The Grenfell Tower inferno

As feared all too many people died in the fire. The government has rightly set up an Inquiry. We need to know what caused the fire, why the fire spread so fiercely and rapidly, and what differences in the building could have prevented it or lessened the impact. We need to know if people were given the right advice on what to do on that fateful night. It is harrowing to hear of what happened and to learn that even now we do not know who died and where they died. Relatives live with dreadful uncertainty and are now warned that if their loved ones have died they may not be able to identify the bodies. We all are grieving for those lost and are  appalled by the extent of the losses.

A full independent Judge Inquiry is needed and has been agreed between government and Opposition. However, these take time and do not satisfy the immediate need for some answers and urgent action elsewhere if other blocks are at risk. We will need statements from the government, Councils and housing management companies about the safety of all the blocks in the country. The government needs to advise Parliament if it wants to change fire regulations or issue any new guidance to Councils. Individual Councils need to review their housing and debate  the matter in each locality. They are the main owners and purchasers of social housing with planning and building control functions that go to heart of this matter.  Management organisations need to talk to tenants and review their homes, so they can either reassure or improve their safety.

I am glad the government has said it is now reviewing urgently all tower blocks and will report back. It has said it will make sure all those who have lost their homes from the fire will be housed by the government. It has made emergency money available to the local Council and has helped set up a local co-ordinating committee to deal with all problems. It has made money and other assistance available to those who have lost their homes.

Many say  the new cladding put in to improve thermal insulation, cut tenant heating bills and improve the appearance of the block for residents and the wider neighbourhood may have speeded the progress of the fire. If this is so it follows that other buildings with the same system need safety improvements, and future improvement schemes need reviewing.  It looks as if fire alarms and response systems were not good enough or did not exist. It would be prudent for all other public sector landlords to review their estates – and private sector ones as well for that matter.

Ensuring the safety of tenants or leaseholders should the overriding priority. Local and national government needs to work hard and swiftly with that in mind.




  1. eeyore
    June 17, 2017

    This tragedy is now completely politicised. Expect the same with all events in which Labour detects capital to be made.

    We are now seeing the beginnings of a politics of hatred and violence happily long, long absent from the British scene. This is copybook Marxist destabilisation. Its leader has mounted the tiger. Expect a summer of rioting.

    1. Cheshire Girl
      June 17, 2017

      It is sad (but predictable) to see that Socialist Worker banners were in the crowd. Every time there is a demo – however peaceful – they exploit it for their own ends. They are beyond despicable!!

    2. alan jutson
      June 17, 2017


      Sadly I believe you are right in your comments about any negative events likely to be heavily politicised from now on in.

      It started years ago with the odd dig, and has been slowly building with comment made on a growing, and more regular basis.
      We are now reaching a point where anything that goes wrong is being placed at the Governments door, by activists who seem to hate everything this Country stands for.

      Whilst these people seem to complain about every aspect of what the government does, these very same people then want ever more State control, with ever more money spent, on a whole range of polices for the so called public good which quite simply are unattainable and unaffordable

      Tragic that these recent events of terrorism and fire are, and they are horrific, it is simply not possible to eliminate tragedy from our lives completely.

      Whilst I have no problem with robust, peaceful protest and debate, we are now in the position where we seem to have baying mobs, and deliberate fake news being encouraged to support political gain.

    3. Chris S
      June 17, 2017

      I completely agree.

      We are starting to see the media treat Mrs May in the same way as President Trump is being pursued in the US. It isn’t a pretty sight and is a disgrace.

      Anyone who has a measurable IQ knows that a Corbyn government will destroy the economy in a fraction of the time it took Brown under Blair. Yet this seems to be what Sky and BBC News editors want to bring about. Do they really want to see the country put under the control of the IMF because that will be the inevitable outcome ?

      Of course they will tben proceed to blame it all on Brexit.

      1. Ed Mahony
        June 17, 2017

        ‘Mrs May in the same way as President Trump is being pursued in the US’

        – I think that’s unfair. Mrs May is a relatively good PM, despite the election result and other mistakes. And she cares about getting things right for her country. Trump is a disgrace. He’s out for himself not his country or party. I’m a Republican (admirer of George Bush Sr). But the sooner Trump goes, the better.

        1. Chris S
          June 17, 2017

          I don’t have quite such a low opinion of President Trump however my point was that our PM is being pursued by the media in the same way as Mr Trump which is grossly unreasonable. Nothing she does now is going to be even remotely praised, quite the opposite.

          Now we have Corbyn’s mob and the Unions planning to overthrow the government by strikes and protests egged on by ………….. McDonnell. If Corbyn were a democrat he would call that off. But he isn’t and almost certainly couldn’t if he tried.

          The current opposition poses a bigger threat than the NUM under Scargill and I fear for the future of our parliamentary democracy.

          Moderates on the Opposition benches need to remind Corbyn and his mob that they lost the election.

      2. Hope
        June 17, 2017

        Why would the BBC not want this? A former Labour minister, James Purcell is head of television. Do you think he parked his firmly held views when he went to to work for the BBC? Again, why are people with strong political beliefs allowed to work for the BBC? There is absolutely no chance of it fulfilling its impartial charter with political activists or former politicians in key positions. Hope the DUP sort this out.

      3. Lifelogic
        June 17, 2017

        Indeed, they are attacking May and she is a socialist, green crap, big government pushing dope too. Just not quite as appalling as the “politics of envy and expropriation” Jeremy Corbyn.

    4. The Prangwizard
      June 17, 2017

      The Conservatives need to recognise thst the country has a revolutionary in charge of the opposition who has set up a classic programme to undermine confidence in governance.

      He and can no longer be treated as some harmless misguided democrat. He through his supporters who he encourages will continue to foment dissent. If leaders of parties who claim to value freedom do not speak out and he senses weakness and complacency he will prevail with his extreme programme and our democracy will be lost.

      1. Ed Mahony
        June 17, 2017

        Well said.
        Corbyn and his socialist cohorts are a real danger to this country.

      2. Lifelogic
        June 17, 2017

        Indeed. He must be kept out of power – if we wish to avoid becoming another Cuba or Venezuela and more violence on the streets. It is frightening that T May and her punishment manifesto team made such a complete mess of things and Corbyn and the dire SNP almost made into to power.

        He would of course have bankrupted the country in a few months. But we could have enjoyed the four new bank holiday, the unemployments, the free child care, the free university fees, child care, council houses, the wonderful NHS and the likes his magic wand would not have delivered!

      3. Chris
        June 17, 2017

        I wrote something similar yesterday to an article by Mr Redwood, but he hasn’t posted it. You have a very important message for the Tory politicians in what you have said. They seem desperately complacent about the reality of the threat from the Marxist left. They have been completely wrongfooted and look weak and perplexed. It is a desperately serious situation.

        Brexit itself, Leave Tory MPs and Theresa May also have another problem, which they seem not to be treating seriously enough: the enemy within the Party and government, who is apparently actively undermining Brexit.

    5. Hope
      June 17, 2017

      JR, you are correct in what you say. Your party failed to keep us safe from three attricities where Labour exposed May’s cuts to police as being a factor. A narrative that stuck and cost you dearly in the election. Do not be surprised they will use this every time to justify their mad economics.

      Now your party needs to demonstrate what they are doing to keep us safe, enough is enough mantra by My needs to be brought alive. Authentically and sincerely. You need to act quickly Labour is importing its hard left wing activists into crowds as they did with Corbin’s visits around the country before the election. SNP deployed the same bulky boy tactics in 2015 against Farage.

      May needs to choose appointments wisely, she failed so far. Best she get you, Jenkins and others of your ilk in govt. get Tebbit for party advice on strategy. Swinging to the left will lose all your vote base. FFS your party needs to wake up. Drop the uni kids without life experience, good at theory bad in reality.

      1. Ed Mahony
        June 17, 2017

        ‘get Tebbit for party advice on strategy’

        – You are absolutely joking, surely? Tories like Tebbit will just be a gift to the socialists. The way to keep Corbyn out of power is to retain the centre ground.

        1. Hope
          June 17, 2017

          No I am not. It would not be for t line job but in the background to bring no abput collective cabinet, to change the split of the civil service brought about by Cameron. Local associations choosing their cNdidtate not one directed from CCHQ. There is a long list of left wing changes brought in by Cameron and Osborne and they need to be reversed ASAP. The Tory party needs values, morals, conviction and direction. Not a revised NewLabour. Hitchens is correct about the Tory party it needs to be rebuilt as a Conservative party for everyone, including workers. An advisor on strategy would help them no end. The career politicians and advisories straight from uni are theory oriented with no practical view or experience of the world. Much better than Osborne using Heseltine!

          You might recall Blaire took Labour away from where Corbyn is!

          1. Ed Mahony
            June 18, 2017


            – Whether Peter Hitchens likes it or not, we live in a democracy, and because of this, the majority of the country wants a certain amount of soft socialism (from one degree to another) as well as a certain amount of soft capitalism (from one degree to another). I’m a soft capitalist. I don’t like socialism. But I accept a certain % of the country is always going to want a certain amount of soft socialism from one degree to another. If the Tories misjudge that, then we lose to Labour at the elections.

            Only a minority want either hard socialism or hard capitalism. And so both the Tories and Labour have to work within these parameters if they want to get into and remain in power. Unusual things are happening now because of the unusual and deep recession we’ve had – throwing up extremists like Corbyn.

            Peter Hitchens suggests there is some magic panacea, silver bullet. There isn’t. He’s a journalist. He can afford to be idealistic. But if you’re a politician, they you have to be more pragmatic and work within the confines you find yourself as best as you can (unless you want Labour getting into power – Hitchens, like Tebbit, is just a gift to the socialists).

      2. Ken Moore
        June 17, 2017

        May’s mistake, in my view, has been to try and occupy the middle. If this election was a rejection of anything, it was a rejection of the middle. People have had enough of Blair, Cameron and third-way politics. The electorate wants people to stand for something. Jeremy Corbyn is now doing that for Labour – and with some success, though he only got 262 seats.

        There now needs to be a Tory who will do the same for the Conservatives and stand for low tax, individual responsibility and so on. Judging by her words, actions and appointments of the last week, May doesn’t share this view. She seems to think she hasn’t been centrist enough. It’s like a central banker who thinks the problem is not printing money, but that he didn’t print enough.

        John Redwood has the right approach but his view is out of favour ..May will plough on giving more of the same medicine that has made her party sick..

      3. getahead
        June 17, 2017

        And dump the dreadful Hammond.

    6. Denis Cooper
      June 17, 2017

      A placard urging “Torys out, Corbyn in”at a protest over a horrific accidental fire really says it all. Whatever happens now Theresa May is sure to get it in the neck and the mass media are sure to cheer it on. Perhaps her biggest mistake was refusing to dance to their tune over TV debates and interviews etc, now they have it in for her at every turn.

      1. Bob
        June 17, 2017

        The Tory’s increased the TV Licence Fee and extended the Royal Charter.
        You reap what you sow.

      2. getahead
        June 17, 2017

        She should have decriminalised non-payment of the TV tax. That would have softened the BBC’s cough.

    7. Sir Joe Soap
      June 17, 2017

      Another ill thought-out scheme from the Blair government 1997-2010, but you won’t see any placards saying that. Labour politicians from that era seem to have gone to ground on this one.

