GRENFELL TOWER

Grenfell Tower insulation ‘never passed fire safety test’

21 May 2018

The insulation that burned out of control on Grenfell Tower had never passed the required safety test and should never have been on the building, a BBC investigation has discovered.

Panorama understands the manufacturer, Celotex, used extra fire retardant in the product that qualified for the safety certificate.

A more flammable version was then sold for public use, the programme believes.

Celotex said it is co-operating with the police investigation and inquiry.

The company said it could not comment further but wished to express its deepest sympathies to everyone who was and remains affected by the fire. But it has not denied any of Panorama’s allegations.

Panorama also accused Celotex of mis-selling the insulation with misleading marketing.

The programme has been advised that the way Celotex tested and sold the insulation could amount to corporate manslaughter.

http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-44200041


Ben McKenna‏@benmckenna May 12

Megan Markle’s wedding dress cost the taxpayer £300,000. It would’ve cost £220,000 extra to clad Grenfell Tower in non-combustible material.


Grenfell locals are demanding to know the whereabouts of an ex-councillor

Protesters disrupted a Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea (RBKC) council meeting on 7 March. And a poster was held up demanding the whereabouts of an ex-councillor responsible for the tower’s refurbishment. But plans for new houses in Norfolk hint at what he’s been up to.

Where’s Rock?

Rock Feilding-Mellen oversaw Grenfell Tower’s refurbishments, including the flammable cladding believed to have accelerated the fire’s spread. Documents suggest the decision to use cheaper but more flammable cladding was made to satisfy the councillor and the planner. But on 24 June 2017, the Mirrorreported he “fled his home” following backlash from residents who were angry at his role in the fire.

Six days later, on 30 June 2017, Feilding-Mellen resigned from his £48,000 a year [pdf, p2] council position. He has since left the public eye. And this led one person at RBKC’s recent full council meeting to hold up a poster featuring Feilding-Mellen’s face and the question, “Where?”:

full Council meeting tonight. Protesters wave signs asking where is Cllr Rock Feilding-Mellen (yet another no show since July last year) & demanding commissioners be brought in as former Leader Paget-Brown speaks. Paget-Brown still a councillor, still getting paid

Directorship

Socially Conscious Capital (SCC) is a property development firm listing Feilding-Mellen as its director. In 2017, The Timesreported [paywall] that he is also the company’s majority owner. The developer designs and develops housing estates with “distinctive character”. And it claims to base its work on a principle of “responsibility” by:

Genuinely listening to local residents. Awareness of the sensitivities of the site and its surroundings. Becoming a real part of the community.

But one of SCC’s projects suggests otherwise.

‘Not interested in the views of local people’

Racecourse Plantation is a proposed housing development located on the edge of Norwich, Norfolk. Designs were submitted in 2011, 2013 and 2016. Each was rejected by the local authority. The plan has faced controversy because of its location inside woodland that Norfolk Wildlife Trust describes as a “key biodiversity asset” for the city.

The 2016 proposal was rejected by local authority Broadland District Council in June 2017 for a number of ecological reasons including the size of woodland that would be removed. But Friends of Thorpe Woodlands, a group of locals opposed to the plans, were worried SCC would appeal.

These fears came true when SCC appealed [pdf] in October 2017. The appeal claims [pdf, p12] that “all of the reasons from the Council and Consultees are unwarranted or unfounded”. But Friends of Thorpe Woodlands says this shows SCC “are not interested in the views of local people or their councillors”. The appeal is due to be heard in May this year.

SCC claimed that more than 70 people support its 2016 proposal. In 2013, 2,440 letters of opposition were made to the local authority, alongside statements from conservation charities. These included the RSPB, Norfolk Wildlife Trust and Natural England. And now, the local opposition group is asking the public to “make a big difference” by sending letters of opposition to the latest appeal.

Continuing to profit

A 450-house estate is being built by SCC in the village of Longniddry, Scotland. Approval was granted in August 2017 despite similar long-running opposition by local residents.

Grenfell Action Group had written a number of posts about Feilding-Mellen and Socially Conscious Capital. The group, made up of local residents, had blogged about the tower’s safety risks for months before the fire. And in a post on 6 March 2017, it said:

Given the record of Feilding-Mellen’s ‘Socially Conscious Capital’… one has to seriously question whether this man can be trusted with the ecological and environmental protections to which the RBKC Council is supposedly committed and whether he is fit to manage the so-called ‘regeneration’ of the social housing estates of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea.

Despite SCC’s claims of responsibility, impacts on local residents and ecology appear to mean very little. And its director continues to profit from housing development as hundreds remain homeless after the Grenfell Tower fire. This lack of accountability cannot continue.

The Canary repeatedly contacted Socially Conscious Capital for comment but received no response by the time of publication.

https://www.thecanary.co/uk/analysis/2018/03/15/grenfell-locals-demanding-know-whereabouts-ex-councillor/

The company that turned Grenfell Tower into a deathtrap reports profits up 50% and anticipates no downside from the disaster

Vicount Ian Kerr CGC @IanKerr

Profits up. Rydon investor disclosures indicate the company anticipates no downside at all from the fire, apparently believing that the lawsuits will come to nothing.



Grenfell MP says the inquiry into the fire which killed 72 is ‘beginning to look like a stitch up’

2 MAR 2018

The Grenfell Tower public inquiry is beginning to look like a stitch-up, Kensington MP Emma Dent Coad has said.

The MP made the claim because she and other Labour members of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea Council have not been granted core participant status in the investigation headed by Sir Martin Moore-Bick.

Labour councillors have complained there is a “clear conflict of interest” if they are represented at the inquiry by lawyers acting for the Tory-run authority.

Asked if she thought the inquiry was a “stitch-up” because of this, Ms Dent Coad said: “It’s beginning to look like that. We are feeling marginalised and neutralised. That’s not good.

“I really object to being represented by the lawyers of a discredited organisation which is under criminal investigation.”

Labour leader on the council Robert Atkinson said: “We will be witnesses for the prosecution. We will be hostile witnesses. And yet we are being forced to share council representation for the defence.”

Mr Atkinson said that if Labour had the same representation at the inquiry as the rest of the council “there will be guilt by association”.

Councillor Pat Mason said the inquiry had “less and less credibility on the ground”, adding: “We don’t believe the inquiry is credible either. We don’t believe that it’s a fair process. If you are excluding people and using obscure rules in the Public Inquiry Act to block out evidence, then you are not going to get all the evidence.”

John Cooper QC, who is representing the Labour group on the council, said core participant status would mean having full disclosure and being able to question witnesses.

Mr Cooper said: “If we do not get core participation status in this inquiry, then I’m very convinced at the moment justice will not be done.”

The public inquiry into the tragedy which claimed 72 lives last June has proved controversial.

More than 100,000 people have signed a petition calling on Prime Minister Theresa May to take action to build public trust in the probe.

https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/politics/grenfell-mp-says-inquiry-fire-12115633

Grenfell Tower 💚 @Still_I_Rise_GT

Grenfel – inquiry has HIRED KPMG as its adviser despite the accountancy firm earning millions of pounds auditing three of the main players being investigated over the tragic blaze and its aftermath. STUPID & UNBELIEVABLE DECISION number ?????????????

Questions over KPMG role in Grenfell Tower probe

 Jan 4 2018

The Grenfell Tower inquiry has hired KPMG as its adviser despite the accountancy firm earning millions of pounds auditing three of the main players being investigated over the tragic blaze and its aftermath.

KPMG has lucrative and long-standing relationships as auditor to Rydon — the main contractor in charge of the refurbishment widely blamed for the fire’s spread — Celotex, the maker of the insulation which police said failed safety tests, and the much-criticised Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea.

News that the inquiry is paying a firm so closely linked to the organisations under scrutiny is bound to anger survivors and victims’ families. They have already voiced concerns that the investigation is lacking in diverse voices.

KPMG was hired by the Cabinet Office to help plan the inquiry and monitor its progress.

The three-month, £200,000 contract (recently extended to February) was awarded in a fast-track process with no other bidders considered.

https://www.standard.co.uk/business/questions-over-kpmg-role-in-grenfell-tower-probe-a3732036.html

David Lammy@DavidLammy

Expelling a Lab Councillor from the board of KCTMO for speaking to journalists is not exactly a great message to send out on transparency as the Grenfell inquiry starts.. What exactly are they trying to cover up and who are they trying to frighten/silence?

Whistleblower sacked from Grenfell board

12 Dec 2017

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/whistleblower-sacked-from-grenfell-board-xfvd66drf

London Tory council to charge tower block residents £4,000 to fit sprinklers

Leaseholders hit out at Wandsworth bills for post-Grenfell fire safety measures
11 November 2017

Independent report: response to Grenfell ‘disjointed and rudderless’

The council’s response to the Grenfell Tower disaster was “disjointed and seemingly rudderless” and it failed to engage with tenants before and after the fire, a damning independent report has said. 

https://www.insidehousing.co.uk/news/independent-report-response-to-grenfell-disjointed-and-rudderless-53082

Grenfell: report criticised ‘inadequate’ management 12 years before fire

 

Highly critical independent report into emergency lighting system at tower made public after long campaign by residents

A negligent approach to residents’ safety by the body responsible for managing Grenfell Tower was highlighted in a highly critical independent report 12 years before the fire, according to a document that has finally been made public after a protracted campaign by residents.

The report, compiled by Capita Symonds, suggested that torches with rechargeable batteries should be installed in every flat, wired to the mains to recharge, so that residents could use torches to escape. Neither Kensington and Chelsea council nor Kensington and Chelsea Tenant Management Organisation (KCTMO) would say whether the recommendation was followed, but residents say the torches were never installed.

The independent report into problems with the emergency lighting system at the tower was commissioned by the KCTMO in 2005 after two-thirds of the tower’s emergency lighting units failed a routine inspection.

It criticised the KCTMO and the contractor responsible for the block’s fire escape lighting, documenting “inadequate management”, “inadequate installation standards”, a “failure to acknowledge the importance of undertaking urgent remedial works” and a “lack of communication” between the block’s management and residents.

Khalid Ahmed, who escaped from the eighth floor, said not all the stairwell lights were working on the night of the fire. Other residents’ accounts suggest darkness compounded by thick smoke made escape difficult.

Francis O’Connor, the co-author of the Grenfell Action Group blog, which repeatedly warned of fire safety issues before the fire in June, said the problems identified in this report indicated “that a culture of complacency, negligence and incompetence was rife within the TMO and was not confined to fire safety issues. Complaints from tenants were legion.”

He said he was shocked to read the report, which provided the “most authoritative and comprehensive forensic evidence I had seen of how pervasive the maladministration was at the TMO”.

The report noted that because the tower’s emergency staircase had no natural light, the emergency lighting system was vital. It criticised the KCTMO for failing to prepare risk assessments that recognised that “residents and members of the public were continuously at risk” when the lighting system was defective.

The KCTMO’s response to the ongoing problem with the broken system “unfortunately did not reflect any urgency”, the report stated.

The document is significant because it provides an independent third-party assessment of management failures by KCTMO, which residents claim were problematic in 2005 and still ongoing in 2017.

The campaign to have it released also reveals a longstanding refusal by the KCTMO to make public documents concerning their management of the tower. It states that as a private organisation, it is not obliged to make information public.

Campaigners are angry that the KCTMO, which was the country’s largest tenant management organisation, looking after all of Kensington and Chelsea’s social housing stock – 10,000 properties – should have been able to shield itself from public scrutiny. Repeated requests from residents to see minutes of meetings where plans for the tower’s refurbishment were discussed were rejected.

O’Connor, who until 2013 lived on the Lancaster West estate, which encompasses Grenfell, and continues to co-author the Grenfell Action Group blog, first made a formal request for the lighting report the day after the fire. His request was refused by the TMO, then granted in principle on appeal to the Information Commissioner’s Office, then appealed by the KCTMO on the grounds that it was not subject to the FoI rules, a decision later upheld by the ICO. He only received it at the end of October after turning to an official at the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, who released it under freedom of information legislation.

O’Connor points out that the KCTMO’s insistence that it was not required to release information meant that he and fellow Grenfell Action Group campaigners were unable to scrutinise minutes of critical meetings where plans for the refurbishment of the block were discussed.

A request to see minutes of one refurbishment meeting was rejected in 2014. The meeting would have “contained references to the decision to replace the approved cladding and insulation with cheaper alternatives. This would have caused us to research the qualities of the alternative products and to discover that they were highly flammable and highly toxic when burning,” O’Connor said. “We would have raised hell about this, and who knows what the outcome of that hellraising might have been? This bitter truth is hard to live with.”

The KCTMO’s contract to manage social housing in the borough was terminated last month. Kensington and Chelsea council said: “This is a matter for the public inquiry and for the TMO. The council has recently taken responsibility for the Lancaster West estate following the Grenfell fire.

“We are working with residents and independent experts to ensure that we are making necessary improvements, and that all homes are safe and secure.”

A KCTMO spokesperson said: “Kensington & Chelsea Tenant Management Organisation is a private company limited by guarantee and is therefore not a body which is subject to the Freedom of Information Act.”

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2017/nov/01/grenfell-report-criticised-inadequate-management-12-years-before-fire?CMP=share_btn_tw

Rachael‏ @Rachael_Swindon

The hypocrisy of the Daily Mail for all to see for themselves.


 

£370 Million to restore a Palace

“essential”

Making Citizens houses fit for habitation,

no Money

Tory supporter says people on benefits shouldn’t live in the most desirable parts of London.

Scott Nelson‏ @SocialistVoice

The Queen has £10m stashed away in offshore accounts. Only this year she was given an £8m rise because £74m a year isn’t enough to live on.

Woman wearing a £1m hat with £10m stashed away in offshore accounts tells Britain to live within its means

Queen’s estate invested $13 million in offshore tax havens

Leaked documents published on Sunday suggest that the private estate of Queen Elizabeth II invested in offshore funds.

Revelations from the leak, which has been dubbed the Paradise Papers, were reported by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) and outlets including The New York Times.

In Britain, the BBC said it had seen documents that show the Duchy of Lancaster, which provides the Queen with an income, had invested £10 million ($13.1 million) into funds in the Cayman Islands and Bermuda.

The documents have not been reviewed by CNN.

The Queen has not been accused of any wrongdoing. But the investments are potentially embarrassing for a royal family that closely guards its reputation.

“We operate a number of investments and a few of these are with overseas funds. All of our investments are fully audited and legitimate,” the Duchy of Lancaster said in a statement.

The Duchy added that the Queen, who is officially exempt from U.K. tax laws, “voluntarily pays tax” on income she receives from the estate.

The £519 million ($680 million) Duchy, which provides the Queen with an income to cover official expenses, says it invests primarily in commercial, agricultural and residential properties.

In the most recent fiscal year, the Duchy generated £19.2 million ($25 million) in net income according to its website.

Related: What you need to know about the Paradise Papers

One of the Duchy’s offshore investments has generated some controversy.

The BBC reported that the Duchy invested $7.5 million in Dover Street VI Cayman Fund LP in 2005. The fund, which invested in medical and tech companies, later put money into U.K. retailer BrightHouse.

The Duchy said its investment in the company is worth £3,208 ($4,200).

BrightHouse, which gave customers credit so they could buy its home furniture and appliances, was later forced to compensate consumers after the U.K.’s Financial Conduct Authority found it was not a responsible lender.

“We sincerely apologize to those customers who were affected,” the company said in October. “We’re absolutely determined that this doesn’t happen again and have made significant improvements over the last 18 months.”

The Duchy said in a statement that the investment in BrightHouse was made “through a third party,” and equates to just 0.0006% of the Duchy’s value.

The ICIJ noted in its report that “there are legitimate uses for offshore companies and trusts,” and it was not suggesting that any people or companies it named either broke the law or acted improperly.

David Pitt Watson, an executive fellow at the London Business School who focuses on responsible investments, said he “very much” doubts that the Queen knew where her money was invested.

Instead, she’s like “so many others who have a pension, or an investment account,” he said. “We just don’t know what is being done with it.”

The Paradise Papers reporting is similar to the Panama Papers, which in 2016 exposed cases involving celebrities and business executives who reportedly moved large chunks of their wealth into offshore tax havens.

The new project, which is based on more than 13.4 million documents dated from 1950 to 2016, covers a large number of global corporations and prominent people and their use of offshore accounts.

http://money.cnn.com/2017/11/06/news/queen-offshore-investments-paradise-papers/index.html

The London Economic‏ @LondonEconomic Nov 10

James Melville‏ @JamesMelville

Lost revenue in offshore tax havens is costing over £100bn a year – enough to eliminate extreme global poverty twice over.

Theresa May says no Government cash for sprinklers in tower blocks despite promises made after Grenfell

18 Oct 2017

‘How safe would she feel living on the 20th floor in my constituency with one staircase and no sprinklers?’ Prime Minister asked

Theresa May has confirmed there will be no Government cash to fit sprinklers in tower blocks, triggering accusations she has broken a promise made after the Grenfell Tower tragedy.

It is “up to the council to make decisions”, the Prime Minister told MPs – amid a growing furore over the multi-million pound bills that town halls face.

Nottingham, Croydon and Wandsworth have all had multi-million pound requests turned – even after being advised to carry out works by their local fire brigades.

Nevertheless, until now, ministers had said they would consider help “where works are essential”, even as they resisted applications.

However, during Prime Minister’s Questions, Ms May gave a firm no after a plea for assistance from a Labour MP in Nottingham

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/theresa-may-sprinklers-money-grenfell-promise-broken-accusations-a8007501.html


Grenfell Tower fire was a ‘crime’ that should bring down the government declares head of the firefighters’ union

26 Sept 2017

Matt Wrack said ministers should have to give evidence to the public inquiry into the “atrocity” – and warned his members could boycott it

 http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/politics/grenfell-tower-fire-crime-should-11237179

Kensington and Chelsea council terminates contract with Grenfell Tower landlord

28 Sept 2017

Body ‘no longer has the trust of residents,’ says deputy council leader

The decision came on the same day it emerged that at least 18 children died in the fire, many of whom were siblings.

The Kensington and Chelsea Tenant Management Organisation (TMO) manages 9,760 homes in the borough, including the Lancaster West Estate, of which Grenfell is part.

The council has faced fierce criticism over the speed of its response to the fire and there was growing concern that only a small proportion of the residents had been rehoused.

The most recent victims of the fire to be identified include two sisters, two three-year-old girls, a boy aged six, a teenager and a woman in her 30s.

A number of the dead were siblings, with the fire wiping out complete families.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/grenfell-tower-council-ends-contract-landlord-chelsea-tenant-management-a7971001.html

Grenfell Tower Survivors Accuse Authorities Of ‘Serious Concerted Cover-Up’ 100 Days After Tragedy

22/09/2017

Death toll debate rages on.

Grenfell Inquiry: Experts Fear ‘Broken’ Fire Safety Laws Put Millions At Risk

One hundred days has done nothing to quell the anger felt by Grenfell Tower survivors who on Friday accused authorities of being engaged in a “serious, concerted cover-up” over the death toll. 

As residents prepared to mark the milestone with a candle lit gathering this afternoon, the group fighting for their rights, Justice4Grenfell, issued a strongly worded statement taking aim at authorities for “doing everything in their power to downplay the scale of the disaster and to dehumanise the victims and the survivors”.

http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/entry/grenfell-tower-100-days-on_uk_59c4e2c9e4b06ddf45f71687?

Austerity and slashing red tape has rendered self-regulation ‘useless’,

11/9/2017

http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/entry/grenfell-inquiry-fire-safety-legislation_uk_599df3f1e4b06d67e33506d0

 

One day in… and Grenfell judge sparks ‘respect’ row

Discontent had begun brewing when the retired judge rejected calls for residents to be included as one of his team of assessors, telling the hearing it would ‘risk undermining my impartiality’.

…survivors branded the process a ‘whitewash’ and some stormed out of a community building near the tower in north Kensington, where the opening address was being live-streamed.

Where are the Grenfell donations? HSBC

Just 30% of Grenfell tower fire funds have reached victims

18 Aug 2017

Those entitled to payments include next-of-kin of those missing or dead and people who required hospital treatment

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2017/aug/18/just-30-per-cent-of-grenfell-tower-fire-funds-have-reached-victims?CMP=twt_gu

It should not have required a calamity like Grenfell for people to start calling foul on this re-engineering of the city’s demography. Long before the country found itself discussing Grenfell’s dereliction — and of the contemptuous council response to a catastrophe of its own making, and the continuing imbroglio over the rehousing of survivors despite their borough’s surfeit of empty homes — the ramifications of London’s trajectory should have been the animating subject of its politics for the last decade.

Names of wealthy empty-home owners in Grenfell borough revealed

Kensington and Chelsea council list shows foreign royalty, financiers and offshore firms leaving London properties vacant

Duke’s Lodge mansion block, which used to house 26 flats, is owned by an offshore firm that is part of Christian Candy’s luxury property business

1 August 2017

Owners of the 1,652 properties listed as unoccupied by Kensington and Chelsea council include a Ukrainian billionaire fighting extradition to the US, a former mayor of New York, a high-profile luxury property developer and a senior television executive.

They include the distinctive former Brompton Road tube station building, once used as a top secret command centre for Winston Churchill, but which has been vacant since it was bought for £53m by the Ukrainian oligarch Dmytro Firtash in 2014.

The list of owners of vacant properties includes the former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg, who bought a seven-bedroom grade II*-listed mansion for £16m in 2015. Once home to the writer George Eliot, it boasts a baroque ceiling mural of Venus by James Thornhill, who painted the interior of the dome of St Paul’s Cathedral.

The names were revealed in a list that appears to have been accidentally sent by the council to multiple recipients, including the Guardian, and details the council tax information of the vacant homes and their 1,197 owners.

More than a third of the vacant homes (603) are recorded as having been empty for more than two years, with the owners paying a 50% premium on their council tax. A further 1,010 are classified as unoccupied and substantially unfurnished, while the other 39 have been unoccupied for less than a year, with building work in progress.

Some of the luxury properties identified as long-term empty are just a few hundred metres from the charred remains of Grenfell Tower, where at least 80 people died in June. Of the survivors only 12 households have been re-accommodated, with dozens still in temporary housing.

Other unoccupied properties are owned by offshore companies, including Dukes Lodge London Ltd, part of Christian Candy’s luxury property business, which is listed as owning 26 homes in a 1930s mansion block valued at £85m in 2015; and Smech Properties Ltd, owned by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the vice-president of the United Arab Emirates and ruler of Dubai.

Some of the information in the council’s records appeared to be wrong.

“There is a clear public interest in better understanding the issue of empty homes in London’s over-heated property market, why they are being bought and left empty, and where the money is coming from.”

An additional council tax payment, worth 50% of the normal rate, is levied on homes left empty for more than two years. But for most properties this amounts to an extra few hundred pounds a year, and no more than £1,500, according to the council data, despite some of the properties being worth tens of millions of pounds.

Anna Powell-Smith, of Who Owns England, who analysed the data, said: “This is about our broken housing system. Many of these people are leaving their homes empty because they don’t need the rent, and in that situation we could reasonably ask them to contribute more. But we can only have a proper debate about fair levels of council tax with full transparent data on ownership and housing use.”

There are 64 homes listed as vacant in Notting Dale, the ward where Grenfell Tower stood. Of those, six are recorded as having been vacant for more than two years, and the remainder fall in the category of unoccupied and substantially unfurnished.

The ward listed as having the highest number of long-term empty properties is Brompton and Hans Town, the area around Sloane Street, whose local councillors include the former council leader Nicholas Paget-Brown, who resigned after the Grenfell disaster. The ward has 100 homes listed as empty for more than two years and another 128 recorded as unoccupied and substantially unfurnished.

To date, Kensington and Chelsea has made 169 offers of accommodation to the survivors of Grenfell, 46 of which have been accepted. Only twelve households have so far been rehoused.

https://www.theguardian.com/society/2017/aug/01/names-of-wealthy-empty-home-owners-in-grenfell-borough-revealed?CMP=twt_gu


Grenfell fire: Terms of reference published

15 Aug 2017

The actions of Kensington and Chelsea Council are to be considered in the Grenfell Tower fire inquiry, the government has announced.

The inquiry will also look at the adequacy of regulations, the tower’s recent refurbishment, and the response of authorities in the aftermath.

The judge heading the inquiry, Sir Martin Moore-Bick, previously said its scope could be much more limited.

Broader questions on social housing will not be in its terms of reference.

At least 80 people are thought to have died in the fire in North Kensington, west London, on 14 June.

Justice ‘vital’

Sir Martin suggested in a letter that wider consideration of social housing policy should not be included, despite the protestation of survivors.

The full terms of reference for the public inquiry, which have been accepted in full by the prime minister, are:

  • The cause and spread of the fire
  • The design, construction and refurbishment of Grenfell Tower
  • The scope and adequacy of the relevant regulations relating to high-rise buildings
  • Whether the relevant legislation and guidance were complied with in the case of Grenfell Tower
  • The actions of the local authority and other bodies before the tragedy
  • The response of the London Fire Brigade to the fire and the response of central and local government in the aftermath

Sir Martin had faced calls to step down as head of the Grenfell Tower inquiry

Residents and campaigners previously called for Sir Martin to resign from the inquiry, with the area’s MP, Emma Dent Coad, saying those affected needed “somebody we can trust”.

Shadow housing minister John Healey tweeted: “Deeply unsatisfactory for PM to set Grenfell Inquiry terms of ref to exclude housing policy failings – closing off criticism of govt policy.”

David Lammy, the Labour MP for Tottenham whose friend was among the dead, said he was “deeply disappointed” that the “narrow” terms of reference did not include the provision and management of social housing in the UK.

The inquiry has now officially begun and will hold its first hearing on 14 September, with an initial report by Easter.

http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-40935955?ns_mchannel=social&ns_campaign=bbc_breaking&ns_source=twitter&ns_linkname=news_central

Peter Apps‏ @PeteApps

Judge decided ‘after careful reflection’ not to include questions on broader social housing policy in Grenfell Inquiry

27 July 2017

David Lammy‏@DavidLammy


28 July 2017

Jail anyone found guilty of causing Grenfell Tower blaze, say survivors

 

Grenfell survivors and relatives of victims today welcomed a corporate manslaughter investigation but called for jail sentences for anyone found guilty of causing the blaze

Campaigners have urged police to also consider gross negligence manslaughter charges against individuals, which can carry prison sentences if convicted. The maximum sentence for corporate manslaughter is a fine.

“We want to see individuals who took the decisions which led to so many dying to face justice. We want individuals in the dock and for them to go to prison.”

Yvette Williams, of the Justice 4 Grenfell campaign group, said: “We welcome that there is enough information and evidence to go down the corporate prosecution route.

“However, what we would like to see running alongside that is individuals being prosecuted. We want individuals named and prosecuted.”

The Metropolitan Police said its letter to those affected outlining the investigation was “simply an update” and “should not be taken to conclude that the identified offences and organisations are the only offences, organisations or individuals that are being investigated”.

http://www.standard.co.uk/news/london/jail-anyone-found-guilty-of-causing-grenfell-tower-blaze-say-survivors-a3598501.html


 

A statement circulated to those involved said an “initial assessment” of seized material and witness statements had allowed police to conclude that each organisation may have committed the offence.

Both organisations will be questioned under the Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act 2007.

“We have seized a huge amount of material and taken a large number of witness statements,” the letter to those affected by the disaster said.

