Friday, June 30, 2017

Bill Black: Those to Blame for the Grenfell Fire Victims Include Tony Blair

Margaret Thatcher’s government removed a building standard requiring that the exterior be fire resistant.  That removal was obscene and indefensible, but it also begs this question of the “councils” in charge of the many tower blocks in the UK – what could possibly lead you to fail to make the building exterior highly fire resistant?  Many of the building measures that provide a building long life expectancy also produce strong fire resistance, so it is a horrific to choose to fail to make a large housing structure strongly fire resistant.  The same manufacturer that sold the Grenfell council flammable cladding sells non-flammable cladding – at a tiny price differential.  Grenfell could have installed the non-flammable cladding for 5000 pounds in additional expense.

After Thatcher removed the essential safety regulations, the councils actively made things far worse – in the face of repeated warnings that they were putting the tenants’ lives at grave peril.  The councils did not simply install exteriors with inadequate fire resistance – they installed exteriors that greatly increased the risk of the rapid expansion of a fire.  They did so by adding insulating “cladding” in order to reduce heating and cooling operating costs.  They chose to add flammable insulation rather than the non-flammable alternative.

Jeremy Corbyn’s success as the darkest of dark horse candidates to become Labor’s leader and Labor’s gains in the most recent election have stunned British elite commentators (and the far smaller number of Americans who follow UK political events closely).  To say that Corbyn is to the left of Blair and Brown is to mislead by inadequacy.  Corbyn is vastly to the left of Blair and Brown.  Corbyn is very far to the left of Bernie Sanders and Corbyn favors policies and alliances that would be instantly fatal for an American elected official’s political career.  Until the recent election results, dissent rules the Labor Party, with the great bulk of its leadership eager to knife Corbyn.  Corbyn’s sharp break with Blair and Brown’s unholy war against regulation explains why so much of his Party’s leadership is eager to remove him from leadership.  It also explains why his policies have led large numbers of younger voters to join the Labor Party and support Corbyn.  Similarly, Sanders and Senator Elizabeth Warren’s popularity, particularly with younger voters, has repeatedly stunned the New Democrats’ leaders.  The easily avoidable loss of so many in the Grenfell fire illustrates why Corbyn’s supporters have rallied passionately to what they see as the antithesis of New Labor leaders like Blair and Brown.

New Economic Perspectives:


26 comments:

Matt Franko said...

Can't afford the fire retardant version.... out of "money"...

Neil Wilson said...

I'm so angry about this you would not believe.

These people died because of 'wealth effect' economics. Property before people.

Schofield said...

Corbyn is hardly "far to the Left" like the Chinese Communist Party leadership he appears to believe the UK government must balance its books like a household on current spending if not capital spending by government.

Matt Franko said...

They died because these morons think "we're out of money!"...

Matt Franko said...

Via this tragedy we can be reminded that this scripture obviously has lethal implications for mankind:

"22 Alleging themselves to be wise, they are made stupid". Rom 1:22


Matt Franko said...

"the victims of Grenfell were condemned to death by an ideology and a rejection of science"

It's not a rejection of science (aka "neo liberal conspiracy!") it is an ignorance of science ...

Matt Franko said...

Here from the Vox people: "Trump is claiming that trade deficits are at the root of the national debt."

So are the Vox people "rejecting science" here or are they ignorant of the NIA accounting science?

Imo they are ignorant...

MRW said...

Matt, this ”out of "money/munnie“ refrain of yours for everything discussed here is getting old.

These jerk-offs wanted kudos and promotions—and a fucking bonus—for bringing a project in under budget. Plain and simple. And appear to have used “environmental” issues as their working rationale. And why not? Fast forward to 2017: these days, Climate Change even decides when you jerk off. (99% of population don’t understand what subsidence is. An incidental atmospheric gas—0.04%—is raising sea levels in Florida. Facepalm. Stupidity knows no bounds.)

What I want to know is how many other structures in London are suffering from these previous money-saving schemes. I hope we don’t find out. But if the unfortunate were to happen, I hope someone sues the ass out of the people who permitted this atrocity. Takes every penny from them.

