the authorities for failing to stop them. Does he even understand the concept of premeditated murder? Sometimes I think BBC presenters, rather than thoughts, just have random words swilling around in their heads that naturally form themselves into platitudes.


    Well here's a test case...will the BBC be censoring expressions of anger, promoting candles and commemoration and downplaying whatever ideology it was that led the perpetrator to commit this heinous act?

  18. A test the BBC has already failed: at 9.30 the News Channel gave air-time to an angry mosque-goer who told us that he did not want to hear the excuse that the attacker was mentally ill. How many times have we heard the BBC trot out this defence of islamist extremists over the last few years?

    1. Indeed. And the Beeboids have resisted using it in the case of actual mentally ill people killing people: e.g., Jared Loughner (Tucson, for which they blamed Sarah Palin), the Sandy Hook lunatic kid, the lunatic who murdered Jo Cox).

      But when it's the other way round, it's "We may never know the motivation" or "Twisting a religion to his own ends".

  19. As this is an open thread, and as some relief from politics you might want to check out Kirsty Mark does the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition on BBC2 - I think it was broadcast on the 10/11th June or thereabouts.

    It would appear that the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition has fallen victim to the relentless BBC treatment. Kirsty Mark, who, without any qualification in art history as far as I know, has become an instant expert. (She used to present Newsnight Review, which I used to watch - but only as a presenter, not as any sort of expert). The programme was centred around a group of would-be exhibitors. We went to their studios, found out a little of their backgrounds, and we joined them in their quest for recognition in the art world.

    My worry is that just like countless other events such as the RHS Chelsea Flower Show (where we had the Radio 2 Gardens), the BBC take ownership, and we lose the independent nature and objective criticism of the judging process for the artwork.

    All of the artists featured were successful in having their work exhibited. The odds are stacked spectacularly against any given artist’s success. Did the BBC do dozens of such artist profiles, using only these few sets of profiles of the successful artists for the show? I doubt it. My guess is that the BBC were able to use their influence on behalf of their featured artists in order to gain acceptance of their work. A small twist was that ‘one of their own’. Una Stubbs, who had done a crude cartoon of another ‘of their own’, also had her work accepted.

    The programme had the patronising feel of Countryfile at its most condescending. Incidentally, Una Stubbs was co-presenter of the first series of The Big Painting Challenge.


  20. It's Kirsty Wark - I hadn't noticed speelcheck's contribution.

    1. Una Stubb's painting was of Bill Nighy entitled Our Bill. Personally, I thought it bore a close resemblance to Will Gompertz.

  21. Given the grating sound of her voice it should be Kirsty Squawk. I could overlook this to some extent if her interruptions, when interviewing on Newsnight, weren't so frequently inopportune and seemingly only designed to convey her supposed grasp of the subject under discussion. She doesn't know when to be quiet.

  22. Seen via the sidebar link to Guido Fawkes:

    Somebody didn't notice the camera was live and viewers watched two minutes of Huw Edwards sitting in total silence staring at his desk. The comments are wonderful.

    "First time BBC news has been impartial."

    "The two most politically unbiased minutes of BBC News ever."

    "For 2 minutes the BBC didn't lie to me, a first"

  23. Huw Edwards's commentary of the Queen's Opening of Parliament was not too bad. Until ... he brought in LK. She just couldn't wait to make confrontational comments directed against Theresa May and the Conservatives: 'you have to admit blah blah blah....' And some comment later possibly by another anti Government panelist, 'After the GE, the Government no longer has a mandate for austerity'.

    1. Goodness knows he's irritating when he does speak in his rambling ineffective way. I still don't know who was the woman in the grey hat and jacket or which one of two finely costumed gents was the Duke of Norfolk. I waited and waited. No word came. A final opportunity to tell us arose when he intoned that the Queen and Prince Charles were saying goodbye to some people. There she was again - the woman in grey and some gents in costume. He couldn't manage to be more specific, though. Similarly with Trooping the Colour when what he called the formal proceedings had concluded and the Queen had left the salute stand to go back to the Palace but the troops still had a lot of forming, marching and playing to do. At this point he was moved to opine that they always kept the best tunes till the last. What tunes are those now playing, then? I waited and waited. The tuneful display went on for a long spell, at least half an hour with nary a name of a tune mentioned, while he wouldn't stop babbling about more political or agenda-led aspects. The Queen's statement about a sombre mood and events in the country and some filler chatter and interviews with female gunners or who does the flowers and cleans the streets. That's the BBC and its Babbler in Chief. I wish they would replace him with one of those brisk, crisp, military officer types, such as the one who was sitting beside him, who know what's going on and could tell us too.


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