“After an initial assessment of that information, the officer leading the investigation has today notified Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea and the Kensington and Chelsea TMO that there are reasonable grounds to suspect that each organisation may have committed the offence of corporate manslaughter under the Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act 2007.

“In due course, a senior representative fo each corporation will be formally interviewed by police in relation to the potential offence.”

It was unclear which senior figures will be interviewed by police and the legislation does not allow for the arrest of any individual.

A Met Police spokesperson told The Independent:  This is a complex and far reaching investigation that by its very nature will take a considerable time to complete.

“As is routine, we will not give a running commentary on this investigation.”

Samia Badani, residents association chair for Bramley House – a block that overlooks the tower – told The Independent the move was a positive step forward for the community.

“I’m very pleased, I think over the years we have had a very good relationship with local police and the relationship with the council is the opposite,” she said.

“We are so bruised in the community that we needed some reassurances so it’s a step forward.”

It comes after a number of stakeholders from both RBKC and the TMO resigned in the wake of the tragedy over accusations they ignored a catalogue of warnings over fire safety.

RBKC chief executive Nicholas Holgate was the first to step down in the aftermath over the borough’s handling of the fire.

“Despite my wish to have continued, in very challenging circumstances, to lead on the executive responsibilities of the council, I have decided that it is better to step down from my role, once an appropriate successor has been appointed,” he said in a statement on 21 June.

A week later, TMO leader Robert Black stepped aside to “concentrate on assisting with the investigation and inquiry”, followed by RBKC leader Nick Paget-Brown and deputy leader Rock Feilding-Mellen just hours later.

Council leader Elizabeth Campbell said she would fully support the Met’s investigation.

“Our residents deserve answers about the Grenfell Tower fire and the police investigation will provide these. We fully support the Metropolitan Police investigation and we will cooperate in every way we can,” she said.

“It would not be appropriate to comment further on matters subject to the police investigation.”

The news comes after family and friends of five of those killed in the blaze, including two child victims, gathered to remember their loved ones.

The lives of artist Khadija Saye, her mother Mary Mendy, Berkti Haftom and her 12-year-old son Beruk, as well as five-year-old Isaac Paulos were being celebrated at the ecumenical service in St Helen’s Church.

The service opened with a recording of Michael Jackson’s “Heal The World”, and the Gospel For Grenfell choir later sang a number of well-known songs including “Something Inside So Strong”.

Ms Saye’s cousin Adelaide Mendy recalled the fear and panic on the night of the fire, and her desperate hope that her relatives would not be caught up in it.

She told those gathered: “I felt an excruciating and an almost unbearable pain. I felt powerless at the thought that there was nothing else that I could’ve done.”

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/crime/grenfell-tower-fire-latest-news-corporate-manslaughter-kensington-council-kctmo-met-police-a7863616.html

Combustible Cladding – Early Warnings Ignored!

There has been a good deal of controversy lately over the proposed public inquiry into the Grenfell Tower fire which claimed an as yet undetermined number of lives and left many hundreds more homeless and traumatised. The controversy began with the appointment, despite widespread resistance in the Lancaster West community, of a retired judge, Martin Moore-Bick as head of the inquiry, an establishment figure whose previous actions revealed him to be seriously lacking in the empathy necessary to earn the trust of the local community.

The Moore-Bick controversy was further fed by statements he made (reported in the Independent on 29th June) that the inquiry would be “…limited to the problems surrounding the start of the fire and its rapid development in order to make recommendations about how this sort of thing can be prevented in future.” Judge Moore-Bick added that he was aware that local residents were demanding much wider terms of reference and expressed doubts that the the planned inquiry could satisfy those demands.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/grenfell-tower-fire-judge-sir-martin-moore-bick-public-inquiry-residents-satisfy-victims-families-a7815056.html

The controversy deepened with the appointment of a new panel of technical experts to advise the government on fire safety issues. Half of the members of this panel are tainted by their links to a company called BRE Ltd which, for many years, has been paid by the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) to provide advice on fire safety. The Building Research Establishment Ltd (BRE) was formerly a British Government research body, but was privatised in 1997.  It appears that BRE Global has since been paid at least £250,000 by the DCLG for fire safety advice.

Dr Peter Bonfield, Chief Executive of BRE Global, will sit on the expert panel alongside Sir Ken Knight, who is a trustee of BRE’s charitable parent company, the BRE Trust. According to Sky News and the Mail online BRE raised concerns in April 2016 that the use of combustible cladding on buildings was increasing, but they considered the current regulations to be adequate.

http://news.sky.com/story/grenfell-lawyer-questions-role-of-two-experts-10938353

We wanted to see this report for ourselves so we searched for it and found it online. The report was in two parts, the second more technical part of which described only limited controlled testing of single components of a cladding system but not of the entire system. Not exactly the rigorous and fully comprehensive testing one might expect given the risks involved in the widespread use of highly combustible cladding systems. The conclusions were presented in part 1 of the report and stated that:

“There is currently no evidence to suggest that the current recommendations, to limit vertical fire spread up the exterior of high-rise buildings, are failing in their purpose.”

FI—External-Fire-Spread-Part-1

FI—External-Fire-Spread-Part-2

However, to our great surprise, while searching for the 2016 BRE report, we stumbled upon another much earlier report, also commissioned from BRE by the Blair government in 1999/2000. The conclusions of that report were as follows:

https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm199900/cmselect/cmenvtra/109/10907.htm

Clearly the advice to government from BRE Ltd in 2016 had changed markedly from that offered in 2000, perhaps because the ‘worst case scenario’ had failed to materialise by that time, but as the whole world now knows, it  did materialise, just a year later on 14th June 2017, in the worst fire disaster to strike the UK in living memory, with an undetermined number of fatalities, widely believed in the community to be in excess of 100 souls.

Alternatively, this latest BRE guidance may have been designed to accommodate a notorious policy of the current government commonly referred to as the ‘Bonfire of the Regulations’ – a policy of deliberate widespread deregulation designed to cut costs for business and industry regardless of its negative impact on public health and safety.

As reported in the Guardian on 14th June:

“A 2015 survey by the Fire Sector Federation, a forum for fire and rescue organisations, found that 92% of its members believed the UK Building Regulations were ‘long overdue an overhaul’, claiming that they do not reflect today’s design and construction methods and that research underpinning the guidance is out of date.”

The coroner in the Lakanal House case in 2009, in which six people died, including three children, also called for a thorough review as the evidence pointed to a risk of further deaths in the future unless changes were made, with about 4,000 tower blocks in the UK remaining subject to outdated regulations.

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2017/jun/14/disaster-waiting-to-happen-fire-expert-slams-uk-tower-blocks

It seems from the above that BRE Ltd have been too closely associated with central government, both Labour and Tory, for far too long while calls from other interested parties for reform of the building regulationse have been ignored. Indeed BRE clearly became part of the problem, rather than the solution, when they declared in 2016 that the regulations were fit for purpose.

In our opinion BRE are not fit to advise the government on fire safety issues and neither Peter Bonfield, the CEO of BRE Ltd, nor Ken Knight of the BRE Trust, should have been appointed to the technical panel convened after the Grenfell Tower fire. Perhaps the Fire Sector Federation, which appears to have far more integrity, might be willing to volunteer some of its more highly experienced  members to sit on the new panel. We believe the Lancaster West community would be more inclined to trust a reformed panel to provide the kind of competent technical advice that is so urgently needed.

http://firesectorfederation.co.uk/about/

https://grenfellactiongroup.wordpress.com/2017/07/31/combustible-cladding-early-warnings-ignored/

Tower block owners can conceal failed safety tests

29 July 2017

The government revealed that 82 buildings used the same cladding and insulation as Grenfell Tower

Residents of dozens of unsafe tower blocks could be kept in the dark about failed fire safety tests because commercial interests mean that housing associations will not be forced to reveal which buildings are dangerous.

The government revealed yesterday that 82 buildings had been found to use the same combination of cladding and insulation as Grenfell Tower, which failed the fire safety test used under present guidelines.

The latest tests were more rigorous than those carried out previously, looking at the whole system rather than just cladding, which has been widely blamed for spreading the fire that killed at least 80 people. Cladding panels on 149 tower blocks had already been found to be combustible.

A review of building regulations and fire safety was launched…


Firefighters speak for the first time about the Grenfell Tower blaze in documentary


About Grenfell Tower A Report by Architects for Social Housing

July 2017

https://architectsforsocialhousing.files.wordpress.com/2017/07/the-truth-about-grenfell-tower4.pdf


In one of the richest boroughs in the country, in one of the richest countries in the world – children, fathers and grandmothers were crammed into a death trap.

link

Britain remains a country that murders its poor. When four separate government ministers are warned that Grenfell and other high rises are a serious fire risk, then an inferno isn’t unfortunate. It is inevitable.

What happened wasn’t a “terrible tragedy” or some other studio-sofa platitude: it was social murder.

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/jun/20/engels-britain-murders-poor-grenfell-tower

Photo published for People are comparing the Grenfell victims fund with the £369m Buckingham Palace refurbishment

 

Sam WolfsonVerified account @samwolfson

The richest borough in the UK let residents burn to death to save £5000. Michael Gove claimed £7000 in expenses to furnish his home.

Vicount Ian Kerr CGC‏ @IanKerr

The Royal Borough Of Kensington and Chelsea. Grenfell


Grenfell Tower fire: Government’s safety advisers ‘are not neutral’, says academic

A fire science expert says the company testing cladding and insulation after the Grenfell Tower fire has a conflict of interest.

18 July 2017

The company testing cladding and insulation for the Government after the Grenfell Tower fire has a conflict of interest and is not neutral, according to a respected academic.

Professor Richard Hull, a chemistry and fire science expert from the University of Central Lancashire, has accused the Building Research Establishment (BRE) of having an “unhealthy” mixture of commercial and advisory roles.

He made the claim after Sky News established that the BRE wrote a report saying there was no case for regulating toxic smoke from plastic insulation, at the same time as being paid by plastic insulation companies.

Sky News revealed last month that the insulation on Grenfell Tower gave off deadly hydrogen cyanide gas, and at least three victims had been treated for cyanide poisoning.

There are currently no regulations on the volume of smoke produced by insulation or the danger it can pose.

BRE was recruited by the European Commission “to evaluate the need to regulate… on the toxicity of smoke produced by construction products in fires”.

Its final draft report says “there would be limited benefits” from any new regulations, which could “increase costs”.

It concludes that its study found no agreed case for regulating toxic smoke, which could “potentially remove some products from the market”.

BRE, a UK charity with a £48m turnover, is paid for fire testing by some of the biggest foam insulation manufacturers.

concerns from a lawyer acting for some of the Grenfell Tower victims about key BRE figures appointed by the Government to give building safety advice since the disaster.

Jolyon Maugham QC said BRE trustee Sir Ken Knight and chief executive Peter Bonfield were “tainted by association” through their links to advice given to ministers last year that combustible material on tower blocks was acceptable because building controls were “adequate”.

BRE also sells access to an improved set of fire safety standards that could have prevented the Grenfell Tower disaster while advising the Government on building regulations.

The head of the Fire Protection Association, Jonathan O’Neill, told Sky News that the improved standards address shortcomings in the statutory regulations that Grenfell Tower relied on.

http://news.sky.com/story/grenfell-tower-fire-governments-safety-advisers-are-not-neutral-says-academic-10953192

Grenfell Tower Fire Victims
“You’ve let the dead down, now you want to come for the living?” Grenfell Tower victims call for council leader to stand down, minutes after she took up the position
HRH Crafty Muvva‏ @craftymuvva
Well, well, well.. New leader of RBKC council was warned of a potential disaster whilst councillor & rolled her eyes in response.#Grenfell
Image result for RBKC leader Elizabeth Campbell

Truth Miner‏ @truth_miner

New leader Elizabeth Campbell was a member of the Kirkhope Commission. for

Rachael Vebables@rachaelvenables

Nicolai‏ @nickh1877

Grenfell Disaster Supremo’s long association with Virgin Islands Tax-Haven.

Grenfell Residents suffer on.

@OwenJones84 @jeremycorby @RBKC

Latest victim of the Grenfell Tower fire to be officially identified by police named as Majorie Vital

Police considering manslaughter charges over Grenfell Tower fire

The investigation

This is one of the largest and most complex investigations that the Metropolitan police has ever undertaken. There are currently over 250 specialist investigators working on all aspects of this investigation. It will establish how the fire started and the speed and spread that it took hold of that building.

There are two points of priority for me: the speed that it spread through the building but also the internal safety aspects of that building. On the first point: we are examining with experts the aluminium cladding and the insulation behind the cladding; how the tiles were fixed to the building; and how it was installed.

Cladding failed test

Preliminary tests on the insulation samples collected from

Grenfell Tower show that they combusted soon after the test started. The initial test on the cladding tiles also failed the safety tests. Such are our safety concerns on the outcome of those tests, we have shared our data with the department of communities and local government, and we have ensured that that information data has been shared with every council.

Every organisation involved in refurbishment being investigated

In terms of seizing relevant material from a number of organisations I can confirm that that has already started.

If I find out that individuals or organisations have committed offences then I must be in a position to prosecute without prejudice to any proceedings. We are looking at every criminal offence from manslaughter onwards. We are looking at every health and safety and fire safety offences and we are reviewing every company at the moment involved in the building and refurbishment of Grenfell Tower.

We are not raiding. We have seized documents.

Here’s audio of the Scotland Yard press conference on the Grenfell Tower fire.

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/live/2017/jun/23/merkel-says-mays-offer-on-eu-citizens-is-a-good-start-live-updates?CMP=twt_gu


Rachael @Rachael_Swindon

Theresa May’s refusal to suspend Gavin Barwell is an insult to the victims of Grenfell. Unforgivable behaviour. #BarwellMustGo

https://youtu.be/AKg0OheeyN0

Leigh Pickett @Leigh_Pickett

Not even a glimmer of remorse Gavin Barwell

Tracy  @WinnieWoos

He could have just stopped and talked to reporter, he could have showed some empathy surely? His lack of words speak volumes.

Ronnie King said requests for urgent meetings were repeatedly turned down by former housing minister Gavin Barwell (pictured) 

Ronnie King, who was chief fire officer for 20 years and is now secretary of the all-party parliamentary group on fire safety,

said requests for urgent meetings were repeatedly turned down by former housing minister Gavin Barwell, Theresa May’s top aide.

Glyn Evans, a Fire Brigades Union Official, warned MPs that the fire will ‘spread vertically’ when cladding is on the exterior of a building.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4614944/Gavin-Barwell-IGNORED-fire-safety-fears-Grenfell.html

Theresa May’s chief of staff Gavin Barwell replies to X-rated PORN tweets showing clips of graphic sex scenes

Married father-of-three Mr Barwell responded to the explicit tweet “in error”, a Downing Street source says

14 FEB 2018

Prime Minister Theresa May’s chief of staff Gavin Barwell “regrets” replying to a tweet that showed three porn videos with graphic sex scenes, a source says.

Married father-of-three Mr Barwell responded to the X-rated tweet “in error” at 9.21pm on Monday, a Downing Street source said.

The source said the tweet appeared in the former MP’s timeline and he “regrets the embarrassment this his caused”.

One of the videos features a sex scene with “two schoolgirls” and their “mum”. The clips on the thread were from porn websites called Illustrated Interracial, Blacked and Moms Lick Teens.

Mr Barwell’s reply – which didn’t have any text other than Twitter handles – was still on his account on Wednesday morning, but it was deleted shortly after it was discovered by journalists.

A Downing Street source said: “Gavin Barwell replied to this tweet, which was in his timeline, in error. He has deleted the reply and regrets the embarrassment this has caused.”

Mr Barwell, 46, a former Croydon Central MP who lost his seat in the 2017 general election, has a verified Twitter account with more than 22,000 followers.

The videos that he responded to were posted on Twitter in March last year by an account called Twinkystar.

The Twitter accounts quoted in the reply from his account also contained X-rated content.

Mr Barwell’s tweet was first reported by the website Guido Fawkes, which claimed that the reply was sent from an Android mobile phone.

It was unclear whether it was a personal or work phone.

Mirror Online has contacted Mr Barwell and the Prime Minister’s office for comment.

The reply was discovered amid a sleaze scandal at Westminster and claims that computers were used to access pornography.

In 2013, Mr Barwell, then a Tory MP, accused Labour of putting an “Arab dating” ad on a press release he read online.

But he was left red-faced when it was explained to him Google ads are based on the user’s “interests”.

He spotted the link next to a schools announcement put out on Twitter, and tweeted back: “I know you are short of cash but having an invitation to ‘date Arab girls’ at the top of your press release?”

Labour’s press team replied: “Oh dear.” It then posted a link to a Google Adsense help page.

The page stated: “In addition to seeing ads based on your interests, you may also see ads based on the types of sites you visit.”

https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/politics/theresa-mays-chief-staff-gavin-12023404

Action group calls for urgent arrest of Barwell over Grenfell fire

Hard-hitting report calls for transparent investigation among the ‘links in the chain of culpability’, as it alleges a cover-up has already begun

Gavin Barwell: has questions to answer over the Grenfell Tower

Gavin Barwell, who until last month was the Conservative MP for Croydon Central, should be arrested immediately and his documents and computer records from his time as housing minister seized and investigated for any evidence of a role in the Grenfell Tower fire.

And “where necessary”, a hard-hitting report published today states, Barwell should be  “put on trial in a criminal court”.

ASH – Architects for Social Housing – has campaigned long and hard against the social cleansing of council estates in Southwark, Lambeth and across the country. Today, they  published their report, The Truth About Grenfell Tower, which includes a list of around 60 politicians, civil servants, local authority officials and private contractors and consultants, who it believes should be thoroughly and transparently investigated, or the country risks another disaster with another high death toll.

Barwell was housing minister for a year, during which time he gave an undertaking to “look at” recommendations from a coroner’s inquest, after a previous tower block fire in London, which in 2011 said that the retro-fitting of sprinklers in all tall residential towers could save lives. Barwell never did get round to acting on the sprinkler recommendation.

Despite such failure, since losing his parliamentary seat at the General Election Barwell has been handed another political job, as the chief of staff to the interim Prime Minister.

Now, his name is on the ASH arrest list, together with a predecessor as housing minister, Brandon Lewis, plus Eric Pickles, the former local government secretary, and three directors of Rydon, the company responsible for the cladding work conducted at Grenfell Tower, as well as Richard Blakeway, formerly the deputy mayor for housing under Boris Johnson, and most of the members of the housing committee at Kensington and Chelsea over the past six years.

ASH is particularly concerned that the public inquiry ordered by the government into the Grenfell tragedy will only serve as a cover-up operation. “The first thing the announcement of a public inquiry into the Grenfell Tower fire has done… is to have removed all transparency and accountability for the investigation from public scrutiny and placed it in the hands of the very people who are responsible for this crime.”

Grenfell Tower in Kensington. ASH suggests a cover-up has already begun

ASH says that the cover-up has already begun. “As we have indicated throughout this report, much of the information gathered here is no longer available on the websites of the private companies and public bodies involved. The same chain of corruption that led to hundreds of residents burning to death because rich people didn’t want to acknowledge their existence is being repeated in the chain of secrecy that will… absolve the links in that chain of all responsibility for those deaths.”

They draw a comparison with the inquiry into the Hillsborough disaster; it took more than a quarter of a century before those responsible for the 96 deaths at a football match in Sheffield were charged with their crimes.

“We believe that one of the ways we can honour the memory of the dead is to identify and change the system that caused their deaths. If we don’t, this will not be the last loss of life we see on London’s council estates,” ASH warns.

Like many of the Grenfell survivors, ASH wants a coroner’s inquest, as happened after the Lakanal fire in Southwark.

“It seems that, whether by public inquiry or coroner’s inquest, the truth about Grenfell Tower is unlikely to be revealed soon, if ever,” ASH states in its conclusions.

“While the public inquiry to which the public is barred deliberates on what terms of reference it feels inclined to investigate, now might be the time to set up a ‘People’s Inquiry’ in order to address in public the question so many people are demanding be answered: who is responsible for the Grenfell Tower fire?”

Warnings about the risks and dangers of a fire in Grenfell Tower, from residents, the parliamentary fire advisory group and the London Fire Brigade have all “fallen on the deaf ears of politicians and civil servants who have shown neither morality nor responsibility, each and every one of whom should be investigated and questioned about their role in this disaster”.

The ASH report is particularly damning of the regeneration policies of many local authorities – Labour as well as Tory – and how such policies tend to see private contractors constantly seeking to drive down costs in search of ever greater profit margins, all the while potentially compromising on safety measures. In the case of Grenfell Tower, that regeneration policy took on a particularly perverse form: “The appearance of the tower from the outside that had been identified as artificially depressing the potential residual land values in the area received nearly £8.7million for a face lift.”

What they call “the links in the chain of culpability” lead all the way to the Department of Communities and Local Government, where Barwell worked as housing minister.

ASH accuses the DCLG and its ministers of placing “the deregulation of fire safety standards – which in their eyes represented an unnecessary obstacle to the profits to be made from the UK housing boom – above the safety of residents”.

ASH describes this as “systemic corruption that threatens the homes and lives of hundreds of thousands of estate residents across the UK”, and they call for “every individual culpable in this lethal chain of greed and criminal negligence should be arrested, tried and, if found guilty, sentenced – rather than, as is currently happening, being allowed to resign on a severance package”, as has already happened at Kensington and Chelsea.

https://insidecroydon.com/2017/07/21/action-group-calls-for-urgent-arrest-of-barwell-over-grenfell-fire/

From May 11 2017

A stark warning

Coroner Frances Kirkham wrote to then Communities Secretary Eric Pickles, flagging up several areas of concern.

  @ericpickles

Why did you ignore the tower block fire risks report? 

Tory minister Eric Pickles spends £500,000 on luxury limos in three years

The Communities Secretary spent £247,775 on two ministerial cars in 2012, £185,935 in 2013, and £103,091 in the first six months of this year

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/tory-minister-eric-pickles-spends-4600153

skuttlebucket‏ @AgeWait

This Inquiry ‘MUST’ place the following at the centre of its investigations: Eric Pickles Part 1

Eric Pickles Part2


Sky News Newsdesk

The Fire Brigades Union has called for a full judicial inquiry into the Grenfell Tower fire


Another safe pair of hands for the establishment...

Grenfell fire inquiry to be led by retired appeal court judge

Thursday 29 June 2017

The public inquiry into the Grenfell Tower disaster will be led by retired Court of Appeal judge Sir Martin Moore-Bick.

The appointment of Sir Martin, who was a commercial lawyer before becoming a judge, was officially confirmed on Thursday morning.

Theresa May insists residents will be given a say over the direction of the Grenfell inquiry.

http://news.sky.com/story/grenfell-fire-inquiry-to-be-led-by-retired-appeal-court-judge-10930620

Sir Martin Moore-Bick will head the inquiry. Pic: Pegasus Scholarship Trust

 

Sir Martin Moore-Bick is a father of four who has held several high-profile positions over a career spanning five decades

Born in December 1946 and educated at Christ’s College, Cambridge, he was called to the bar in 1969.

Sir Martin began his legal career specialising in commercial contracts and went on to be appointed Queen’s Counsel in 1986.

He sat as a Deputy High Court judge before he was appointed to the High Court in October 1995.

The father-of-four had served in the Commercial Court of the High Court before he joined the Court of Appeal in April 2005.

There, he was an adviser to two Lord Chancellors: Lord Falconer and Jack Straw.

Sir Martin has handled prominent cases in the past – one of which saw him rule on a challenge brought by the family of Mark Duggan over police procedures following fatal shootings by officers.

He most recently held the title of Lord Justice of Appeal, retiring last December.

http://news.sky.com/story/who-is-sir-martin-moore-bick-the-top-judge-leading-the-grenfell-inquiry-10930893

May picks controversial judge for Grenfell inquiry The Times 29-06-17, p1

Grenfell Tower inquiry judge has controversial history in housing cases

Former court of appeal judge Sir Martin Moore-Bick, 70, chosen to preside over public inquiry into tower block fire

 Sir Martin Moore-Bick, a judge accused of supporting the social cleansing of London, to head inquiry into the GrenfellTower fire.
Sir Martin Moore-Bick

Among his more controversial cases was a decision allowing Westminster council to rehouse a tenant 50 miles away in Milton Keynes. It was later overturned by the supreme court.

The former senior judge has in the past been praised by the justice minister, Dominic Raab.

There were reports that there had been a delay in announcing his appointment because of concerns in Downing Street over his record on the bench.

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2017/jun/28/grenfell-tower-inquiry-judge-retired-martin-moore-bick

HRH Crafty Muvva‏ @craftymuvva

Some would say it’s almost as if they’ve gone out of their way to appoint the most unsuitable person for the job.

Rhianydd‏ @dryducks

Just as she did as Home Sec with the CSAinquiry – how many times does she get it wrong!? Must be deliberate, wants to scupper inquiry!


This is about something much, much bigger… And the reason for this is that it’s the government which is allowed to set the terms of the inquiry.

It is the government which is allowed to vet the chair of the inquiry.

We don’t allow defendants in a criminal trial to determine which charges they’re going to be tried on. We don’t allow them to vet the judge.

The government should have no role whatsoever in these decisions, because basically it is then being asked to judge its own failures. And that, it will never do.

The crack team tasked with ripping up public protections

what happened at Grenfell Tower as “mass murder”, caused by stripping away “public protections, which prevent lots of people from being incinerated”.

And he says there are journalists, organisations, and government officials whose job it is to strip them away. Monbiot points to those sitting on the Red Tape Initiative (RTI) project as an example. This is a cross-party group with considerable Tory influence and dubious conflicts of interest:

  • Sir Oliver Letwin, Conservative MP who set up the RTI.
  • Charles Moore, former editor of The Telegraph and former chair of Policy Exchange. Also Letwin’s best man.
  • Archie Norman, former Conservative MP and co-founder of Policy Exchange.
  • Greg Clark, Conservative MP, Business Secretary and former Communities Secretary.
  • Michael Gove sat on the panel prior to becoming Secretary of State for the Environment. And he was the first chairman of Policy Exchange.

Policy Exchange has on several occasions promoted deregulation.

https://www.thecanary.co/2017/07/12/george-monbiot-pulls-apart-entire-tory-culture-led-grenfell-fire-video/


HRH Crafty Muvva‏ @craftymuvva


Residents of #GrenfellTower chose fire-resistant cladding during the initial stages. An alternative was fitted instead. WHY! @RBKC?


https://pbs.twimg.com/media/C4xRoROVYAAdlTe.jpg

Grenfell cladding boss is a government adviser

01 July 2017

A senior executive from the company that made the insulation boards fitted to Grenfell Tower is an adviser to the government on building regulations.

Image result for Mark Allen, technical director of Saint Gobain U

Mark Allen, technical director of Saint Gobain UK, which makes Celotex insulation, is on the Building Regulations Advisory Committee (BRAC), which advises Sajid Javid, the communities and local government secretary.

Scotland Yard said last week that its investigation into the fire, which claimed at least 80 lives, had found that the Celotex RS 5000 insulation boards fitted in a large refurbishment project had proved highly flammable. Although classified as “low risk” in terms of fire, police said “the insulation samples collected from Grenfell Tower combusted soon after the test started”.