    8. Lifelogic
      June 17, 2017

      Corbyn’s followers are indeed driving a politics of hatred, envy, entitlement, expropriation and violence. The Tory’s duty to the country is to ensure this dreadful man and his evil idea never get into power.

      The Labour party is mainly funded by the state sector unions. Yet the people mainly at fault in this dreadful tragedy are almost certainly, well paid state sector employees in the fire and building regulation departments infected with the green/fashion religion.

      1. Ed Mahony
        June 17, 2017

        Both socialism and raw capitalism (and social liberalism) have their monsters / evils. Socialism – envy (and stifling of enterprise). Raw capitalism – greed (and stifling of the vulnerable).
        Both, in the long-term, take a toll on the country’s finances, health (including mental health) and general well-being. (Just consider the role the banks played in the recent recession which could have led to a depression).
        Socialism needs to be kept at bay. And raw capitalism needs to be regulated.

        And if the Tories become too right-wing, then we all know what happens – it’s so obvious – Labour get into power, and mess everything up again.

        1. Lifelogic
          June 18, 2017

          It was the way the banks were regulated that was the main problem. That and political interference in mortgage lending.

          Rather like the fire, lots of silly misguided regulation while missing the main danger completely.

      2. Lifelogic
        June 17, 2017

        Many of the people who have failed the survivors even since the tragedy, work for the council and doubtless many are members of these very trade unions.

        I am not surprised, dealing with councils has taught me never to under estimate how inept, dysfunctional, lacking direction and misguided they can be.

      3. Peter Martin
        June 18, 2017

        @ Lifelogic,

        You might be better taking a lower profile. If you Google the term “rentier capitalism” you’ll find that hardly anyone has a good word to say about it.

        Even that well known Liberal, Keynes, was just as critical in his day. He called for the “euthanasia of the rentiers”!

        1. Dennis Zoff
          June 19, 2017

          “Rentier State” is more concerning?

    9. Marmoset
      June 17, 2017

      You bet it is politicised. The Conservative party, and no other, protests against health and safety laws incessantly.

    10. libertarian
      June 17, 2017


      Exactly right.

      Sadly the Conservative Party hasn’t got a clue how to deal with this either. They are being taken to the cleaners politically

    11. Gary C
      June 17, 2017

      It’s at times like this political party’s of all colours should be seen to pull together to look after those that have suffered instead Corbyn along with some of the media seem to be enjoying whipping up anger and discontent, I’ve only one word for them ‘despicable’.

      1. Dennis Zoff
        June 19, 2017

        …what you are looking for is “That’s Political Show Business”….been around a long time!

  2. Know-Dice
    June 17, 2017

    Certainly this is a tragedy that could have been avoided and urgent action needs to be taken to re-house those affected and ensure that tower blocks using the same insulation are made safe NOW. Public inquires always take too long and their findings and recommendations are never implemented in full

    Should we question whether the £5 million pounds being made available by the government is enough, bearing in mind that some £250 million would have been spend on “International Development” this week and next week and every week.

    I remember a certain Nicholas Clegg saying “how proud” he was of of the Parliament putting 0.7% of GDP in to International aid. Should we really be spending that level of borrowed money abroad, when even a small proportion of that spent here could transform the lives of “the poorest in our society”?

    Reply The £5m is for immediate bills for displaced families. There is additional money going to the Council.

    1. Hope
      June 17, 2017

      You completely miss the point JR, as does your party. The public want their govt to put them before others, after all we pay for it. Stop this rot of putting minority politically correct dogma and causes before the majority of your own people and core vote. Did any of you learn anything about the voting pattern around the world last year! Wake up and change, not carry on and ignore the people. We are fed up with out of touch, stupid corrupt politicians.

      It is like you all have your fingers in your ears and will not listen to the public. Sense the general mood.

      1. hefner
        June 17, 2017

        (Un)fortunately, the public is not made only of people like you.
        If you look at the age distributions of voters both for the EU referendum and the General Election, there is a remarkable similarity between both graphs. It is the job of politicians of all parties to draw conclusions. And whether these please you is, to me at least, a completely different story.
        To call, as you do, for politicians to listen to the “public” is fine. The “public” might in fact be very different from what you think.

        1. Hope
          June 17, 2017

          Hef, there is always going to be widespread opinion, thankfully. That distinguishes us from sheep. The voting pattern changed because people are fed up with the same old same old, promise a lot deliver nothing and ignore public opinion. That is not to be confused with focus groups that Cameron relied on. Graphs can be made of all sorts things, but discerning judgement will be need to be made. Not from people within the Westminster group think bubble. That is why the voting patterns across a spectrum of systems and countries are being shocked by the results, including, but not limited to, Trump.

      2. libertarian
        June 17, 2017


        This is spot on.

        The Tory party is killing itself by not listening to its own core support.

      3. Chris
        June 17, 2017

        Quite right, Hope.

        Anyone see the point of the kitchen and dining room table captcha? hardly discerning. Scraping the bottom of the barrel, I think, on that one.

      4. Dennis Zoff
        June 19, 2017

        Hear hear!

    2. Lifelogic
      June 17, 2017

      Vast amounts are wasted on the green religion, the Paris climate lunacy, the climate change act and the expensive energy agenda. Loads too will be wasted on inquiries, bureaucrats & lawyers.

      Use all this to get the insulation panels removed now and to install sprinklers alternative exits and the likes. Put a decent engineer in charge.

      1. Dennis Zoff
        June 19, 2017

        You have nailed it!….put professional people in charge that have the know how to deliver, not Politicians that have no meaningful qualifications (Oxford PPE degrees…Mr. Hammond)…just blah blah blah!

        In fact, it would be nice to trial this practice throughout the UK Government…the Germans like this model!

  3. Anonymous
    June 17, 2017

    This happened in Remain London with its cheap workforce crammed in cheap housing. The cladding was to appease the eyes of Notting Hill Remainers nearby.

    There should be no residential property above 9 floors as the fire brigade cannot rescue people above this.

    Reply The cladding was mainly to meet new insulation standards and to lower fuel bills for tenants.

    1. Anonymous
      June 17, 2017

      And, incidentally, to make the place look nicer – on the cheap. Otherwise that workforce starts to get a bit too expensive, doesn’t it !

      Remain/Left people don’t hesitate to politicise things. How can they get away with their part in this ? Their economic model of cram-the-country-full means that high rise living can never be reversed.

    2. Richard1
      June 17, 2017

      Clearly we need to wait for the enquiry for a definitive answer. But steel framed concrete buildings are very fire safe. It is obvious to any observer that the exterior cladding is what made it explode Into an inferno. I doubt interior sprinkler systems would have done much good. Nor would more staircases or even external ones. I agree with Siddiq Khan that we need an interim report. I’d like to see it within weeks if there is a high level of confidence that the cladding is to blame so the focus can be on removing it from other buildings. Then we need to point out that it is environmental anti-CO2 regulations, loved and praised by so many, which put the cladding there in the first place. It’s another dieselgate. Green crap has trumped safety.

      1. Richard1
        June 17, 2017

        Sprinkler systems probably would have made difference in fact. It is being claimed that the cladding was put on to make the tower look nicer. No doubt the cladding was made to look as good as it could be, but the reason a significant part of the £10m went in cladding (and replacement windows) was energy conservation and environmental regulations so it seems.

    3. stred
      June 17, 2017

      This BRE documents confirms that regulations require that external walls shall resist fire spread. Second para. Part B of approved document.—External-Fire-Spread-Part-1.pdf

    4. MickN
      June 17, 2017

      Reply The cladding was mainly to meet new insulation standards and to lower fuel bills for tenants.

      So more people sacrificed on the alter of as LL would put it “Greencrap”
      I don’t for one minute think that the decision was made in order to save the tenants money – more likely some green driven innovation from the right on brigade in an effort to save polar bears.

      As an aside did you see that Mr Corbyn is doing Glastonbury?
      I remember what happened when John Prescott tried to “get down with the kids”
      Mind you he wasn’t offering them free everything.

      1. Dennis Zoff
        June 19, 2017

        Mr. Corbyn is in a time warp…..back to his intrinsic roots of 1968! See his bio…poor student and full of resentment! Activist to the core! Benefits champion aka modern day Robin Hood….rich and bourgeoisie watch out?

    5. Mark B
      June 17, 2017

      Reply to

      And where did these new standards originate from ? I think we can all guess. And as for lowering heating bills, if we did not have the Climate Change Act which drives them up, perhaps those poor people might not have needed such cladding which may have been the cause of their deaths.

      1. Lifelogic
        June 17, 2017

        There were government grants to improve insulation standards which doubtless helped drive this misguided, insulation cladding agenda.

      2. Ed Mahony
        June 17, 2017

        Cladding, in general, isn’t the problem. It’s the type of cladding that was used that is the problem. For an extra £5,000 spent on the right cladding, this tragedy could have been avoided. For the Express to try and politicise this by blaming the EU is just immoral. They’re clearly putting politics before the lives of those who died and their families.

        Moreover, fires can happen for a number of reasons. Basic fire measures were missing, including sprinklers, just one staircase, problems with fire doors etc …

        I’m a Tory. But until more Tories demonstrate more EMPATHY (empathy back up with action not just words), many ordinary swing voters could see the Tories as out of touch on this matter. I think the public mood will be so strong that the public will demand big changes made to fire policy including billions being spent on new buildings and fire precautions. And this will be nothing compared to the cost of Corbyn getting into power. And SOME in the opposition (in politics and the media) will subtly try and use this disaster in some way to make them look bad, and the Tories bad.

      3. sjb
        June 17, 2017

        And where did these new standards originate from?

        (see link below). No rules on cladding. Germany prohibits the type used at Grenfell.

        Directive 2010/31/EU […] on the energy performance of buildings

    6. Ed Mahony
      June 17, 2017

      ‘This happened in Remain London with its cheap workforce crammed in cheap housing’

      – To mention this tragedy in the context of the EU Referendum is appallingly bad taste. Similar to those Marxists who are trying to politicise this tragedy and trying to hound Mrs May from office.

      1. Hope
        June 17, 2017

        No it is not. People will want facts why it was claddd in the way to cause the tragedy and will come out in the public inquiry. Do not let your opponents punch you silly while accepting it will be alright in the end. Wake up.

        1. Ed Mahony
          June 17, 2017

          ‘People will want facts why it was claddd in the way to cause the tragedy’

          – I’m sorry but the EU doesn’t give directives about using dangerous cladding. If the more expensive cladding had been used (at total cost of £5,000 this tragedy could have been avoided). It’s absurd to blame the EU. Either way, the Express is guilty of a callous lack of empathy, trying to make mischief at the expense of others misfortunes. Instead of me ‘waking up’, with respect I suggest you ‘wake up’ to how the Express is trying to manipulate you.

          1. Ed Mahony
            June 17, 2017

            BTW, Germany puts a big warning on this cladding as ‘flammable’. Not banned but as good as.

            For the Express to try and connect the EU’s directive to insulate buildings to save fuel with an organisation choosing to use an unsafe cladding over a safe cladding is frankly a bit malevolent. Especially as the focus right now should be on the victims and their families and making everyone exposed to this cladding at the moment feel as safe as possible.

    7. Hope
      June 17, 2017

      Was it an EU directive? If so expose it for what happened! I suspect it was part of the Climate Change Act or EU directive on environment. Expose it.

      1. Hope
        June 17, 2017

        People lost homes and business because of the flooding direct consequence of EU directives, only a few journalists mentioned it like Booker. It never featured in EU referendum debates the harm this cause and the govt impotence to do anything other than implement and wave through parliament.

      2. Lifelogic
        June 17, 2017

        Probably, perhaps we should blame all the Secretaries of State for Energy and Climate Change, Ed Miliband, Chris Huhne, Ed Davey and Amber Rudd.

        They all deserve it for accepting a job with such an absurd title and for being generally socialist, full of green crap & generally useless.

        Almost as bad as “Minister for Women and Equalities” – which is it Minister for Women or for Equality? The two directly conflict.

        1. hefner
          June 18, 2017

          You missed Owen Paterson.

      3. hefner
        June 17, 2017

        Hope, The comment has been made several times today that to have used panels with much better fire-retardant properties would have increased the price by £2 per square metre. For a tower with four sides roughly 30 m x 70 m that would have been an additional cost of less than £20,000.
        I personally do not think that the saving obtained by installing lower quality panels has been directed by the EU. Nor can I see a direct link with the Climate Change Act. Somebody somewhere in the decision chain for this “refurbishing” decided that it was a saving worth to be made. And I guess a decision made without even thinking of any potential consequences.
        I am not sure I see the link to the EU nor to the CCA. Some people were “stingy”, that’s it.

        1. Hope
          June 18, 2017

          You might. be correct, but I doubt it. I think you will be surprised how much of our products have to conform to EU regs/directives so they are universally acceptable across all trading borders. Therefore I suspect there will be EU regs/directives. If is expose it.

          1. hefner
            June 18, 2017

            According to the Chancellor (Sunday, Marr show) the cladding used might not have been following the British regulations. It seems to have been of a type now forbidden by EU, US and British regulations.
            So who will bear the responsibility?

        2. Lifelogic
          June 18, 2017

          I would not want any panels on myself, even if they are a bit less flammable. They were spending money to make it more dangerous.

          1. Hope
            June 18, 2017

            Hef, he prefaced his comment with, he is not an expert, it very complicated blah.blah blah. There was nothing of substance in what he said deflecting all queries to the public inquiry.

            We will see if the building had to be clad because of energy loss, the Climate Change Act which leads us back to the EU.

    8. William Long
      June 17, 2017

      Reply to Reply: So you can say that it is a direct result of all the green energy/climate change nonsense?

    9. Sir Joe Soap
      June 17, 2017

      Reply to reply:
      1 New insulation standards dreamt up by whom?
      2 There is a risk reward balance here which should have been analysed. In this case the risk outweighed the reward.

      1. Lifelogic
        June 17, 2017

        Far outweighed it!

      2. getahead
        June 17, 2017

        And why flammable insulation in a tower block? Tragedy waiting to happen.

        1. stred
          June 17, 2017

          This just shows how people can become totally confused about news and lack of reading in detail. The replies miss the point that the regulations referred to are very old and instruct that materials used on the the outside of buildings shall not be combustible or spread flame. The document shows buildings that have caught fire and how they did not engulf the whole building. The decision to insulate the building had nothing to do with the EU. It is sensible to insulate and improve old blocks rather than demolish and rebuild. They do not need to be unsafe if existing regulations, codes of practice and advice is followed, to say nothing about common sense.

      3. Ed Mahony
        June 17, 2017

        ‘New insulation standards dreamt up by whom?’

        – It’s pretty standard for rich countries to use insulation on these types of blocks (unless you want people living in third world conditions in Central London?). What was unusual about Grenfell was that cheap cladding was used over the slightly more expensive, safer cladding. Whilst, at the same time, there were no sprinklers, just one staircase, and lots of problems with fire-doors and more.

    10. Leslie Singleton
      June 17, 2017

      The “insulation” was the problem and not much of a positive on any basis to match against the enormous negatives. According to experts (or at least specialists) I read there should have been fire breaks all the way up the building (and that makes sense) but what would that have done to any insulation effect. I’ll wager that the tenants fuel bills didn’t go down. As I wrote yesterday though you have chosen not to show it I cannot begin to understand how it can have made sense to use wooden battens to hold the cladding up.

    11. Mark
      June 17, 2017

      The planning application reveals that the walls were leaking energy at 1.5 Watts per square metre for every degree centigrade of difference between outside and inside temperatures. It also was quite explicit about the motivation:

      The poor insulation levels and air tightness of both the walls and
      the windows at Grenfell Tower result in excessive heat loss during the winter months. Addressing this issue is the primary driver behind the refurbishment.

      If you do the sums, you find that the walls were leaking of the order of 250MWh per year, worth around £10,000 at wholesale electricity prices or domestic gas prices – against which they spent £2.6 million on the cladding contract (almost entirely the cost of installation). That is, it had a payback period of around 250 years, which is surely economic madness.

      The choice of cladding appears to have been made on grounds of greater energy saving:

      Table 2-1 below shows the target levels of insulation for Grenfell
      Tower. The proposed insulation levels far exceed those required by Building Regulations. Insulation improvements may only happen once or twice in a buildings lifetime due to the complexity and disruption caused. For this reason we are going over and above current building regulations to make sure the building continues to perform well into the future.

      The table shows the proposed cladding would reduce heat leakage through the walls by 90%, rather than the 80% required by building regulations (thus beating the standard by 50%!) – the 80% figure that could have been obtained with the more fire resistant panels according to the manufacturer’s product data.

      I can’t help feeling that the money would have been better spent on fire safety measures rather than what amounts to green vanity.

      1. Lifelogic
        June 18, 2017

        Exactly, but it is a green religion and so logic and reason have little input at all.

      2. stred
        June 19, 2017

        The planning application is interesting and should be read in detail. The consultants were named and engineers. The policy of insulation was of from the Mayor and local council and ‘eco homes’ is mentioned. The problem they were trying to solve was as much the overheating as heat loss. The insulation panel is named as Celotex FR5000 150mm thick- FR-fire resistant.

        Somewhere along the line the FR was lost.

        1. Mark
          June 19, 2017

          The FR grade of Celotex was installed as the main insulation. The grade of exterior cladding given approval is unclear from the materials decision notice:

          Main building panels: Reyondbond /Reynolux, in Smoke
          Silver Metallic (colour No. E9107S) attached with a
          concealed fixings
          Between floor panels: Pure White panels (RAL 9010)
          Detail panels at ground/first floor: PPC Aluminium in
          Mouse Grey (RAL 7005) and May Green Matt (RAL
          Window frames: PPC Aluminium in Basalt Grey (RAL
          Ground and first floor vertical pilasters: BCM GRC
          Cladding 248 S-HYGRC.

          That does seem to be about the colour scheme.

          However, the question is whether the FR grade of Celotex was appropriate as the main insulation. The manufacturer’s compliance guide suggests that RS5000 grade should probably have been selected (and it specifically deals with buildings taller than 18 metres – the first reference I have found).

          Incidentally, I found trying to navigate through the Building Regulations documentation a complete nightmare. There are ill-explained cross references to different documents with no hyperlinks to them, some of which are also difficult to find with a search engine, and the language used is the worst kind of legalese and jargon. It is perhaps no wonder that those in the building trade and in planning departments don’t manage to find important regulations. They could do with a complete re-write bby competent technical writers.

          1. stred
            June 20, 2017

            Government lawyers have always made sure that regulations are incomprehensible. However, architects and surveyors have guides to translate them and it took us 5 minutes to find the Celotex guide and references to much clearer BRE publications.
            Hopefully, the cladding of blocks in the rest of the UK will have taken note of the longstanding clear basic part B guide- that the external walls of building should not support the spread of fire. If I were living in one I would insist the council took off a panel and tested it immediately, as contractors have been known to make changes to specifications without informing the professionals involved.

          2. Mark
            June 23, 2017

            BRE publications may be better and offer better advice, but they are not the legal regulations. Perhaps they should be, provided we are allowed by the EU to adopt them.

        2. stred
          June 19, 2017

          The above CelotexFR5000 meets class O spread of flame for low rise buildings. The manufacturer also make RS5000 which is a higher grade for buildings higher than 18m. Their trade guide explains clearly the long standing English fire regulations and refers to BRE guides. It is worth a read, is well presented and with diagrams showing how flame spreads.

          The project engineers seem keen on ‘responsibilty’ on their website
          and seem to be a reputable firm. How the flammable insulation was used with engineers, building inspectors and other bodies such as the fire brigade normally involved is a mystery. With spending at £10m for the block, it certainly was not about the rich Torys being too stingy to save the downtrodden poor.

    12. Dame Rita Webb
      June 17, 2017

      JR there is something not right here with regard to your comment about the cladding being done to make the flats more fuel efficient. I drove into Newcastle down the Westgate Rd this afternoon. Older readers might remember T Dan Smith and John Poulson whose legacy of tower blocks from the 60s still line the route. They have recently been refurbed however without cladding. Perhaps as the West end of Newcastle has always been hideous they did not both with any deadly cosmetic alterations?

  4. NA
    June 17, 2017

    Reply The £5m is for immediate bills for displaced families

    You putting them up at the Ritz?

  5. Mike Stallard
    June 17, 2017

    On Archbishop Cranmer blog, a comment said that the cladding, which ought to have been made of sheet metal, was in fact made of plastic with a metal veneer. The insulation was inflammable under intense heat. Also the stairways were blocked with “stained mattresses” which nobody had bothered to clear away.
    The cladding was put in for a number of reasons, one of the chiefest being “climate change” which has put up our electricity bills, closed down the steel (more or less) and aluminium industries.
    Mrs May is not responsible for any of this. The Labour party, cynically exploiting the fire for all it is worth, is. Mr Miliband, as far as I remember, introduced the Climate Change Bill to unanimous support.
    In Hong Kong and Singapore, a lot of people live in tower blocks. Made of pure concrete, they are safe.

  6. fedupsoutherner
    June 17, 2017

    As I have commented before on here. We should cut the aid we send abroad and spend it over here particularly as so many immigrants are housed here now. To make all high rise buildings safe all over the country will cost millions and this should come from the foreign aid budget. This neglect has been happening for years even under Labour. With the anger coming out it would seem we should expect riots especially when Labour seem so intent on starting them and this will cost the country millions more and possible more lives. To say Mrs May is heartless and hasn’t done anything is an utter lie and a disgrace on behalf of Corbyn and co. He forgets, he does not have the added responsibilities of being PM with all the other problems to sort out. He is nothing. Perhaps he should be rethinking his stance on immigration. It is obvious we have a housing crisis and I don’t see how bringing in more people – refugees or not is helping.

  7. acorn
    June 17, 2017

    It will be interesting to see how the Westminster government shifts its blame onto Local government.

    Councillors will be familiar with a “Building Notice”. Government deregulation of the planning system, allows developers to start work on buildings without submitting full plans for building control of materials and methods.

    Sam Webb, the architect who investigated the Lakanal fire and who sits on the All Party Parliamentary Fire Safety & Rescue Group, said “This tragedy was entirely predictable, sadly.”[93] Webb added, “I really don’t think the building industry understands how fire behaves in buildings and how dangerous it can be. The government’s mania for deregulation means our current safety standards just aren’t good enough.” (Wiki)

    1. Mark
      June 18, 2017

      The planning permission grant clearly required that a) materials be approved separately (albeit it seems largely for cosmetic appearance reasons), and b) that the building controls people be consulted before work commenced.

