World watch – Saturday

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WorldWatch

Post, news or views on anything happening of interest around the world.

23 Comments

  1. Can’t really add more than this commentary to anything, suffice to repeat the last sentence of this excellent article.

    “Where the horrors experienced by the working classes of North Kensington are used to underpin the binary moralism of a Corbynista worldview of the right as wicked and the left as decent. They are building their political movement on the corpses of the poor, and no amount of radical-sounding lingo can cover up just how cynical, opportunistic and depraved that is.”

    ” “PLEASE STOP EXPLOITING THE DEAD OF GRENFELL TOWER

    Some Labourites are using the Grenfell disaster to score political points.

    We don’t even know how many souls perished in the Grenfell Tower inferno, and yet already they are being marshalled to party-political ends. Already Labour-leaning commentators and campaigners are using them, using the freshly dead and the unspeakable horrors they experienced, to make milage for their party, to brand the Tories evil and Jeremy Corbyn saintly. In the 20 years I’ve been writing about politics, I can’t remember a national tragedy being exploited for party-political gain so quickly. The time between a calamity occurring and the use of it to harm one’s political enemies and fortify one’s political allies is shrinking all the time. It’s now mere hours, minutes even, courtesy of social media. What has happened to us?
    In the 24 hours since fire engulfed that tower in west London, the blame game has been intensifying. There’s a feverish hunt for the one person or the one thing – or the one attitude, primarily uncaring Toryism – that we might pin this horror on. The landlords didn’t care enough. Theresa May’s new chief-of-staff ‘sat on’ a report about tower-block safety. Tories, including rich Tories with double-barrelled surnames (awful creatures), voted against a proposed new system of fines for landlords who let down tenants. Boris Johnson, when he was mayor, made cuts to fire services. Even worse, during a debate about the cuts in the London Assembly he told a Labour rival to ‘get stuffed’. That detail is appearing everywhere, because the true aim here is not to work out what went wrong at Grenfell but to say: ‘Tory scum.’
    Social media is awash with Tory-bashing. This party, May herself, is to blame. How? Why? Did they light the flames? Fan the flames? No, it’s because they do not care. They are wicked and they emit this wickedness. They ‘love money more than life’, tweeters say; they have unleashed the ‘horror of austerity’; they are still the ‘nasty party’ and their nastiness kills. The speed and ease with which legitimate questions about what the managers of Grenfell allegedly failed to do have crossed the line into the blackening of certain Tories’ names, and the indictment of the entire culture of Toryism, suggests this is driven less by an instinct for thorough investigation than by an urge for retribution. There’s an old-world feel to it: something dreadful has happened and so we need someone, some thing, to punish for it, to project our grief on to, to transform into the human embodiment of this sin so that he or she might be cast out and our society cleansed.

    “This compulsion to blame is a central feature of 21st-century life. Every accident or awful thing that happens is followed by now almost instant demands for heads to roll. We seem incapable of accepting that sometimes horrendous experiences cannot easily be blamed on an individual or a group or a party. Like medieval communities who burnt witches when their crops failed – someone just had to be held morally responsible for the awful consequences of crop failure – today we point a collective or at least media finger at ‘uncaring’ individuals and institutions every time a tragedy occurs.

    This is not to say there isn’t a discussion to be had about Grenfell. Of course there is, and a very serious one indeed. Specific issues, about the building’s cladding and its weak fire-alarm system, must be addressed. And far broader questions about the failures of house-building and the corresponding warping of the housing market, and how these things impact on house prices and on the moral value we accord to social-housing residents, must be asked too. James Heartfield raises these broader questions on spiked today, and spiked will publish more on this next week. But the blame game, today’s sometimes hysterical retributive instinct, doesn’t address these issues or questions. In fact it can distract from them. Its preference for condemnation, for the collective chiding of evil individuals, for finding the person or thing we can all round on and get a kick from destroying, elevates the narcissistic moral needs of the media mob over serious analysis of Britain’s broad and complicated economic and social problems.
    ‘But the Grenfell disaster is political’, the people exploiting it cry, somewhat defensively. And they’re right. It is. Social housing and gentrification and the eco-approved application of cladding to tower blocks are political issues, or at least public issues, and we should talk about them. But these people aren’t treating Grenfell as political; they’re treating it as party political. They’re using it to demean Toryism as evil, and big up Corbyn as the leader Britain needs right now. He cares, you see, unlike them. He is Good, they are Bad. This isn’t politics – this is a culture war, where the horrors experienced by the working classes of North Kensington are used to underpin the binary moralism of a Corbynista worldview of the right as wicked and the left as decent. They are building their political movement on the corpses of the poor, and no amount of radical-sounding lingo can cover up just how cynical, opportunistic and depraved that is.”

    http://www.spiked-online.com/newsite/article/please-stop-exploiting-the-dead-of-grenfell-tower/19962#.WUQPUbR5ahC

    • Missy

       /  June 17, 2017

      A good article, and sums up well what I have been seeing / hearing in the media (Guardian mainly) and on Social Media.