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/grenfell-cladding-boss-is-a-government-adviser-8595vlh2t


Don’t tell anyone about the fire risks: Safety consultant hired to inspect Grenfell Tower urged council to hide failings – and he’s an ex-firefighter

  • Carl Stokes was paid £250,000 to inspect Grenfell Tower for any risks of fire
  • But former Oxfordshire Fire Service worker plotted with council to hide failings
  • Fire safety expert Arnold Tarling said attitude of Stokes ‘absolutely stinks’

Pictured: Carl Stokes, the fire consultant paid £250,000 to inspect Grenfell Tower 

Carl Stokes, the fire consultant paid £250,000 to inspect Grenfell Tower 

The fire risk assessor responsible for Grenfell Tower conspired with council housing chiefs to hide safety failings at the building in which at least 80 people died, The Mail on Sunday can reveal.

Fire consultant Carl Stokes, who was paid £250,000 to inspect the high-rise block, plotted with Kensington and Chelsea Tenant Management Organisation (KCTMO) to hide the failings from both residents and London Fire Brigade.

Remarkably, his advice not to disclose life-threatening fire risks was backed by housing chiefs, who were looking to avoid safety improvements which they considered unnecessary.

The Mail on Sunday has obtained a copy of a Fire Risk Assessment for Grenfell Tower, submitted by Mr Stokes to KCTMO in November 2012, in which he advises officials to exploit a legal loophole.

Under the heading ‘Legal Statement’, he wrote: ‘You do not have to give a copy of your fire risk assessment to anybody, not even the fire authority, if you do give them a copy this could be used against you at a later date.’

Mr Stokes, who served for many years with Oxfordshire Fire Service, then explained that withholding his report from London Fire Brigade was important because they ‘have the power to undertake an audit of the fire risk assessment to determine if it is suitable and sufficient or not’.

Remarkably, his advice not to disclose life-threatening fire risks was backed by housing chiefs, who were looking to avoid safety improvements which they considered unnecessary.

The Mail on Sunday has obtained a copy of a Fire Risk Assessment for Grenfell Tower, submitted by Mr Stokes to KCTMO in November 2012, in which he advises officials to exploit a legal loophole.

Under the heading ‘Legal Statement’, he wrote: ‘You do not have to give a copy of your fire risk assessment to anybody, not even the fire authority, if you do give them a copy this could be used against you at a later date.’

Mr Stokes, who served for many years with Oxfordshire Fire Service, then explained that withholding his report from London Fire Brigade was important because they ‘have the power to undertake an audit of the fire risk assessment to determine if it is suitable and sufficient or not’.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4657984/Grenfell-safety-consultant-urged-council-hide-failings.html

Mr Stokes was recommended to KCTMO directors by housing official Janice Wray as “willing to challenge the fire brigade on our behalf if he considered their [safety] requirements to be excessive.”

Mr Stokes is the director and sole shareholder of C S Stokes and Associates Ltd.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/grenfell-tower-fire-risk-assessor-carl-stokes-buried-fire-risk-report-kensington-and-chelsea-tenant-a7819386.html

Truthseeker1‏ @thewakeupcall09

February 2016

Grenfell Tower

The TMO’s clerk of works will sign off Rydon’s work

Grenfell Tower The external cladding and window frames were passed on 15 May by the Council’s building control officer.

Grenfell Tower Tony Batty & Jon White monitored progress & ensured quality of work


 

The Government was told last year by its own fire investigators that tower blocks were covered in flammable material

June 26 2017

The Government was told last year by its own fire investigators that tower blocks were covered in flammable material – but were also told building regulations were “adequate”.

The advice was given by the same fire risk experts who are currently testing the cladding on 600 tower blocks – and so far failing every one of them.

The reports were sent to the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) in April 2016 by BRE Global, formerly the Government’s Building Research Establishment, which went on to reassure ministers that building controls, which BRE has influenced since 1948, were “adequate”.

The documents seen by Sky News show that in last year’s study of tower block fire safety it concluded: “With the exception of one or two unfortunate cases, there is currently no evidence from BRE Global’s fire investigations for DCLG to suggest that current building regulation recommendations, to limit vertical fire spread up the exterior of high rise buildings, are failing in their purpose.”

The documents go on to warn of “an increase in the volume of potential combustible materials being applied. A number of significant fires… have demonstrated the potential risks”.

BRE is now being paid to test cladding being removed from high rise buildings across the country in response to the Grenfell Tower disaster, in which 79 people are thought to have died after fire spread rapidly up cladding containing combustible insulation and plastic panels.

BRE has been paid by DCLG since at least 2007 to “investigate issues that may have implications for building regulations”.

Last week, DCLG said councils and housing associations must “immediately” take action if they have tower blocks with flammable polyethelyne (PE) panelling like that used on Grenfell Tower, which is “unlikely to be compliant with the requirements of the current Building Regulations”.

http://news.sky.com/story/government-fire-investigators-reported-cladding-risks-in-2016-10928193?dcmp=snt-sf-twitter

Krishnan Guru-MurthyVerified account @krishgm

Grenfell Tower was done without a Full Plans approval but was certified under Building Notice. Huge difference in scrutiny involved



CORRUPTION

One tower, 16 failed council inspections – then 79 died’

Grenfell Tower: 16 council inspections failed to stop use of flammable cladding

Exclusive: Officials tasked with enforcing strict fire regulations didn’t prevent use of material effectively banned on tall buildings

Four ministers were warned about tower block fire risks

Four separate government ministers were warned that fire regulations were not keeping people safe, in letters that have subsequently been seen by the BBC.

In the leaked letters, experts warn that those living in tower blocks like Grenfell Tower were “at risk”.

At least 79 people are dead or missing presumed dead after the fire at the London high-rise last week.

The department that received the letters said work to improve regulation and safety had already been under way.

Leaked letters

The letters show experts have been worried about fire safety in tower blocks for years.

Following a fatal fire in Lakanal House in south London in 2009, a series of recommendations were made to keep people safe.

They were ignored. The government promised a review of fire regulations in 2013, but it still has not happened.

BBC One’s Panorama has obtained a dozen letters sent by the All-Party Parliamentary Fire Safety and Rescue Group.

Informed by experts, it warned the government it “could not afford to wait for another tragedy”.

Four ministers – all from the Department for Communities and Local Government – received letters but did not strengthen the regulations.

Ronnie King, a former chief fire officer who sits on the group, says the government has ignored repeated warnings about tower block safety.

“We have spent four years saying ‘Listen, we have got the evidence, we’ve provided you with the evidence, there is clear public opinion towards this, you ought to move on this’,” said Mr King.

The government department promised a review in 2013, but it was soon delayed.

In March 2014, the parliamentary group wrote: “Surely… when you already have credible evidence to justify updating… the guidance… which will lead to saving of lives, you don’t need to wait another three years in addition to the two already spent since the research findings were updated, in order to take action?

“As there are estimated to be another 4,000 older tower blocks in the UK, without automatic sprinkler protection, can we really afford to wait for another tragedy to occur before we amend this weakness?”

After further correspondence, Liberal Democrat MP Steven Williams – who was then a minister in the department – replied: “I have neither seen nor heard anything that would suggest that consideration of these specific potential changes is urgent and I am not willing to disrupt the work of this department by asking that these matters are brought forward.”

The group replied to say they “were at a loss to understand, how you had concluded that credible and independent evidence, which had life safety implications, was NOT considered to be urgent”.

“As a consequence the group wishes to point out to you that should a major fire tragedy, with loss of life, occur between now and 2017 in, for example, a residential care facility or a purpose built block of flats, where the matters which had been raised here, were found to be contributory to the outcome, then the group would be bound to bring this to others’ attention.”

The letters were written before the refurbishment of Grenfell Tower.

One went to the-then Communities and Local Government Secretary Eric Pickles, who received a letter about fire regulations from the parliamentary group in February 2014.

He had also been asked to look at fire safety in February 2013 and March 2013 by two separate coroners, investigating two tower block fires.

In December 2015, the all-party group wrote to Conservative MP James Wharton, another minister in the department at the time, and warned about the risk of fires spreading on the outside of buildings with cladding.

“Today’s buildings have a much higher content of readily available combustible material. Examples are timber and polystyrene mixes in structure, cladding and insulation.

“This fire hazard results in many fires because adequate recommendations to developers simply do not exist. There is little or no requirement to mitigate external fire spread.”

The last of the four ministers in the department to receive a letter was Gavin Barwell, who has since moved on to become Theresa May’s top aide. He received his letter from the parliamentary group in September last year.

In November, Mr Barwell replied to say his department had been looking at the regulations, and would make a statement “in due course”.

In April this year, Mr Barwell wrote to say he did “acknowledge that producing a statement on building regulations has taken longer than I had envisaged”.

The fire safety group pointed out that it had been “given a similar response by three successive ministers since 2010” and it “is now time to listen to what the Fire Sector is saying”.

The government has said there is still no timetable for a review.

The Department for Communities and Local Government said that a police investigation into the Grenfell Fire is already under way “but it will be some time before it is fully understood how the fire started or why it took hold in the way it did.”

In a statement, it added: “The government has acted to improve fire regulation and safety, including the recommendations made by the Coroner following the Lakanal House Fire.

“The final recommendation concerned simplification of fire safety guidance, and this work was under way, with a consultation due to be published this summer.

“Fire safety requirements are complex issues and our priority has been that we have high standards. A great deal of work has been completed, including commissioning and undertaking research to support the planned consultation. Clearly, in light of this tragic event, we need to reflect on whether this consultation is the correct next step to take. We will confirm our approach shortly.”

In a separate development, Panorama has discovered that firefighters put out the first fire at Grenfell Tower.

They were called to a fridge fire, and within minutes told residents the fire was out in the flat.

The crew was leaving the building when firefighters outside spotted flames rising up the side of the building.

The Fire Brigades Union say firefighters were left facing an unprecedented fire, and officers broke their own safety protocol to rescue people.

http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-40330789

Labour demands answers after ministers ‘ignore’ 12 letters warning high-rise blocks at risk of fire


ZED 🤐 @ZedTrafficker

What kind of sick experiment is this? When on fire the cladding released cyanide

Fire Safety Experts warned about the dangers of Hydrogen Cyanide used in cladding in 2011 report ~ but were ignored

link

Grenfell Tower victims ‘poisoned by cyanide released by burning insulation boards used for cladding’

Three of those injured in the fire are known to have been treated with an antidote for hydrogen cyanide poisoning and fire toxicity experts say the thermal lining was an ‘accident waiting to happen’

Fire toxicity experts claim their positioning – between the new cladding facade and the existing ‘70s brickwork of the building – meant every flat could have been filled with enough gas to kill those inside.

Professor Hull, who co-authored a peer-reviewed study in 2011 which established that PIR was the most toxic six insulation materials added: “It’s been an accident waiting to happen and unfortunately we’ve got to the stage now where the accident has happened and we’re standing here saying ‘I told you so’.

“It would have been much better if people had listened to us earlier on when we published the report.”

The insulation board was manufactured by Celotex, who say if fitted correctly it meets regulations for use on buildings above 18m (59ft) tall.

Celotex is yet to comment on the cyanide claims.

www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/grenfell-tower-victims-poisoned-cyanide-10664183#ICID=ios_TMNewsApp_AppShare_Click_Twitter

Grenfell contractor confirms that polyethylene-core cladding has also been installed on housing estate in Camden.

http://www.itv.com/news/2017-06-21/grenfell-cladding-used-on-nearby-north-london-estate/

An estimated 600 buildings in England have similar cladding to #GrenfellTower, Theresa May’s spokeswoman says

Company that did Grenfell renovation about to get £65,000,000 London housing contract

Rydon, the company behind the controversial refurbishment of Grenfell Tower, is about to get a £65million construction contract in west London.

According to industry publication Construction News, the contractor has been approved by Ealing Council’s cabinet as the development partner for the regeneration of High Line Estates in the borough.

Ealing is the neighbouring borough to Kensington and Chelsea, where Grenfell Tower near Latimer Road tragically went up in flames.

The lucrative deal will see the contractor finance, develop and submit a planning application for the new development, which will be situated just miles from where last week’s atrocity unfolded.

They will then demolish the area’s existing estate, before replacing it with mixed-tenure housing. The majority of homes in the development will apparently be ‘affordable’.

Rydon was the main contractor on the Grenfell Tower works that were completed last summer, at a cost of £8.7million.

One of the main changes to the building involved the addition of external cladding, which it has been claimed caused the fire to spread much quicker than it would have otherwise.

At least 79 people have been confirmed dead after the tragedy last week, but police warn that the death toll is set to rise.

Rydon has since insisted all of its work on Grenfell Tower met the required building control, fire regulation and health and safety standards.

Ealing Council added that although Rydon had been chosen as its preferred partner for the development of the estate, they hadn’t yet signed a deal.

A spokesperson for Ealing Council told Metro.co.uk: ‘The High Lane estate scheme is in a very early stage. All designs will be fully consulted on with residents and partners and will meet all fire safety standards.

‘The current outdated housing blocks will be replaced by new mixed-tenure blocks that meet all modern fire safety standards. There can be no comparison made with the construction methods or materials at Grenfell Tower.’


ben goldacreVerified account @bengoldacre

One thing conspicuously missing: TV footage of police carrying boxes of documents and computers out of Grenfell’s management offices…

I am truly staggered by the lack of competent response to Grenfell, inadequate immediate support..

For victims, a PM so afraid to meet the public that there is no public reassurance, and a fair impression that accountability is lacking

https://youtu.be/aNNNzPSmnQQ

 

The horror blaze struck in the early hours of Wednesday morning

Landlord spent £10million to put cladding to make building look pretty (for surrounding rich) for 300k they could have sprinkler system.

https://twitter.com/akalamusic/status/874924962045472768

 Image result for grenfell tower block 70 dead

 

https://wikispooks.com/w/images/thumb/8/81/Grenfell_Tower_view.jpg/800px-Grenfell_Tower_view.jpg

Westfield Shopping Centre viewed (March 2013) from the Grenfell Tower

Simon @york_englishman

way this is going it’s like a setup – land expensive around there by any chance ?

 

 

Frank Lowy/Westfield Centre/ 911 Trade Centre 7

https://wikispooks.com/wiki/Westfield_Shopping_Centre

Rydon has been working with the MoD for several years.

http://www.rydon.co.uk/what-we-do/ministry-of-defence

It struck me as odd that the police ruled out arson very early on, before they had made any other official comment on almost any aspect of this fire. Also that the guy with the allegedly faulty fridge was identified so quickly. Perhaps the authorities want to reassure people… or perhaps something more sinister is going on.

http://aanirfan.blogspot.com/2017/06/london-fire.html#comment-form

 

Mr Lee Jasper‏ @LeeJasper

Dear @theresa_may @AmberRuddHR

Can you clarify if the #GrenfellTower residents/supporters are subject to undercover police surveillance?

Dear @metpoliceuk @SadiqKhan

Can you clarify whether or not #GrenfellTower families/supporters are under covert police surveillance ?

Did undercover police target Grenfell residents who raised fears about safety?

June 18

Spycops have a long and baneful history of infiltrating health and safety groups.

AMID the protests and non-stop press coverage of the Grenfell Tower tragedy, there are some big questions that are still to be asked.

Specifically: were undercover police infiltrating the Grenfell Action Group? Do the names of the residents who warned about the safety deficiencies at Grenfell Tower (or other council housing projects) appear on the Met Police’s domestic extremism database?

To many, this may seem an odd question, but to community and trade union activists who have campaigned on safety issues for decades, being ignored by those in authority while at the same time being victimised and spied on by them is par for the course.

Last year the High Court heard how a corporate spy called Rob Moore posed as a journalist to infiltrate various anti-asbestos groups and spy on campaigners, including relatives of those who had died from the deadly fibres.

Construction workers who raised concerns about safety on building sites have been repeatedly dismissed, kept under surveillance and blacklisted by multinational companies who saw them as a threat to their profits.

Blacklist files record such activities as workers organising a petition on social housing, participating in the Construction Safety Campaign or complaining about the unsafe electrical equipment and disposal of asbestos.

But it was not only big business that targeted those who raised safety concerns: the police were implicated too.

The Special Demonstration Squad, National Public Order Intelligence Unit and the National Extremism Tactical Co-ordination Unit all spied on activists who were vocal on health and safety issues.

The undercover police officer Mark Jenner posed as a carpenter while infiltrating a campaign by building workers to reduce deaths on building sites and targeted the well-respected London Hazards Centre.

Activists who campaigned on safety issues have found themselves placed on the Met’s domestic extremism database and a “two-way exchange of information” existed between the police and the blacklisting companies.

Following disclosure at the Pitchford public inquiry, it is now known that around 250 undercover officers have infiltrated more than 1,000 campaign groups since the late 1960s.

This included not just trade unions but environmental campaigns, anti-racist groups, peace activists and even the grieving parents of murder victims.

Progressive housing campaigns and squatters’ rights groups have been kept under surveillance by these political policing units too.

In the overwhelming number of cases, those spied upon have committed no crime. The purpose of the state intrusion into their lives was not to detect criminality but to keep tabs on anyone considered a troublemaker.

Often that simply meant participating in a perfectly lawful campaign that asked difficult questions — the very same questions about how the rich get rich at the expense of working-class communities that the whole of the country is now asking in the wake of Grenfell.

In many cases the undercover police are accused of acting as agents provocateurs or deliberately disrupting and destabilising the campaigns they targeted.

The Grenfell Action Group is part of a wider coalition of community groups called the Radical Housing Network, which has campaigned for many years against gentrification and the underfunding of working-class housing stock.

Repeated attempts by the Grenfell Action Group to alert those in authority to serious risks fell upon deaf ears.

But have these housing activists, who have been proved right in such a catastrophic and tragic manner, been targeted by undercover spycops?

Because of the police refusal to answer any questions about the operation of their political undercover police officers, I do not know the answer to that question. But given what we know about how these anti-democratic units operate, it’s one worth asking.

If this turns out to be true, then why are the resources of the British state being used to spy on perfectly legal residents’ groups with genuine concerns rather than investigate the real criminals?

How many lives might have been saved if the police had investigated the legitimate concerns raised by activists rather than continuing to spy on them?

To answer these questions might pose real difficulties for Theresa May and the entire British secret state apparatus.

Tottenham MP David Lammy has sensibly called for all the documents relating to the Grenfell Tower refurbishment to be seized by the Met Police to stop potential evidence being destroyed.

I just hope documents don’t get accidently shredded by the Met themselves.

http://morningstaronline.co.uk/a-fcb3-Did-undercover-police-target-Grenfell-residents-who-raised-fears-about-safety#.WUhmkty1uM-

LoneYogi @LoneYogi

Lancaster Green residents below left without hot water, gas. At risk if Grenfell collapses. Asbestos

https://grenfellactiongroup.wordpress.com/2017/06/22/grenfell-tower-fire-the-forgotten-forgotten-victims/


Peter F @PFurmo

Daily Mail: The man ‘whose faulty fridge started Grenfell Tower inferno’

First rule of the Establishment blame game; dehumanise the victims. We lived through it after Hillsborough. We won’t allow it with #Grenfell


thetrollmaiden @Zeddeee

Electrical Surges since 2013! Fridge Blowing up my eye!


Nick Pettigrew @Nick_Pettigrew

Hillsborough tactics, Day 4: As spokespeople emerge, assassinate their character to try & devalue the protest.

 http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/06/16/mustafa-almansur-organiser-grenfell-tower-protest-movement/

Start fight for justice now, Hillsborough mum urges Grenfell Tower campaigners

Margaret Aspinall calls for openness and transparency in London inferno investigation

“I told him you’ve got to start demanding answers and have transparency and openness about everything as the authorities will try and palm you off…

Residents of the west London flats had predicted a ‘catastrophic event’ in a blog post just seven months ago.

The Grenfell Tower Action Group on their blog said: “The many who lost their lives in this catastrophe were our friends and neighbours.

“We tried to speak for them in life and we will continue to speak for them now.

“We share the pain of the homeless, the injured and the bereaved to whom we offer our heartfelt sympathy, condolences and solidarity.

“We also share the sense of anger and injustice that has troubled this community for years.

“That is why we started this blog and that is why we will continue as we started, speaking truth to power whether or not they choose to listen.”
Kensington & Chelsea Tory leader walks out of council meeting after judge orders it can’t be held in private without media
Dame Alun Roberts‏ @ciabaudo
By cancelling council meeting, Paget-Brown stuck two fingers up to Grenfell survivors and undermined judges ruling that press should attend.
GrenfellTower council meeting decends in to chaos. Council leader scraps meeting due to media presence.
Tom London‏ @TomLondon6
How can Paget-Brown still be in post? How can anyone trust him? Grenfell survivors barred from council meeting

Judge orders council to allow media into Grenfell Tower meeting

Court overturns Kensington and Chelsea council’s attempt to hold meeting in private, after challenge from Guardian and other media

A judge has ordered a London council to lift a ban on the media reporting on the first meeting of councillors to discuss the Grenfell Tower disaster, after a legal challenge by the Guardian and other media groups.

Downing Street had expressed concern after survivors of the fire and members of the media were barred from the Kensington and Chelsea council cabinet meeting on Thursday evening which was to hear a report about the blaze.

The council had opted to hold a private cabinet meeting to hear an oral report about the fire, citing the potential for disorder, and previous threats against staff. Such meetings are usually open to the public.

The meeting was to be led by the council’s Conservative leader, Nicholas Paget-Brown, who has been widely criticised in the wake of the fire.

However, a court application by the Guardian and five other media groups saw the high court order the council to admit members of the media with press cards.

Downing Street had said it wanted all parties involved in the fire aftermath “to be as open and transparent as possible, both with residents and the wider public, to ensure full confidence in the response effort”.

A spokeswoman said: “We would encourage everyone involved to respect this wherever possible.”

Labour’s Andrew Gwynne, the shadow communities secretary, had also urged the council to reconsider. “In order to deliver a response that survivors, residents and the wider public can trust, there is no room for anything less than complete transparency,” he said.

The decision to bar survivors and the wider public from the meeting followed protests two days after the fire, in which at least 79 people died, when angry residents stormed the town hall.

The council said the decision to exclude the public was made in accordance with its own standing orders “which are confirmed in common law”.

A notice of the private meeting on the Grenfell Tower fire.
A notice of the private meeting on the Grenfell Tower fire. Photograph: Kensington and Chelsea council

The council has come under intense criticism for its response to the disaster, with many residents claiming they were left to fend for themselves.

Its chief executive, Nicholas Holgate, resigned last week, after pressure from the communities secretary, Sajid Javid.

Calls have been made for Paget-Brown to follow, with London’s mayor, Sadiq Khan, demanding the resignation of the entire council leadership.

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2017/jun/29/grenfell-survivors-barred-from-council-meeting-about-fire?CMP=share_btn_tw

Just watch the COVERUP unfold….

EL4C‏ @EL4JC

Theresa May promised Grenfell survivors they would have a say in who chaired the inquiry and it’s scope. Today, she broke that promise.

Kensington Council leader Nicholas Paget-Brown resigns after fatal Grenfell tower fire

Move follows criticism of the council’s response to the disaster

June 30 2017

Moments after Mr Paget-Brown’s resignation, deputy council leader and the cabinet member responsible for housing, Rock Feilding-Mellen, also announced he was stepping down.

In a separate development, the organisation which manages Grenfell Tower in west London announced it had agreed its chief executive would “step aside” so he can “concentrate on assisting with the investigation and inquiry”.

A statement from the Kensington and Chelsea Tenant Management Organisation (KCTMO) confirmed Robert Black’s position, two days after retired Court of Appeal judge Sir Martin Moore-Bick was appointed to lead the public inquiry into the deaths of at least 80 people.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/kensington-council-leader-nicholas-paget-brown-resigns-grenfell-tower-fire-residents-survivors-tory-a7817396.html

HRH Crafty Muvva

“…perceived failings”. Incredible… Don’t worry Nick, your Tory mates from Bow Group will assist.

#DontLetTheDoorHitYourArseOnTheWayOut

Dave Russell‏ @daverussell

How can a inquiry be INDEPENDENT Judge is appointed by Mrs May! What is the terms of reference? To absolve Tories at any cost.
Madeleine Noor Baker‏ @MadNBaker
No 10 have said “we wish the residents to be consulted on the terms of reference of the inquiry” – then 2 days later publish unconsulted TOR

Journalists barred from first Kensington Council meeting since Grenfell

Journalists have been barred from tonight’s meeting of Kensington Council’s cabinet – the first to be held since the Grenfell Tower tragedy.

The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea says tonight’s meeting will be held entirely in private session, putting the decision down to the “risk of disruption.”

The council has cited an incident on Friday 16 June, two days after the fatal fire, which saw survivors and other residents attempt to enter Kensington Town Hall before returning to a demonstration outside, as an example of the supposed risk.

At least 80 people are now known to have died in the blaze, although a final figure may not be produced until 2018.

A notice of meeting on the council’s website reads: “Please note this meeting will be held entirely in private session, pursuant to Standing Order 31.01*, in the light of the risk of disruption (as witnessed on Friday 16 June) and consequently security and public safety concerns.

“As such it will be open only to cabinet members, support officers and invited guests (if any).  The public minutes of this meeting will be published, in due course, on the council website.”

The Standing Order referred to states that under common law and statute, the chairman of the meeting, who in this case is council leader Nicholas Paget-Brown, has the power to exclude the public if he or she is of the opinion that there shall be a disruption to the business.

The fire is listed as the only item of business other than apologies for absence and declarations of interest.

Following the decision, local news website Get West London offered to live stream the meeting via its Facebook page, but has yet to hear back from the council.

In a piece on the decision, content editor Charlotte Neal wrote: “We understand that the lack of distinction between public and press in the order and zero evidence that one of our reporters would disrupt proceedings, coupled with the undeniable public interest of the meeting, gives the council not even a matchstick sized legal leg to stand on. If the ban remains, the press could likely demand a (costly) judicial review.

“Head of governance services at the council, Robert Sheppard, responsible for giving advice to the cabinet, told Get West London ‘council lawyers are satisfied on the legal basis’ and that the press is welcome to challenge it. When asked if we could speak to the council’s lawyers, he redirected us to the press office.

“If the council’s not going to let the public into the meeting, once again insulting their capability to handle themselves, at least let “the eyes and ears of the public” do what it does best and report on the damn thing. We repeat, these people deserve at worst the whole truth.

“We stress, the press are the eyes and ears of the public; we’re not here to play lip service to the council and publish its carefully crafted ‘available shared content’ – where’s the accountability in that?”

The site will be live blogging from outside the meeting this evening.

Séamus Dooley, NUJ acting general secretary, said: “We are deeply disturbed at the news that the Kensington and Chelsea council cabinet meeting tonight will be held in private. The ban on media attendance should be lifted immediately and we call on all council members to ensure that this matter of the utmost public interest is discussed in public.

“The horrific fire is a matter of grave public interest. The public has a right to know if public policy failures contributed to this disaster. There is no justification for behind closed doors discussions. This can only contribute to further alienation of residents who feel their voice has not been listened to.

“Members of the public, especially those affected by the fire, and broader public must have their rights respected. The right to freedom of expression includes the right to information. Ultimately elected representatives make decisions on behalf of their constituents and the local community.

“Decisions of the council should be open to scrutiny and conveyed to the public via the independent media. Secrecy is the default position of those who seek to avoid accountability for their actions and on this occasion there is no room for anything less than complete transparency.”

The council declined to comment further when contacted by HTFP.

http://www.holdthefrontpage.co.uk/2017/news/journalists-barred-from-first-kensington-council-meeting-since-grenfell/


 

Grenfell Tower

Outside of Grenfell Tower

2014 from The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea

 

Building Control » Building Control Summary

DEM/14/02401 | Demolition | Grenfell Tower, Grenfell Road, LONDON, W11 1TH

 

Description Of Works Demolition
Site Address Grenfell Tower, Grenfell Road, LONDON, W11 1TH
Application Reference Number DEM/14/02401
Valid Date Thu 22 May 2014
Decision Date Not Available
Status Deposited

There are 0 documents associated with this application.

