Saturday, 30 June 2018

Grenfell Blame Dodging

So far the Grenfell enquiry has heard lots of emotional stories from residents involved in the tragedy, who unsurprisingly were greatly affected. So what the point was, at an enquiry is beyond me. Now we have moved on to the response of the fire service. Personally, I would now be looking at the building and the work that had been done, the basic safety of the building and the responses to complaints from residents.

Then talk to the people completing the work and the materials used, who ordered what materials, who had oversight of that and who signed off on it. Only then would I move on to the emergency services role. But we are where we are, though I hope this is not to set a blame profile in people's minds, to prepare us for a full-on, several coats of whitewash final report.

We have had more emoting, which is a little poor from an emergency service but very much the fashion these days, very au courant. I'm sure it isn't part of a sympathy garnering agenda. The officer in charge and who maintained the standard response to a tall building fire of 'stay put', now much criticised, could not remember ever having any training about what to do in that specific circumstance. A sort of "I'm not to blame, how was I supposed to know" plea.

But then I hear (not from the enquiry -odd surely?) that this same officer had recently visited Grenfell for a fire safety check. In the discussion where I heard this a Fire Brigade Union rep, after giving the obligatory references to the officer being "brave" and "dedicated" which no-one had queried, said that he didn't know about the flammable cladding and the combustible window frames, amongst a list of other things he didn't know.

But the whole point is that he is there to check and to know and then to advise. A pathetic attempt at an excuse, but then, Union.

I was responsible for regulatory matters in setting up a temporary charity ice rink. It was in an old supermarket building that we adapted, so there was a lot to get right. There was a sprinkler system so we had to avoid impeding its operation.

There was netting over the top of the ice pad because hockey was going to be played and we needed to protect the lights from being hit by a puck. The fire safety guys were concerned about this, but I assured them, from my own knowledge and life experience that water would pass through a mesh with like, two inch holes in it. They were not happy though.

We had to get our rink expert to contact the manufacturer of the netting, in Canada to obtain the fire safety tests that the netting had undertaken and passed. I told them I was fairly sure that in the history of history an ice pad had never caught fire, but they just drew breath and said they needed that from an expert.

So, apparently some tiny little community charity ice rink should be held to standards so high they exceed the borders of sanity, but a multi-million pound project on peoples' homes should involve people who don't know much about fire safety, apparently.

I mean we now understand Grenfell had a faulty smoke extraction system, no smoke alarm or detectors inadequate fire doors and even some missing. Then there were the building materials and the way the work was being done. But it is beyond reason to expect an expert in fire safety to notice any of this?

Seventy two people died. When is it going to be important enough that we actually hold people to account, which would put us a good way along towards making sure it doesn't happen again. Because currently there exists a belief that senior and 'important' people (on big salaries, often paid by us) cannot be expected to be held responsible when they mess up. So it does happen again.

If we are starting with the fire service, my question would be why our senior fire officers do not respond to a situation as it presents itself, but follow 'protocols' that were thought up in an office and given to the fire service as a tick box.

You see 'stay put' requires firemen (non gender specific reference) to go into a burning building to rescue people if the fire becomes uncontained by their initial efforts. As was apparent from the outset, the fire was spreading at an unprecedented and unexpected speed. But standard operating instructions were followed as if nothing was unusual.

And by doing that, really brave indeed heroic firemen then go into a raging building to rescue those doing as they had been told. Or, God help us, they are ordered to stay put themselves and watch people die, as their failing senior officers now go on to the health and safety tick box of not putting their officers in danger. Convincing themselves, in the words of Shoesmith (Baby P), that while there had been an unhappy outcome, they could not be to blame because they had ticked all the boxes.

One thing I know: we all deserve better.

Solving Crime

Witness Appeal - Theft Of Motorbike Cutlers Mews Neath Hill

Thames Valley Police are appealing for information following a report of a theft of a motorbike from Cutlers Mews, Neath Hill.

