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Grenfell Tower: a tragic tale of double standards – two-nation politics

On Nicky Campbell’s Radio 5 phone-in a listener described a city where – at one extreme – her care-worker son earns £17,000 a year, whilst George Osborne gets £200,000 for delivering one speech.

“In Harrods they have sprinklers to protect china dogs

Noting the lack of attention to the repeated and recorded complaints made by the Grenfell Tower residents she asserted that had they come from the affluent area of Kensington they would have been quickly addressed and added a searing afterthought: “In Harrods they have sprinklers to protect china dogs” – but as London MP Harriet Harmon noted, the government has been cutting the money to councils. If you cut money to councils, you can’t put in sprinklers

Campbell’s caller also denounced the proposals made by developers referring to the burnt tower as being a orime brownfield site, insisting that the residents should be rehoused in the same area during the rebuilding process instead of being sent to outlying areas or even different parts of the country; as they work hard in lowly paid jobs they should not also have to spend time and money travelling long distances to work.

A tale of a divided nation – and of two cities

Following a link sent by Felicity Arbuthnot we read the words of Jeremy Corbyn, (seen here with a local resident seeking a 12-year-old girl missing after the Grenfell Tower blaze): “Kensington is a tale of two cities – it is among the wealthiest parts of this country but the ward where this took place is one of the poorest”.

Like the Radio 5 caller he emphasised that residents must be re-housed, using requisition of empty properties if necessary, in the same neighbourhood, adding:

“The judge-led public inquiry must be speedy and all residents should have access to legal aid and the support they need”.





BBC Radio 5: the noble Lord, Baron Jones of Birmingham, shouts down a Royal Mail worker

nicky campbellAs the government gives notice to the stock exchange that it plans to privatise the Royal Mail “in the coming weeks” Nicky Campbell hosted a ‘phone-in’ on Radio 5 this morning.

In general an excellent broadcaster, on this occasion Nicky shared a failing with others – for instance David Dimbleby on TV’s ‘Question Time’ – in allowing forceful politicians or their corporate allies to interrupt and drown out anyone with views they do not welcome.

Today it was the turn of a postwoman who was asked to state her case but then was repeatedly interrupted and heckled by Digby Jones who preferred to bluster instead of putting forward a calm and reasoned contribution.

Was he impelled to do this because he was losing the argument?

This should not have been allowed. Some people now have refused to appear on such media interviews because they have experienced this discourtesy which can actually damage the presentation of their case.

No lover of titles, this listener did feel that, if they continue to be handed out, the victim in this case was infinitely more deserving of an honour than her assailant.

Noting visitors to the site from 22 countries last week, the writer hopes one day to be able to give them news of the reform of Britain’s plutocratic regime.