There are 0 cases associated with this application.

There is 1 property associated with this application.

https://www.rbkc.gov.uk/bconline/buildingControlDetails.do?activeTab=summary&keyVal=_RBKC_BCAPR_123520

 

 

https://twitter.com/thewakeupcall09/status/877259254016741377

Anne Murphy @DrAnneMurphy

That £5,500. It’s a statutory payment.


Why Didn’t the Grenfell Towers Collapse After Burning for Over 12 Hours?

https://youtu.be/kjZDDfxL1Kw

 

Aug 20, 2008

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has released its long-awaited report on the collapse of World Trade 7 following the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. “Our take-home message today is that the reason for the collapse of World Trade Center 7 is no longer a mystery,” NIST lead investigator Shyam Sunder told journalists at this morning’s press conference in Gaithersburg, Md. “WTC 7 collapsed because of fires fueled by office furnishings.It did not collapse from explosives or from diesel fuel fires.”

http://www.popularmechanics.com/technology/design/a3524/4278874/


 

“Where was this when people were screaming at windows?” New Grenfell Tower fire engine with 137ft ladder explained

Residents ask on Facebook why a fire service appliance with much longer reach than those which initially responded to the devastating blaze can be seen at the scene ‘only now’?

…someone trapped high up in the building – desperately waving for help from a window.

In other images shot that morning, it’s clear firefighters on the ground – who rushed to the scene just six minutes after the first 999 call – had ladders which couldn’t reach anywhere near that high.

The frustration for those who were first on the scene is unimaginable.

Residents were told to stay in their flats – advised before that night as the protocol to follow in case of fire and, it’s been claimed, by operators when they dialled 999.

At the time it was said – although not confirmed – London Fire Service appliances only had ladders which could reach as high as the 12th floor of what’s described as a 24-storey building.

But residents have reacted with shock and consternation when crews in a fire appliance extended a ladder at the scene yesterday which clearly reached much higher.

Some four to five days after the blaze, the appliance with the longer ladder is being used to search the site for the bodies of victims trapped in the blaze high up.

A spokesman for Surrey Fire & Rescue confirmed to MirrorOnline that they were called at 6.50am on Wednesday morning – some six hours after the blaze started at around 12.50am.

He said he was unable to say how long it took for the for the Aerial Ladder Platform to arrive at the scene, travelling from Leatherhead.

Its Surrey-based crew – five men on the appliance in rotation – have been working round the clock to support their London colleagues at the scene ever since.

The question remains why London Fire Brigade don’t own one – especially with such a concentration of high rises in the capital.

Questions over whether they had access to the best resources available are a matter that the public inquiry MUST look into.

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/grenfell-tower-fire-ladder-engine-10648677

 

Teacher says ‘nothing was done’ to help Grenfell victims

 

A teacher who says she witnessed some of her students run back in to the burning Grenfell Tower block to try and help a friend has expressed her anger that “nothing was done” to help.

“The army barracks are in Knightsbridge, why did the army not come? Are we not good enough?”

http://www.itv.com/news/story/2017-06-17/grenfell-tower-fire-pm-says-support-for-victims-wasnt-good-enough-as-protests-and-anger-continue/


Dr Lauren Gavaghan@DancingTheMind

@theresa_maywhy was the army not sent in immediately to help people of #Grenfell ?

Grenfell fire: Theresa May attacked by fire safety expert for not treating disaster as national emergency

24 June 2017

‘This is turning into a PR disaster for the local authorities,’ says Stephen Mackensie

A fire safety expert has criticised Theresa May for not convening a Cobra meeting to support local authorities in the wake of the Grenfell Tower fire.

Stephen MacKenzie said he thought Camden council “had done the sensible thing” by evacuating hundreds of people from five tower blocks.

But he told Sky News he was “at a loss as to why Theresa May has not convened Cobra over this to actually get emergency arrangements, led by central government, to support the local authorities and to give the residents the necessity reassurance and address this issue.

“This is turning into a PR disaster for the local authorities,” he said, adding that a group of fire experts should be convened “urgently” over the weekend together with private and social housing to find solutions to the issue.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/grenfell-fire-theresa-may-cladding-response-expert-cobra-meeting-criticism-a7805861.html


Fears grow over ’15 tots from same nursery missing’ in Grenfell Tower fire

A childcare worker at Grenfell Nursery reportedly told a relative ‘at least 15 of the children aged between six months and four-years-old were still missing last night’

The childcare centre, based on the ground floor of the building, is reportedly said to be ‘preparing for the worst’.

Authorities are yet to issue a list of the missing more than 72 hours after the disaster.

The Daily Star reports that Ish Murray’s pregnant sister works at Grenfell Nursery and has told him ‘at least 15 of the children aged between six months and four-years-old were still missing last night’.

The 35-year-old told the paper: “Lots of kids live in the block with their parents.

“My sister told me that 15 are missing.”

The information is yet to be officially verified.

Nursery manager Shirley Sylvester has confirmed that young children are missing but hasn’t publicly stated a number to the media.

“Lots of children who go here live in the block,” she said.

“We are not coping very well to be honest. They are our local families”.

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/grenfell-tower-fire-nursery-15-10637730#ICID=sharebar_twitter

She will be missed by us all forever’: Family pay heart-wrenching tribute to ‘loving mother and partner’ Berkti Hafton, 29, killed in Grenfell Tower fire

http://www.getwestlondon.co.uk/news/west-london-news/she-missed-forever-family-pay-13317100


Kensington and Chelsea Council have yet to respond to over 130 offers to rehouse Grenfell Tower victims

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/grenfell-tower-fire-latest-kensington-chelsea-council-displaced-residents-protests-grenfell-tower-a7795171.html

Sajid Javid


Tories Who Voted Against Making Rented Properties ‘Fit’ for Human Habitation

David Cameron, Chris Grayling, Dominic Grieve, Nick Hurd, Julian Lewis, Jacob Rees-Mogg, John Whittingdale to name a few

The bosses of the company that installed Grenfell Tower’s allegedly deadly cladding were accused by HMRC of pumping £2.5million into tax avoidance schemes. 

A spokeswoman for the mayor of London has told the Guardian that the British Red Cross is now leading the volunteer effort on the ground around Grenfall Tower. A spokeswoman for the Red Cross, however, said she was not aware of the news.
skuttlebucket‏ @AgeWait

A Matter of Interest ? Barely 1 month after the Grenfell Tower Fire…

Trent‏ @RandolphTrent

in contrast this is the house when its for a 10% pay rise for them!

for further contrast!

Angry Grenfell residents demand arrests and resignations at meeting

Kensington and Chelsea council meeting sees people express rage and contempt for officialdom at investigation’s slow progress

12 July 2017


How many people lived in Grenfell? How many people got out and are accounted for? How many are still missing?

 

Where are the survivors?!

“We are sending boxes and food… to who? None of the people I grew up with, I can’t find anyone! Where are they?” asks a distressed resident on PressTv. Haven’t most residents in that building died? We don’t even know how many people were in that building! It could easily be 440-660 people assuming 2-3 persons per 220 bedrooms (Claire OT- tweeter user on my network). Those on the missing list have not been checked against the bodies lying in the body bags in the tents! (Jane interviewed by Ashish Joshi -Sky News) Who is identifying the dead? When will the relatives, if they have survived be contacted? When will these people who government failed to give dignity in life, allow them dignity in death? Why is the media not asking these questions repeatedly until we find the answers?

No one has communicated! No one has owned the aftermath of the tragedy! No one has even apologised! No one has resigned. Pages have been removed from Council websites. Why are they all in hiding &/or being non-transparent? Is this seen as a price perhaps worth paying .. the eye-sore… the expendables.. the inevitable casualties of their greed, selfish life styles and corruption? How did we get to a situation when ordinary law abiding citizens who have lost loved ones, family and friends, neighbours felt the need to storm the council offices?

https://satyagrahamedia.wordpress.com/2017/06/17/grenfell-towers-when-will-we-learn/

http://skruff.co.uk/vid1.mp4

^ Grenfell – Must watch   – Powerful video


Tent full of body bags, no one accounting for…

https://twitter.com/Rachael_Swindon/status/875817825339924481

 

Dame Alun Roberts‏ @ciabaudo

Surely the number of bodies found in the building is known, even if they haven’t been identified. So what’s the body count?

Heroic Grenfell Tower firefighters gagged from talking about horrors amid fears death toll could rise above 100

The order from bosses has been revealed by several Fire Brigade sources who grimly insisted the official figure of 80 dead will soar

1 JUL 2017

Heroic firefighters have been gagged from talking about the full horror at Grenfell Tower amid fears the true death toll will top 100.

The order from bosses has been revealed by several Fire Brigade sources who grimly insisted the official figure of 80 dead will soar.

They spoke as authorities were accused of masking the total of those who perished in the inferno.

One firefighter, who did not want to be named, told the Sunday Mirror: “We’ve been told by our management don’t speak, ideally. The coroner has said it could obstruct the investigation. I don’t know how it can – what’s happened has happened, but that’s what we’re being told.”

A union rep for the Fire Brigades Union said: “We know the death toll will be higher than the official figure – and we’re not talking about one or two higher. There’s a strong possibility we are talking about three figures.”

17 days after the fire we have no list of survivors, the police have said we will have to wait until the end of the year for numbers.

“It’s causing huge anxiety for people who want closure as they wait for news of their loved-ones and it feeds deep mistrust amongst the victims and survivors themselves.

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/heroic-grenfell-tower-firefighters-gagged-10722903


Police say the final Grenfell Tower death toll won’t be known until next year

Jun. 28, 2017

The final death toll of the Grenfell Tower disaster will not be known until next year, the Metropolitan Police has said.

At least 80 people are now known to have died in the catastrophic blaze on June 14. This has risen from 79, with the latest victim being identified as five-year-old boy Isaac Paulous.

But a final figure will not become clear until 2018.

Residents’ groups and Labour MP David Lammy have criticised the fatalities number for being unrealistically low, and have even suggested that the true scale of destruction has been suppressed to avoid civil unrest.

Officers said they believe the majority of those who died came from 23 flats in the upper half of the building, which had a total of 129 apartments. Police have yet to make contact with anybody from the 23 flats, leading them to believe there were no survivors. They were distributed between the 11th and 23rd floors.

Officers have contacted at least one survivor in each of the other 106 flats.

Fiona McCormack, a detective chief superintendent orientating the investigation, said a conclusive death toll will be available “only after we have completed the search and recovery operation, which will take until the end of the year.”

McCormack said officers have now been in every single flat, and on the building’s roof.”

http://www.businessinsider.com/metropolitan-police-grenfell-tower-death-toll-not-known-until-next-year-2017-6?r=UK&IR=T

The man, Sir Ken Knight, overseeing the Grenfell fire panel advised ministers to cut fire funding by £200m

The Queen awarded Sir Ken the Queens’ Fire Service Medal in 1991 and the CBE in 2001. He was appointed as Her Majesty’s Representative Deputy Lieutenant for Richmond upon Thames in 2007. Sir Ken was Knighted in the Queen’s Birthday Honours in 2006 in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the fire and rescue service.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ken_Knight

28 June 2017

Fire safety independent panel chair advised against retrofitting sprinklers and authored report advocating £200m fire service cuts

Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II  glances over to her husband Prince Philip  beside Fire Commissioner Sir Ken Knight  during a visit to Millwall Fire Station in London’s Docklands, 16 February 2007. The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh received a briefing on operations and watched participants in the ‘LIFE Program‘. The program is an intensive course in which young people learn firefighting skills alongside real firefighters. The youngsters are aged between 13-18.

 

Sir Ken Knight will now advise the Government on its response to the Grenfell Tower fire 

Sir Ken Knight will head the group which has been appointed to “advise on any immediate measures that can be put in place to make buildings safe.”

But in his report the Lakanal House fire in Camberwell, which killed three women and three children in 2009, the former London fire commissioner wrote: “It is not considered as practical or economically viable to make a requirement for the retrospective fitting of fire suppression systems to all current high-rise residential buildings.

Sir Ken was also the author of a 2013 report which recommended £200m worth of cuts to the fire service, according to the Political Scrapbook website.

panel he now heads, will be made up of building and fire safety experts, including the chief executive of the Building Research Establishment, Peter Bonfield, the chairman of the National Fire Chiefs Council, Roy Wilsher, and president of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors Amanda Clack.

They are due to have their first meeting this week.

http://www.independent.co.uk/property/house-and-home/pets/news/fire-safety-measures-grenfell-tower-sprinklers-retrofitting-fire-service-cuts-independent-panel-a7812646.html

Mahboubeh Jamalvatan is still troubled by what she saw on night of fire and unsettled by the protracted dislocation that has followed.

She is finding it hard to sleep or eat because she is still so troubled by what she saw. “What bothers me a lot is it was mainly children and women who died, because the men were out. I saw them with my eyes, the people behind the windows, the children. Downstairs, people were screaming ‘come down’ but they couldn’t, they were trapped there. The police were asking us to move back but I could see the faces at the windows as the fire was spreading around the building,” she says. “I think about it all the time.”

She told the police she was surprised by how few firefighters she saw to begin with. In her statement she said she was concerned that the fire brigade were slow to appreciate the seriousness of the fire. “They thought they could handle it,” she says, speaking with the help of an interpreter. She was also disturbed by the difficulty fire teams seemed to have in getting to the building. “The way that the building was designed, there wasn’t full access around it, there was no access for the fire engines to get there,” she said. Residents had lodged formal complaints over several years about the difficulty of emergency access to the building.

 

Dame Alun Roberts‏ @ciabaudo

I, too, believe the fatality count is being micro-managed to contain the fallout for the government.

survivor ‘only passed 8 people on stairs all the way from upper floor’

Reading eye-witness reports like this makes my blood boil. Why isn’t the media and government telling the truth?

Vicount Ian Kerr CGC @IanKerr

Mining accident…accurate numbers. Passenger ship capsize…accurate numbers. Plane crash….the same. The council fucking know how many.


https://twitter.com/charlotteh71/status/876430609463300097

DamningListen to this ^

Fatalities into the 160s – authorities delaying publishing the numbers, hoping interest will die down.


i newspaperVerified account @theipaper

Grenfell survivors tell me the death toll is far higher than police say. I believe them


Good Morning BritainVerified account @GMB

‘There is no way that the death toll is the figure that is currently being given as 79’ – Local councillor Eartha Pond


Hana @akacairo

They can identify a suicide bomber and know his full name and nationality after being completely blown up.. But not people in this tower?


https://www.facebook.com/MajidFreeman650/videos/790183781141008/


Vicount Ian Kerr CGC @IanKerr

@RSOE_EDIS

Hi….

was your ‘missing’ figure of 538 at #GrenfellTowerFire changed to 0 for a reason ?



Gathrer collects statuses of former Grenfell Tower residents

Add, edit and view the surviving, missing and deceased here

http://gathrer.com/



17 June 2017

Police update. Local residents ask questions about public inquiry & materials used in refurbishment

Grenfell Tower refurbishment was ‘not approved’, according to council

http://metro.co.uk/2017/06/21/grenfell-tower-refurbishment-was-never-formally-signed-off-6723671/


Grenfell fire victims can’t access funds raised for them and council only giving them a tenner, volunteer claims

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/grenfell-tower-fire-victims-given-a-tenner-hotels-no-access-funds-kensington-chelsea-borough-a7795771.html

Grenfell Tower residents offered rooms – in ‘carbon copy’ hotel. With cladding

Government staff have been drafted in to bolster the official response to the Grenfell Tower disaster in west London.

The move follows widespread criticism of the local council’s performance.

Residents condemned the relief effort as “absolute chaos” and complained that Kensington and Chelsea Council had provided little support or information.

Councils across London are now involved in the operation, with humanitarian assistance being provided by the west London borough of Ealing.

http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-40316812

 May admits her Govt and Tory K&C council’s Grenfell Tower responses failed survivors: “That was a failure of the state local and national.”

http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/theresa-may-admits-grenfell-tower-response-was-failure-1627275

lily #labourtine🎈Verified account @lilyallen


Ealing are now running the show since RBKC stood down. This doesn’t fill me with confidence. Grenfell

The people tasked with looking after the survivors and families are developing with the same firm that clad Grenfell.

#chaos@guardian@DailyMirror

Grenfell victims are sleeping in cars and parks, says Kensington MP

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/06/20/grenfell-victims-sleeping-cars-parks-says-kensington-mp/

Janey GodleyVerified account @JaneyGodley

As the #GrenfellTowerFire victims sleep in cars.

Grenfell residents say SCO-19 armed police on estate. Why?

riot pol 1

https://skwawkbox.org/2017/06/18/grenfell-residents-say-sco-19-armed-police-on-estate-why/

Trent @RandolphTrent

its almost like they are doing everything they can to force riots on the streets! maybe to make examples when they TRY to crack down on it!


Police say 58 people are now ‘assumed to be dead’ in the Grenfell Tower inferno as fire investigators use dogs to continue their grim hunt for bodies

Commander Cundy said police had received more than 6,000 calls and that the search is set to take weeks or ‘longer’.

He said that the force has confirmed 30 people are dead and has established that another 28 are missing. He added that he has to ‘assume’ these people had died.

The commander stressed that this information was based only on the number of people they believe were in the tower when it caught fire in the early hours of Wednesday morning and the actual loss may be greater.

Firefighters have said they believe no one on the top floors of the building survived.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4613094/DOGS-help-grim-hunt-bodies-Grenfell-Tower.html?ito=social-twitter_dailymailUK


 


Stuart Syvret @StuartSyvret

Gavin Barwell

Former housing minister Gavin Barwell refuses to comment on fire report

 

Westfield Shopping Centre viewed (March 2013) from the Grenfell Tower

Westfield Police Station

In March 2013, Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, announced that the Metropolitan Police were to set up a new base in Westfield Shopping Centre following the closure of Shepherd’s Bush Police Station front counter. In his Police and Crime Plan, designed to save £500 million by 2015, some 2,600 officers were to be redeployed in Safer Neighbourhood Teams across the Met – including 92 more in the borough taking the total up to 139.

https://wikispooks.com/wiki/Westfield_Shopping_Centre

 David Mortimer @ukfathers

Last year was a bumper year for Rydon, which saw profits leap nearly 40% to £10.3m and a payout of £8.4m to shareholders.

Image result for tory donor jeremy coller

 

Tory donor owned stake in refurb company accused of using cheap cladding on Grenfell Tower

 

Coller Capital – founded by Tory donor Jeremy Coller – owned a fifth of Rydon Construction, via a partnership based offshore in Jersey

A Tory donor’s private equity firm was a big investor in the construction company accused of saving £5,000 with cheaper, more flammable cladding at Grenfell Tower .

Mayfair-based Coller Capital owned a fifth of Rydon Construction, via a partnership based offshore in Jersey, when the work started on the £8.6 million refurbishment at the block in 2014.

Coller boss and founder Jeremy Coller donated £15,000 to the Tory party in July 2015.

Omnis, which supplied Reynobond panels for the project, confirmed it sold the version that cost £2 a square metre less than the more fire–resistant option.

It is just this type of choice that was covered by Part B of the review of fire regulations Theresa May’s chief of staff Gavin Barwell promised the Commons in October.

Coller, who had no operational control, bought a stake in Rydon in 2010 as part of a £332 million deal with Lloyds.

It became the major 70% partner in Jersey-based Cavendish Square Partners, which in turn owned a 30% stake in Rydon Holdings, the parent firm of Rydon Construction. Last year Rydon’s profits leapt nearly 40% to £10.3million and £8.4million went to shareholders, says CorporateWatch. Rydon bought back shares owned by Cavendish for £6.2million in December 2015.

It is believed more than £4 million of this went to Coller Capital.

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/politics/tory-donor-owned-stake-refurb-10637010

https://alchetron.com/Jeremy-Coller-469171-W

Image result for jeremy coller and lord janner

Jeremy Coller is a British financial executive. He is CEO and CIO of Coller Capital, a British private equity firm.

For 20 years, Jeremy Coller has played a key role in the evolution of the secondary market for private equity. He founded Coller Capital, a secondaries firm, in 1990, and has appeared in media lists of the most influential people in private equity.[1] In 2008, the Daily Telegraph of London listed him as number 21 in a list of the most powerful people in British hedge funds, private equity and fund management.[2]

Jeremy’s early career was spent as Head of Research at Fidelity International and as a sector fund manager at ICI Pension Plan, where he was an early investor in Dayton Carr’s Venture Capital Fund of America, an early secondaries firm.

Jeremy attended Carmel College. He holds a Master’s degree in Philosophy from the University of Sussex, and a Bachelor’s degree from Manchester University School of Management. He also took the Diplome Cours de Civilisation at the Sorbonne.

Jeremy is married with two children and lives in London.

https://web.archive.org/web/20080501202936/https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jeremy_Coller

As well as being Chairman of the Jeremy Coller Foundation, his vehicle for philanthropic activities, he sits on the Boards of the Coller Institute for Private Equity at London Business School and the Coller Institute for Venture at Tel Aviv University.

He is a member of the Advisory Council of The Elders.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jeremy_Coller

The Elders (organization)

The group was initiated by Richard Branson[5] and musician and human rights activist Peter Gabriel, together with anti-apartheid activist and former South African President Nelson Mandela. Mandela announced the formation of the group on his eighty-ninth birthday on 18 July 2007 in Johannesburg, South Africa.[6]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Elders_(organization)

Jeremy Coller’s financial background

In 1995, the firm created a US secondaries fund, and in 1996 it bought all Rothschild Inc’s 12-year-old venture assets in the first secondaries direct deal – in which a fund buys a portfolio of stakes in companies.

https://www.fnlondon.com/articles/jeremy-coller-profile-20100726

Britons invest in Rawabi, Palestinian city of dreams

…the project, whose initial funding came from Mr Masri and the Qatari government, is attracting high-profile Jewish investors. These include America’s Michael Steinhardt, George Soros, and the British businessman Jeremy Coller.

https://www.thejc.com/news/world/britons-invest-in-rawabi-palestinian-city-of-dreams-1.55516

Jeremy Coller’s uncle, Julian Scott,  is a liveryman  in the Worshipful Company of Turners of London, and Fiona Woolf is an honorary member.

http://www.turnersco.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/The-Turner-issue-38-June-2013.pdf

MichaelH14

Jon StoneVerified account @joncstone

Kensington and Chelsea, one of the richest places in the country, also has one of the lowest council tax rates

Cladding ‘fitted on Grenfell Tower’ is BANNED in US and Germany


Image result for SIR RODNEY ALDRIDGE and grenfell tower

Simon Cowell to raise money via a charity single…

cathyfoxblog @CathyCathyFox

so it’s really the people who buy the single helping, not Simon who could easily afford to ……

Hannah. G. @comeasbundy

Instead of making a ‘charity’ single people buy, how about Simon and other celebrities use their own money to donate


Simon Cowell net worth: Simon Cowell is a British music executive and television producer who has a net worth of $550 million.

http://www.celebritynetworth.com/richest-celebrities/actors/simon-cowell-net-worth/


Paul Walters @Pauljwalters

How about just donating cold hard cash, it’s all about ‘how good am I’ self promoting wanker.


Truthseeker1 @thewakeupcall09

The Scum & The Scum Simon Cowell, who was quick to get £50,000 cash for his friend and convicted paedophile Jonathan King.

Simon Cowell paid bail for convicted paedophile Jonathan King and had convicted paedophile abuser Max Clifford as his PR

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/columnists/article-332299/Simons-shame.html


Trent @RandolphTrent

#PissOffCowell

Truthseeker1‏ @thewakeupcall09

Why is Pete Townshend who was on the sex offenders register for downloading CHILD PORN part of Artists for Grenfell?

Paedophile Pete Townshend’s police interview

https://youtu.be/G5CWqSPNPnc

Image result for peter townshend and rolf harris

Image result for peter townshend and gary glitter

 

Gary Glitter and Pete TownshendPrinces Trust Concert

The Who’s Pete Townshend knew four Grenfell Tower families and has “written some cheques” for the victims

He revealed he even replaced a piano for a family that lost theirs last week.

“A little Spanish girl in there studied the piano – they got a piano up 10 flights and of course it’s gone now, so I managed to get her a piano.

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/whos-pete-townshend-knew-four-10649517

The rock star Pete Townshend was cautioned by police and placed on the sex offenders register for five years following his admission that he accessed child pornography on the internet.

Townshend, 57, received the caution at Kingston police station in south-west London for “accessing a website containing child abuse images”.

He was arrested in January as part of Operation Ore, the largest investigation into child pornography in the UK. He admitted using his credit card to access images but claimed they were for “research” for a book.

“People who pay to access these sites are injecting cash into a criminal and manipulative industry that sexually exploits and seriously damages children.”

The children’s charity NCH said Townshend’s crime was “not a small matter”.

https://www.theguardian.com/uk/2003/may/08/arts.ukcrime

 

Related image

Nick Pettigrew @Nick_Pettigrew

The Queen has issued a statement of condolence to the Grenfell Tower victims from her largely-empty 775-room palace that you pay for.

Magic money tree.

Context: Buckingham Palace to undergo ‘essential’ £370m refurbishment

f4a01f1b0fa1

Wentworth Woodhouse, the huge stately home owned by Tory MP Jacob Rees-Mogg’s in-laws

Oh yes, the Establishment can always find that Magic Money Tree when it suits them.


Yes Highland @yhWildfire

About four miles and a whole world apart.

KrushBrother Ⓥ @OriginalKrush

Massive coverage of the Downing Street protests on the BBC Website!!! Nah, only kidding. No mention of it at all! #MayMustGo #ToriesOut

 



Justice4Grenfell @Justice4GF

Why is mainstream press talking up rioting? Has there been any violence? All looks peaceful to me. Calling May a coward doesn’t = violence.

Laura Hankinson @JustLaurahhh

“They just want a riot” No they spent years writing letters and going through official channels being ignored.


scarlett stuff 🌹 @scarlettstuff

You know why. Paint people fighting for justice as a mob to discredit them


Kerry-Anne Mendoza @TheMendozaWoman

It took the Guardian less than a week after #Grenfell to start patronising & demonising survivors & their allies

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/jun/17/grenfell-tower-anger-homes-proeprty-rage#comment-100540478

Bobby Palmer @thebobpalmer

You: Grenfell was a tragedy in which 79 innocent people died The Daily Mail: Haha poor people can’t spell


Sundancin’ Paul @Sundancer_UK

Are you aware of the lies that he’s spreading about ?



Weiss @w_nicht

This is what Murdoch’s so called journalist say about it:

Iain MartinVerified account @iainmartin1

Word of praise for the cops tonight in London, policing demos. Stretched by terror threat. Now handling Socialist Worker middle class twats


 

Phil @PhiIIip_Thomas

#MSMsilent on the report into the Shepherd’s Court fire was kept a secret, wonder why?


Truthseeker1 @thewakeupcall09

Tory Councillor Ken Hawkins insulting grieving Grenfell relatives


cathyfoxblog @CathyCathyFox

Mob rule was what got us into this mess. Mob rule by greedy neoliberal profiteers who dont care about people

There have been protests calling for justice over the tragedy.


Police open criminal investigation into Grenfell Tower fire <Tory outsourcing, profit, landlordism in the dock

Paul Lewis @paullewismoney

Criminal enquiry into fire. So why have documents and computers not been seized?