      )Building Regs. – Separate Approval
      Separate approval for the works hereby granted planning permission may be required by the Building Act 1984 and the Building Regulations 2000 (as amended), and the grant of planning permission does not imply that such approval will be given. The Director of Building Control, Town Hall, Hornton Street, W8 7NX should be consulted before works commence.

      1. acorn
        June 20, 2017

        You are a decade out of date Mark. Have a look at THE BUILDING REGULATIONS 2010 No. 2214. THE BUILDING (APPROVED INSPECTORS ETC) REGULATIONS 2010 No. 2215

        1. Mark
          June 23, 2017

          I quoted the planning grant document. Presumably “as amended” covers the 2010 regulations and their further revision in 2013. I looked at the current regulations as provided at

  8. Mick
    June 17, 2017

    HARD-LEFT activists were blasted for “hijacking” the genuine outrage over the Grenfell tragedy.
    Supporters of Jeremy Corbyn fan group Momentum were spotted during the invasion of Kensington and Chelsea Town Hall.
    This is definitely designed by commie Corbyn/McDonald/Abbott British haters, well you can keep your cesspit London but don’t try your marxis tactics up north

    1. Ed Mahony
      June 17, 2017

      Yes, they’re being opportunists. But we need to focus right now on the victims. And how to avoid such a disaster in the future. It’s just right we do. But moreover, if we don’t, then many swing voters could see this in the context of the Tories lacking empathy over this (for many reasons connected with what happened both before and after the tragedy). I don’t believe Mrs May and others in the Tory party, on the whole, do lack empathy (and yes there are some on the left – both in politics and the media – who are politicising this for their own motives). But there are clearly some on the right, who do lack empathy, in particular newspapers trying to blame this tragedy on the EU in some way, for example.

  9. Ian Wragg
    June 17, 2017

    It looks like another unintended consequence of following the green blob.
    Anyone advocating plastic as insulation should be jailed. We never learn. Polystyrene tiles of the 60,s burning houses down. Nothing changes.
    We are going back to 1977 when I left Britain in disgust after endless union inspired thuggery. Corbyn and his communist mate are determined to destroy Britain with the Tory party egging them on with their wishy washy lift wing manifesto.
    We are doomed.

  10. agricola
    June 17, 2017

    In the light of everything that has happened and has not apparently happened following the tragic tower block fire, I have a suggestion. Why not create a post civil tragedy intervention and problem solving organisation. In this case the fire service and the police are the immediate problem solvers and government can find out why it happened and take steps to avoid a repetition. It seems obvious to me that in the aftermath the social services have been overwhelmed despite the enormous generosity of, for want of a better word, neighbours.

    Like mountain rescue and earthquake rescue it does not have to be a paid permanent service, but it does need to be financially supported. It also needs to draw its personnel from areas of expertise , knowledge, and creative problem solving. The victims are shell shocked and need an organisation that can carry the burden of responsibility for their lives, provide help, shelter, nurture, and above all information.

    If what I read and see on television at present is accurate, we have chaos, growing civil disorder stoked by disreputable politicians and rent a mob supporters. The latter taking advantage of a political vacuum for their own ends. We even have one (Labour MP ed) trying to get a million people on the streets just because he has lost the election. As if our police do not have enough on their plate, he wishes further disruption. It seems to me that there is a desperate need for a body with authority which can descend on such a situation and bring order from chaos. In an international sense there are many such organisations. The Red Cross, Medecins sans Frontiere to mention but two. At home there is little, but there is a need, think about it.

    1. agricola
      June 17, 2017

      So what is so controversial as this piece that leaves it unpublished.

  11. Nig l
    June 17, 2017

    Yes, a comprehensive summary of next steps but it reads like a corporate business plan and continues the theme set by Theresa May, no emotional intelligence whatsoever and because of this you have lost the political narrative. Tory cuts cause deaths in Grenfell. This is a community ripped apart through no fault of there own, corporate greed, poor management, planning, oversight, whatever. You and the Tories should be talking about how you will be dealing with the human needs, bringing families together from across the world in their grief, ensuring they stay together not put into the sausage machine of Local Authority Housing Departments, manning phones, handing out clothes etc.

    The new chief of staff, ex housing minister looked like a frightened rabbit scurrying away from answering a question on a report he allegedly sat on, the leader of the council has gone to ground and Theresa May showed the emotions of a lump of granite and ‘hid’. Corbyn hugged people. The only person to come out with a lot of credibility is Andrea Leadsom who went amongst the people for an hour and listened and accepted all the stuff thrown at her. That is leadership. Interesting contrast between her an Mrs May and we know the extraordinarily sad reason. This is a poll tax moment and looks like more political suicide. Once and if you get the Queens Speech through, you must close this and the election chapter by moving on from Mrs May. You problem is that all the likely male candidates are from the same mould reminding us all of the ‘unelectable’ Tory years and the women have failed to impress, apart from Ms Leadsom!

  12. james neill
    June 17, 2017

    In the late 1800’s there were a number of similar fires in the tenements in new York which brought about a change in the us building laws, for one thing it introduced asbestos as an insulator compound however we now know that asbestos is dangerous for other reasons but it was an attempt to do something.. probably the biggest change was the erection of the steel fire escapes on the outside of the old buildings- we can still see these ugly looking fire escapes in old pictures and films.. ugly they might have been but practical and safe.. we should be thinking along the same lines.. and as pointed out there should be no residential living in buildings above nine stories high. If a fire alarm goes off in a hotel or other high rise it should be heard simultaneously throughout the whole building and the whole building should be promptly evacuated.. there can be no other way if we want to be safe

  13. A.Sedgwick
    June 17, 2017

    For many who survived the trauma will remain for a long time and for those who perished a dreadful way to die. It has been reported that 600 people lived in the 120 flats, which if true is a major concern. Forty year old residential tower blocks should be demolished not refurbished. This disaster is the tragic side of the housing problem.

  14. Mark B
    June 17, 2017

    As previously mentioned, the Left etc ed , are drumming up hatred. This is borderline incitement.

    I think someone is soon to realise that it is going to take a lot more than fine words and other people’s money to detoxify what she called the, “Nasty party”.

    There are other organisations, such as the Fire Brigade, that are far more useful at getting to the truth. A Public Enquiry allows the government to seem to be doing something whist in truth, it is actually kicking the problem onto the long grass.

    Whatever the reason why this happened you can bet that a lot of contributing factors which are inconvenient to the government and the establishment will not be raised.

  15. Horatio McSherry
    June 17, 2017


    Having worked in architecture for 20 years, there are many small but not insignificent with the construction process – far too lengthy to go into here.

    I cannot tell you the amount of times I’ve argued with Main Contractors over the specification of cladding. The MC are unsurprisingly trying to limit costs, but the surge in popularity of Design and Build (where the heirarchy is: Client, Contractor, designer) means the designers are employees of the Contractor, which leaves the designer on the line for specification failures while being overruled by the Client and MC during constrution, who are wanting to save money.

    Another major problem is Clients being able to pick who performs as Building Control. Companies have a vested interest in a liberal interpretations of Building Regs/British Standards. Again I’ve had too many arguments with Building Control companies where I’ve thought fire safety decisions have been…questionable…while not technically incorrect (which I suspect is what may be the case here). However, saying that, councils/authorities are by far the most unhelpful, disinterested, and obstructive people to deal with.

    Finally, news programmes unintentionally give the impression that everyone in the white collar construction industry are qualified and competent people, when in reality most of the time imformation is produced by junior/intermediate technicians with no experience and little oversight by increasingly inexperienced seniors. The political decision to push people into college and university has had an acute effect on the quality of candidates. Most people coming through as technicians today are people who are solely interested in pretty “design”, have absolitely no interest in practical “design”, are either aiming to be architects or have failed to progress through the RIBA qualification, and so are mid/late 20s but with very little on-site/practical/real life experience.

    Apologies for the long post but I hope it’s given a short insight into some of the more obvious and simple problems in the construction process.

    1. stred
      June 19, 2017

      Horatio. It is good to know there are still good architects battling with design/build contractors and building inspectors. I gave up after Mrs T was persuaded that builders knew best and our competent firm of architects and quantity surveyors became visitors or client representatives, after the client had accepted the lowest bid. The first job I went to had no cavity trays and a high retaining wall over a public area using a timber crib lattice nailed together with already rusting nails. The drawings looked like a technician had copied a standard house using a biro. Needless to say, the contractor came back with personal criticisms of my inexperience and competence.
      Best of luck.

  16. Dame Rita Webb
    June 17, 2017

    Here is your first example of how the public housing stock cannot cope with immigration running into the hundreds of thousands for years. If you want it at this level you are going to have build more houses.

    1. Nig l
      June 17, 2017

      Yes. Read the Civitas report on illegal immigration. Up to 200000 people fall off the radar every year with both border controls and the management and expulsion of them totally under funded, under resourced and, surprise surprise poor IT systems. Allegedly the Home Offuce have these figures but they are so bad, they are kept ‘secret’. A Home Office Minister’s response was typically bland, completely failing to answer the question. We know the Government condones ghettoisation and if all this continues together with the rise of the hard Left, it only needs a charismatic Le. Pen/Moseley type figure to rise up from the hard Right and there would be real civil disturbance problems, especially in the inner cities.

    2. bigneil
      June 17, 2017

      All those extra houses are going to be paid for from ?
      The immigrants will pay their rents/bills with money from ?
      They will get their NHS paid for by money from ?
      Their translators will be paid with money from ?
      Their kids will be schooled by money from ?
      etc etc
      The govt clearly thinks that ????? has bottomless pockets.
      Lets keep importing them – and more and more money will be cut from other things to pay for them. It is not rocket science – even those scientists that are being “rescued” from Libya could tell us that.

  17. Caterpillar
    June 17, 2017

    Needs be comprehensive enquiry, must not be politicised, must be quick.

    What is the physics?
    What is the engineering?
    Are the regulations right?
    Have regulations been followed?
    How should residents respond?
    What equipment can residents have?
    What equipment should buildings have?
    How much to retrofit external fire escapes?
    How should information be spread around a building?
    How should emergency services respond?
    What new equipment is needed by services?
    How can cladding systems be changed (passive and active)?
    Why is brutalist architecture under appreciated and under attack?
    Why is there such a strong push for insulation?
    Why are people living where they are living (not politicised just the facts)?

  18. Norman
    June 17, 2017

    A wise summary of events, John. The political fall-out is menacing, and the fact that elements on the Far-Left are capitalizing on the tragedy is revealing. One hopes the nation at large will discern what’s going on, and come out on the side of law and order, freedom and dignity.
    Support for the PM and Her Majesty’s Government by the silent majority is now crucial. There needs to be sober reflection on root-causes, and swift and transparent remedy.
    There are two paths set before us; terminal and destructive chaos: or reflective humbling and sincere making amends. It starts with every one of us.

    1. Dame Rita Webb
      June 17, 2017

      Mrs May is out of her depth. Watch her on TV and you can see she is not coping with the strain. If she cannot handle current events how is she going lead us through a national emergency? If the Tories want to survive they need to bring back their “magic circle” and quickly present us with a new and competent leader without the need for a protracted leadership campaign. If they have any sense the cabinet will decide its David Davis and tell the party we are moving on without her.

