Click amount to donate direct to CounterPunch
  • $25
  • $50
  • $100
  • $500
  • $other
  • use PayPal
HAVE YOUR DONATION DOUBLED!

If you are able to donate $100 or more for our Annual Fund Drive, your donation will be matched by another generous CounterPuncher! These are tough times. Regardless of the political rhetoric bantered about the airwaves, the recession hasn’t ended for most of us. We know that money is tight for many of you. But we also know that tens of thousands of daily readers of CounterPunch depend on us to slice through the smokescreen and tell it like is. Please, donate if you can!

FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

The Ideology of Bonfires

by

The number of those reported killed in the Grenfell Tower fire in London’s West End is rising. The reporting I’ve seen started the count at six, soon rose to twelve, then seventeen, and now stands at fifty-eight. There are some on social media claiming the number may be as much as ten times higher. This question at least will be answered sooner rather than later. What is also true is that a fight over numbers at this point distracts from more pressing facts. I.e. This loss of life was preventable and there is a direct link from the Conservative Party’s guiding ideology to this tragedy. The Labour Party tabled a bill less than a year ago to upgrade the safety of residences like Grenfell Tower. The Conservatives with their majority voted against it and so the bill died.

Think on this. Politicians voting openly against the safety of those they represent. How could they justify it? How could this not be political poison?How could the media essentially ignore such blatant disrespect by elected representatives of their constituents safety? The answer is straightforward. The Conservative Party campaigned on killing regulations. They bragged openly about eliminating two regulations for every one brought in. The core of their ideology was the ever exalted goal of “getting government off the back of business.” In the specific case of this Labour Party bill the Conservative majority rejected it on the claim of avoiding “unnecessary regulations”

The direct result of this lack of regulation for Grenfell Tower residents was the use of incendiary cladding instead of fire retardant cladding, and no requirement for a sprinkler system. As to the media the Conservative’s killing of Labour’s tenant safety bill was simply business as usual, dog bites man, expected behavior, one measure among too many to highlight. Google ‘bonfire of regulations’ and you will discover that like minded political behavior is not in short supply. As with many political regressions today America is leading the charge for this one. As is also not  uncommon America once led by example having suffered its own versions of Grenfell in what were called the ‘bad old days’ before this redux.

There will be time to determine precisely how many died in the Grenfell Tower fire. The exact number does matter because every human life counts. For now what is most urgent is doing everything required to help those who survived to grieve and recover. On that score the Conservative’s handling of this crisis so far resembles nothing so much as it resembles an introduction – “Gasoline meet fire”. British comic Jonathan Pie sums up the tragedy and the Conservative’s conduct as papering over poverty with flammable cladding.

What should happen now is the passing of a tenant safety bill like the one that Labour tabled a year ago. Will it? What matters is that government regulations are enforced. Will they be? If this means hiring more enforcement officers, and it does, so be it. If there is anything at all that government is there for it is to ensure that the pursuit of profit does not lead our citizens to being burned on a bonfire of deregulation.

More articles by:
Weekend Edition
October 20, 2017
Friday - Sunday
John Pilger
Clinton, Assange and the War on Truth
Michael Hudson
Socialism, Land and Banking: 2017 compared to 1917
Jeffrey St. Clair
A Day in the Life of CounterPunch
Paul Street
The Not-So-Radical “Socialist” From Vermont
Jason Hirthler
Censorship in the Digital Age
Jonathan Cook
Harvey Weinstein and the Politics of Hollywood
Andrew Levine
Diagnosing the Donald
Michelle Renee Matisons
Relocated Puerto Rican Families are Florida’s Latest Class War Targets
Richard Moser
Goldman Sachs vs. Goldman Sachs?
David Rosen
Male Sexual Violence: As American as Cherry Pie
Mike Whitney
John Brennan’s Police State USA
Robert Hunziker
Mr. Toxicity Zaps America
Peter Gelderloos
Catalan Independence and the Crisis of Democracy
Robert Fantina
Fatah, Hamas, Israel and the United States
Edward Curtin
Organized Chaos and Confusion as Political Control
Patrick Cockburn
The Transformation of Iraq: Kurds Have Lost 40% of Their Territory
CJ Hopkins
Tomorrow Belongs to the Corporatocracy
Bill Quigley
The Blueprint for the Most Radical City on the Planet
Brian Cloughley
Chinese Dreams and American Deaths in Africa
John Hultgren
Immigration and the American Political Imagination
Thomas Klikauer
Torturing the Poor, German-Style
Gerry Brown
China’s Elderly Statesmen
Pepe Escobar
Kirkuk Redux Was a Bloodless Offensive, Here’s Why
Jill Richardson
The Mundaneness of Sexual Violence
Caoimhghin Ó Croidheáin
The Choreography of Human Dignity: Blade Runner 2049 and World War Z
Missy Comley Beattie
Bitch, Get Out!!
Andre Vltchek
The Greatest Indonesian Painter and “Praying to the Pig”
Ralph Nader
Why is Nobelist Economist Richard Thaler so Jovial?
Ricardo Vaz
Venezuela Regional Elections: Chavismo in Triumph, Opposition in Disarray and Media in Denial
Kevin Zeese - Margaret Flowers
NAFTA Talks Falter, Time To Increase Pressure
GD Dess
Why We Shouldn’t Let Hillary Haunt Us … And Why Having a Vision Matters
Ron Jacobs
Stop the Idiocy! Stop the Mattis-ness!
Russell Mokhiber
Talley Sergent Aaron Scheinberg Coca Cola Single Payer and the Failure of Democrats in West Virginia
Michael Barker
The Fiction of Kurt Andersen’s “Fantasyland”
Murray Dobbin
Yes, We Need to Tax the Rich
Dave Lindorff
Two Soviet Spies Who Deserve a Posthumous Nobel Peace Prize
Rafael Bernabe – Manuel Rodríguez Banchs
Open Letter to the People of the United States From Puerto Rico, a Month After Hurricane María
Oliver Tickell
#FreeJackLetts
Victor Grossman
From Jamaica to Knees
Michael Welton
Faith and the World: the Baha’i Vision
Barbara Nimri Aziz
Kirkuk the Consolation Prize?
Graham Peebles
Beyond Neo-Liberal Consumerism
Louis Proyect
On Gowans on Syria
Charles R. Larson
Review: Candida R. Moss and Joel S. Baden’s “Bible Nation: the United States of Hobby Lobby”
David Yearsley
Katy Perry’s Gastro-Pop, Gastro-Porn Orgy
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail