Grenfell Tower. The Last Straw

It’s a fact that wealth disparity in the borough of Kensington is amongst the most acute in Britain. For those trapped in poverty there it was considered to be among the top 10% of most deprived areas in the country. However something stood out to me as we watched the appalling disaster unfold on the news. T.V. journalists and pundits kept referring to the residents of Grenfell as “poor people”. That description didn’t sit easy with me. Among the survivors I saw a woman described as “The head of a local design company” I also spotted other skilled professionals and tradespeople as events progressed. Such types I wouldn’t describe as poor people, they are aspirational working class people. Intelligent, articulate, hard working. They are also the brutally truthful reminder that this is how tight, how squeezed and how utterly disregarded so called ordinary workers are, especially so in London. It would seem that things are now so bad even skilled professionals can find nowhere more affordable to live than a badly facilitated death trap. Many of them will have fought hard and waited on a long list to get into their homes that are now destroyed. This is your beloved free market. This is where it has taken us.

“There’s no such thing as society.” Margaret Thatcher gleefully said as she saw her dream of economic neo liberalism come into focus. Well…this is where such idealism leads. Are you feeling proud of that?

As things progress some upsetting, disturbing and yet not at all surprising facts are beginning to emerge. It’s not yet proven, yet is highly suspected the cladding on the building caused the disaster.  If two pound more per sheet of cladding at a total cost of five thousand pounds had been spent the disaster would probably have been avoided. But that’s not the point of free enterprise is it? The point is to make the highest profit margin and hold little regard as to how it will affect peoples lives. Are you proud of your profits? You’re always claiming you work so hard for them. How entitled are you feeling today?   Worse still the cladding was put there for aesthetic reasons. So that millionaires would have less of an eyesore to look at and be reminded every day that they have to move among people worth so much less than them. People that don’t count like them. People that they know in their hearts they are just better than. They don’t need ugly reminders of the actual truth of the world. If we can’t actually entirely enforce the idea “There’s no such thing as society.” then perhaps we can paint over it and hide it behind flammable plastics.

For all reading this, all you Neo Liberals , Conservatives, thinkers, economists and patrons of the right, advocates for free market and the age of self.  I’m just going to post here the last words of some that died. These were gathered in the press from social media.

“Forgive me, the fire is here. I’m dying”

“I can’t leave the flat. Please pray for me and my mum.”

“Tell my sons that I love them.”

“Smoke is coming under the doors.”

“I’m staying here with the dogs.”

“We’re not going to make it.”

“Please help me. Please tell my family that I love them.”

“Forgive me everyone. Goodbye.”

Still feeling proud of all you’ve achieved in life? Your profit shares, your mega bonus, you’re filthy lucre.

Your chief representative Theresa May  went to visit the place of disaster. Gutless, afraid, guilty and refusing to speak to local residents. Why was that I wonder. Why can’t she face the very people she claims to serve? Is it because she is a pinnacle representative of every ideal that caused this atrocity to come into being? Well is it? I know the answer, I’m asking you.

Our guy Jeremy Corbyn also visited. He was welcomed with open arms by those who have lost everything. He promises to do all he can to help. Remind me again how you are just better than us. Remind me how we’re not really people, we’re a commodity, a consumer. “There’s no such thing as society!”

They decided to cancel The Mansion House dinner “As an act of respect” This is a dinner of bankers, stockbrokers, establishment and politicians where meals are literally served on plates made of gold. I wonder what the price of one of those plates is? Five thousand pounds perhaps? The difference between an estimated hundred people burned to death and your dinner looking the absolute best it can.  Are you proud of your status, your connections, where you feel you’ve made it in life?  “There’s no such thing as society”

There’s a hurricane coming. And the likes of Theresa May are going to be left in it looking like nothing more than a gasp.

 

 

The REAL news episode 2. Poverty. (With special guest Zoe Williams)

In the interests of truth and in reaction to the bullshit perpetrated by our established media,  I’ve decided to start posting regular news columns here on the blog. They will hopefully be a mixture of information and some funnies. Please share far and wide…

  1. GET IT TOGETHER. (WHY WE DESERVE BETTER POLITICS)

Our first item comes from the pages of Zoe Williams excellent book Get it together (why we deserve better politics.)   