      1. Chris
        June 17, 2017

        I think you are absolutely right about Theresa May, and if the Tory party is to survive, and more importantly the country to be governed properly, I think she has to go, and quickly. I personally cannot see how the strain of recent events cannot have taken its toll on her health and wellbeing, and only the very strongest survive. That means critically in terms of personality, being able to deal with the hard left plus “traitors” within. Not many people have that capability. I believe Boris could shrug off the hard left and provided a robust and effective defence against them. Similarly he would give short shrift with underminers within his own Party. I think May does not have that ability, and in the brutal world of politics only the fittest survive.

  19. Christopher
    June 17, 2017

    Wasn’t this part a government sponsored program to reduce energy costs on tower blocks across the country? The costs per unit across the country have been exorbitant, and one wonders if these should have been justified solely on the basis of reducing energy costs.

    Nobody seem to be discussing the equipment and methods used by the fire service. Surely with the use of construction based equipment such as high rise cherry pickers and cranes with manbaskets, many of those trapped could have been rescued. And also what about high tech means of communication with the trapped people with drones or intercepting mobile phone and social media accounts.

    I expect as with nearly all major disasters, there have been multiple failings and any number of organisations and people could have avoided or mitigated the outcome.

  20. Denis Cooper
    June 17, 2017

    We seem to be back to the days of rent-a-mob, encouraged by Corbyn and McDonnell and actively assisted by the mass media. Spontaneous protests will not usually feature uniform mass-produced placards, clearly there is an extraneous organisation behind them.

    To be honest if I was Theresa May I would be somewhat tempted to simply resign and hand over the reins to Corbyn, then we can see how he and his chums get on. But I don’t suppose she will do that, I guess that her sense of duty is too strong for her to just walk away.

    1. ian wragg
      June 17, 2017

      Correct Denis, she should walk away and let the communists take over, a hard Brexit would be guaranteed and the £ would plummet.
      Let’s see him make good with his insane policies and confiscatory property taxes.
      We get the government we deserve and I think the snowflakes need a good dose of Marxism to waken them up.

      1. eeyore
        June 17, 2017

        Ian Wragg – A good dose of Marxism is like a good dose of ebola. Is there any country which has had a good dose of Marxism and not ended up on life support?

        Nor will they meekly hand over when their time’s up. Like the Old Man of the Sea on Sinbad the Sailor, they know tricks worth a dozen of that.

        As for Mrs May . . . well, high office always finds you out. It has found her out. She may be a capable manager – I don’t know – but the inspirational qualities of leadership are not among her gifts. Nonetheless, she’s no quitter and that, I suppose, is something. The Tories are zugswanged anyway. When there’s nothing better to do it’s probably better to do nothing.

      2. Mark B
        June 17, 2017

        The late, great former President of the USA, Ronald Regan once joked.

        “How can you tell a Communist from a non-Communist ?”

        “A Communist has read, Marx and Lenin”

        “A non-Communist understands Marx and Lenin.”

        1. Mark B
          June 17, 2017

          PS one of my comments is still in moderation.



    2. Ed Mahony
      June 17, 2017

      Part of being a strong leader is not to focus on trouble-makers like the self-serving Marxist protesters, but to focus on those who really need our attention right now: the victims of the terrible disaster and their families, and the many around the country frightened that something similar might happen to them, and how we prevent such a disaster occurring again (God forbid).

      1. Mark B
        June 17, 2017

        Here, here.

    3. Hope
      June 17, 2017

      Her vanity led her going for the role she was not capable of doing. Her record as HS was a clear mark of failure and one that would clearly come back to haunt her. The sly treacherous part of the Tory party New this and engineered to get her in power to get EU light. Unfortunately the minority like JR were always going to be outvoted unless they had a proper strategy to a leaver in place. They stood silently by believing Cameron! Absolute nativity. Peter Hitchens book,The Cameron delusion was available to read. Moreover his record was clear to see, his false claims, fake stunts, how many times did he not act on his word? Why were the leavers and true Tories not prepared, they had the Thatcher over throw as a template. Clarke and all the EU cheerleaders in govt, Lib Dems to support this view and act as a great excuse not to change tac but gently steer the Tories further down the left wing politically correct dogma route, selection of liberal lefty Tories by CCHQ rather than local people by local associations, using the labellising of those who disagreed, put to great affect by Blaire and the Alleged equality sham to suppress free speech and force people into silence to accept his mass immigration, no marriage, gender neutral society without a religious or moral base to act. What have the real Tories done? Stood silently and idly by. UKIP under Farage wa the only real form of Tory party and look what the media and other politicos actions.

    4. Juliet
      June 17, 2017

      Hand over the reigns to Corbyn! he’s still sitting in the learner seat of leadership. Mrs May is holding her own despite a rebellious opposition antics. Are we to be impressed with mob and protest marches everytime doesn’t get its own way.

  21. Lifelogic
    June 17, 2017

    Indeed we should not jump to conclusions, unless of course, the conclusions are blindingly obvious and can be safely confirm very quickly by competent engineers. As I suspect they can in this case from the video footage and the other available information. Sprinklers might have stopped the fire before it lit the cladding, but it is the exterior cladding/insulation that is the real problem.

    Wrapping tall building in flammable insulation cladding and insulation (that can even act as a chimney furnace drawing in more oxygen is an absurd thing to do. Once again we have endless regulations specifying all sorts of green crap and other nonsense and yet they miss the basics of fire safety. You do not wrap tall building in flammable materials (and you really need two safe escape routes). The green religion, once again, has many deaths on its hands. From Malaria (and the DDT banning), to the biofuels agenda which made many people starve, to the expensive energy agenda which makes some freeze.

    The fault surely lies with the building control & fire regulations that allowed this cladding.

    Also the authorities should release the approximate missing figures earlier rather than sticking to the known deaths figures (which just sounds absurd after a day or two).

  22. Kenneth
    June 17, 2017

    Horrible and shocking waste of life.

    While the government is trying to get to the bottom of this, others are playing politics with this tragedy.

    If Theresa May had used this terrible fire as a political toy as Jeremy Corbyn – and the BBC – did over the last few days she would have been attacked by the BBC and other left wing media.

    Before the fire was out the BBC was quoting “government cuts”. Strange when hundreds of firemen turned up in minutes.

    They do not know what caused the fire but already the Conservatives are being fingered.

    Theresa May’s Chief of Staff (former housing minister) was called out by the BBC for not commenting on the fire when they knew full well that protocol prevents him from talking to the media.

    I also don’t blame Theresa May for not talking to the people who had just escaped with their lives. I always find it distasteful when ministers and their entourage along with loads of reporters park themselves amongst people who are already in considerable distress. Yet, the BBC has been carping on about this all of yesterday.

    Theresa May will not be of much help in a huddle (alongside dozens of journos) with the victims nor will any comment from her Chief of Staff do any good. This is stuff the media – in its arrogance – is demanding, just as the tv people demanded that she went along to their debate when she debates with the other leaders nearly every week in Parliament (which they hardly report).

    The fire was terrible and I am sure we will find out what went wrong.

    For the BBC and Labour to turn it a Tory bashing fest is shameful

  23. Sir Joe Soap
    June 17, 2017

    1 You need to look at the disparity between fire regulations in the workplace, where employers are obliged to carry out risk assessments, drills, etc. and the regulations for residential landlords, which are far more lax:
    Given that people spend normally 8 hours/day in daylight at work, and 16+ hours including sleep at home, it seems at least twice as important to clamp down on residential property as business property. So why hasn’t this happened?

    2 This episode is typical of the law of unintended consequences. Somebody somewhere had the bright idea of saving the environment by cladding, with the dubious added benefit of making the building more colourful. Clearly the environmental saving has been massively outweighed in this case, to the extent that the exercise of cladding could never have been justified anywhere.

  24. Ed Mahony
    June 17, 2017

    I’m a Tory voter, BTW, and I know millions of Tory voters share the same views as me.

  25. Lifelogic
    June 17, 2017

    The obnoxious, rubber cheque proffering, Corbyn and the left have appallingly tried to turn this disaster into a class war. Calling for houses of the wealthy to be stolen and the likes. Let us hope this dreadful man never, ever gets into power.

    The problem was actually lots of money being spent very badly by the authorities, making the building unsafe, not a lack of money at all. They had spent about £80K per flat on the refurbishment. Green religion luncacy and politics over real science and safe engineering.

    I see the great “thinker” Lilly Allen has suggested that the building is an horrendous metaphor for how the Conservative are running the country. Just wait and see what happens if the politics of envy, lets follow Venezuela, Jeremy Corbyn ever get in!

  26. Lifelogic
    June 17, 2017

    What we need is rather more sound engineers, builders and scientists and far fewer lawyers, green priests, magic money tree economist, politics of envy politicians (and PPE graduates).

    Doubtless it will be the lawyers and bureaucrats who end up with all the money for pushing paper around and not the sensible engineers who could actually solve the problem relatively cheaply and quickly. There is a lot of insulation & cladding that needs to be removed quickly I suspect.

    1. ian wragg
      June 17, 2017

      Using cladding which is plastic and made from hydrocarbon is insane. Another benefit of the Climate Change Act and virtue signalling by stupid politicians.
      Keep bringing immigrants in at 30K plus annually and we will have many more avoidable tragedies.

      1. ian wragg
        June 17, 2017


    2. Ed Mahony
      June 17, 2017

      You say we need more ‘builders’ but builders can be greedy, like everyone else, and cut corners for profit.
      I think EVERYONE should be scrutinised over this disaster and not pick one particular group of people.

      1. Lifelogic
        June 18, 2017

        The buyer needs to specify properly and inspect the quality of the work before paying for it!

    3. Anonymous
      June 17, 2017

      And the people must be evacuated from those buildings until made safe for fear another one goes up. A huge operation.

  27. English Pensioner
    June 17, 2017

    I see that the usual rent-a-mob are out on the streets in force. Looking at the pictures in the media, I can’t imagine many of them living in this type of council property; in any case, I imagine those directly involved would be too busy trying to sort out their lives rather than get involved in demonstrations.
    I realise that the tower was constructed years ago but I simply can’t imagine how it was allowed with just a single staircase. All modern buildings must have alternative fire exits and a more modern office block where I once worked, which I would imagine was of similar floor area, had two totally separate sets of stairs at opposite sides of the tower. These tower blocks should have been modernised years ago.
    In my view all similar blocks elsewhere should be provided with alternative escape routes as a matter of urgency; if this means ugly external steel stairs attached to the outside wall of the building, we have to accept this. At least they don’t fill with smoke causing people to collapse and block the stairs and safety must now come before aesthetics.

  28. NickW
    June 17, 2017

    The Government needs to get serious with the risk represented by a well organised mob orientated extreme left whose ambition appears to be to overthrow the government by Street protest.

    An enquiry will take time, but what the government can do NOW is to issue a formal statement of fact, as is done with air crashes. That statement should include details about ownership and responsibility which are beyond dispute.

    This appeared on the Guido Fawkes Blog sourced I believe from a post on the Spectator;

    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.

    The Conservatives need to nail labour’s lies and fast, before things get out of control.

    Momentum is named as such for a reason.

    1. NickW
      June 17, 2017

      It might be useful to include an invitation for tenants and others with DIRECT involvement to submit written depositions / witness statements to a PO Box number, while their memory is fresh.

      But do not lay the government open to depositions from the media and entertainment Twitterati which are irrelevant, misinformed, politically biased, and offensive.