 


Alasdair Lord @Alasdair_Lord

Corporate manslaughter is not a crime. Blair to break corporate killing pledge

October 27, 2004

Tony Blair is set to break Labour’s manifesto promise to create a law before the next general election that punishes companies for fatal accidents.

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/ebbf322a-2845-11d9-9308-00000e2511c8.html?ft_site=falcon&desktop=true#axzz4kAan8RIZ

 

 

Dave’s New Year resolution, January 2012!

BBC reporting that, during her visit, Theresa May did not meet any of the survivors of for “security reasons”

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/jun/16/theresa-may-scared-grenfell-survivors-finished-austerity-cameron-osborne
Not So Strong @StrongerStabler

Theresa May’s priorities. 15m trip to see fire chiefs, not residents then to Savoy for Champagne & dinner with donors!

#DayOfRage #ToriesOut

On same day homeless survivors of Grenfell were stopped from claiming emergency payments.May’s smoozing with millionaires at Tory fundraiser


Eva Nova @jammyspoons

Theresa May responded quicker & more compassionately to Tory MPs who lost their seats than she did to victims.
Mr Malky @MrMalky

Quick rustle me up some survivors for a tea party at Downing St


17 June 2017
May hand picking #GrenfellTowerFire to visit her in PRIVATE at Downing Street.

Theresa May meets Grenfell Tower fire victims at Downing Street as protests over handling of tragedy continue

The PM invite residents to No 10 following her disastrous visit to a local church in Kensington which prompted a huge protest

Mrs May returned to the site of the blaze in North Kensington on Friday where she met with community leaders organising the relief effort at a local church.

But shortly before 5pm, while the MP was inside the St Clements Church in Notting Hill, a group of protesters arrived shouting “shame on you” and “coward”.

The council allegedly opted for cheaper cladding on the outside of the building – reportedly to make the 1970s block look nicer for its wealthier neighbours – instead of a non-flammable mineral based variant which only cost £2 more per panel.

A short while later, Mrs May reportedly fled from a side door

The handful of residents walked into No 10 as protesters shouted “May Out” from the gates.

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/politics/theresa-meets-grenfell-tower-fire-10639402

Hundreds march through Bristol for Grenfell Tower fire victims

21 June 2017

http://www.bristolpost.co.uk/news/bristol-news/hundreds-people-march-through-bristol-127989


Cassandra Cogno @CassandraCogno

Inquests,police investigation, criminal prosecutions for #GrenfellTower May cannot be trusted to set up “swift” inquiry look at @InquiryCSA

 

Lady Black Cat @Lady_Black_Cat

Public Inquiry=govt choose judge & set Terms of Ref etc. Theresa May has history of killing issues via Public Inq route


Dame Alun Roberts @ciabaudo

Why should I trust May to run an honest public inquiry into #grenfell when she lost dozens of files to protect friends in CSA inquiry?

Don’t put another inquiry into the hands of control freak who lost CSA files and delayed IICSA by putting forward 3 tainted partisan chairs!


₮ḥɛ Ƀɛåʈ₪ᴉ₭ ₣цƶżɃѳʍɃ @Sixgun77

Image result for savile and queen

Can’t think why the inquiry keeps ‘stalling’.


Dame Alun Roberts @ciabaudo

I’m confident Theresa May will give the London fire the same treatment as CSA, Orgreave, Hillsborough, CoE sexual abuse, Edward Heath.


P J @Pamper48

The Establishment: safe in her hands!


 

Justice4Grenfell @Justice4GF

 

Andreas Baader @stop1984

Photo published for People are sharing this video of Boris Johnson telling opponent to 'get stuffed' in response to...

People are sharing this video of Boris Johnson telling opponent to ‘get stuffed’ in response to fire cuts

https://www.indy100.com/article/boris-johnson-london-tower-fire-grenfell-assembly-cuts-fire-service-7790971

 

Rachael @Rachael_Swindon@BorisJohnson When you did this you caused the abandonment of safety checks at . How do you feel?


Andreas Baader @stop1984

Boris Johnson accused over sales of London fire stations 2014

I’ve been thinking about the fire brigade because Boris Johnson is shutting down stations for luxury hotels 2014

Fire station shut by Boris Johnson to be turned into luxury flats by company run by Tory donor

Thursday 22 June

One of 10 fire stations shut by Boris Johnson while he was Mayor of London is to be converted into luxury flats – by a company whose directors include a Tory donor.

Belsize fire station, which was closed in 2014 after 100 years of service to the local community, will be turned into 16 apartments, the Camden New Journal have reported.

Vulcan Property Ltd, which bought the grade II listed building from the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority (LFEPA) for £7.8 million, was given planning permission for the flats this week.

Scrapbook has found that Electoral Commission records show one of the company’s three directors, William Richard Woodward-Fisher, made a £2000 donation to a Conservative association in 2005.

Camden Council’s planning committee gave the scheme the go ahead this week, but at a previous meeting local councillor Flick Rea said: “It is patently clear that we did actually need this fire station.”

 

  • Firefighters at the station rescued a man from a fire in a block of flats on the same morning that the station was closed.

  • Last year a house just a 20 second drive away from the station was destroyed by a blaze. The owner of the house told the Camden New Journal“If Belsize was open, the response time would have been quicker. There is not even a conversation about that. It’s a 20-second drive away…I want to praise the firefighters but criticise the politicians that closed Belsize.”

  • And the closure of the fire station was blamed for the death of a pensioner who died after jumping from his burning flat. Here’s the ITV news report from the time…

 

The fact that two flats in the new development are allocated for social housing will be of little comfort to those paying the price for Johnson’s closures.

Especially given that Tory supporters are now profiting as a consequence of his deadly cuts…

https://politicalscrapbook.net/2017/06/fire-station-shut-by-boris-johnson-to-be-turned-into-luxury-flats-by-company-owned-run-tory-donor/


Chancellor Philip Hammond denies that public cuts are impacting emergency services


A Firefighter’s blog

http://michaelrosenblog.blogspot.co.uk/2017/06/a-firefighter-who-attended-grenfell.html?spref=tw

 

We’ve been investigating the evidence about the Grenfell fire. And what we’ve found is numbing.

On 23 June, the police announced that they were considering charges of “manslaughter, as well as criminal offences and breaches of legislation and regulations” over the Grenfell Tower fire. And they issued a statement confirming that both the cladding and insulation installed at Grenfell have failed safety tests. Investigators are now trying to establish whether those materials were used illegally.

The Canary has been examining available and leaked documents relating to the Grenfell refurbishment. And the results are numbing.

Crime scenes

The day after the Grenfell fire, the Metropolitan Police Service announced it had begun a criminal investigation into the causes of the tragedy. This meant that the tower block and the premises of all parties connected to its refurbishment are now crime scenes. Since that announcement, many have been pushing for strident action.

MP David Lammy, for example, had asked Prime Minister Theresa May for an update on the criminal investigation into the Grenfell Tower fire in a House of Commons session. She was not able to oblige him. He demanded that all relevant documents relating to the refurbishment be seized; and that corporate manslaughter charges be considered.

He said: “Most people see this as a crime and they know that rich and powerful organisations get away with crime”.

And in an open letter to the Prime Minister, Mayor of London Sadiq Khan stressed:

I would seek an assurance that if the Inquiry or police investigation finds any individual or organisation to have been negligent in their duties, then they will be prosecuted. This issue is not limited to the type of cladding fitted; the material it is attached to and how this has been achieved are also critical factors.

The key players

By all accounts, the cladding used during the refurbishment is likely to be key to the investigation.

A planning application [pdf] for the Grenfell Tower refurbishment project was made in October 2012. In that application, there appears to be no mention of the type of cladding eventually used, just “zinc rainscreen cladding“. This may be significant. Planning permission was granted in January 2014. And in the decision document [pdf p2, point 3], it was a requirement that “Materials to be used on the external faces of the building” be approved by the Local Planning Authority.

There were a number of key players involved in the project:

Other key players organised the cladding:

The wrong cladding?

In Arconic’s Reynobond PE brochure [pdf], a diagram clearly shows that panels with a fire retardant core, which applies only to the Reynobond FR model, can be used for buildings up to 30 metres tall. And above that, the A2 (non-combustible) model should only be used:

cladding diagram

Indeed, the Building Control Alliance 2014 recommendations agree; and they are quoted on the Omnis Exteriors website:

Where the building exceeds 18m in height, the BCA recommends…the use of materials of limited combustibility for all elements of the cladding system both above and below 18m.

However, Grenfell Tower is over 60 metres tall and only Reynobond PE (the combustible variety) was installed.

Costs

So why was Reynobond PE chosen instead of Reynobond FR? Simple: Omnis director John Cowley told The Guardian that the product is £2 cheaper per square metre than the fire-resistant variety. But costs should not have been a factor, as Kensington & Chelsea Council holds reserves of £274m.

The view of the Grenfell Action Group (GAG) on this aspect is unequivocal:

The cladding on Grenfell Tower was intended to pimp it up so that it wouldn’t spoil the image of creeping gentrification that the Council are intent on creating, here and throughout the rest of North Kensington.

Omnis director John Cowley told The Guardian: “We supplied components for a system created by the design and build team on that project.” The company put a more detailed statement on its website.

Is the cladding banned?

Cowley, who is also the managing director of CEP Architectural Facades, which produced rainscreen panels and windows for Grenfell Tower, is clear on this:

Reynobond PE is not banned in the UK. Current building regulations allow its use in both low-rise and high-rise structures. The key question now is whether the overall design of the building’s complete exterior was properly tested and subsequently signed off by the relevant authorities including the fire officer, building compliance officer and architect before commencement of the project.

Chancellor Philip Hammond, however, said the cladding (Reynobond PE) on the building was illegal in the UK. And the Department for Communities and Local Government later clarified:

Cladding using a composite aluminium panel with a polythene core should not be used for cladding on a building taller than 18 metres.

But in Germany, construction companies are banned from using Reynobond PE on towers more than 22 metres high. And in the US, the product is banned above 15 metres. Britain’s Fire Protection Association now wants the government to make it a statutory requirement for local authorities and companies to use only fire-retardant material, such as Reynobond FR.

What do the building regulations say?

The potential for fire to break out of a multi-storey building and rapidly spread up external cladding is addressed in Part B (last updated in 2006) of the building regulations:

The external envelope of a building should not provide a medium for fire spread if it is likely to be a risk to health and safety. The use of combustible materials in the cladding system and extensive cavities may present such a risk in tall buildings.

Limited combustibility can be demonstrated by testing a cladding system as a whole and by satisfying the performance requirements set out in BR 135 Fire Performance of external thermal insulation for walls of multi-storey buildings. This would allow the inclusion of firebreaks within the cladding. However, contractors are provided some leeway in that, under Appendix A of the Building Regulations 2010 fire safety document [pdf], only the outward-facing surface needs to be fire-resistant.

Or as fire expert Arnold Tarling dramatically commented:

Since the Grenfell fire cladding installer Harley Facades (formerly Harley Curtain Wall) has removed details from its website of its work on Grenfell Tower “as a mark of respect” (though an archived copy of that page has been recovered).

Interestingly, according [paywall] to The Times, in 2016 a Harley customer tried to claim £428,000 for disputed work undertaken by Harley Curtain Wall. The company then went into liquidation. However, Harley’s owner Ron Bailey was allowed to purchase his old business for just under £25,000, even though it owed creditors £1.18m and was being pursued by HMRC for tax avoidance.

Soon after the fire, The Times [paywall] reported:

Harley said that the panels it supplied were a ‘commonly used product’ in the refurbishment industry. ‘We will fully support and co-operate with the investigations into this fire,’ Ray Bailey, 58, its managing director, said. ‘At this time, we are not aware of any link between the fire and the exterior cladding.’

Other considerations

There were other factors that could have contributed to the Grenfell tragedy.

The KCTMO was repeatedly warned about fire dangers in tower blocks, but did nothing. Residents also raised concerns about the gas pipes in the main stairwell, as it appears they were not boxed in with “fire-rated” protection. And there were four years of warnings over fire hazards by the Grenfell Action Group (GAG). But these were also ignored. Indeed, in 2013 the council threatened legal action against GAG.

The KCTMO has published a statement saying:

We understand the growing demand for answers. Kensington and Chelsea Tenant Management Organisation (KCTMO) continues to play an important role in gathering all relevant information that will enable us to assist fully with investigations.

At present, however, our focus remains firmly supporting our residents, staff and local agencies throughout this incredibly distressing time.

The government’s role

A dozen letters by the All-Party Parliamentary Fire Safety and Rescue Group, warning that the government “could not afford to wait for another tragedy”, were leaked to BBC Panorama. They were sent to four ministers with the Department for Communities and Local Government. One of the recommendations was that sprinkler systems should be installed in 4,000 blocks of flats. But according to a leaked letter [pdf], nothing further was done about that. The ministers who were warned of fire dangers included: then Communities and Local Government Secretary Eric Pickles, Conservative MP James Wharton, Liberal Democrat MP Stephen Williams, and Conservative MP Gavin Barwell (now Theresa May’s Chief of Staff).

Barwell promised a review into safety in 2016. And he was warned again about fire safety in March 2017. A review was eventually announced. But nothing was done, and the review was kicked into the long grass.

Other sites

Immediate action is now needed to identify which other properties have been clad with Reynobond PE. A cursory search of the Omnis Exteriors website shows that two properties – Granville Road and City West (Manchester) – were clad with Reynobond, though it is unclear which kind. Other cladding projects carried out by Harley may also have been clad with Reynobond.

And there could be more properties – not just high-rise flats – that are clad in Reynobond PE by other contractors. Indeed, already seven high-rise blocks, including three in Plymouth and one in Tottenham, have been identified. And a further nine high-rise blocks in Salford are currently under investigation.

Meanwhile, cladding installed on tower blocks on the Chalcots Estate, Camden, is currently being replaced after tests were carried out. Camden Council stated that the cladding was “not to the standard” expected. As with the Grenfell site, the main contractors were Rydon and Harley. The council is now seeking legal advice.

Truth comes out

Regardless of the ambiguities in the building regulations, the guidance from the product manufacturer should have raised questions about the choice of cladding.

Or as the Grenfell Action Group puts it:

We believe the dangers of cladding must have been known by the Council and TMO technical staff involved in planning the Grenfell Tower ‘improvement works’ and by the contractor Rydon and sub-contractor who carried out the works and seems to have opted for cheaper highly flammable cladding.

Rydon insists it met “all required building control, fire regulation and health and safety standards”.

Everyone who signed off the project has questions to answer.

Lammy again:

When the truth comes out about this tragedy, we may find there is blood on the hands of a number of organisations. It is my grave concern that the families of Grenfell Tower will not get justice if documents are being quietly destroyed and shredded, and emails are being deleted.

Hopefully, further evidence will be found to explain more fully why the fire happened; and why so many people tragically lost their lives.

https://www.thecanary.co/2017/06/23/weve-been-investigating-evidence-grenfell-found-numbing/



 

Grenfell Tower gas pipes left exposed, despite fire safety expert’s orders

June 28 2017

Council expert said pipes serving flats must be protected with fire-retardant boxing but, by time of fire, two-thirds were still bare

Dozens of exposed gas pipes in Grenfell Tower that caused residents to fear for their safety were left bare despite a council safety expert ordering them to be protected by fire-retardant boxing.

The National Grid agreed to protect the pipes serving individual flats, which had been installed over the winter, but had only added a third of the boxing by the time the deadly blaze killed at least 79 people.

In March, three months before the blaze, residents told the London fire brigade (LFB) that people living in the 24-storey tower were so scared by the pipes “that they are having a panic attack”.

They requested an urgent safety report to show the building is “safe from fire hazard”, according to correspondence seen by the Guardian.

A fire safety consultant for Kensington and Chelsea council, which owns the tower, had approved the location of new gas risers and pipes in landings and stairways, but only if they were clad in “fire-rated” boxing, according to an email to leaseholders from Sacha Jevans, director of operations at the Kensington and Chelsea Tenant Management Organisation.

Jevans said that the National Grid assured the council on 27 March that the pipes would be protected, but two-thirds of the lateral pipes were still exposed when the disaster happened on 14 June.

The works were originally undertaken by the National Grid’s gas distribution arm following a leak. In March, the firm was sold to investors, including the Qatari government, and renamed Cadent Gas.

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2017/jun/27/grenfell-tower-gas-pipes-left-exposed-despite-fire-safety-experts-orders?CMP=Share_iOSApp_Other

Alex AndreouVerified account @sturdyAlex

Mr EthicalVerified account @nw_nicholas

From Boris Johnson’s sister

.thinks Theresa May is a victim of the fire as well.#GrenfellTower

@soundpolitic @soundpolitic


It’s a good job there isn’t a column where @BorisJohnson mocks health and safety
Dame Alun Roberts @ciabaudo

I wonder whether his mates likely to profit from laxer regulations wrote his script?

Health and safety fears are making Britain a safe place for extremely stupid people

Health and safety concerns are reducing life to mindless mayhem, complains Boris Johnson.

Witt UK Group
PSB UK Ltd recently handed over this prestigious project to J S Wright & Co Ltd for the new lobby smoke ventilation system.
Two other company names in relation to Grenfell

CFb9iW3UgAETiTd.jpg

Nick Paget-Brown with Princess Anne

Tory council leader reaches an all-time low and blames residents for the Grenfell fire [VIDEO]

 

It’s difficult to see how the Tories could sink much lower in their response to the Grenfell Tower disaster. The top of government failed to act on a safety review. The landlord ignored tenants’ warnings. Theresa May couldn’t even bring herself to meet residents. And now, the Conservative leader of Kensington and Chelsea Council,  Nick Paget-Brown, has managed to hit a new low, blaming residents for a sprinkler system not being installed.

https://www.thecanary.co/2017/06/16/tory-council-leader-reaches-an-all-time-low-and-blames-residents-for-the-grenfell-fire/

20 June 2017

The leader of Kensington and Chelsea offered to resign after the council was heavily criticised for its response to the Grenfell Tower disaster, the Standard has been told.

The town hall is also at the centre of a police investigation into the devastating inferno which is feared to have claimed the lives of at least 79 people.

Nicholas Paget-Brown is believed to have offered his resignation at a meeting of the council cabinet yesterday but it was unanimously rejected by fellow councillors.

http://www.standard.co.uk/news/london/council-leader-nicholas-pagetbrown-offers-to-quit-after-criticism-over-grenfell-tower-fire-a3569101.html

HannahJane Parkinson@ladyhaja

If K&C council is doing such a great job then why has Ealing council had to step in? Paget-Brown here, & fresh from blaming residents too

https://twitter.com/lilyallen/status/876442976351924224

Kensington council leader refuses to say if he will resign over Grenfell Tower fire, insisting response was ‘effective’

Nick Paget-Brown is told some people view Kensington and Chelsea as a ‘rich borough, represented by rich people who don’t care about the poor, have contempt for poor people’

The leader of Kensington and Chelsea Council has refused to say whether he will resign amid criticism of the local authority’s response to the Grenfell Tower disaster.

Nicholas Paget-Brown, a Conservative, also insisted there had been an “effective” relief effort to help those made homeless by the fire which swept through the block of flats, killing at least 58 people.

He made the claim despite Theresa May saying the “support on the ground for families who needed help or basic information … was not good enough” and criticism from Jeremy Corbyn that the “wealthiest borough in the country” appeared to lack the necessary resources to deal with the crisis.

Asked on BBC Radio 4’s World at One programme if he was going to resign, Mr Paget-Brown said this was “not a matter for now”.

Kensington and Chelsea Council has faced criticism over its decision to build up a reserve fund of £274m. The shadow Communities Secretary, Andrew Gwynne, told The Independent the council needed to “immediately explain itself” over why the funds were not used to ensure safe housing.

But Mr Paget-Brown told World at One that this money was used to “invest in new facilities” in the area, such as a new academy for local children, new leisure centres and upgraded housing

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/grenfell-tower-fire-kensington-chelsea-council-leader-nick-paget-brown-resign-effective-response-a7796236.html

Grenfell figures reveal social housing shortage amid glut of empty luxury property

Kensington housing crisis revealed by Grenfell fire deaths 

THE WEALTHY BOROUGH of Kensington and Chelsea, where the disastrous Grenfell Tower fire disaster took place, represents the extreme segregation of UK housing policy, according to new figures released by researchers. 

There are 1,399 vacant dwellings are in the borough according to Kensington and Chelsea council research, with many properties linked to offshore tax haven ownership – the mechanism of the property speculation industry. 

While many of these buildings have been left empty, accruing value for their corporate owners, the public housing stock has been left to deteriorate or be sold off. Ben Kentish, journalist at the Independent, said: “Kensington and Chelsea Council cares so much about social homes that it’s built just 10 – yes 10 – of them in the last 28 years.

“To those saying there’s no room to build, in the same period private property developers built 4060 homes in the borough. The council built 10.”

Yet despite being one of the wealthiest areas in the world, the council has been unable to confirm that surviving victims of the Grenfell Tower fire will be rehoused locally.

Residents and tenant’s groups had been warning of the possibility of such a tragedy for years, but it appears that not only were these warnings ignored, but steps were taken to actively silence the tenants calling for action regarding the safety of the building.

Housing is a human right and last night’s tragic event further highlights the need for housing to be run for the benefit of all, rather than for private profit. We call for tenants to no longer be silenced and to be actively involved in decisions about the safety and maintenance of their homes.”

https://www.commonspace.scot/articles/11198/grenfell-figures-reveal-social-housing-shortage-amid-glut-empty-luxury-property

The UK has some of the highest levels of hunger and deprivation among the world’s richest nations. One in three children in the country is in what Unicef calls “multi-dimensional poverty”: that’s deprivation in housing but also in clothes, social activities and food. This is the reality told by countless organisations on the ground: social workers, nurses, welfare rights advisers and debt charities.

Austerity is more than simply citizens in hardship: it’s the wilful abandonment of the government’s duty to help. Kensington and Chelsea council – the Conservative council responsible for Grenfell – for its part is sitting on £274m in reserves, according to the latest accounts.

While poor children in the borough fell below the breadline – and Grenfell residents slept in a tower without sprinklers – the council handed £100 council tax rebates to millionaires.

Tenants are said to be being told they will be rehoused as far away as Preston and threatened with being declared “intentionally homeless” if they refuse – meaning that Kensington and Chelsea council will have no duty to house them.

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/jun/22/grenfell-people-die-housing-inequality-austerity?CMP=share_btn_tw

Tory councillor who oversaw Grenfell Tower refurb

rock.jpeg

Rock Feilding-Mellen

24 JUN 2017

Rock Feilding-Mellen, Cabinet Member for Housing and deputy leader of Kensington and Chelsea Borough Council

Tory councillor for Housing in Kensington & Chelsea + private property developer Rock Fielding-Mellen is where the buck stops with Grenfell Tower. He ignored complaints and cut corners when signing off the redevelopment. He has personal interests in gentrifying the borough.

link

Rocky’s lack of experience in ‘matters housing.’

Image result for Rock Feilding-Mellen

For some years, he and his two partners have struggled to make a go of pretentiously named development company, Socially Conscious Capital.
Though it pretends to be something ethical it is, by any other name, a developer.

It has just two failing projects:

Longniddry, East Lothian
Racecourse Plantations

The Socially Conscious Capital website spouts a lot of nonsense about ‘working with the community’.
Sadly, it seems not to be working. Read the waffle HERE
Longniddy is owned by Rocky’s stepfather, the affable and kind-hearted Earl of Wemyss & March, so you would think getting the yokels to ‘engage’ with Rocky would be a cinch….not so!
With one voice they told Rocky they needed him like a hole in the head telling him to take himself back south.
Local reports suggest that Rocky flew into a major tantrum.

So what about Racecourse Plantations?
Sadly, Rocky seems again to have evoked the wrath of the local bumpkins. Though not mentioned on the website, it seems his attempt to build 390 socially conscious housing units on ancient woodlands got kicked into touch.
You can  read about it HERE
So not much of a record for persuading local and yokels to take him seriously!

And this leads us on to the PROBLEM.

Image result for Rock Feilding-Mellen

Rocky has Borough responsibility for housing and regeneration.
There are two solid reasons why he is ill-equipped for the role.
1. He pisses off those he is supposed to be persuading by constantly losing his temper when thwarted or challenged
2. His private business track record to date is risible.

Oddly, the website says this about Rocky’s local government expertise. Frankly, he should not be mixing up his roles in this way: it looks as if he is using his council job to aid his private business.

Political: local planning authorities – who set the planning policies and ultimately make the decisions – are political organisations. It’s therefore necessary to understand the local political climate when putting together a proposal. 
Rock Feilding-Mellen, who has over eight years’ experience as a local government Councillor, applies his knowledge of local politics to guiding the planning strategy for our sites.

A casual read suggests Rocky’s local government housing experience is an advantage…
Based on the record, not for Socially Conscious Capital……

http://fromthehornetsnest.blogspot.com/2015/12/rock-feilding-mellen-two-jobssame.html

Will RBKC Investigate Rock Feilding-Mellen?

Image result for Rock Feilding-Mellen

It is the belief of many in our community that Cllr Rock Feilding-Mellen may be inappropriately using his position of power on the Council for his personal benefit. In the Grenfell Action Group we share those concerns. We believe that Cllr Feilding-Mellen had prior knowledge of the detail of the Council’s forward planning for the regeneration of the Latimer area, and we believe his decision to purchase his current residence in Bramley Road may have been made in anticipation of the likely increase in the value of that property as a direct consequence of the Council’s regeneration policy, over which he now exercises considerable power and influence as Cabinet Member for Housing, Property and Regeneration.

We believe that the the purchase price of the property bought by Cllr Feilding-Mellen would have reflected the fact that this area of North Kensington has long suffered from under-investment and, as a result, house prices at the time of his decision to buy would have been considerably lower than in other more affluent areas of the borough. We therefore believe that Cllr Feilding-Mellen has a strong personal motive to push forward with plans for the regeneration of the social housing estates that surround his property, as the ‘gentrification’ of the area will inevitably lead to a steep rise in property prices, and a significant increase in the value of his own property.

We do not believe that Cllr Feilding-Mellen will be incentivised to properly consider the objections of local residents of social housing estates who oppose plans to demolish their homes and we believe that he has a direct and significant conflict of interest as he seeks to apply RBKC legislation that would see the destruction of the social housing estates surrounding his property, the displacement of working class communities resulting from the increased ‘gentrification’ of the area, and a consequent significant increase in the value of his own property in Bramley Road.

We also have concerns about the several small companies declared by Cllr Feilding-Mellen on the RBKC register of members interests. Two of these companies are registered at his address in Bramley Road. Neither appears to be profitable or to be engaged in any actual business worthy of note. One of the companies in question, VIMV2 LLP, has existed as a small company  for several years but appears never to have declared a profit, and despite having assets of nearly £6million, it appears currently to be £122,000 in the red. The very existence of these companies therefore raises questions as to their possible purpose. Might they exist primarily in anticipation of emerging opportunities for property speculation in the Latimer area, or perhaps in other parts of the borough, the redevelopment of which Cllr Feilding-Mellen will oversee as Cabinet Member for Housing Property and Regeneration? We simply don’t know, but we believe we have a right to be concerned, and to raise those concerns with the Council.

We believe that residents are entitled to be reassured by RBKC that Cllr Feilding-Mellen will be recused from any decision making process involving housing regeneration from which he stands to profit personally. We are also seeking reassurances that neither he nor the companies in which he has an interest will be permitted to buy or sell property in areas of the Royal Borough subject to regeneration or likely to become so.