      Even Labour MPs are getting in on the irresponsible blame game, and some of their rhetoric is riling up the locals, reportedly aided and abetted by Momentum who are getting on the ground in the area. It is going to be a mess, and Corbyn and Co are just fanning the flames.

      Corbyn yesterday called for rich peoples homes that weren’t occupied to be requisitioned to house those displaced from Grenfell towers. As usual those who expressed concern at the precedent were labelled heartless uncaring tories, those that claimed to be Labour were called liars or Blairites. Corbyn & Momentum have brought a very nasty – and dangerous – streak to British politics.

      The Corbynistas however don’t like facts, and one in particular is getting ignored, the fact that during the discussions around the refurbishment (and I think the beginning of the refurb) of Grenfell Towers the new Labour MP was on the Housing scrutiny committee for Kensington and Chelsea Council, which oversees community safety. She is named on a report which stated the committee had scrutinised the refurbishment of the Tower.

      This is political, but it is not party political. There are a number of issues that led to this tragedy that covers both Labour and Conservative Governments, and involves cross party committees.

      • Gezza

         /  June 17, 2017

        Just watched an Aljazeera tv reporter, out in the streets, interviewing residents. Angry young woman, gesticulating at a large banner hanging off nearby very expensive Kengsington apartments “GO AWAY MEDIA & TV”, and then the hulking, charred monstrosity that tower block now is: . “Look a’ it !” she says. “They don’t care abou’ us”. If vis ‘ad been Buckin’am palace there’s have been troops down ‘ere in a flash, ‘elicopters all ova the place”.

        Similar sentiments expressed by a couple of other lower class accents.

        Clips shown of the leafy boulevards & fancy, million-pound period Kensington apartment houses surrounding the tower – the commenter noting that many are empty & are owned by overseas owners who have only bought them for tax breaks. A smartly dressed blonde, middle aged high class accent turned away, refusing to comment when she was asked about suggestions they could be used to house some of those whose homes are gone.

        • Gezza

           /  June 17, 2017

          Angry young lady referred to said the helicopters would be dropping water on it to put it out.

          • Missy

             /  June 17, 2017

            they wouldn’t. London doesn’t have helicopters equipped to fight fires, and there is nowhere that they would be able to source the water from safely in order to do it.

            • Gezza

               /  June 17, 2017

              I figured that, Missy. It was I thought a good example of how tv reporter feed off & stoke up the seething anger & resentment of the poorer residents. It was specifically mentioned that many of those multi-million pound apartments’ absentee owners were Arabs.

            • Gezza

               /  June 17, 2017

              Also of the framing. That clip of Mrs Upperclass turning away could well have been her just being speechless & lost for words at the tragedy, it was a two seconds of video, but the voiceover had first set up the cold indifference frame.

            • Missy

               /  June 17, 2017

              True, I wasn’t sure if you knew they didn’t have the helicopters, or what was around. Sorry if I offended you.

              There are some apartments and houses around Kensington, Chelsea and Belgravia that are owned by Arabs and used once or twice a year, but Corbyn and Labour MPs have whipped up this idea there are hundreds and they should (will) be taken by the Government for these people. Irresponsible in my opinion. Student residences and flats have been opened free of charge to those from Grenfell Towers, others have opened their homes as well. There is no requirement to go down the path of forced requisition.

              Not sure I want the UK to go down Zimbabwe’s path….

            • Missy

               /  June 17, 2017

              They are certainly trying to frame this as a class issue, and again Momentum and Labour are exacerbating the situation by promoting the class divide. This isn’t helpful and will just lead to trouble this summer.

              I had my haircut today, and my hairdresser said that he believes if nothing is done soon there will be trouble, he expects a repeat of the 2011 riots. Not looking good at the moment.

            • Gezza

               /  June 17, 2017

              “Sorry if I offended you.”