  29. Denis Cooper
    June 17, 2017

    I’ve been racking my brains and calling on google for the details of a similarly horrific fire many years back, likewise with combustible plastic sheeting implicated, and got to it:

    Remembered here, thirty years later:

    “Isle of Man’s forgotten holiday horror”

    “In 1973, 51 people died when fire engulfed a leisure complex lined with flammable material. No charges were ever brought.”

    1. Caterpillar
      June 17, 2017

      Flammable cladding with chimney like gaps 46years ago, thanks for highlighting this Denis.

  30. Bert Young
    June 17, 2017

    The fire was a tragedy and lessons from the disaster have to be learned . Whether the cladding was mainly at fault in the spreading of the fire will be revealed ; in any event existing high rise buildings must all be reviewed and , where necessary , modified to meet the very best standards of safety .

    Putting the focus on , so-called , Tory cuts is wrong and the media who encourage and support this approach punished with huge fines . The Council do have to be investigated to establish whether the lack of warning and safety systems ought to have been of the highest standards . District Surveyors used to be extremely strict in their advice and administration roles ; have their services been diminished in any way ?.

    Everyone would like the past to be clean and the present perfect . We know this will never be achieved but we can strive to achieve this standard . The Foreign Aid budget should all be used to succeed in this objective .

  31. alan jutson
    June 17, 2017


    Should have also mentioned the windows given the fire supposedly started inside. Aluminium frames better at flame resistance than PCVU, although glass will blow at high temperatures, unless the use of fire type pyro glass used, which will last longer in situ at higher temperatures.

  32. Ed Mahony
    June 17, 2017

    @Mr Redwood,

    You’ve got a tonne of talent which should be used in government at the highest levels. Please don’t listen to some of the hard-right comments here as it will just make it less likely that you will be hired to work in government.
    And along this line of argument, the more the Tories drift to the right, the more likely Labour will get into power. That’s not just what I believe, but what all the evidence demonstrates. If the Tories want to keep Corbyn out, they have to keep to the centre-right ground (not forgetting the significant gulf in wealth now between the older middle class and the younger middle class).
    A hard-right Conservative Party is a gift to Labour / the socialists. Labour / the socialists can’t win general elections. The Tories can only lose them.

  33. Iain Gill
    June 17, 2017

    It needs more than that.

    Building and fire inspection needs professionalising, with everyone knowing who signed off which building. And ability for anyone affected by poor decisions to complain and get the inspector struck off if poor work is proven.

    Fire inspection should be in the hands of the fire brigade not councils, especially for council owned buildings.

    We need a new approach to the way hands off organisations run public services, from swimming pools to social housing the customers need more say and buying power.

  34. Martin Reed
    June 17, 2017

    It is the dedicated policy of this government to make energy more expensive because they are obsessed with their global warming religion. For instance the bonkers Hinckley Point C project will double energy bills for four decades to come and consumers will be forced to use its output just as wind and solar are currently given preference against coal and gas. Hence instead of building the gas and coal fired power stations we need there is a political mania for insulation to prevent consumers using energy in the first place. In the minds of clueless pygmies this will render the construction of new power stations unnecessary. Needless to say this is the complete opposite of the fundamental trend in the capitalist civilised world to use energy to raise material living standards. That is not to say that the EU is not part of the obsession with insulation. It is, and its contribution is the regulatory framework imposed on the UK demanding existing buildings be brought up to new standards of thermal insulation. The consequence of this green religion inspired madness is we now have thousands of buildings clothed with similar rain screen cladding to Grenfell Tower. They are similarly at risk.

    As for the cladding possibly contributing to the fire, Grenfell Tower was of concrete and metal construction and experts confirm it could not have gone up in this way if it hadn’t been so modified.

  35. Iain Gill
    June 17, 2017

    And as for the class argument labour have a mixed up story. It’s the middle class excluded from Kensington, you need to be rich or in social housing to live there. Everyone else has to live further out and commute. If social tenants had buying power with their housing subsidy they would make very different choices to the housing they are allocated Soviet style, they would choose to live further out in better conditions too. We need to charge market rents for social housing and give those in need their full housing subsidy to spend as they choose. Money the government is throwing in here should be given directly to those in need and not allocated by council staff. And I don’t see the difference between a single individual burnt out of their house, away from a big disaster, why should they get less help?

  36. Vanessa
    June 17, 2017

    If, what has been said about why these dreadful panels were decided (to reduce CO2 emissions) perhaps the government might look at its policy on this ridiculous dream. There are probably hundreds of stupid decisions across the country going ahead even now to reduce CO2 which could, in the future, have terrible consequences, not even thought of at the time of the decision. This is corporate manslaughter. We are now dealing with diesel which is killing people all because the government told us that diesel reduced CO2 but failed to mention that it could kill hundreds by other means.

    1. Mark
      June 18, 2017

      The data on diesel do seem to have been misinterpreted into a considerable exaggeration of the alleged damage. You will find some more rational discussion of the studies at Euan Mearns’ site (Mortality from diesel car pollution in the UK). His article concludes:

      So where does the truth lie? If we believe the data, and there are good reasons for not doing so, we can say that anthropogenic PM2.5 in the UK reduces life expectancy in the UK by between 1 month and 1 year. 6% of this can be attributed to diesel cars from which I surmise that PM2.5 from diesel cars reduces life expectancy by between 2 and 22 days. How does this get turned into PM2.5 pollution from diesel cars killing 29,000 / year?

      1. Vanessa
        June 19, 2017

        If this is really the case then why are they trying so desperately to stop us from buying diesel cars now and putting more tax (or fines) on them?

        1. stred
          June 20, 2017

          Because they give into green pressure groups who use zombie statistics- no matter how many times they are knocked down they get up and keep coming at you. A phrase used by a very knowledgeable chest consultant who gave interviews on the BBC with Andrew Neil and Mrs Hartley Brewer on Talk radio. These may be easily found by googling if anyone wanted to actually understand the risks.

          re Tony Frume ,but may have mis-spelt.

  37. forthurst
    June 17, 2017

    I note that a manufacturer of Aluminium Composite Material’s website disappeared on the 15th and could only be found in cache; it has now reappeared and looks different. As there are a variety of claddings not all of which may be flammable, it would be appropriate to request the manufacturer(s) to provide a list of contractors to whom they had supplied composite tiles containing combustible material and trace these through to the affected blocks. These blocks should all have these tiles ripped off immediately. Perhaps this is a job for the SAS; instead of killing these people in the ME, help to save their lives here as we have apparently offered them sanctuary from our own malefations.

    1. Mark
      June 18, 2017

      I was able to download a product data sheet for Reynobond materials that shows that for the same thickness, the PE grade leaks half as much energy as the FR (fire resistant) grade).

      1. stred
        June 18, 2017

        If they were determined to halve the heat loss of existing building regs, with a payback period which is economic anyway, they could have chosen to double the thickness of the fire resistant insulation at a cost of £4/sm. The difference in cost id negligible. Instead, they chose to ignore long standing regulations on fire spread completely.

        1. Mark
          June 18, 2017

          Not sure it is as easy as that. They were using 6 inches or 150mm Celotex FR5000 as the main insulation which is the thickest it is made. Putting an additional layer of that would have been quite problematic. I have now read that for tall towers over 100ft, external cladding should meet an A2 fire standard (even the FR standard is inadequate): products that do so have no insulation at all, just consisting of twin sheets of aluminium bonded together.

          1. forthurst
            June 18, 2017

            I think the relative U factors of the PE and FR versions of Reynobond is a red herring; according to the European supplier of what is an American registered building product, the U factors of both are the same although the FR version is heavier. What appears to have been involved here is a savetheplanet combustible sandwich which may never have been fire rated as a system.

            For reference, polypropylene has a melting point of 100C and flashpoint of 340C; only mineral insulation products would be appropriate for facing a tower block.

          2. stred
            June 18, 2017

            There is a rule of diminishing returns. Save 10k then double the insulation and save 5k. Double it again and save 2.5k. Double again and it’s 1.25 ……

            I used an internal multifoil + foilbacked plasterboard on my house and reduced heat loss by a factor of 5 for a fraction of the price of external insulation. This project was a waste of money and lethal at the same time.

          3. Mark
            June 19, 2017


            I downloaded the data on Reynobond properties from Arconic (the US arm)

            RB240PE-6mm has a thermal resistance of 1.5×10-2 m2K/w
            RB240FR-6mm has a thermal resistance of 7.0×10-3 m2K/w, or about half as much

            Thermal resistance is inverse to U value.

          4. forthurst
            June 20, 2017

            Mark: I’ve looked at several State side brochures and they don’t mention heat transfer at all; I do not think this product is sold State-side based on its savetheplanet rating. However, in savetheplanet obsessed Europe, the product produced by the French subsidiary claims equal transmissability for both PE and FR products. As the constitution of the FR core is not specified either for the States or Europe, it does not have to be the same.

          5. Mark
            June 23, 2017

            I think you are perhaps confusing thermal expansion with thermal resistance. The specifications for the latter are quite clear, and depend entirely on the core material of the panel. There is no way that the different cores don’t have different thermal resistance properties: the panels are manufactured to the same standards globally.

  38. Terry
    June 17, 2017

    This is no longer a tragedy. It has become tragic. It is a dire situation because it has been hijacked by Liberal Left activists, who are using the burned bodies of the dead to stir up hatred against the Government Who needs a terrorist when we have these nasty people on our streets?

    Now, I understand that the dubious claddingwas installed in accordance with an EU Directive to Save Energy and to Capture Carbon and that planning approvals were given by the Local Borough Council and NOT the Government. So why are they the target?

    Idoubt we shall ever know just how many perished and the i/ds of all of the dead as I doubt there are any up to date records of all the inhabitants of the building.

    Such events bring home the reality of living in a land where freedom of movement is paramount but when individuals become lost because there is no paper trace of them. Such a freedom may well be costly to some.

    1. Vanessa
      June 18, 2017

      Everything has been hijacked by the liberal lefties. All the intolerant lefties stamp on anyone who does not agree with them. Even the “tory” government is a liberal Leftie government – there are NO conservative policies at all, no common sense any longer just political correctness which STINKS. Time they disintegrated.

      1. Terry
        June 18, 2017

        Sorry to say that disintergration is just what the hard socialists are waitng for.
        But you are quite right. Until we have a firm Consservative Government in Control, this sickly country will never get better.

  39. Antisthenes
    June 17, 2017

    Some reports intimate the cladding being installed these days including that in this tower block is to a standard that the Green lobby insisted upon. It is not of a fire retardant nature and may have even caused the fire to spread more quickly. Until a proper investigation and inquiry is completed we will of course not know how true that claim is or what other factors contributed to this tragedy.

    Being rather suspicious of government and of those who espouse causes that advocate imposing their version of what is right and wrong. I will remain in the belief the biggest causes of this fire and it’s outcome was due to regulations, policies and practices to much reliant on bureaucratic meddling , incompetence and groups wedded to misguided and narrow focus causes. Of course the inquiry should establish whether my view is correct or not. I do not have high hopes that it will because an establishment figure a judge will not wish to heap too heavy a blame on the establishment or vested interests unless his/her political and other biases are either not a factor. Possible but unlikely or if capital can be gained out of the findings. Most likely blame will not be apportioned except for a scapegoat or two and a raft of new design and practice features will be recommended.