Between 3am & 6am  on Saturday 30 June  a black motorbike vehicle was taken from Cutlers Mews Neath Hill without keys.
We are appealing for anyone who may have witnessed the offences taking place or who may have information to call our 24-hour enquiry Centre on 101, quoting reference 43180198091

If you don’t want to speak directly to police you can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.No personal details are taken, information is not traced or recorded and you will not go to court.

Set up a Neighbourhood Watch Scheme in your area

Would you like to bring your community closer together, or do you have concerns about burglary, antisocial behaviour or the general environment in your street?

Through Neighbourhood Watch you can help the Police and your neighbours to strengthen your community.  You can make your area a better place to live.  The scheme is free to join

Consider setting up a NHW Scheme in your area, for more information email

This was emailed out by Thames Valley Police about a vehicle taking in Milton Keynes. They want to hear from anyone who actually saw the theft occurring, which is fine but exceedingly unlikely. If they had given a full description of the vehicle such as manufacturer and registration there is a greater chance someone would have seen it and could help. Someone might know where it is now, or who has it.

They might even see it being ridden around the streets, but reporting every black 'motorbike vehicle' you see may not be terribly helpful.

It strikes me that the police issue lazy rubbish like this because they are not that sure how to go about solving crimes, which also seems from anecdotal evidence at least, to be because they don't really care about solving crime either.

Thursday, 14 June 2018


It is irrelevant who died in the Grenfell Tower tragedy, race, colour, creed, illegal or whatever - it is a stain on the reputation of this country that it happened as it did. There is an anecdote that says that in Italy, to get the water turned on quickly in your new house you must bribe officials, but that in Britain officials don't take bribes, so nothing gets done quickly by bureaucrats.

This lack of corruption in Britain is still largely true, but due to the baleful influence of decades of Left ideological influence, the corruption that does exist led to Grenfell occurring becoming inevitable.

All levels of bureaucracy, councillors, MP's, civil servants, all now feel that they are above the law, if their personal opinion is that they are doing something necessary or good. The most graphic example is probably the MP's expenses scandal. Firstly, it took ages to get published as the press, who speak truth to power, were scared to carry the story for fear of 'reprisals'. When it did break, the shock on the faces of the MP's that anyone could think what they had done as wrong was amazing to behold.

They felt outraged and we see this again with the personal opinions of some MP's who wish to remain within the German empire of the EU, aghast that someone, anyone is allowed to oppose them.

Grenfell of course occurred because the council wanted cheap (not 100% a bad motive) but also decided that their role as overseer of safety could be dispensed with. So flammable material was placed around the tower and internally, fire doors, alarms, detectors, fire containment generally were all sub-standard or absent.

Who was responsible for signing off the fire safety of the building? Who signed off on the fire safety of the cladding? Who sold the panels and who agreed to fit them, knowing they were illegal and not fit for purpose?

The fire service advice to 'stay put' is entirely sound if the right preventative measures are built in as regulations require and the fire service are confident they can control the situation and get to people quickly. Whilst they couldn't know of the perfect storm of fire safety deficiencies inside the building, even on arrival they could see the extent of the fire and the speed with which it was spreading.

The criminal failure of the fire brigade as an organisation was not that 'stay put' existed, but that through years of Left influenced thinking about any nonsense but the business of firefighting, senior officers had no tradition, no experience and seemingly no training to react appropriately to a situation they are presented with, but rather stick to the bureaucratic, tick-box rule book. And so 'stay put' stays while people die.

And the enquiry will try to use detail to make everything seem less black and white and 'whilst this seems...' will be much heard, it will really be tasked with not finding fault, not apportioning blame (unless to a private company, preferably foreign). Because if you find bureaucrats at fault, that they didn't do their jobs properly, then it will move up to their bosses and then their bosses' bosses.

Ultimately members of the elite may find themselves being held to account and we will see the look of total shock and then outbursts of rage such as we have seen over expenses and Brexit (from Remainers)and Sharon Shoesmith. For the elite there must, on no account, be accountability. That would mean working for a living!