Friday, 16 June 2017

Long hot summer coming.

Another odd day - last night I slept in a bed for the first time in six or eight weeks. It was quite painful and I only managed three hours asleep but it was still a good move. I've got swollen feet and legs from sleeping in a chair for so long and it may help with that.

Then, I managed to sort out the toilet.

Our dysfunctional toilet gave up on us about three weeks ago. It was a really simple repair - I've changed a flap valve before but this time I couldn't risk breaking another vertebrae doing it. So, I needed a plumber.

It's very frustrating. Not least because for three weeks I haven't been able to find a plumber who would come and do it for us - for them it's a small job. So we've been flushing it with a bucket and that's not so easy with a broken back.

In a way that was a good thing because for a long while I didn't have the cash to pay for it and my back was too bad to get some more.

Today I found someone and had to pay over the odds to get the job done.

Very frustrating.

Anyway it still doesn't work properly but it doesn't work properly in the way it did before it completely broke down.

But then everything pales into insignificance when you look at Grenfell Tower.

It turns out that the company that installed the cladding that burnt so quickly chose to use a plastic based variety that cost £24 a square metre. The fireproof variety cost only £2 a square metre more. The total cost of covering the tower with flame proof cladding would have been just an extra £5000.

Meanwhile the company invested £2.5 Million of its profits in offshore tax avoidance schemes and then went bankrupt.

Tonight at about 5pm, some five hundred frustrated residents of the tower, near neighbours and friends and family of the missing attended a demonstration at the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea Town hall.

I've been there many times. When I was working I had to do so many hours of education every year to keep up to date. Many commercial course providers hired the public hall and rooms at the building.

They were sumptuous.......immaculate.

The council has unspent reserves of £300 million pounds, while their contractor saved £5000 cladding Grenfell Tower with flammable materials that turned the block into a death trap.

Anyway, frustration boiled over at the demo and the people (who weren't violent) forced their way in to try and confront the council.

At the same time the councillors and employees were being ushered out by the police - for their weekend off.

For the last two days no one from this wealthy council has been seen at the tower. Not sorting out accommodation for homeless people, accommodating the donations of food, drink and clothing from private individuals or trying to inform relatives of who was alive and who was dead.

And now they have gone home for the weekend!?

Meanwhile Lily Allen, who I have always had a lot of time for, had a very confrontational interview with Channel 4 News where she questioned why it was that the authorities have been down playing the number of casualties. She said that the unofficial word from the Police and Fire Brigade locally is that some 150 are dead.

Lets hope it's less than that but it is perhaps typical that the most accurate estimate so far has come from Lily Allen.

Heads will have to roll for this.

There is a seething anger on the streets.

There is a long, hot summer coming.

Neil Harris
(a don't stop till you drop production)
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