  40. empty
    June 17, 2017

    Is there any estimate of how many need rehousing ?
    The horror appears to be that it’s not many.

  41. David Ashton
    June 17, 2017

    More common sense from you again LL. But a note to Dr Redwood, Theresa must go and go soon. She is a loser and nothing is going to change that. Every appearance and utterance is taken apart by friend and foe, it isn’t going to change whatever’s she does or says from here on in. She has been found wanting over and over again during the past two months. We need a new leader, but please not the abdominal Rudd or Hammond.

    1. David Ashton
      June 17, 2017

      Sorry, I hate using the darned ipad: “whatever” and “abominable”

      1. hefner
        June 17, 2017

        David, Set Settings>General>Keyboards>Predictive to Off.

  42. Ken Moore
    June 17, 2017

    My understanding is the cladding was fitted primarily to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions of the building and perhaps qualify for government grants. Perhaps the fixation with ‘climate change’ is a factor in explaining why the basics of good building construction seem to have been ignored.

    It seems obvious looking at the photos that the flames spread up the sides of the buildings cladding to the floors above. Older metal framed windows with asbestos backing would have performed much better in a fire than PVC windows. Asbestos has it’s problems if it is disturbed but is great at preventing fire spreading.
    As always, solving one problem seems to cause another although cladding a building in an obviously flammable material like polyethylene is crazy.

  43. ian
    June 17, 2017

    As i see it, this cladding was banned in most of Europe, USA, and Canada, so government must of had departmental talks on it, but decide to keep it, while most other countries were banning the cladding, So somewhere in government it all written down in the minutes of recorded meetings between cross parties ministers and MPs, but it could of been approved by one government minister. So why would they approve something that has been banned in most other countries. Money, contracts, and overwhelming desire to get in cheap labour, migrants and refugees into the country against the wishes of most of the people already living in this country, and the number one reason why most people wanted a ref on the EU to leave.
    I do not see how contractor are to blame when it was a legal product to use, apart from not being installed in the right way.
    I put it down to MPs and minister on all sides trying to get as many people into the country as possible to keep wages down and GDP up.

    1. stred
      June 21, 2017

      Isocyanate insulation is not banned in all other countries. In the UK building regulations have always banned materials which support fire from the external walls of high buildings (Part B). In this case, it appeared from the photos of the fire that the insulation was burning. There is fire resistant insulation, made by the same supplier, which is suitable for building over 18m high and has test certification. Re Celotex .

      It would appear that this was not used and some think it is because it does not insulate as well, some think it was because the non-FR was cheaper, and some think it was a typical cock up, as happens a lot in the building industry. We do not need bloggers and journalists inventing conspiracy theories blaming the EU and Uk governments

  44. Norman
    June 17, 2017

    Meanwhile, get behind the PM! Who needs enemies, when her friends are so negative? The lady has a difficult brief, and is human! By all means interact with her support team, but be positive. Assuming she is true to her word about Brexit and other important issues, we need to facilitate her in visionary leadership at this crucial juncture. And Denis, please do not speak of allowing Corbyn anywhere near No.10. Once they’ve signed up the sixteen-year-old vote, it might well be the end of Britain as we’ve known it. Oh, and by the way, note that a similar battle is going on in America. This is a worldwide conflict, with far-reaching consequences. Stand firm for truth, and against the rising tidy of anarchy!

  45. getahead
    June 17, 2017

    And disgusting organised left-wing demonstrations against the prime minister solve nothing.

  46. 37/6
    June 17, 2017

    Radio 4 Any Questions.

    Everything was mentioned except the elephant in the room. The closest we got was “We aren’t building enough houses !”

    Still, even after the Brexit vote, we aren’t allowed to talk openly. Mass immigration is still taboo.

    By now Grenfell Tower should have been knocked down but we couldn’t because too many people are coming in and we needed it.

    If there are riots the BBC and Sky are to blame. They have been stoking this up something rotten.

    etc ed

    1. 37/6
      June 17, 2017

      The aim of all this to make our country ungovernable. The rest of Any Questions was how various minority groups will accept the DUP in power.

      The Tyranny of the Minorities.

      This country can never reach consensus now.

  47. Ed Mahony
    June 17, 2017

    Looks like this fire will have caused the most casualties in any similar tower block fire in any country in the world (including the third world) over the last 30 years (and one imagines that 30 years ago, buildings weren’t as safe as they should be now).

    And this is London. 2017. Utterly shameful.
    The UK simply has no choice now but to be the number one country in the world in terms of fire safety, no matter how much it costs.

    1. hefner
      June 17, 2017

      Not that simple. There is a large number of similar towers with only one set of stairs. Do you want to put them down and rebuild them from scratch. What about the Cost, relodging the tenants/owners?
      Or would you want to build external stairs as done n some countries (USA, but usually for buildings much lower)?

      1. Iain Gill
        June 18, 2017

        Plenty of similar blocks have had external fire escape retro fitted.

        Don’t think anyone wants to live in such a block anyways, give the residents buying power and the would mostly shut anyways as people migrated to lower buildings all of their own choice.

        1. stred
          June 18, 2017

          One last try. The existing regulations of 40 years prohibited materials on external walls on high blocks which burn. In this case the regulations were ignored, obviously. It is possible to put the latest sprinkler systems in for £2k per flat. It is possible to buld a fire escape on the outside of a high rise. They didn’t.

          This balls up was on the watch of a Labour controlled tenants management, created by a Labour government. Mrs May is not guilty in this case.

          I picked up a leaflet on the tube yesterday. The revolution is planned for !st July starting at the BBC and marching to Parliament square, all put down to inequality causing fires.

      2. Ed Mahony
        June 18, 2017

        ‘Do you want to put them down and rebuild them from scratch. What about the Cost, relodging the tenants/owners?’

        – I don’t think you appreciate the scale of this tragedy at a national level (I’m not saying you don’t appreciate it at a human level). People across the country are furious – both Conservative and Labour voters. It’s such a disgrace – not just tragedy – that voters would expect our government to make our country the most fire-proof in the world for towers blocks like this after this third-world-like disaster happening in the heart of our capital city, London. The worst loss of life for a tower block fire anywhere in the world for 30 years. Billions (a few, not tens) will now probably have to be spent. And if not, Labour will make such promises, and will get into power, and then they will cost this country not a few billion more, or tens of billions more, but hundreds of billions more on other projects we can’t afford.

    2. zorro
      June 17, 2017

      Indeed, but we have to look at the reasons why there were so many deaths compared to similar fires in Dubai, and why this silly cladding has been insisted upon so many buildings. I suspect that the Left and green religionists need to take a good long at themselves too. I suspect that T May is trying her best, unfortunately, as I have mentioned previously it is not good enough. She should certainly not be letting the neo-bolsheviks have unfetterecsway on the airwaves!


  48. They Work for Us?
    June 17, 2017

    There is plenty of information as to the make up of the TKMO management company and the role of labour councillors in it. It is a matter of record that Jeremy Corbyn and many/ most labour MPs voted in Parliament withe labour govt against putting sprinklers into pre 2007 tower blocks.
    In no way is any of this due to Therea May and so called Tory cuts.
    Who is to robustly lead a Truthful PR campaign, face down the MSM explaining this and much else and front it on Social Media. Loss of this country to the Marxists gets a little nearer every day.

  49. Turboterrier.
    June 17, 2017

    John, as a 70 year old grumpy old man I was so disgusted with treatment of the Prime Minister on BBC Newsnight programme last night especially in the light of the rise in the predicted death toll of this disaster. The presenter with the lights of battle like some drug/drunk Saturday night reveller tore into Teresa May with such venom and hatred that I had to turn off the set. How on earth has this country sunk so low with its “National Broadcaster” fuelled by such communist style presenters allowed to attack senior politicians with no obvious understanding of the subject matter to be discussed? Senior politicians and government officials are guilty of many things but in the way that we democratically try to run this country when horrendous disasters happen the BBC presenters should be aware of how the the whole political process works. Governments have the vision (albeit as far as Climate Change policies they are very flawed) It then falls upon the second level of public representatives to come up with the mission to meet the vision, in this case the county, city and town councillors and so the process cascades down through each and every department. The presenter may as well had a vote Corbyn badge on her lapel of her jacket.
    She was lining up against the wall the wrong person, in the real world of delegation you have to trust that those delegated can meet the expectations and demands being made on them. The PM did not exactly try and turn the argument around and show the shortcomings of the presenters knowledge of how government at all levels actually works.
    The BBC seem to have have great delight in playing this attempted character assassination
    throughout the day.
    One can only hope (and pray) that all the green disciples next time in their religious centre
    ask themselves a few hard hitting questions about how to apply risk assessment to all their wonderful save the world projects.

  50. Yossarion
    June 17, 2017

    Before you join the Theresa May lynch mob here are some FACTS relating to the Grenfell tragedy..

    1. The block of flats was run not by the Council but by KCTMO. This body is made up of 8 TENANTS, 4 councilors and 3 independent members.

    2 Labour hold the seat that the block is situated in.

    3 Labour run the London Council who manage the under funded London Fire Service

    4 Emma Coad the sitting Labour MP for that ward also sat on the KCTMO.

    5 The advice 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 an additional £138k on fitting sprinklers was 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 leaseholders and tenants a greater say and the ability to self manage, which in some circumstances has clearly proven to be flawed.

    10 Which Govt was in a charge when this law was passed? It was 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.

    It’s a modern lynch mob encouraged by bitter Labour MPs who having lost a close election want to destroy an elected government for a chance of a second election.

    1. mike fowle
      June 17, 2017

      Tim Newman (White Sun of the Desert blog) has some interesting and well informed comments on this disaster. I don’t want to join those who are rushing to judgment with a very sketchy grasp of the facts, but the advice to stay put seems contrary to common sense.

    2. Narrow Shoulders
      June 17, 2017

      13 The Labour Coucillor in the Notting Dale ward with the least votes got in with 1309 votes. If there are 120 flats in Grenfell and a similar number in the adjacent two blocks a good independent candidate standing on an improve out tenancy associations ticket would easily have beaten one of the Labor councillors. No one who is now complaining about not being listened to stood.

    3. agricola
      June 17, 2017

      If factually correct, and we all know how fussy our host is when this is not so, then this needs far wider publicity. The Marxist rent a mob are getting away with it far too easily with the intention of destabilising a democratically elected government. Make the Mail, Daily Express and Telegraph aware JR.

    4. Dame Rita Webb
      June 17, 2017

      Mrs May is not the victim of a left wing lynch mob. Unfortunately the black swan of Grenfell Tower landed on her watch and along with how she reacted to the election result, its shows her leadership skills to be lacking. Last night’s interview with Ms Maitlis should have made that obvious to anyone who watched it. If she is pushed around and put on the defensive by a BBC journalist how is she going to cope with someone like Putin?

    5. Chris
      June 17, 2017

      Yes, but why is it left to a member of the public to point this out. The Conservatives should be fighting back with all they have got, plus taking constructive, hard hitting and convincing action on this. For starters, take that dratted foreign aid budget and drain it of all that is needed to deal with this tragedy and to ensure that the likelihood of this ever happening again is drastically reduced.

  51. Sakara Gold
    June 17, 2017

    Actually everyone who lives in an apartment block is now at risk, as until we know the exact circumstances of this awful tragedy we cannot identify other blocks which may have defective internal fireproofing or those which have cladding made out of inflamable plastic, for pity’s sake.