Poverty is a thing in this country. The UK is the most financially unequal country in Northern Europe, containing the richest area -inner London- and fully 9 of the 10 poorest areas (the only one of the bottom ten not in the UK is Hainaut, in Belgium) the poorest 20 per cent in the UK are poorer than any of their equivalents in North Western Europe (closer to the poor of Slovenia and the Czech Republic). Average wages have dropped 4% since 2010 and had been flat since 2003. Since 2008, real median weekly wages-income determined by its purchasing power; that is, a calculation of wages relative to prices – have fallen by 10.2 %: only wages in Greece have fallen by more. Our train fares are the highest in Europe, we have the second highest levels of fuel poverty. Don’t get me started on housing. As of 2014 after housing costs, 14.6 million people were in poverty – this is 23.2 per cent of the population, and 3.5 million of them are children (this is slightly over one in four kids). One in five families cannot afford a trip to their nearest beach.  900’000 thousand people went to the Trussell Trust in 2013 alone for food, and this is not the only food bank chain in the country.

Poverty in this country has been rising since the 1980s. We’ve been patching it up with personal debt, which went up three and a half times faster than national income in between 1977 and 2008.  But all of us – from the office for Budget Responsibility, to the Centre For Social Justice (a right wing think tank), to the Resolution Foundation ( a left wing think tank), the churches, to the schools, to the activists, to the person standing behind the person at a cashpoint who’s freaking out – we all know it’s there. It’s like a suppurating wound; it hurts, and often we can smell it. Yet something stops us from taking off the dressing and having a proper look.

EDITORS NOTE (that bit about us being able to smell it is very middle class…but we’ll let her off…she’s onside)

Conservatives who like to style themselves ‘caring’ won’t talk about poverty because they don’t think it’s real. Authentic poverty, to them, is the international measure of living on $1.25 a day; it’s the difference between being able to afford clean water and losing your children to cholera. It’s the gulf between subsistence and aspiration, the 50 cents between just about holding it together so that you don’t starve and getting at least one of your children to a point of literacy. That is true poverty, and anything else going by the name is a masquerade. Don’t complain that you’re hungry until you are starving. Don’t complain about work place conditions until you’re in Bangladesh and a building has fallen on your head. In other words, don’t complain until you are dead.

2. THE GOVERNMENT  RESPONSE TO POVERTY.

Well thanks for that Zoe and now some thoughts from the conservatives…

DAVID CAMERON SAYS (genuine quote)

MEME 8

SUICIDE RATES….

Under the present government suicide rates have soared. the government response to this…

rmeme 6

OSBORN.

In an effort to appear more down to earth George Osborn recently claimed to be a regular player of Bingo. A Newcastle resident said, “Yeah we’ve all been playing Tory bingo. Everyone is desperate for a full house so we don’t get hammered by the bedroom tax.”  

In a fresh upset it turns out many politicians have a second job – It’s called being an MP.

TRUE STORY. BENEFITS.

A man in Oldham had his benefits stopped for failing to complete a work capability assessment. Our viewers are probably thinking, ‘nothing wrong with that’, however the reason he didn’t complete the assessment is because during it he had a heart attack. EDs NOTE…(This isn’t satire this bit this is 100% TRUE)

attack 2

AND FINALLY…IAN DUNCAN SMITH

Ian Duncan Smith says he wants the disabled to work their way out of poverty. Despite many disabled people being able to work. It’s rumoured he recently put his foot on a drowning man to see if he’d grow gills.

3. THE WAR ON TERROR.

News just in…The war on terror has now been officially declared as successful as the war on drugs. Zoo-zoologists have announced, “Perhaps we should have a war on pandas…and then they’d be everywhere.”

THE WAR. A SUMMARRY.