On 23rd March we made a formal complaint to the RBKC Chief Solicitor and Monitoring Officer, LeVerne Parker, requesting that the issues detailed above be investigated as a matter of urgency and seeking reassurances that Cllr Feilding-Mellen’s personal and business interests would not be allowed to influence decisions concerning plans to ‘regenerate’ RBKC social housing estates. We received the following initial response from Ms Parker;

“I acknowledge receipt of your complaint of today’s date.

Although your complaint does not expressly refer to it being a complaint alleging that Cllr Feilding-Mellen has breached the Members’ Code of Conduct, as your complaint is about an elected councillor, I will deal with it as such and I attach a copy of the Council’s procedures for dealing with code of conduct complaints.

As the first step I am required to consider whether your complaint merits formal investigation and the attached document sets out the criteria I will take into account in coming to my decision. I will also consult the Independent Person and the Chairman of the Audit and Transparency Committee.

I will advise you of my decision on or before 3 May 2016 but, if you have any queries in the meantime, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Yours sincerely…”

https://grenfellactiongroup.wordpress.com/2016/04/17/will-rbkc-investigate-rock-feilding-mellen/

RBKC Declines to Investigate Rock Feilding-Mellen

 Rock Basil Hugo Feilding Mellen (born 1979)

Londoner’s Diary: K&C’s deputy Rock Feilding-Mellen avoids bash at his family estate

Kensington and Chelsea council deputy avoids step-sister’s aristo party

KENSINGTON and Chelsea council’s Rock Feilding-Mellen has made one correct call since the Grenfell Tower fire. He decided not to head to his family home, Stanway House in Gloucestershire, for a wild weekend of partying with the aristo-boho set.

Feilding-Mellen is deputy leader of the council and cabinet member for housing, property and regeneration, with a brief covering the Grenfell Tower but he’s also part of a social set a world apart.

This weekend was the 30th birthday of his step-sister Mary Charteris, model and member of the band The Big Pink with her husband Robbie Furze, held at Stanway.

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Party time: birthday girl Mary Charteris and friends. @georgianahuddart

He had been expected to go home at the weekend to party but, after Wednesday, he told his friends that is just wouldn’t be right. One friend tells us he was “shattered” by what happened.

It would have made “bad optics”, as they say, had Rocky been seen knocking back champagne with his family and friends. Those who did go to Mary’s party included Cara Delevingne, actor Jaime Winstone and aristos including Scarlett Spencer-Churchill.

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A dawn walk, with Cara Delevingne in yellow. @felixradford

There is a video online of Cara driving to Gloucestershire in a Range Rover. Pictures of the all-night garden party appeared on Instagram this weekend.

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The morning after. @jonte0

Rocky’s mother Amanda is married to James Charteris, the Earl of Wemyss and March. Mary is the daughter of James from his first marriage to Catherine Guinness. Stanway is the family house, set in 5,000 acres with a 300ft single jet fountain, the tallest gravity fountain in the world.

A rather different sort of estate to those in North Kensington.

http://www.standard.co.uk/news/londoners-diary/londoners-diary-kc-s-deputy-rock-feildingmellen-avoids-bash-at-his-family-estate-a3568101.html

Rockn Feilding-Mellen’s mother:

The Feilding family is descended from the House of Habsburg

The crackpot countess (who drills holes in her head to get high) using £550,000 of YOUR cash to prove magic mushrooms are healthy

  • Countess of Wemyss and March – aka ‘Lady Mindbender’ – is best known for her belief in the health benefits of magic mushrooms
  • She set up Beckley foundation in 1998 to campaign for legalisation of drugs
  • On committee is Prof David Nutt, who was sacked as Government’s drug tsar in 2009 for claiming Ecstasy was less dangerous than horse riding

 

Eccentricity seems to run in the family.

Amanda’s father, an art and antiques-loving country squire called Basil, married his own cousin, Peggy. Together, they inherited Beckley from his parents. And into this rose pink home in January 1943, Amanda was born.

Old Etonian and Oxford graduate, Joe Mellen — who also swore by trepanning, and he became Amanda’s next lover, as well as father of her two sons Rock and Cosmo.

Wemyss, an Oxford don who once taught Bill Clinton, was known for hosting amazing parties at Stanway, his Jacobean stately home in Gloucestershire, which made boho-aristo groupies like Mick Jagger go weak at the knees.

There were plenty with his first wife Catherine Guinness and he continued the pattern with his new countess. The most memorable of these parties took place last year when Neidpath’s bombshell daughter Mary Charteris, married a pop musician called Robbie Furze.

The event, described as ‘the maddest wedding of the year’, was attended by Jerry Hall and her daughter Georgia May Jagger, and the supermodel Delevingne sisters. The bride wore a very revealing dress; the ring bearer was a dog.

Yet despite this decadence, since setting up her foundation she has travelled the world enlisting the support of presidents, made depositions to the House of Lords, and collected big-name scientists around her.

Even proof that this theory was bunkum hasn’t put Amanda or her circle off — hence the £550,000 grant to investigate magic mushrooms.

It is clear, too, that her interest in drugs has been handed down the generations. In 2011, Amanda’s younger son Cosmo, 28, made a film, Breaking The Taboo, which was financed by Sam Branson, son of Richard, and argues that criminalisation of drugs isn’t working.

Nor was the family’s fervent belief in the legalisation of drugs dented by a tragic reminder of the dangers of drugs that came in 2004.

Robert Hesketh, who Catherine Guinness had married after her divorce from Lord Neidpath, died at the age of 48, with a cocktail of alcohol, heroin and cocaine in his blood.

Nothing, not even tragedy, could put off the Countess of Wemyss from espousing the benefits of illegal substances and mind-bending mushrooms.

Amanda Feilding, Countess of Wemyss and March, is an English artist, scientist, and drug policy reformer. In 1998, she founded the Beckley Foundation, a charitable trust that promotes a rational, evidence-based approach to global drug policy policies and initiates, directs and supports pioneering neuroscientific and clinical research into the effects of psychoactive substances on the brain and cognition. The central aims of her research are to investigate new avenues of treatment for mental illnesses such as depression, anxiety, and addiction, as well as to explore methods of enhancing well-being and creativity.

London fire: It could take two years to rehouse Grenfell Tower victims, councillor says

The deputy leader of Kensington and Chelsea Council, Rock Feilding-Mellen has admitted to the BBC that it could take up to two years to rehouse all the victims of Grenfell Tower.

Mr Feilding-Mellen said the first priority was to get the families out of hotels and into temporary accommodation before trying to find them a more permanent home.

The council said it had provided hotel accommodation for all those families that had lived in Grenfell Tower that had contacted it.

http://www.bbc.com/news/av/uk-england-london-40300517/london-fire-it-could-take-two-years-to-rehouse-grenfell-tower-victims-councillor-says

Paul Mason‏ @paulmasonnews

Why is RBKC Tory housing chief Rock Feilding-Mellen still in post? Clear evidence from TMO email: cost pressures led to cladding switch


Insurance – follow the money:

some more background

http://www.insuranceinsider.com/search?term=grenfell

Truthseeker1‏ @thewakeupcall09

RBKC switched insurance providers about three months before the fire

Zurich had been charging an annual premium of £680,000 according to The Times

Anthony John Wixted‏ @TrojanManifesto

Are you suggesting the Swiss company Zurich might have pulled out of the deal due to safety fears???

Truthseeker1‏ @thewakeupcall09

It believe it was due to the type of policy that they covered, whereby Zurich did not.

How many other local council buildings in the uk are insured by Protector Forsikring???

Zurich Insurance Group employ some of the best researchers in the world…

..and if we found out so much about Grenfell Tower within 24 hours then ZIG knew it months ago…

Am I right in assuming that Protector Forsikring wont have to pay a penny because landlords,contractors and councils acted negligently???

 

ZED 🤐 @ZedTrafficker

 

The Council changed their Insurance – Set to gain the biggest payout of £1 Billion

And *uck all mention of Grenfell Tower in the queens speech…. Forgotten already

SilverLining @Ev3ryCloud

Said it all before, it covers re-housing & council will be profiteers, not the residents. More than shocking!

#Justice4Grenfell

Norwegian insurer Protector Forsikring initially revealed that last week’s Grenfell Tower fire could lead to an insurance bill of more than £25 million – but now the total payout is estimated to be as high as £1 billion.   

This could be Europe’s single biggest building insurance payout, according to a report by Sputnik. It said The Times estimated the total bill, with eventual cost depending on the number of fatalities, the price of demolishing and rebuilding the property, and the litigation.

Protector Forsikring’s chief executive Sverre Bjerkeli previously said the firm expects its Munich Re-handled reinsurance program to pick up “almost the entire cost” from the blaze. According to a Reuters report, the Norwegian insurer, which has a presence in Manchester, wrote the policy for the Grenfell Tower for about £20 million.

Kensington and Chelsea Council, which owns the freehold of the tower, reportedly switched insurance providers about three months before the fire that the Metropolitan Police said has left 79 people missing as of June 19.

Swiss company Zurich was named as the original insurer of Grenfell Tower, with Kensington and other boroughs picking Protector Forsikring supposedly to save money. The Norwegian firm was said to be charging a much lower annual premium, according to Sputnik.

Meanwhile, the Kensington and Chelsea Tenant Management Organisation (KCTMO) is being blamed for having used cladding with a polyethylene core – a factor cited in the spread of flames.

KCTMO, which managed the Grenfell Tower on behalf of the local government, allegedly ignored fire safety concerns raised by residents and experts as early as 2004.

http://www.insurancebusinessmag.com/uk/news/breaking-news/grenfell-tower-insurance-bill-could-be-europes-biggest-ever–reports-71072.aspx

Swiss company Zurich was named as the original insurer of Grenfell Tower, with Kensington and other boroughs picking Protector Forsikring supposedly to save money. The Norwegian firm was said to be charging a much lower annual premium, according to Sputnik.

Larry Silverstein/Zurich : in a crowning touch of irony, Zurich American Insurance Companies, one of the insurers that fought Silverstein tooth-and-nail over his 9/11 claims, wound up taking three floors at 4 WTC this August.

https://www.wtc.com/media/news/15-years-after-911-larry-silverstein-finally-recreated-wtc

Silverstein angled for an even larger payout from the insurance companies but was unsuccessful. It is known that the insurers conducted their own investigations of the culprits behind 9/11, which may have yielded different conclusions than those reached by the U.S. 9/11 Commission.

https://www.wtc.com/media/news/15-years-after-911-larry-silverstein-finally-recreated-wtc


Amid renewed public interest in determining the identities of all the culprits behind the 9/11 attacks, comes word that a second executive with one of the World Trade Center’s insurers has died from “suicide.”

Zurich Insurance Group’s former CEO Martin Senn was reported to have shot himself at his vacation home near Davos in Switzerland. No suicide note was found by police. Senn resigned as CEO of the insurance giant last December after the company experienced losses from the still-unexplained large explosions in Tianjin, China, last August.

In August 2013, Zurich Insurance’s then-chief financial officer, Pierre Wauthier, was found hanging at his home in Walchwil, in the canton of Zug, Switzerland, not far from Zurich. Wauthier previously worked for JPMorgan Chase. Police said the hanging “pointed to” a suicide. The insurance company conducted an investigation and determined that Wauthier was not suffering from stress as Swiss police contended.

In January 2014, Tim Dickenson, the communications director for Swiss Re, another World Trade Center insurer, died from unexplained causes in London. Swiss Re was one of the firms that experienced suspicious put options on its stock prior to 9/11 and which went toe-to-toe with World Trade Center lessee Larry Silverstein on settling insurance claims. Swiss Re, like Zurich Insurance, conducted its own investigation of 9/11 and both companies indicated that Silverstein was using the attacks and destruction of the WTC to bilk the insurance companies and make a handsome profit.

http://www.intrepidreport.com/archives/18295


David LammyVerified account @DavidLammy

Hearing that Grenfell Tower survivors not wanting to be rehoused elsewhere eg in Preston (over 200 miles away) are being threatened

with being declared “intentionally homeless”, which in reality means the council won’t help them get rehoused. Absolutely despicable.

Intentionally homeless = the council does not have legal duty to rehouse you. How can your home burning down = intentionally homeless


Andrea Davison @beforethestars

That was always the Tory rich intention get them out of prime land and put in Tory voters


Kabir Ali CTA @KabirAli_KBR

Social cleansing of London been happening for a while now. It’s now under the spotlight due to Grenfell. Community means nothing to Tories


Scott Nelson @SocialistVoice


London is being socially cleansed of working class people to make way for the likes of the toffee-nosed snobs in Kensington #GrenfellTower



TM @cedawnow

Has Jeremy Corbyn struck a Faustian pact with Labour’s gentrification-happy local councillors?

In his conference speech in Liverpool, the Labour leader railed against the housing crisis. “Look what’s happening to housing under the Tories… council homes are sold off without being replaced,” he said. But weirdly, he didn’t find time in his speech to criticise Labour councils such as Lambeth, Hackney and Southwark for doing just that.

Quite the opposite. In a gambit aimed at stopping his party’s desperate civil war, he said: “Across the country, Labour councils are putting Labour values into action, in a way that makes a real difference to millions of people, despite cynical government funding cuts that have hit Labour councils five times as hard as Tory-run areas. It is a proud Labour record, and each and every Labour councillor deserves our heartfelt thanks for the work they do.”


OFFICIAL – RBKC ADMITS ‘SOCIAL CLEANSING’ PLANS

press-release-banner

press-release

https://www.rbkc.gov.uk/press-release/royal-borough-assigns-£10m-purchase-homes-temporary-accommodation

The Grenfell Action Group has repeatedly accused the Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea of despising the unemployed and the low-paid as an underclass which it would rather see removed completely from the Rotten Borough. The above press statement from Kensington and Chelsea Council may well be the first concrete evidence that our accusations have been well founded, and it confirms that ‘social cleansing’ is now an active policy which will soon be implemented by the Neo-Con Monsters in Hornton Street.

Back in early 2013 the Hornet”s Nest website revealed that Derek Myers (RBKC Chief Executive at the time) and Laura Johnson (Director of Housing) had been meeting with senior Councillors and Officers from Peterborough Borough Council to explore the possibility of RBKC shipping homeless families from the RBKC waiting list out to Peterborough.

This shameful plan involved RBKC buying land to build ‘barracks for the poor’ in Peterborough to which RBKC could move anyone on their housing register to a ‘Cockell New Town’ in Cambridgeshire.

http://fromthehornetsnest.blogspot.co.uk/2013/02/a-dangerous-pairing.html
http://fromthehornetsnest.blogspot.co.uk/2013/06/mr-myers-mixes-it-in-peterborough.html

At the time, these discussions apparently failed, partly due, no doubt, to the storm of adverse publicity created when the Hornet, and the Peterborough local press, both blew the whistle on it. However it has now become clear that RBKC have since continued to actively pursue this approach to solving the local social housing ‘problem’, and have now implemented the first stage of what is effectively a ‘social cleansing’ policy. This brings the nightmare scenario of largescale ‘social cleansing’ a step closer to reality.

The latest RBKC plan to use Council funds to purchase property outside London is evidence that ‘social cleansing’ is an active policy of RBKC and that our Councillors have a will to displace the poor and vulnerable out of the Rotten Borough to make way for spiv property developers and ‘buy to leave’ speculators. The references in the press release to ‘temporary accomodation’ are, of course, effectively meaningless as the Council has no intention of ever increasing the stock of social rented housing.

So far they have only allocated £10 million for this nefarious scheme, which appears to be targetted at homeless families on the housing waiting list. We all know, and the Council admits, that such a meagre budget will buy only a very limited number of properties, so we must assume that this is just a pilot scheme which is likely to be expanded if it proves successful from the perspective of the councillors and council officers responsible. We should also be mindful that what they now represent as an opportunity to house those in greatest need, may well be expanded to later include those targetted for decanting to make way for the mass regeneration projects that we now know are in the pipeline.

We have already seen social cleansing in operation elsewhere in London, notably in Brent, Southwark. Hackney, and Haringey. Make no mistake, your home and your tenancy are no longer safe, and we advise all social housing tenants, in this most rotten of boroughs, to treat all statements, reassurances or promises made by councillors or officers of RBKC with extreme caution. We call on all social housing residents to wake up to the likely implications of this new policy. Spread the word to your neighbours. There is no time to waste and we need to start organising and taking action now to protect our homes, our communities and our tenancies.

N.B. This story has been picked up by the Guardian this weekend in an article that indicts both RBKC and Westminster, which has implemented a virtually identical ‘social cleansing’ policy. Read more here:

http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2015/aug/02/london-social-housing-kensington-chelsea-rising-prices

Grenfell Tower residents condemn ‘invisible’ estate managers

Group of victims, residents, community leaders and volunteers has criticised the Kensington and Chelsea Tenant Management Organisation.

June 18 2017

Residents who met the Prime Minister in Downing Street following the Grenfell Tower fire have criticised estate managers of the building as having been “invisible in the aftermath of the tragedy”.

“With the exception of very few junior officers, the estate managers have been invisible in the aftermath of the tragedy.”

The group, which spent two-and-a-half hours with Mrs May on Friday and Saturday, hit out at the “longstanding neglect” of council buildings in the area.



This letter sent by Kensington and Chelsea’s council leader, Nick Paget-Brown, to residents in 2014 will absolutely infuriate you.

James O’Brien was absolutely horrified at the discovery of a letter sent by Kensington and Chelsea’s Tory Council Leader, Nick Paget-Brown in 2014 to rich local residents. 

On his LBC show, James shared with his listeners the letter sent by Mr Paget-Brown, to residents living in the borough where the Grenfell Tower took place.

He said: “OK are you ready for this? In 2014, the leader of Kensington and Chelsea council, Nicholas Paget-Brown, wrote to all residents to pay their council tax in full.

“I think everybody in Kensington and Chelsea are going to be in the top band, aren’t they, for council tax nationally speaking? I can’t imagine there are many properties in that area that don’t fall into the top council tax band, so low is it, it has never been raised since it was introduced.

“Anyone who had paid their council tax in full, I think in the top band, received a letter from the leader of the Kensington and Chelsea council explaining that they would all receive, you might want to sit down for this…I suspect this letter dropped through the letter boxes of Kensington and Chelsea residents, residents of the richest borough in the country, the richest residents, of the richest country, received this letter at about the time catastrophic cladding was being attached to the side of a tower block.”

The letter said that theses residents would receive a one-off payment of £100 to be deducted from their council tax bill. 

James went on: “The bonus was due to the council’s ‘careful management of its finances’ over the years. This, while…catastrophic cladding was being stuck to the side of the building in order to save five grand. Wow.”

http://www.lbc.co.uk/news/london/west/kensington-chelsea/grenfell-tower-fire/letter-sent-by-kensington-council-leader-infuriate/

bpanews_266f00e6-ffe6-48c0-9881-7e128bbbed15_embedded655210

http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/uk/grenfell-tower-residents-condemn-invisible-estate-managers-35839173.html


Pilgrim Tucker @PilgrimTucker

Its time the media started applying some scrutiny to senior councillors and their relationships with property developers


Truthseeker1 @thewakeupcall09

Glenn Woodhead Innovations and Solutions Manager at Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea


SilverLining @Ev3ryCloud

How MANY involved?


 

THERESA May has ordered a full public inquiry into the Grenfell Tower disaster as the Government vowed that “no stone will be left unturned” to get to the truth about what happened.

 

Dame Alun Roberts @ciabaudo

 

Is ‘No stone will be left unturned’ secret code for ‘Let the coverup begin’?


 Grenfell Towers

Rachael @Rachael_Swindon

This afternoon Theresa May is making time to meet with the DUP. She didn’t have time for the residents of though. Disgusted.

David Lammy@DavidLammy

Joel Benjamin @Gian_TCatt

Appears #GrenfellTower residents complained TIMBER battens were used to fix cladding to the building exterior. Who inspected the works..?!

 

CharlieBoab @VanCharleston

 Will there be a 27 year #GrenfellTower cover up “advanced in the committee rooms of the Hse of Commons & the press rooms of 10 Downing St?”
Dame Alun Roberts
Glad to see so many people on social media researching background to London fire. I do not trust public inquiries by the likes of PM May.
 If CSA inquiry is anything to go by, inquiry is just another word for slow, gradual coverup.
 
Vicount Ian Kerr CGC @IanKerr
Chilcot….Taylor Report…Lord Saville and Bloody Sunday.
The Royal Borough will be granted Core Participant Status, and we know what that means.

The Grenfell Tower residents saw this tragedy coming, but were repeatedly ignored. Was it because they were poor?

June 14 2017

In a frighteningly prescient post titled Playing With Fire, the Grenfell residents’ association wrote in 2016 that ‘a serious fire in the tower block’ with a catastrophic loss of life would be the only way they could bring the company managing the building ‘to justice’

http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/grenfell-tower-fire-kensington-london-residents-kctmo-council-contract-ignored-poor-a7789276.html

Labour Insider @Labour_Insider

Robert Black is the Chief Executive of . He is reported to earn £160,000 a year and lives in a £1 million house.

Photo published for Answers needed over Grenfell Tower fire

 

Two #GrenfellTower women -now feared dead- were ‘threatened with legal action’ for raising alarm about fire safety

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/grenfell-tower-fire-london-dead-legal-action-campaign-fire-safety-mariem-elgwahry-nadia-choucair-a7795586.html

Two women feared dead in Grenfell Tower tragedy were threatened with legal action – after raising alarm about fire safety

Mariem Elgwahry and Nadia Choucair were branded ‘troublemakers’ because they campaigned to make their homes safer

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/politics/two-women-feared-dead-grenfell-10640944

gag BANNER

The Grenfell Action Group was formed in 2010 to oppose the KALC project and defend the rights of the residents of Lancaster West Estate, a sprawling inner-city housing estate of nearly a thousand dwellings, mostly working class, multi-cultural and multi-ethnic.

History – From Core Strategy to Kensington Academy

Image result for lancaster green london

The people of Lancaster West stood to lose a great deal to this massive over-development at the heart of our estate, not least the well-loved and well-used open-space of Lancaster Green, the defence and protection of which was one of our primary aims.

Chapter 23 of the Core Strategy deals with the site allocation for the Kensington Academy and Leisure Centre development (Policy CA 4). The site is comprised of two land parcels, the first of which already hosts the Kensington Leisure Centre. This area is earmarked in the Core Strategy for a rebuilt or redeveloped leisure centre on the same footprint, more or less, as the existing structure. The second adjoining land parcel is earmarked for a new secondary school, the proposed Kensington Aldridge Academy.

The Kensington Academy and Leisure Centre (KALC) project was destined to become one of the biggest and most ambitious development projects sponsored by Kensington and Chelsea Council in recent times. An application for planning permission was submitted in May 2012 and was duly approved. Demolition and excavation to prepare the site for development began as soon as planning permission was granted.

Lancaster Green. Approximately 40% of the proposed academy site was composed of open green space which included footpaths, grassed areas, flowering shrubs, and a significant number of mature trees. Lancaster Green, as it was called, had been designated, for a number of years, as one of the Council’s local parks. It was listed as a park on the Council’s website and was marked as a park by an official Council signnpost. It was listed in the Council’s ‘Open Space Audit’ (2004), as the ‘Grenfell Tower Amenity Space’ (4350 sq metres), and was listed in the ‘Parks Strategy’ (2010) as the ‘Lancaster West Secondary Park’.

Although managed by the Council’s Parks Department the legal status of Lancaster Green was actually more complicated than this would suggest. A Title Review of the proposed KALC site, carried out by the Council’s Legal Services Department in June 2010, revealed that both Lancaster Green and the Grenfell Tower Playground area were covered by the same title deed as the adjoining part of Lancaster West Estate, and therefore properly belonged to Lancaster West Estate, rather than the Sports Centre. This was a clear indication that both Lancaster Green and the playground area were originally created as essential amenity space for Lancaster West residents. These amenity spaces were particularly important to Grenfell Tower residents, who have no balconies or private amenity space, and whose public areas receive no natural light. It is noteworthy also that Lancaster West Estate is generally deficient in playspace, and the open space in the western part of the proposed KALC site, including the sports pitches, had always served to mitigate that deficiency.

https://grenfellactiongroup.wordpress.com/beginnings-3/

Image result for lancaster green london

Site of former Lancaster Green – Kensington Aldridge Academy

https://companycheck.co.uk/company/07702460/KENSINGTON-ALDRIDGE-ACADEMY/companies-house-data?cct_source=192&cct_medium=website&action=buyReport

Grenfell Tower fire

The flammable cladding encasing the exterior of Grenfell Tower played a major part in spreading and accelerating what began as a single dwelling fire with such rapidity that the entire interior of the 24 storey building became a raging inferno in less than an hour. It is incumbent on us also to state our firmly held belief that the cladding in question was not introduced for the benefit of the residents of Grenfell Tower but because Kensington and Chelsea Council had redeveloped the surounding area, building another of their flagship academy schools right next to Grenfell Tower, and a new sports and leisure centre next to that.

 

The cladding on Grenfell Tower was intended to pimp it up so that it wouldn’t spoil the image of creeping gentrification that the Council are intent on creating, here and throughout the rest of North Kensington.

https://grenfellactiongroup.wordpress.com/

One of Grenfell’s Tower’s two escape routes was blocked up because of academy

Residents of the Grenfell Tower area have alleged that one of Grenfell Tower’s two escape routes had been permanently closed after the construction of the Kensington Aldridge Academy. The academy, which opened in the autumn of 2014, is currently closed because of its proximity to the scene of Wednesday’s terrible fire.

Photo published for “One of #Grenfell’s two escape routes was blocked up because of academy”

Local people told the SKWAWKBOX on Sunday that there were two exits from the block, but that one had been shut up – and that older residents of the Tower may have died because they went to the blocked exit in the confusion of the blaze, instead of the one that remained usable.

Residents of the area also alleged that the academy has the same type of exterior cladding that was used on Grenfell Tower and that the decision to use it on the high-rise may have been driven by a desire to bring the appearance of the tower block more into line with that of the new academy.

The cladding on the academy can be seen in the image below:

 

Kensington-Academy1.jpg

There appears to be no ill-will or blame toward the academy on the part of local residents and indeed staff from the school, which remains closed, have been participating in the relief effort. However, there is considerably anger about the planning decisions that led to it being sited so close to Grenfell Tower and to the closure of the exit.

One resident told this blog,

How can you put a building so close that you have to close one of only two ways out? It’s bad enough that there was only one staircase for 600 people in that building, but closing one of the exit doors as well? They were treated like cattle.

Some of the older people still got confused and tried to use the old door sometimes. Can you imagine if that happened on Wednesday?

If the assertions of local people are correct, they must raise serious concerns about the council’s planning decisions and their contribution to last Wednesday’s terrible events.

https://skwawkbox.org/2017/06/19/one-of-grenfells-two-escape-routes-was-blocked-up-because-of-academy/amp/

Rod Aldridge, founder of the Aldridge Foundation and Capita

Sir Rodney Aldridge –  Dedicated to helping disadvantaged young people

Rod Aldridge is also a trustee of the Prince’s Trust, chairing a scheme to help children who have dropped out of school.

Leaving school at 16 with a handful of O-levels, Aldridge got a job in the post room at his local county council.

Sir Rod Aldridge speaking at the Topping Out

Kensington Aldridge Academy Reaches Major Milestone

28 January 2014

Bouygues UK celebrated the construction of the Kensington Aldridge Academy in west London reaching its highest point recently, with an official “Topping out” ceremony.