    To establish the facts quickly the HSE and the police should undertake a corporate manslaughter investigation. Clearly various factions have been negligent, we need to know how this building was given a fire certificate, who decided to tell the tenants to stay put, why there were no fire alarms or sprinkler system…the list seems endless

    Kensington and Chelsea Council had a duty of care to the tenants that it placed in this building, we could start there and ignore their cries of “witch hunt”

  52. Wolfhound
    June 17, 2017

    Mr Corbyn insisted the homeless due to the fire must be rehoused locally. His glorious Labour Councils would have something to say if he stated they should be rehoused in their domain what with refugees and London homeless already being shoved northwards. Eventually Mr Corbyn is going to have a surprise from his comrades Up North.. .I recall Sheffield Labour Council told ( Yippee ) EX MP for Sheffield Hallam Clegg to go take a hike as he fully expected Sheffield to house even more refugees, They asked to see his wallet first. Later,he said he was disappointed. I’m mean too.

  53. Ed Mahony
    June 17, 2017

    @Mr Redwood.

    I’m genuinely shocked by many of the comments on this page. You’ve got a tonne of talent. Please don’t listen to some of the hard-right comments here ignoring the plight of the victims whilst trying to cast blame on a particular group of people they dislike. By listening to these kinds of comments, you’ll only exclude yourself from Tory governments looking for centre-right ministers who appeal more to the general Tory voter in general.

    Thanks. And best wishes. I won’t clog up your page anymore with comments.

    1. Narrow Shoulders
      June 17, 2017

      Lucky you need not read some of the comments that didn’t make it through moderation if your sensibilities are offended by what was published Ed.

      Mr Redwood is being very careful today.

      The left wing lynch mobs and celebrity “something must be done” shouters have no such moderation.

      1. Ed Mahony
        June 18, 2017

        I’m not blaming Mr Redwood. And it’s good that he does publish them so that others like me can challenge them (and I say a lot that is wrong about other things and glad people challenge me!). (And perhaps my language here is a bit OTT but let’s not forget what happened in Grenfall – I’m sure people who live in London are even more shocked than me).

        I’m a Conservative. I don’t want Labour getting into power. So it’s good we have these debates in the comments section so that we challenge each other about the best way to prevent Labour getting into power and ruining our country.

        Regards (I said i wouldn’t comment again, apologies ..).

    2. APL
      June 18, 2017

      Ed Mahony: “whilst trying to cast blame on a particular group of people they dislike.”

      Mr Redwood, is is correct that building regulations have been a preserve of the European Union since 2011?

      Further, is it true that even if the UK government had wanted to make changes to the EU building code, it would have had first to go cap in hand to the EU and request the change?

      And finally, which took precedent in the refurbishment of Grenfell tower, the building safety regulations or the Energy efficiency regulations?…/construction/product-regulation/

  54. Ian Pennell
    June 17, 2017

    Dear Mr Redwood,

    The Grenfell Disaster, and Theresa May’s reaction to it shows illustrates the seriousness of the situation that we now face: I am sorry, but you do need to get the 1922 Committee together and quickly implement some much-needed Catharsis for the Conservative Party- by giving Theresa May the chop. I know you don’t want a Leadership challenge lasting months- but Theresa May has to go before we end up with Labour 25% ahead of the Conservatives in the polls- and we start losing by-elections. We need Boris Johnson, who is charismatic and who can reach out to voters much better, as our Prime Minister.

    You don’t need a drawn-out leadership Election; just a quick show of hands in the 1922 Committee that Theresa May must go and that Boris Johnson replace her until the autumn when the wider Conservative Party membership can have a vote on prospective candidates for Prime Minister (of which there is already overwhelming support for Boris Johnson). Boris Johnson would command respect and his relative popularity would unite the Party, he is also more than capable of being Prime Minister having had the second-most powerful job in the country for eight years (when he was Mayor of London).

    If you don’t, you are going to end up in the situation that John Major was in before Tony Blair’s landslide victory in 1997- powerless, disliked by country and Party and taking the Conservatives towards heavy defeat. Neither me nor yourself could surely want that!

    Reply This is not the view of the 1922 Committee, which has just affirmed its support for Mrs May. The party is united behind her and wishes her to get on with the important tasks ahead. You need to understand the MP supporters/electors and the potential candidates better before sounding off successfully on this topic.

  55. BobE
    June 17, 2017

    The USA and Germany banned this stuff, why did we use it?

  56. Prigger
    June 18, 2017

    Meanwhile 60 fires have broken out overnight in Portugal. It doesn’t rain but it pours. 25 dead so far.
    The Grreen Party is on it. Says that the high tempesures ( 30 in London) should mean we all join the Green Party. Makes you want to go out and play cricket. That’ll stop the good weather.

  57. Leinista
    June 18, 2017

    I love cricising Local Authorities, Councils.Howbeit, the media sponsered and encouraging assault on the council offices with a journalist and camera crew acting as cheerleaders to that invasion should have resulted in arrests.

    I do think, that council workers will be working endless hours, now, and hard, and probably with no extra pay and no thought of extra pay.
    Why isn’t the Labour Party supporting unionised Council workers in the offices? Why are they not condemning the violence to individual council workers by the mobs they are encouraging and promoting? Why isn’t the head of their union condemning attacks on them?

  58. stred
    June 18, 2017

    I see Sadiq Khant is saying that he may have to order the demolition of old tower blocks in London now, instead of putting in fire precautions and perhaps sensible insulation.

    With the population increase through net immigration around 800/week and a record birth rate in London, good luck with that one.

    1. Inner Labour
      June 18, 2017

      . The Labour MP for there sat on the governing board for Grenfell Tower and on the Scrutiny Committee which authorised the spec relating to the nature and content of materials used in the building’s refurbishment.
      I suggest you report the MP to Mr Khan at once. oh and tell him to report himself as he was Mayor when the terrible event happened and must have had all the details at hand which the Labour MP had.

    2. stred
      June 19, 2017

      800/ week should read 800/day, for the whole UK, of which London, at a guess, London takes a quarter.

  59. Lindsay McDougall
    June 19, 2017

    We, the public, want to know three numbers:
    – The cost of replacing flammable cladding with 100% fireproof cladding on towers throughout the United Kingdom
    – The cost of installing sprinkler systems in towers throughout the UK
    – The cost of a Public Inquiry – a bonanza for lawyers, barristers, judges, expert witnesses and administrators

    How about spending money on the first two and not on the third? Value for money and all that.

    We can promise the poor that they can have better housing but not more subsidy. In the light of that, what are their preferences? However, that would involve some simple market research and that would never do. The poor can’t be asked for their opinions and can’t be expected to be responsible!?

  60. Vanessa
    June 19, 2017

    This is the reason we must leave the European Union. Why did NOBODY alert us to the EU legislation regarding this tragedy?
    Here is a section from which ALL should read.

    It is upon this doctrine which I rely in my earlier piece when I asserted, in respect of the construction standards relating to the cladding used on Grenfell Tower, that the UK Government no longer has the authority to define its own standards (and has not had the authority since 1989 when the first Directive was promulgated).

    The reason for this is that the Construction Products Regulation (repealing Council Directive 89/106/EEC) extends the competence of the Commission into the field of construction standards, using its powers under Article 114 relating the functioning of the internal market. Article 114 creates a shared competence and, as the Commission has exercised its power in respect of construction standards and the internal market, this is why the Member States have lost their power.


  61. Alternate P.O.V
    June 19, 2017

    All parties are guilty of politicization, including the Tories who spoke about inherited debt to justify austerity. There is however, a justification to look at what policies caused a situation.

    Isn’t deregulation the root cause of such incidents? Aren’t John Redwood and Theresa May proponents of these ideas? I see the benefits that business deregulation proposes but is it not getting out of hand? Where do we draw the line? Surely before the sacrifice of safety regulation?!

    Reply Please withdraw that libel. I have never argued to remove safety laws, and am a keen exponent of good safety regulation for obvious reasons.

    1. Mark
      June 19, 2017

      Richard North informs us:

      Because of the Construction Products Regulation and its preceding Directives, in force since 1989, the definition of building standards is what is known as an “occupied field”. The UK no longer has the authority to define its own.

      What is fair to say though, is that the EU – having taken away our scope to act
      independently – has dropped the ball on fire prevention. Obsessed with its climate change agenda and the need to meet Kyoto commitments, it has channelled all its (limited) energies into “green” standards for buildings, and neglected other matters, particularly fire safety.

    2. Alternate P.O.V
      June 24, 2017

      I said “such ideas” not “this specific regulation”. I will clarify though, i agree you didnt vote against the fire regulations in relation to this incidint and your bame isnt amongst the 73 mps who coted against it but you do have a record of removing “red tape of regulation” of which i can site examples if required.

  62. a-tracy
    June 22, 2017

    Lammy ” If burning in your home is not political I don’t know what is”

    Is it true that this cladding was procured due to EU directives on ‘green standards for buildings’?

    Is it true that the EU regulate the fire safety element of these components or not?

    How many of the tower blocks Mrs May identified as having this cladding fitted today are in Labour Council areas or were they all chosen by Conservative Councils?

    “The government has not denied that Nicholas Holgate was forced to quit his post by the communities secretary, Sajid Javid, over the council’s widely criticised response to the fire.” I hope this isn’t true and that proper disciplinary procedures were followed didn’t we learn anything about witch hunted civil servants from the Ed Balls cock up with the BabyP legal suit.

    These banners holding up signs says ‘How many children have you killed today Mrs May’ are absolutely abhorrent, don’t we have laws to deal with this? This is out and out harassment and bullying and is beginning to feel like a chapter out of the Crucible, how the hell was Mrs May personally responsible for a fire that the investigation isn’t finished on, we know she didn’t personally start the fire, we know she didn’t build the building or update it at a cost of £100,000 per apartment, we know she didn’t decide on smoke detectors or sprinklers for the block, who is responsible for putting smoke detectors in people’s flats as a home owner I bought my own, but our local fire service went around our Council area giving away smoke detectors for people to fit themselves free?

    1. stred
      June 23, 2017

      Some other blocks of flats in London have been found with the same insulated cladding, A few facts:-
      These should have been insulated to current building regulation standards. These are set in the UK, which has exceeded EU recommendations through our Climate Act, needlessly. The Grenfell building was designed to exceed even our high standards, although payback times were very long and external insulation is expensive. All this was decided in the UK.

      The fire protection applied to a 1970s building with one escape stair, built under the control of District Surveyors. The tenants management group who decided not to put in sprinklers- even the modern type which do not cause water damage, was created by Labour, with Labour councillors and one who is now an MP, in partnership with a Conservative council.

      The planning application proposed an insulation panel which was FR5000, a code for Fire Resistant. However, the manufacturer’s guide recommends another grade for buildings over 18m high. It is unclear whether the blocks being tested have the non-FR, the FR or the over 18m type insulation or the fire stopping that is necessary around them. Perhaps, councils should find out which type was used before rushing to pull down very costly cladding if it is FR grade and been shown not to spread fire when there have been previous fires in flats. It is possible to put sprinklers outside to prevent outside spread.

      This muddle and it’s disastrous consequences has nothing to do with the EU and it
      makes the case for leaving more difficult if silly accusations are made.

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