              Good God, woman. I luvs ya to bits. Everybody know that! 😉

        • Missy

           /  June 17, 2017

          Be careful believing some of the Left’s propaganda. Those apartments that Corbyn (and now the mob) have claimed are empty and owned by foreign investors are not necessarily so. A report for the Mayor last year showed that less than 1% of properties in London were unoccupied – and that includes council housing that is unoccupied.

          I understand they are angry, and that is why what Labour and cohorts are doing is reprehensible. These people are being manipulated by Corbyn and Labour / Momentum to rise up in civil disobedience against the Government. That was shown tonight when social media reports indicated that many of the people involved in tonights protest (and organising it) were Momentum / Labour activists and not the residents.

          • The demands to house them all within the borough will be hard to accommodate I imagine.

            “They want people like us out of the area,” said a library assistant who lives in a block at the foot of the flats, asking for her name not to be printed to avoid causing difficulties with the tenant management organisation, her landlord. More than 48 hours after the fire, she and hundreds of other families displaced by the disaster remain unclear about where and when they will be rehoused permanently, and there is concern they may lose their homes in the borough of Kensington and Chelsea.

            Beinazir Lasharie, a resident and local Labour councillor, said: “We’re a nuisance to the council. Their attitude is: ‘How dare so many ethnic minority foreigners who are not well off live in these ugly flats?’” Lasharie had been evacuated from her flat in a block next to the tower, and was uncertain about when she could return. “They don’t care about us, they don’t listen to us. It’s as if they want us to move out. They are socially cleansing us across the borough.”

            • Can’t imagine how the Govt can escape this debacle without heads rolling.

              “The man praised Jeremy Corbyn and Sadiq Khan for talking to residents on Thursday.

              He added: “You know this could have been stopped, a long, long time ago. There is basic stuff, there’s not even sprinklers in there. That could have cost £200,000. They had £10m to spend, they spent £8.6m where is the rest of the money .. We want answers now. Nothing has been done.”

              Another man challenged her about the government’s failure to act on warnings after the 2009 fire at Lakanal House.

              Leadsom said she understood the anger. She said “the prime minister is trying to get a grip on this”.

            • Missy

               /  June 17, 2017

              Sadly that is the narrative being driven by the media, celebrities, and the left, I think it is more complicated than that. Underscoring a lot of it is the anger and resentment of gentrification as well which muddies the waters.

              The Government has stated that they will re-house everyone in the borough, but yes it will be difficult to do that. There is no way that 48 hours after such a tragedy anyone will have answers for them all on permanent re-housing, it will be a huge job to do that. Unfortunately many in positions of influence and authority are not helping the situation by suggesting there should be solutions to it all by now, easy for those that don’t actually have to do the work to talk about what should or shouldn’t have been done.

            • Missy

               /  June 17, 2017

              I think if the Government move quickly on this they could squeak through, one of the main people that may have gone from the Government previously was voted out last week, but the left are targeting those that voted against a Private Members Bill a couple of years ago that (in their words) was about making housing safe. I am not sure on the details of the bill, and those that are sharing it on probably don’t know the details either, I would be interested what the reasoning behind voting against the regulations, but I have heard that it was related to the fact that housing is a local authority matter and not for centralised Government.

            • Gezza

               /  June 17, 2017

              I don’t know how Sadiq Khan will be perceived by the populati. To me, in the appearances since the event that I’ve seen, he came across as an expensively-educated, cultured, paid-up member of The City & Gentleman’s Clubs, rather than a genuine spokesman for the underdogs. An interview with him once on Aljaz left me thinking he was a Muslim of birth & convenience, rather than a knowledgeable & dedicated follower of the prophet (pbuh).

  2. Gezza, a private word if you will about your beloved Aljaz. While they may offer you a wider world view, while they may be more for the voiceless than the shouty, the tabloidesque, Eurocentric, white washed, colonial and oppressive MSM the rest of us follow, surely they can’t always be relied upon as a font of wisdom.

    • Gezza

       /  June 17, 2017

      Heavens to Betsy, trav. I never believe a word I see on tv. I only watch it for the pictures.

      • Gezza

         /  June 17, 2017

        (PS: thanks for keeping this private: some people seem to take a prurient interest in one of my *relationships*. 😕

        • I can always be relied upon for discretion. It’s my middle name. Better part of valour and all that.

          • Gezza

             /  June 17, 2017

            Mais naturellement, madame.
            PS, if I want wisdom I read Sir Alan’s opinions & usually immediately glean wisdom is the opposite.