Recently we initially armed some ‘rebels’ to overthrow the Syrian government, unfortunately they turned out to be ISIS. ISIS are a direct result of our wars on the Taliban and Al Qaeda in Afghanistan and Iraq. Now we’re forming a coalition with the Taliban to overthrow ISIS and help keep the Syrian government in place. Medal of Honour was never this confusing.

Never mind here’s a photo of a sexy Fox news reader.fox news 1

That’s just what people want when they’re watching genocide…To be sexually aroused.

The REAL News…episode 1. The Establishment. (With special guest Owen Jones)

In the interests of truth and in reaction to the bullshit perpetrated by our established media,  I’ve decided to start posting regular news columns here on the blog. They will hopefully be a mixture of information and some funnies. Please share far and wide.

  1. THE ESTABLISHMENT (AND HOW THEY GET AWAY WITH IT)

Our first news item comes from the pages of Owen Jones’ excellent book The Establishment. Over to you Owen.

The status quo may be treated as common sense now, but future generations will surely look back with a mixture of astonishment and contempt at how British society is currently organized: the richest 1000 individuals worth £520 billion, while hundreds of thousands of people have to queue to eat in food banks; a thriving financial elite that helped plunge Brittan into a vortex of economic collapse, which was rescued by over £ 1 Trillion of public money but continues to operate much as before; a reigning dogma that treats the state as an obstacle to be eradicated and shunned, even as the state serves as the backbone for private interests; a corporate elite, dependant as it is on state largess, that refuses to contribute money to the state; a media that does not exist to inform, educate, as well as challenge all those with power, but which serves as a platform for the ambitions, prejudices and naked self interest of a small number of wealthy moguls. More startling to our descendants will be how this was passed off as normal, as entirely rational and defensible, and how institutions run by the elite attempted, with considerable success, to redirect peoples anger to those at the very bottom of society.

Thanks for that Owen. And now over to London and the Chinese state visit.

2. BRITISH STEEL DUMPED ON BY CHINA.  

rmeme 3

The Conservatives now claim to be the party of the workers. Unfortunately for the United Kingdom, that seems to be the party of Chinese workers. They have sold out British Steel workers so China can dump cheap steel on the UK, which is currently trading on the stock exchange at £7.43 and a bag of prawn crackers per ton.

The Conservatives seem pretty laid back about letting the Redcar steel works close.  They probably think they can all just get jobs in the shipyards and coalmines.

MORE…

That’s the trouble with Chinese steel…it’s so incredibly moreish. As soon as you’ve had one batch dumped on you, you immediately want some more.

IVORY.

The Chinese were treated to a speech on ivory hunting from Prince William. We assume he was advising them how to do it properly.

MORE LEFT WING.

It has been noted in the press recently that the Conservative Party are now more left-wing than Jeremy Corbyn.  It’s true.  Jeremy Corbyn wants our power stations and railways built by a socialist state.  The Tories want our power stations and railways built by a communist state.

NORTHERN POWER HOUSE.

It turns out when the Tories were talking about a Northern Power House they meant that gay night club just up from the train station in Newcastle.

3. CHILDREN IN NEED.

And now some quick stories from the up and coming BBC guiltathon Children In Need…

First Gary Barlow O.B.E. (Offshore banking expert)

MEME 13

The Conservatives…

MEME 31

Pudsy Bear…

MEME 32

And finally….

4. JEREMY CORBYN REFUSES TO BOW (EVEN THOUGH HE DID)

It’s been widely reported in the British media (And you know you can trust them kids) That Labour party leader and communist berserker Jeremy Corby refused to bow at yesterdays remembrance services despite global news coverage and footage and around 10’000 paparazzi snaps appearing to show that he did.

Even worse Corbyn (it really is hard to say his name without getting the taste of gerbils in your mouth) then refused to attend a posh VIP dinner after the service and instead opted to stay behind and meet and chat to veterans before attending another remembrance service in his own constituency. The bastard.

On another note here’s conservative MP James Warton sending out some Tweets during yesterdays service…Well at least he bowed his head.

git

Well that’s us for now. Join us again when we’ll be asking why there are more nuclear submarines in Scotland (4) Than MPs that actually want them there (3). Goodnight. Sleep if you can.