Matt Franko said...

Their belief in the "out of money!" falsehood is foundational to all of our current material systems problems...

You have to take out the foundation....

Matt Franko said...

"for bringing a project in under budget"

You can't say that without reading the request for proposals put out by the council or whatever institution was in charge of awarding the contract...

Matt Franko said...

If price was paramount then you have to ask why the institution would do that ... i.e. Why "low bidder" ?

Tom Hickey said...

Their belief in the "out of money!" falsehood is foundational to all of our current material systems problems...

I was listening to PR person recently saying that everything can be accounted for based on many narratives. PR is about fashioning a narrative to rationalize the POV of the client.

If the narrative is not "we're out of money," it will be something else.

The PR minions working for TPTB will never run out of narratives and there will always be enough morons that will be taken in by it. In politics, these PR types are called "strategists," "operatives," and "spin meisters."

Should the "we're out of money" meme stop working, the Peterson people will pick up another one to rationalize their policy prescriptions.

Bob said...

Interest group 1: How do we bring this under budget?
Interest group 2: How do we cut corners on this contract and make a profit?

Win-win!

Matt Franko said...

No way Tom, Ramanan just pointed out how even the Vox people are ignorant of applicable accounting...

Tom Hickey said...

Matt, you assume that these people are acting out of good faith and not based on objectives dictated by ideology. In my view that is simply naïve.

MRW said...

Matt,

You can't say that without reading the request for proposals put out by the council or whatever institution was in charge of awarding the contract...

I didn’t say it. Some London reporter said it. And I wasn’t talking about the council or some institution. I’m talking about the builder (architect?) that wanted that contract, someone who should have known better.

Matt Franko said...

It's usually a developer and they hire the architects... or the govt institutions hire the A&E to put the construction specifications together .... and construction contractors bid on it...

Who put the flammable materials in the specification and why?

Matt Franko said...

Ok Tom so you are saying Matt Yglesias is in on it... I say bullshit he is a 100% SJW lefty big league... just ignorant..

MRW said...

Matt,

Who put the flammable materials in the specification and why?

Apparently, flammable or inflammable has nothing to do with it. It was environmental issues then that were more important to them. And saving energy.

It was the builders’ job to know their materials limitations.

Remember when the Challenger went down? (Don’t know how old you are, but I watched it bust up from a freeway in NJ.) The O-Rings were discovered to be the problem.

But the night before the engineers warned NASA that they could fail if the rocket was launched in an ambient temperature below 34F or 39F. Can’t remember the exact number. And it was exact. The O-Rings were extremely temp-sensitive at the time of launch because the seal couldn’t set on take-off.

The NASA managers ignored the warning--they wanted a "success"--launched anyway, AND then covered it up afterward.

MRW said...

The engineers worked for the company that manufactured the O-Rings. They were in Utah or some place like that.

Tom Hickey said...

Ok Tom so you are saying Matt Yglesias is in on it... I say bullshit he is a 100% SJW lefty big league... just ignorant..

No doubt a lot of them are ignorant, but those driving it are ideologues and destroying one of their favorite arguments won't deter them.

It's easy to predict the counter, in fact: Inflation, which MMT admits is a possibility. They will blow it out of proportion to sew FUD — fear, uncertainty and doubt.

Matt Franko said...

MRW know exactly where I was when that happened....They couldn't afford the liquid oxygen leakage to keep the shuttle on the pad until the temperature rose above freezing because "out of money!"...

Sorry you think "were out of money!" like the rest of them.... pretty sad to be in this as long as you have and you still think "were out of money!" ...

Matt Franko said...

MRW, hate to break up he need to you but we're not out of munnie... get a grip....

Matt Franko said...

Hate to break it to you....

MRW said...

Matt,

Sorry you think "were out of money!" like the rest of them.... pretty sad to be in this as long as you have and you still think "were out of money!" ...


What the fuck are you saying?

Where did I ever assume that?

MRW said...

It was the temperature, Matt. Not spending money.

https://www.nasa.gov/centers/langley/news/researchernews/rn_Colloquium1012.html