The event was attended by Chairman of the Academy’s lead sponsor the Aldridge Foundation, Sir Rod Aldridge, the Mayor of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, Councillor Charles Williams, and Leader of the Council, Councillor Nicholas Paget-Brown.

http://b4ed.com/Article/aldridge_academy_reaches_milestone

link

The government’s controversial academy programme is not universally welcomed by parents concerned that their children’s education is being transferred from state to philanthropist.

As a public figure associated with the Labour government – he retired after negative publicity surrounding a £1m loan he made to the party, and chairs a youth volunteering programme launched by Gordon Brown

Education Portslade county school for boys; qualified as a chartered public accountant, 1970

Career 2006-present: founder and chair, the Aldridge Foundation; 1984-July 2006: founder and chair, The Capita Group plc; 1974-84: technical director, Chartered Institute of Public Finance; 1972-74: assistant treasurer, Crawley council; 1969-72: senior accountant, Brighton council; 1963-69: postboy and then junior posts in payroll section and audit department, East Sussex county council

Public life Chair of dance working group, Department of Health; youth volunteering charity, v; The Lowry and User Voice

Interests Family, golf, Sussex county cricket club, Chelsea FC and Brighton and Hove Albion FC

https://www.theguardian.com/society/2009/aug/05/rod-aldridge-entrepreneurship-mobility-capita

01 Feb 2003

Capita is the biggest contractor of government services. It collects television licence fees and council tax payments, and runs depart- ments, divisions and government programmes.

It runs the Criminal Records Bureau and, last autumn, schools stayed shut as it tried to work through every school employee in the country to see whether they had any criminal record.

‘Our contract was with the Home Office. The procedure was agreed, and that’s what we were doing. The education minister decided we had to do a full check on teachers. Nobody discussed that with us. I’m not even sure they discussed it with the Home Office.’

http://www.managementtoday.co.uk/mt-interview-rod-aldridge/article/412371

Labour donor landed role as adviser to Brown thanks to ‘dirty secret’

3 November 2006

rodPA031106_228x251.jpg

Mr Aldridge: boss of Capita, which has been awarded billions of pounds of public sector contracts under Labour

A millionaire businessman who secretly loaned £1 million to the Labour Party was recruited to head a flagship Government project by one of his own companies.

Official documents show civil servants regarded the process used for the appointment of Rod Aldridge as head of a £150 million youth community service scheme as a ‘dirty secret’.

After inquiries were made about it, one emailed another warning: ‘Our dirty secret is out – would you like to deal?’

The documents, released under freedom of information laws, reveal that recruitment firm Veredus was used to find a chairman for a flagship body implementing the recommendations of the Russell Commission, set up by Gordon Brown to bring about a revolution in youth volunteering.

Mr Aldridge – boss of technology firm Capita, the parent company of Veredus – was eventually appointed to the prestigious post.

He has since taken up a job as head of a new charity called V, which is managing the volunteering scheme.

Though the position is unpaid, it holds huge prestige as one of Mr Brown’s pet projects.

Last night the Conservatives expressed astonishment at the revelations about his appointment and said they would be demanding an official inquiry.

They demanded to know whether ministers had played any part in the process.

Tory frontbencher Chris Grayling, whose questions prompted the release of the documents, said: ‘I shall be writing to the permanent secretary of the Cabinet Office asking for an investigation.

‘It seems extraordinary that a recruitment company would nominate its own group chairman to a position as politically sensitive as this.

‘Inevitably, people will be suspicious. This is someone who is a major financial supporter of the Labour Party, who’s clearly close to senior Labour figures.

Capita has won a number of Whitehall contracts despite being fined millions for several high-profile blunders.

Following the disastrous launch of the Criminal Records Bureau in 2002, it was fined almost £2million for its failings in providing criminal checks on people working with the vulnerable.

http://www.standard.co.uk/news/labour-donor-landed-role-as-adviser-to-brown-thanks-to-dirty-secret-7197043.html

Capita boss quits over Blair loan

Rod Aldridge said the loan had been ‘in good faith’
The chairman of outsourcing firm Capita is stepping down over “spurious” claims his £1m loan to Labour resulted in the group getting government contracts.

An influential Commons committee has also launched an inquiry into funding.

The constitutional affairs committee will interview Lord Levy, Tony Blair’s chief fundraiser, on his role in persuading Labour backers to make loans.

Lord Levy will also be questioned by the public administration committee.

Tony Blair has denied suggestions that he nominated wealthy supporters for peerages in return for Labour Party loans.

Rod Aldridge, one of 12 donors who lent the party almost £14m

NAMES OF LABOUR PARTY LENDERS:
Rod Aldridge – £1m
Richard Caring – £2m
Gordon Crawford – £500,000
Prof Sir Christopher Evans – £1m
Sir David Garrard – £2.3m
Nigel Morris – £1m
Sir Gulam Noon – £250,000
Dr Chai Patel – £1.5m
Andrew Rosenfeld – £1m
Lord Sainsbury – £2m
Barry Townsley – £1m
Derek Tullett – £400,000
Total: £13,950,000

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/politics/4836024.stm

Firm that said put money in Iceland: How 250 councils paid to be steered to financial disaster

A single firm of consultants gave financial advice to more than 250 public authorities  –  many of which have lost tens of millions in the Iceland banking scandal.Sector Treasury Services is a wholly owned subsidiary of Capita, the controversial ‘outsourcing’ company which has ballooned into a multi-billion-pound concern under Labour.

It is now known to have been a key player in the decisions taken by scores of publicly funded bodies over where to place the vast funds at their disposal each year.

Controversial: Capita chief Paul Pindar, left, and his predecessor Rod Aldridge, who had to quit

Controversial: Capita chief Paul Pindar, left, and his predecessor Rod Aldridge, who had to quit

The firm failed to comment when asked if it had been receiving commission from any financial institutions as a result of its dealings with local authorities.

However, town hall sources confirmed that STS was being paid a ‘retainer’ by councils for its advice on where to place their money.

STS is called in because many local authority finance directors are baffled by the world money markets and do not feel confident about where they should place the cash they receive each year from Whitehall and council tax payers.


Image result for SIR RODNEY ALDRIDGE and kensington academy

Duchess of Cambridge, with Sir Rodney Alderidge, Opens Kensington Aldridge Academy

SIR RODNEY MALCOLM ALDRIDGE

https://companycheck.co.uk/director/916151915/SIR-RODNEY-MALCOLM-ALDRIDGE/summary

Aldridge is a patron and, former trustee of the Prince’s Trust and is currently Chairman of the Aldridge Foundation, an educational charity which sponsors academy schools in England and champions entrepreneurial education.

He is also a member of the Prince’s Charities Council at the invitation of the HRH Prince of Wales, a patron of the Prince’s Trust, Non-executive Director of Equiniti, a Director of Cornerstone and a Director of Constellation Healthcare Technologies.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rod_Aldridge

Image result for SIR RODNEY ALDRIDGE and kensington academy

Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cambridge attending the opening ceremony of another Aldridge Foundation academy in 2011. “

In July 2006, Sir Rod retired as Executive Chairman of Capita to establish the Aldridge Foundation to focus on his charitable activities involving educational underachievement and social exclusion of young people. He also is the Chairman of the Lowry, the award winning arts and entertainment venue in Salford, near Manchester which is the home of the L.S Lowry painting collection.

He was awarded a knighthood in the Queen ’s 2011 New Year Honours list on New Year’s Eve, in recognition of his services to young people in his capacity as Chairman of The Aldridge Foundation and for the other work that he has undertaken in this field including being a Patron and a former Trustee of the Princes Trust , the charity established by HRH Prince of Wales.

https://www.lazagaleta.com/magazine/sir-rod-aldridge.htm

Aldridge Foundation academies have been in the news. In the last few months the head of one of their academies has been suspended and forced out alongside reports of poor inspection grades and financial problems.

This time last year, the Aldridge Foundation was in the news, too, when 1,600 residents of Darwen signed a petition asking for parents, pupils and staff to be given a choice over who should run the proposed Darwen Vale Academy. They didn’t want the Aldridge Foundation foisted on them as the sponsor.

Parents and staff in Darwen had some knowledge of the Aldridge Foundation since it already ran another school in the town – the Darwen Aldridge Community Academy (DACA). Coincidentally, this academy had been rumoured to have had a part in the resignation of Aldridge Foundation’s founder, Rod Aldridge, as Chairman of Capita in 2006 after it was revealed that he had secretly lent the Labour Party £1 million. Capita was adamant that he had not been pressured to leave but reports, at the time, suggested several shareholders were growing increasingly concerned over Aldridge’s £2m donation to Tony Blair’s academies and his appointment, two months after the loan was made – to head a £150m youth volunteering network in late 2005.

In 2006, The Daily Telegraph reported that with Aldridge as Chair, Capita secured £2.6bn of business between 1997, when Labour came to power, and 2006. This included contracts to privatise IT for the Department of Work and Pensions and the Independent Police Complaints Commission and the administration of driving licences. Capita secured a £120m deal to work on behalf of the Department for Trade & Industry over injury claims from coal miners and a contract for the British Waterways’ pension scheme. But Capita’s privatisation was not without criticism. The cost of their work for the Criminal Records Bureau mushroomed from £250m to £400m. Capita was fined £3.7m following problems with the launch of London’s congestion charge and £300,000 for inadequate internal fraud controls. But despite these criticisms The Guardian could report in 2010 that Capita had made Rod Aldridge a fortune worth £110m.

http://antiacademies.org.uk/2015/01/a-tale-of-two-cities-darwen-and-brighton-daca-baca-and-paca-and-the-aldridge-foundation/

In this interview, Sir Rod and Lady Aldridge open their home to our readers to give an in-depth look into their days of leisure, and of course, give us an overview of their most precious work at the Aldridge Foundation.

Capita also runs the Congestion Charging Scheme and collects the BBC’s licence fee.

Aldridgre sold £7.64 million of shares, much of which he is understood to be using to complete a divorce settlement from his wife Jacqui. Despite this sale, Mr Aldridge retained shares worth £60 million. He was awarded the OBE in 1994, and is a trustee of the Prince’s Trust.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/1513558/The-lenders-how-they-made-their-millions.html


Natalie @natalieisonline

https://twitter.com/natalieisonline/status/876043495512920064

In Aug 2013, Grenfell Action Group reported that the power surge issue hadn’t been resolved and that the committee report was “misleading”.

Grenfell Action Group literally called this. “(t)he power surges at poses a major fire risk to many residents.”

While the housing committee were reluctant to place accountability/ responsibility or share it with TMO, Grenfell Action Group introduce RGE

 


1. Grenfell was identified as a “potentially high risk”.

2. The London Fire Brigade recommended TMO visit Lakanal House in Southwark to familiarise themselves with the potential risk in high rises.

For context, the Lakanal House fire in 2009 left 6 dead and at least 20 injured. More here:

What’s really strange in reading so many of these reports and minutes is that there never seems to be any conflict between TMO and RBKC.

All of the accounts of TMO’s work in the community and engagement with residents are glowing. This is strange.

THE ROYAL BOROUGH OF KENSINGTON AND CHELSEA
HOUSING AND PROPERTY SCRUTINY COMMITTEE
7 NOVEMBER 2013
REPORT BY THE DIRECTOR OF HOUSING AND TOWN CLERK AND EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF FINANCE
MID YEAR REVIEW ON TMO PERFORMANCE AGREEMENT 2013/14
The purpose of this report is to present details of the Tenant Management Organisation (TMO) performance from April to September 2013 against the Performance Agreement
 Full report here:  link

…there is a rumour going around that the TMO are favouring the views of some Grenfell Tower householders while excluding the legitimate views of others. We know that some householders have been contacted by the TMO (some of whom are not even in the UK) while many other residents of Grenfell Tower have not seen hide nor hair of the TMO for months, and certainly have not been asked to contribute their views. We believe that this favouritism of certain vested interests by the TMO is completely unjust and that all residents who live in Grenfell Tower are entitled to be consulted and not just the ones that the TMO find amenable (for whatever twisted reasons).

What we do know for sure,  is that Claire Williams and Peter Maddision from the TMO have no intention of recognising residents of Grenfell Tower who have come together to form any kind of “collective representation”. It seems that we will get what the TMO will allow us, and only what the TMO will allow us.  Shame on them!

THE OLD TMO MANTRA OF ‘DIVIDE AND RULE’ STILL HOLDS TRUE AND GRENFELL TOWER RESIDENTS’ VIEWS COUNT FOR NOTHING. WE DEMAND REAL CONSULTATION AND TO BE GIVEN PROPER INFORMATION BY THE TMO THAT KEEPS US FULLY AND APPROPRIATELY INFORMED ABOUT THE GRENFELL TOWER WORKS AND THE FUTURE OF OUR HOMES.

https://grenfellactiongroup.wordpress.com/2014/03/30/grenfell-tower-residents-still-waiting/

https://grenfellactiongroup.wordpress.com/gag-objections/

 

Khalid خالد @KhalidMH77

there is money for bank bailouts and Middle East wars yet there’s nothing but contempt for Londons poor


The landlord of Grenfell Tower had already been given legal warnings over fire safety in two other tower blocks

The landlord in charge of Grenfell Tower, where a fire broke out in the early hours on Tuesday 14 June, had been issued legal warnings over fire safety in two other tower blocks prior to the blaze that engulfed the West London property.

The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea Tenant Management Organisation (KCTMO) is the landlord of Grenfell Tower. The 24-storey tower block with 120 flats was reported to be on fire at 12.54am on Tuesday 14 June. At the time of publishing, 50 people had been taken to hospital and six people had been confirmed dead.

Previous history

But this is not the first fire in a KCTMO-managed tower block. Because the London Fire Brigade (LFB) had previously issued it with two legal enforcement notices over fire safety, as a result of another fire.

In October 2015, a fire broke out in Adair Tower and 50 people had to be rescued from their flats. As a result, LFB issued an enforcement notice not only on Adair Tower but on the neighbouring Hazelwood Tower. And it shows a catalogue of failings.

A catalogue of failings?

https://www.thecanary.co/2017/06/14/landlord-grenfell-tower-already-given-legal-warnings-fire-safety-two-tower-blocks-video/

Theresa May’s new Police and Fire Minister, Nick Hurd, was among the 72 Tory MPs – who are also residential landlords – that voted against a motion to make homes “fit for human habitation.”

Fire Minister was among 72 Tory landlords who voted against making homes “fit for human habitation”

via @psbook

Daniel Blake’s Vest @WarmongerHodges

Theresa May: snubbed Grenfell residents Gavin Barwell: delayed fire safety review Nick Hurd: voted against homes fit for habitation


Photo published for Theresa May's new chief of staff 'sat on' a review of fire safety in tower blocks like Grenfell...

May and Barwell

HRH Crafty Muvva @craftymuvva

This man must be held accountable for sitting on the report in to fire safety in tower blocks. He was contacted time & again.

 


“It is like you have got a high-rise building and you are encasing it in kerosene,” said Edwin Galea, director of the Fire Safety Engineering Group at the University of Greenwich. “It is insanity, pure and simple.”

Such a runaway blaze appears to have been precisely what happened at Grenfell Tower. The flames engulfed the building in a matter of minutes, moving from the outside inward and emitting a dark smoke characteristic of burning insulation.

Recriminations over the failure to prevent the disaster and the sluggish response have contributed to a political crisis for Prime Minister Theresa May, whose Conservative Party lost its majority in a parliamentary election six days before the fire.

If Britain had already banned the material that appears to have spread the fire — as the ministers asserted on Sunday — that would move responsibility for the disaster away from the government and point instead to possible crimes by the tower’s owners and their contractors.

The use of the material is a sensitive issue for the British government because the United States and other countries years ago banned its application in tall buildings on the grounds that it was a fire hazard. In recent years, a series of highly publicized blazes in the United Arab Emirates and Australia has called attention to the problem and spurred more countries to adopt similar restrictions.


Not So Strong @StrongerStabler

Gavin Barwell, sat on High Rise Fire Safety Report, yet May still trusts himto be Chief of Staff. Blood on his hands


Jo Maugham QC

“Seven years later… a… review… had not even begun.” Are the lives of poor people just expendable?



Not So Strong @StrongerStabler

 

Philip Hammond on Marr claiming sprinklers in high-rises aren’t a necessity.

2013 coroner’s report said ALL needed them.


Susanna Reid@susannareid100

Chancellor Phillip Hammond says wait for expert advice on fitting sprinklers. Coroner has already made recommendation


Last year’s Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Bill, proposed by Labour, which may have stopped the Grenfell Tower inferno had the government voted for it. But Tory MPs voted it down, 72 of whom were landlords who would have been out of pocket through all the extra nanny state interference.

One of them, Philip Davies, argued it would put “a huge burden on landlords” who are “an easy target for the Left in this country”. They certainly are now, Phil. But not for the Right, who believe landlords (in many cases them) should be free to make as much rent as they want without being bogged down by all that expensive red tape.

Not that the Right is totally against state intervention in housing. Ask Jacob Rees-Mogg ’s in-laws, whose ancestral pile, the 365-room Wentworth Woodhouse, was given a £7.6million restoration grant last year. The same Rees-Mogg who repeatedly voted for the Bedroom Tax, which punished people with one extra room.

Philip Hammond’s commitment in this week’s Autumn Statement to spend £7.6m on restoring Wentworth Woodhouse, England’s largest private home, also had a little-known beneficiary: the house happens to be ancestral home of the mother-in-law of Jacob Rees-Mogg (a recent report of his net worth being up to £150m), the Conservative MP who is among the chancellor’s noisiest critics.

Mr Rees-Mogg said he had no involvement in the campaign to save Wentworth Woodhouse. But after hearing the Autumn Statement in which the funding was announced, he for once dropped his criticism of Mr Hammond and described his overall budget as “excellent”.

“I liked the fact that there was only one gimmick. The fact that the gimmick was Wentworth Woodhouse I liked more,” said the backbencher, one of whose children has Wentworth as a middle name.

The Fitzwilliams moved out in 1946 and the house was put into a family trust. Lady Juliet Tadgell, the only child of the earl and now Mr Rees-Mogg’s mother-in-law, inherited the family fortune but not the home. She is one of the trustees of the Wentworth Woodhouse Preservation Trust,

Located in south Yorkshire, Wentworth Woodhouse is not very well known, reflecting its limited opening to the public as well as its unglamorous location near the M1, among the area’s former mines.

https://www.ft.com/content/d5efd3a0-b32f-11e6-a37c-

Rupert MyersVerified account @RupertMyers

Kensington Labour MP Emma Coad wasn’t just a councillor, she was on the board Grenfell Tower residents complained to

Emma Dent Coad visits the Grenfell Tower area with Jeremy Corbyn AP

A row has broken out between Labour’s new Kensington MP Emma Dent Coad and her Conservative predecessor over the Grenfell Tower fire.

Ms Dent Coad, below, has accused Tory-led Kensington and Chelsea council of failures that led to the blaze, claiming “poor-quality materials and construction standards have played a part in this hideous and unforgivable event”.

But as a councillor she was on Kensington and Chelsea’s housing scrutiny committee, which oversees “community safety issues”, until May 2014.

A 2014/15 report, in which she is named, says the committee scrutinised work on Grenfell Tower.

http://www.standard.co.uk/news/politics/labours-new-kensington-mp-was-on-housing-scrutiny-committee-a3566661.html’

 

 

were you a member of the KCTMO when they chose the contractor in 2011?

Emma Dent Coad

No I wasn’t.


Truthseeker1 @thewakeupcall09

Minutes of a meeting of the Council – Grenfell Tower 2015 1/6

https://twitter.com/Ev3ryCloud/status/877198622395387907


 

 

Truthseeker1 @thewakeupcall09

Has Nicholas Holgate Chief Executive of RBKC Council made any comment to the media ?

New Joint CEO for LBHF & RBKC

Nicholas Holgate has been appointed as the interim joint chief executive of Hammersmith & Fulham and the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea.

Currently Town Clerk and Executive Director of Finance at the Royal Borough, Holgate will take up the Bi-borough reins in November.

Since joining Kensington and Chelsea, Nicholas’ responsibilities have grown steadily. As well as finance he is today in overall charge of property, including housing and planning; IT and communications.

Before 2008, Holgate held a number of senior posts at HM Treasury before becoming Chief Operating Officer at the Department for Culture, Media and Sport.

Cllr Nicholas Botterill, Leader of Hammersmith & Fulham Council, said: “Derek Myers is a very tough act to follow and, while we are sad to see him go, we know that Nicholas Holgate is also excellent and inspirational, and will lead from the front with real strength. We look forward to him taking up the role very soon.”

http://lookwestlondon.com/new-joint-ceo-for-lbhf-rbkc/

Truthseeker1@thewakeupcall09
John Whittingdale & Nicholas Holgate (Chief Executive of RBKC) both worked for the Department for Culture, Media and Sport
Nicholas Holgate Chief Executive of RBKC council on social engineering in 2003 (the Child Trust Fund )
 Chairman: Your consultation document received a leader in the Sunday Times, describing it as “a half-baked piece of social engineering that will cost taxpayers hundreds of millions of pounds, stack up countless more civil service jobs to administer and then achieve little”. How did you achieve that kind of headline?

Civil servants charged with designing the controversial scheme admitted to MPs on the Treasury Select Committee that it would benefit middle class parents far more than the Government’s target of low income groups.

They also accepted that the fund could count against a series of existing state benefits.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/2868764/MPs-savage-Browns-middle-class-child-fund.html


New money man for K&C council

A new face has joined Kensington and Chelsea Council fresh from a stint with the government.

1 OCT 2013

Nicholas Holgate is joining the council after working as chief operating officer at the department for culture, media and sport. He has become the new executive director for finance, information systems and property for the Royal Borough.

He said: “It will be great to contribute to the work of such a vibrant organisation and as I live in Olympia, the borough affects my quality of life outside the office too. I am absolutely thrilled.”

A graduate of Trinity College, Cambridge, Mr Holgate is also a former director of welfare reform at the Treasury, which he first joined in 1984.

The leader of Kensington and Chelsea Council, Cllr Merrick Cockell, welcomed the appointment.

Often known as the Chief Executive in other councils, the Town Clerk is the chief officer of the Council responsible for the delivery of services to residents. He will also act as the borough’s finance director, ensuring the effective management of Council resources. In addition he advises the Mayor at Council meetings.

A graduate of Trinity College, Cambridge, Nicholas Holgate has worked in local government since 2008 when he joined the Royal Borough as Executive Director for Finance, Information Systems and Property. He has also served for 11 months as interim joint chief executive of Kensington and Chelsea and Hammersmith & Fulham.

A career public servant, he started out as an Administration Trainee in HM Treasury in 1984. He was Director of Welfare Reform over 2001-2004 and then Chief Operating Officer at the Department for Culture, Media and Sport until 2008.

Council chief quits over Grenfell fire response

The chief executive of Kensington and Chelsea council has quit following a barrage of criticism over its response to the Grenfell Tower fire tragedy.

Nicholas Holgate said the communities and local government secretary had “required the leader of the council to seek my resignation”.

Speaking in the Commons on Thursday, she said it was right that Mr Holgate had resigned.

Yvette Williams, spokeswoman for the Justice4Grenfell campaign, agreed it was right for him to go.

“He wasn’t left with any alternative,” she said. “The community had been completely abandoned by the local authority.”

It is thought a highly toxic gas released by insulation on the outside of the building may also have contributed to deaths.

http://www.itv.com/news/2017-06-22/kensington-council-chief-quits-amid-criticism-over-grenfell-fire-response/

THE EMBATTLED chief executive of Kensington and Chelsea Council has resigned after they were slammed over their response to the Grenfell Tower inferno.

Nicholas Holgate was asked for a resignation by communities secretary Sajid Javid

Kensington council boasted Grenfell Tower’s fire safety standards were exemplary – and should be extended to all other major works.

Locals then branded the initial relief effort as “absolute chaos”.

Since the devastating fire, residents left homeless were forced to stay in hotels and B&Bs.

https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/3855960/chief-executive-of-kensington-and-chelsea-council-resigns-over-grenfell-tower-inferno/

David Mortimer @ukfathers


WirralInItTogether @Wirral_In_It

When is Councillor Sam Mackover, chairman of the committee that brushed Grenfell Tower tenants’ concerns under the carpet BEING INTERVIEWED?

 

Truthseeker1 @thewakeupcall09

Sadiq Khan took donations from property firm which ‘put tenants’ lives at risk’

Sadiq.jpg

http://www.standard.co.uk/news/mayor/revealed-sadiq-khan-took-donations-from-property-firm-which-put-tenants-lives-at-risk-a3219961.html


Alan WhiteVerified account @aljwhite

Inside Housing has a FOI response showing Grenfell Tower had not been checked for fire safety for 18 months

Gavin Barwell was appointed Theresa May’s chief of staff on Saturday, after losing his seat in the election 

Rabih Chaaban @ChaabanRabih

How can it be democratic?? Gavin Barwell failed be get elected still appointed by Theresa May as chief of staff – overseeing elected MPs!

Theresa May’s chief of staff ‘sat on’ report warning high-rise blocks like Grenfell Tower were vulnerable to fire

Theresa May’s new chief of staff was one of a series of housing ministers who “sat on” a report warning high-rise blocks like Grenfell Tower were vulnerable to fire for four years.

A former Chief Fire Officer and secretary of a parliamentary group on fire safety today revealed successive ministers had had damning evidence on their desks since 2013 and nothing had happened.

And the Labour MP who chairs the group said ministers had “sat on” the recommendations for almost four years.

Gavin Barwell, who was housing minister until losing his seat in last week’s election, promised to review part B of the Building Regulations 2010, which relate to fire safety, but the review never materialised.

link

Revealed: the tower block fire warnings that ministers ignored

Fire chief tells of repeated rebuffs by ministers as Theresa May admits Grenfell victims were let down
17 June 2017

Krishnan Guru-MurthyVerified account @krishgm

This is the man who was in charge of housing. He was rejected by voters last week and hired by Theresa May as Chief of Staff

As public outrage mounted and political pressure grew on Theresa May over the tragedy, former chief fire officer Ronnie King – who is secretary of the all-party parliamentary group on fire safety – said urgent requests for meetings with ministers and action to tighten rules were stonewalled.

King also revealed that ministers had failed to insist that life-saving sprinkler systems were mandatory in the design of new schools in England, despite clear recommendations in reports commissioned by the government itself, which advocated their use.

His criticism came as the prime minister admitted on Saturday that although the emergency services had been “heroic”, support for families of Grenfell Tower victims who needed help after the fire “was not good enough”.

He said that requests for meetings with former housing minister Gavin Barwell, now Theresa May’s chief of staff, were turned down. King said: “We have had replies, but the replies were to the effect that you have met my predecessor [the previous Tory housing minister James Wharton] and there were a number of matters that we are looking at and we are still looking at it.

“They are politicians and I am a professional fire adviser. I understand the difficulties they have with this,” King said. But he repeated: “They always seem to need a significant loss of life before things are changed.”

Reports into a previous fire at Lakanal House in Camberwell, south London in 2009, in which six people died, and a subsequent coroner’s report led to urgent calls from the fire sector for action. But seven years later those calls had still not been acted on and a long-awaited review of building and safety regulations had not even begun. In October last year Barwell answered a parliamentary question from the Labour MP Steven McCabe about the review timetable.

Barwell replied saying: “We have not set out any formal plans to review the building regulations as a whole, but we have publicly committed ourselves to reviewing part B [the regulations governing fire safety] following the Lakanal House fire.”

Another leading expert, David Sibert, fire safety officer to the Fire Brigades Union, who was told he would sit on the review, confirmed to the Observer that he had yet to be invited to contribute to it. It is believed that at most only a limited start was made and then abandoned as civil servants were directed on to other matters, notably the need to secure Brexit.

Last week Barwell declined to comment on when the review would be ready. Liberal Democrat peer Baroness Brinton, who also sits on the all-party group, said: “We could have had new regulations ready to go last year as the refurbishment work on Grenfell Tower was completed.”

On Monday MPs from Labour, Plaid Cymru, the Lib Dems and the SNP will turn up the pressure on government by asking urgent parliamentary questions to establish what work, if any, has been done on the review.

With the crisis threatening May’s already shaky hold on Downing Street, concerns about fire safety were widening to include regulations governing building of schools, student accommodation and care homes. King said: “The Department for Education have their own strict guidance for schools. Last July they issued their amended document as a final draft. Previously they said automatic fire sprinklers would be installed in all new schools except for a very few low-risk schools. They then issued revised guidance, which said that because of XYZ they are removing the requirement for sprinklers in all new schools.”

The Department for Education said that fire safety in schools was paramount but suggested sprinklers were not mandatory in all buildings. “All schools, like other public buildings, must adhere to stringent fire-safety legislation,” a spokeswoman said.

David Lammy, the MP for Tottenham, who knew one of the victims of the Grenfell Tower fire, demanded that the police seize all documents from relevant parties that could help explain its causes and assist the criminal investigations. He said: “The prime minister needs to act immediately to ensure that all evidence is protected so that everyone culpable for what happened at Grenfell Tower is held to account and feels the full force of the law. We need urgent action now to make sure all records and documents relating to the refurbishment and management of Grenfell Tower are protected.”

On Saturday police said that at least 58 people were missing and presumed to have died in the tragedy, and that the figure might increase. The latest official total includes the 30 who are already confirmed to have died in the fire. Commander Stuart Cundy said that the “significant” recovery operation might take weeks to complete. “As soon as we can, we will locate and recover loved ones,” he said.

PJ @moltomacster

Snivelling coward. This failure of leadership, of compassion and empathy shows this govt for what it is.

 


Mark Ashley @themarkashley

Tower floor plan. “Improved” high density layout means one set of stairs for 24 stories of 120 apartments

‘No sprinklers or fire alarm’ and residents told to stay INSIDE: Tower block’s ‘Third World’ safety failures

Cladding added during £10m refurbishment caught alight ‘like a matchstick’

cathyfoxblog @CathyCathyFox

carried out refurb of tower. someone should be charged with murder

https://grenfellactiongroup.wordpress.com/2017/06/14/grenfell-tower-fire/


Project Compass @ProjCompassEU

Grenfell Tower procurement – awarded to Rydon in 2014 by LBKC. Full details, including contract notice & award:

Director of company which refurbished Grenfell 'hangs up' on Piers Morgan

Harley secure £3m contract from Rydon Group to carry out over-cladding and window replacement at Grenfell Tower

David LammyVerified account @DavidLammy

Harley (company that installed Grenfell cladding) deleting pages from their website. Looks like they’ve got something to hide, doesn’t it.

David Lammy‏@DavidLammy

Studio E (architects that oversaw Grenfell cladding refurbishment) are deleting pages from their website. Have they got something to hide?


Truthseeker1 @thewakeupcall09

RYDON CONSTRUCTION LIMITED & RYHURST LIMITED

Ryhurst part of the Rydon Group and partnership with the NHS


 

Peter Apps @PeteApps

Earlier this year we revealed panels on the outside of tower blocks were putting lives at risk

his is what a report into cladding used in a nearby tower which caught fire in August said. Report was kept secret.

 

Truthseeker1 @thewakeupcall09

Company boss Raymond Bailey hiding in his £1m mansion

https://twitter.com/thewakeupcall09/status/875330915597250560

Mark Ashley @themarkashley

Tower fire ventilation system, cowardly deleted at 4am by the suppliers trying to scurry away.

 

James MitchinsonVerified account @JayMitchinson

Why weren’t they listened to? Why? #GrenfellTower

Vicount Ian Kerr CGC @IanKerr

Lady Borwick friend of Theresa May MP for Did she respond to the concerns of the residents ? No attendance at hustings.

Ivory loving Tory MP Lady Victoria Borwick friend of Theresa May…….no action on safety issues at

 

 

TMO INVESTIGATION – BORWICK STEPS IN

Grenfell Tower residents had little to smile about when disgruntled leaseholders and tenants met with our local MP, Victoria Borwick, along with Peter Maddison and Sacha Jevans from the TMO, in the Community Rooms at Lancaster West Estate on the morning of 14th December.

We believe that Lady Borwick left the meeting in no doubt that a great injustice and trauma has been inflicted on this community as a result of the appalling management of the Improvement Works and we must now trust that she will keep her word by supporting residents in their call for an independent investigation into Mr Maddison, Claire Williams and others at the TMO.

Bearing in mind that Grenfell Tower is only the first of a number of tower blocks in North Kensington facing refurbishment it would be wise of RBKC to support Lady Borwick and local residents in their call for an independent investigation. There is much to learn from this sordid affair. The Council should have no reason to oppose such an inquiry and Grenfell Tower residents have much to gain and everything to lose if this call for an independent investigation of the TMO is not forthcoming!

https://grenfellactiongroup.wordpress.com/2015/12/28/tmo-investigation-borwick-steps-in/

Truthseeker1 @thewakeupcall09

Grenfell Tower

February 2016 The TMO’s clerk of works will sign off Rydon’s work

Council stockpiled £274m in reserves despite Grenfell Tower residents’ calls for fire safety improvements

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/grenfell-tower-royal-borough-kensington-chelsea-council-stockpiled-274m-despite-warnings-residents-a7795411.html


Dame Alun Roberts @ciabaudo

Former Home Sec who made an absolute mess of the CSA inquiry, presenting 3 of the worst chairs possible, now wants to take personal control!

Will Home Office staff be seconded to the inquiry like they were with CSA inquiry?

Another ‘must read’ and sequel to the Theresa May/Hubert Brasier story.


James Cave @jaycave14

Remind me who cut fire service numbers before suggesting a new royal yacht? Who is protecting private landlords?

https://grenfellactiongroup.wordpress.com/2017/06/14/grenfell-tower-fire/


Dinner at the Carlton: The New Tory power brokers

2009

The guest list for the Conservatives; premier political dinner last week which gives a fascinating snapshot of the movers and shakers getting ready for their turn to influence Downing Street
Lady Borwick and  Lord Borwick on the guest list

Unveiling a plaque to Lady Churchill with Sir Nicholas Soames

Tories BOW to wealthy antiques dealers and DROP ban on elephant ivory in manifesto:

Lady Victoria Borwick is related by marriage to the notorious McAlpine family.

Her husband’s uncle is Alistair McAlpine, alleged child abuser.

Lord “Jamie” Borwick – nephew of Lord Alistair McAlpine

Victoria’s  husband, Geoffrey Robert James Borwick, 5th Baron Borwick aka “Jamie”, is the son of Hon. Patricia Garnett McAlpine – Patricia’s brother is Alistair McAlpine

http://www.thepeerage.com/p14612.htm#i146113

Lady Victoria Borwick is MP for Kensington and Chelsea, preceded by Malcolm Rifkind who is a cousin of alleged child abuser, former Tory Cabinet minister, Leon Brittan.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/10650010/Who-do-they-think-they-are-One-in-11-MPs-is-married-related-or-have-ancestors-who-sat-in-Commons.html

Lord Alistair McAlpine was also a collector.

Tories BOW to wealthy antiques dealers and DROP ban on elephant ivory in manifesto

Under David Cameron the Conservatives had pledged – along with other UK political parties – to put into place a ban on ivory trading. This follows bans by China, the US and other important ivory trading countries to end domestic trades in ivory by the end of 2017.

But there is no mention of the ban in Theresa May’s Tory 2017 manifesto. Sneakily, the Tories have decided to DROP their previous commitment to introducing a total ban on ivory trade in Britain. This comes after heavy pressure from wealthy antiques traders who have been lobbying Teresa May hard to drop the ban on ivory.

The most powerful UK antique traders association is the British Antique Dealers’ Association – whose president is Tory MP and pal of Theresa May, Lady Victoria Borwick.

On average, an elephant is killed every 15 minutes for its ivory and their population has fallen by almost a third in Africa since 2007.

Interestingly, this policy puts the Tories in direct conflict with Prince William, who has been a vocal supporter of a total ban on ivory sales.

Will we see the Duke of Cambridge campaigning for Labour – which has pledged to introduce the total ban the Prince has been lobbying for?

https://tompride.wordpress.com/2017/05/20/tories-bow-to-wealthy-antiques-dealers-and-drop-ban-on-elephant-ivory-in-manifesto/#comment-100577

At William Hague Farewell Dinner with William Hague and Victoria Borwick

 

William Hague Cover-Up

Victoria Borwick

She works on a daily basis with the big pillars of authority in London, such as the Metropolitan Police.

Does she ever take issue with the Metropolitan Police, or any other authority? “Of course…of course.”

http://henpicked.net/interview-with-victoria-borwick-deputy-mayor-of-london/

link

Victoria Borwick – gifts and hospitality

https://www.london.gov.uk/about-us/governance-and-spending/sharing-our-information/assistant-directors-and-heads-service/victoria-borwick/gifts-hospitality

She worked in senior management for P&O and DMG World Media (Daily Mail and General Trust plc) before becoming the Conservative Party’s fundraising director.[2]

 

The Busy Borwicks

Son of Kensington MP Lady Borwick’s curious connections to the people who ensured both Brexit and the election of Donald Trump revealed

On Sunday, Carole Cadwalladr of  The Observer published a lengthy and well researched article that, amongst other things, examined the connections between The Hon. Thomas Borwick – the son of the Conservative hereditary peer The Rt. Hon. The Lord Borwick and Kensington’s Member of Parliament Lady ‘Call me Victoria’ Borwick – and the controversial US hedge fund titan and backer of Donald Trump, Robert Mercer.

 

A director of a multitude of companies, in spite of being just 29 years old, “new media expert” Thomas Borwick – whose mother was forced to apologise “after using City Hall resources to promote her husband’s [now defunct] electric vehicle business” in 2009 – it now transpires, was not only Vote Leave’s chief technology officer but previously worked with SCL/Cambridge Analytica and AggregateIQ. Borwick currently touts himself to his 202 followers on Twitter as the founder of a political canvasing consultancy named Kan.to, an organisation that he boldy claims “will out-organise, out-plan, out-leaflet, out-twitter, out-work and out-vote all of its opponents”.

Mercer, one of the owners of the far-right Breitbart News Network as well as being a major shareholder in Cambridge Analytica, is a man whose “sinister” connections to both Trump and Nigel Farage have rightly been widely criticised. On that basis, that the son of fervent Brexiteer Lady Borwick – a woman whose constituents voted 69% to ‘Remain’ and whose domain was home to a greater proportion of EU nationals than any other London borough in 2016 – has links to this billionaire and his activities should only encourage the voters of Kensington to ditch her and her out-of-touch party.

link

Son of Tory MP beaten unconscious outside Leicester Square KFC by 3 women

He said: ‘At some point they started pushing and shoving – three at that stage, of which only two were particularly aggressive. I couldn’t hypothecate (?) or guess what was on their minds. At some point my food and drink spilled and was taken from me.

‘The rest of my friends quickly came outside. From our group absolutely all of them did nothing aggressive to the ladies, but they continued to react though and many of my friends were attacked.

The computer app writer was queuing with friends when they became embroiled in a row with the women over space.

Tom was among a group of six friends on a night out in London,’ said Lady Borwick, who was previously Boris Johnson’s deputy.


2015

Revealed: The ‘triple dipper’ Conservative MP who is paid nearly £100,000 a year for three elected jobs

Victoria Borwick, the (former) MP for Kensington, is paid an extra £30,000 a year as both a councillor at Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea and member of the London Assembly

Mrs Borwick, 59, whose application to replace Sir Malcolm Rifkind in the seat was personally backed by London Mayor Boris Johnson, defended her decision.

She can use the title “Lady” because she is married to Lord Borwick, a hereditary peer who has sat in the House of Lords since 2013. The couple live in a £6.6million home in Chelsea and have four children.

Mrs Borwick’s predecessor as MP for Kensington Sir Malcolm Rifkind had complained that it was “unrealistic” to live on £60,000 shortly before quitting after being caught in a cash for access investigation by The Daily Telegraph in February.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/11686725/Revealed-The-triple-dipper-MP-who-is-paid-nearly-100000-a-year-for-three-jobs.html

She paid tribute to Sir Malcolm Rifkind, saying: “Many people will be sad to see someone so distinguished leave. They are very grateful for all that he did in services to our country and also to Kensington. I have big shoes to fill.”

“The Tories got rid of one Rifkind (Cash for Access) and now replaced him with ‘Madam Rifkind’, who thinks it is perfectly reasonable to use these jobs to rake in as much money as possible.”

http://www.getwestlondon.co.uk/news/west-london-news/general-election-conservatives-announce-kensington-8868946

 

Tory Donor List – Borwicks

link

Slumming it: Tory Lady ventures into East End

Role reversal? Could this be the first time a young East Ender gets to look down on a Victoria Lady?
Role reversal? Could this be the first time a young East Ender gets to look down on a Victoria Lady?
Since the Tories headed up the Coalition after the 2010 General Election, they have been making cuts in public spending and presiding over austerity measures which have made life harder for ordinary Eastenders. Government attacks such as the bedroom tax and welfare benefit tax have left many East End families only able to buy the cheapest, unhealthiest food – or forced them to supplement their own buying with trips to the food bank.

Against this backdrop, Lady Borwick, aka Assembly Member Victoria Lorne Peta Borwick, a Deputy Mayor of London, deigned to drop into Tower Hamlets last week to claim the credit for Tower Hamlets’ work in promoting good health in its schools (that’s the schools which Lady Borwick’s party is trying to dismantle).

 

2007:

Trump crony Rudy Giuliaini drew inspiration from Winston Churchill in the immediate aftermath of the 9/11 terror attack on New York, he revealed.

Mr Giuliani cited the alliance between Churchill and Roosevelt, Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan and Tony Blair and George W Bush as evidence of the powerful bond between Britain and the US. He would make it his mission as President to strengthen the relationship further.

The lunch was attended by about 100 wealthy Americans and dozens of London-based US correspondents.

Conservative mayoral contender Victoria Borwick, who has pledged to introduce Giuliani-style zero tolerance policing, was the only senior Tory present at the lunch at the Hyde Park Mandarin hotel. 

“He is a brilliant political leader,” she said.

Mr Giuliani is due to meet Margaret Thatcher tonight at the same hotel before delivering his keynote speech on his manifesto for a 2008 Republican presidential victory.

http://britainandamerica.typepad.com/britain_and_america/2007/09/josh-sutton-rep.html

Rudy Guiliani

Back in 1984, Giuliani was U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York.  During that time, allegations began to surface about physical and sexual abuse perpetrated on children at the day care center at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.

Giuliani knew there were multiple children being abused.  And yet he did not indict anyone.  Not receiving justice from Giuliani, the parents pursued civil action.  The government ended up paying 11 victims $2.7 million, but protected its image, thanks to Rudy.

link

 

Rudy Guiliani

http://aanirfan.blogspot.com/2017/05/why-trump-fired-comey.html

Lady Borwick, a Tory councillor in Kensington & Chelsea, spent eleven years as Director of the Olympia Fine Art and Antiques Fair and a further period of time assisting with the International Fine Art Fair in New York. What better experience could there be to  prepare one to understand the problems of the East End?

http://eastlondonnews.co.uk/slumming-it-tory-lady-ventures-into-east-end/

Lord Borwick

Geoffrey Robert James “Jamie” Borwick, 5th Baron Borwick] (born 1955) is a British businessman, hereditary peer and member of the House of Lords. Chief Executive of Manganese Bronze Holdings PLC, known for the manufacture of the London Taxi, from 1987 to 2001 and then Chairman until 2003.

 


Lady Emily @Pushingtheboat

Family history of selling your soul to the devil in the name of personal gain and greed. My, my.

More here:

https://goodnessandharmony.wordpress.com/2016/11/03/ardingly-collegechichester-diocese-school-paedophile-ringspie/

 

From Domestic Servants to Prime Minister: Theresa May’s Family Fortunes

Theresa May became British Prime Minister on Wednesday 13th July, 2016. Interestingly, this piece by family history expert Roy Stockdill was written back in in 2013. His opening paragraph looks rather prophetic now…

From Convent School to Councillor

“Politics and power often run in families and dynasties, but I could find nothing in the ancestry of Theresa May to suggest that she would become the most powerful female politician in Britain as Home Secretary. Seen by some as a possible successor to David Cameron as Tory leader, she has said she wanted to be an MP ever since she was 12 years old, an ambition in which she was encouraged by her mother.

Her father however, was an Anglican clergyman and kept his political views to himself. Some of Cameron’s Cabinet are regarded as ‘posh’ and ‘old school tie’. But there was no silver spoon for Theresa May. After education at a state primary school, convent girls’ school and a state comprehensive, she read geography at Oxford University, graduating in 1977, became a London borough Councillor and got into Parliament for Maidenhead after twice losing in Labour seats.

Grandmothers in Domestic Service

In researching her family background, I discovered that both of Theresa May’s grandmothers were in domestic service as young women and that she had a great-grandfather who was a butler – so her roots are very much downstairs rather than upstairs. She was born Theresa Mary Brasier on 1 October 1956 in Eastbourne, Sussex, where her father, the Rev Hubert Brasier, was chaplain to a Church of England hospital.

Her mother was the exotically-named Zaidee Mary Brasier, formerly Barnes. The name Zaidee is of Middle East origins. The Home Secretary lost both parents just a few years after leaving university and marrying her husband, Philip May, in 1980. The Rev Hubert Brasier, who became vicar of two Oxfordshire parishes, was killed in a car crash in 1981 and his wife Zaidee Brasier, born in 1928, died the following year, aged only 54.

Theresa May’s parents married at St Giles’ Parish Church, Reading, Berkshire, on 16 June 1955, Hubert Brasier being then 37, a bachelor and a Clerk in Holy Orders, his address being the Chaplain’s House, All Saints Hospital, Eastbourne. Zaidee Mary Barnes was 26, a spinster, of 156, Southampton Street, Reading. The bridegroom’s father was Tom Brasier, deceased, and the bride’s father was Reginald James Barnes, traveller.

Grandparents in the 1911 Census

Hubert Brasier was born on 20 August 1917 at 61 Clonmore Street, Southfields, Wandsworth, London, son of Tom Brasier, then a clerk, and Amy Margaret Brasier, formerly Patterson. They were the paternal grandparents of Theresa May and their marriage certificate shows they were married at The Independent Chapel, West Street, Fareham, Hampshire, on 25 September 1909.

https://blog.findmypast.co.uk/famous-family-trees-theresa-may-1406260824.html

Grenfell Tower: A Tory Wicker Man ?

 Grenfell Tower in West London and the Wicker Man.

SPECIAL REPORT
21st Century Wire

The week saw one of the worst urban disasters in recent history, as runaway fires consumed a low-income high-rise council estate in the London borough of Kensington and Chelsea. So far, police have confirmed 17 dead and have indicated that they expect to find many more fatalities.

As the old adage goes, there are no natural disasters, only human ones.

But this horrific scene in west London symbolises much more than simple negligence. The image of a Wicker Man comes to mind.

Were low-income residents sacrificed at the altar of austerity, greed and corporate privatisation?

As North Kensington’s towering inferno continues to smoulder into the early morning, circumstantial evidence is beginning to emerge showing how Conservative MPs  sidelined legislation that would have required higher safety standards. According to reports, a group of Tory MPs have consistently voted against tenants’ rights including voting down Labour’s amendment to the recent Housing and Planning Bill which would have required landlords to make their homes “fit for habitation.” Perhaps not surprisingly, the 72 Tory MPs who killed the legislation also just happened to be commercial landlords themselves.

To add insult to injury, Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson during his tenure as  Mayor of London instituted cuts that have stripped London of 7,000 of its firefighters in the last five years, with numerous Fire Station closures and other cuts to frontline emergency services.

So how did Grenfell Tower turn into a death trap for so many ? The organisation responsible for maintenance and safety at the social housing block is the Kensington and Chelsea Tenant Management Organisation (KCTMO). But the organisation’s name is deceptive – far from being a tenant-run company, the ‘TMO’ is actually a private company – an aloof ivory tower that sits far above the actual residents, and who ‘manage’ 10,000 properties… with handsome salaries and fees for selected executives and contractors. Although Grenfell Tower is owned by the Borough Council of Kensington and Chelsea, the management of the tower block is subcontracted out to the TMO.

Critics of the public-private partnership, or PPP, management hand-off claim that the quasi-privatised TMO arrangement is rife with corruption, including sweetheart deals to contractors. It also enables connected board members to fleece poor residents while taking home enormous sums of money for doing little if anything for it. Last year, the KCTMO was paid £11million ($14 million) in taxpayer money to manage Grenfell Tower. According to the Mail Online, four senior members of TMO took £650,000 between them last year. And that’s not all:

“There are also claims that there was no central sprinkler system – or it was also not working properly during the fire. Others have claimed that the new cladding encasing the block added during last year’s £10million refurbishment by Rydon Construction caught alight ‘like a matchstick’.” This [petroleum-based, flammable plastic] exterior cladding was apparently added to the building to improve the view and cosmetic appearance of the tower when seen from a new development or private luxury flats in the locality.

Apparently, this was all part of a “regeneration project” which was said to be completed last year on only one building: Grenfell Tower.

It gets worse. According resident advocacy blog Bella Caledonia:

“It’s emerged that the local Council – the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea – actually threatened a local blogger and action group with legal action for calling to attention the state of the building. We’re told also that “Theresa May’s chief of staff ‘sat on’ report warning high-rise blocks like Grenfell Tower were vulnerable to fire.

Resident Darren Cullen said on Twitter: “Any attempt to depoliticise an event like this is a political act in itself.”

Despite numerous warnings by the residents of Grenfell Tower, local action groups believe that the TMO did not take any significant action to rectify fundamental health and safety flaws.

Reporter Holly Baxter of the London Independent detailed how a series of prophetic warnings posted by the residents’ advocacy group were routinely ignored:

“The Grenfell Action Group residents’ association had consistently warned about the possibility of such a tragedy; this morning, they updated their website with a post which reads: “Regular readers of this blog will know that we have posted numerous warnings in recent years about the very poor fire safety standards at Grenfell Tower and elsewhere in RBKC [the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea]. ALL OUR WARNINGS FELL ON DEAF EARS and we predicted that a catastrophe like this was inevitable and just a matter of time.”

“Links to their earlier posts prove it: in 2013 they warned that shutting down the block’s car park would mean just one narrow, restricted road for emergency vehicle access, something which eyewitnesses reported slowed down the fire engine response this morning; the same year, they wrote a long post about continuous electrical surges which had been causing fire hazards in the building (“decisive action was only taken yesterday after highly distressed residents descended en masse on the estate office to demand help and assistance. They had woken to find smoke issuing from various electrical appliances in their homes, including the light fixtures, and descended in panic to the estate office to demand help”) ; and in November 2016, their frustration about what they called inadequate fire escapes culminated in a frighteningly prescient post titled Playing With Fire: “The Grenfell Action Group firmly believe that only a catastrophic event will expose the ineptitude and incompetence of our landlord, the KCTMO, and bring to an end the dangerous living conditions and neglect of health and safety legislation that they inflict upon their tenants and leaseholders… It is our conviction that a serious fire in a tower block… is the most likely reason those who wield power at the KCTMO will be found out and brought to justice”.

But the Tories can’t take all the credit. It’s been said by some party grandees (not to mention Margret Thatcher herself) that the Thatcher Era’s greatest achievement was New Labour and Tony Blair – both of whom helped to push Thatcher’s mass-privatisation agenda over the goal line. Blair’s corporatist trojan horse was camouflaged under the heading of a ‘New Deal for Communities,’ along with the Neighbourhood Renewal Unit nested within the Department for Communities and Local Government and fueled by millions of pounds in “regeneration grants” from the EU – supposedly designed to lift-up some of the England’s most deprived neighbourhoods, which instead paved the way for a bold social engineering project which led to the mass-gentrification of low income areas across the UK, where massive profits were booked on the back of privatising council properties, taking advantage of an over-inflated housing market. It was during this period that PPP takeovers like the TMO took hold of large sectors of Britain’s social housing.

See more TMO scandals at Not TMO, and this open letter to the Hackney TMO here.

http://21stcenturywire.com/2017/06/15/grenfell-tower-a-tory-wicker-man/

 


LONDON FIRE CONSPIRACY

17 June 2017

The Grenfell Tower is in Kensington, in London.

In the June 2017 General Election, Labour gained Kensington from the Conservatives.

Does someone want to reduce the number of Labour voters in Kensington?


While leader of Westminster City Council Dame Shirley Porter oversaw the “homes for votes” scandal

The Grenfell Action Group believes that there are striking similarities between the current ‘regeneration’ policies … and those that landed Dame Shirley in so much trouble in the late 1980’s.”

“GERRYMANDERING” IN NORTH KENSINGTON! .

“For a start, the intended ‘regeneration’ policies are targeted at Wards that are currently represented (some marginally) by Labour Councillors, particularly St Charles and Notting Barns.

“The inevitable result of ‘regenerating’ working class housing estates involves replacing tenanted properties with so-called ‘affordable’ housing (ie affordable only to middle class home buyers).

“One inevitable outcome of this process will be to skew the demographics of North Kensington with a predictable swing to the Tories.”

http://aanirfan.blogspot.com/2017/06/london-fire.html

Grand Union Homes – off limits to be discussed by KCTMO or RBKC

https://twitter.com/Ev3ryCloud/status/881143251025244161

Former Chief Executive of KCTMO Gordon Perry was the Chief Executive of GRAND UNION HOMES

Gordon Perry

Gordon Perry
Gordon Perry

Before becoming chief executive of the group, Gordon was chief executive of Kensington and Chelsea TMO. He has more than 30 years experience in the housing sector. As the senior director responsible for service improvement in his last two organisations he led them to three star status. As chairman of the London Almo group and chair of the London Almo Procurement Network, Gordon pioneered collective procurement and partnering contracts as one of the trailblazer consortia. Gordon was the founding chairman of the National Federation of Almos.

https://www.theguardian.com/housing-network/2012/jun/08/accent-group

https://twitter.com/thewakeupcall09/status/881133459841978368

https://twitter.com/thewakeupcall09/status/881126815561129984

Can @kctmo explain why they setup Grand Union Homes and was taxpayers money used ?

 

SilverLining‏ @Ev3ryCloud

Why same directors on this & dissolved company…real estate?

 

3 Yr Old Article however consider GrenfellTower & see a pattern.

Photo published for Tories accused of political fix for Boris Johnson as London is protected from extra cuts

Tories accused of political fix for Boris Johnson as London is protected from extra cuts

24 Aug 2017

Local councils face even deeper spending reductions than thought – except for Greater London Authority
As predicted weeks ago all part of LGA ( Boris Johnson)
All connected to GLA & LGA as i’ve said before… Tory Gov has much to answer too... #ACCOUNTABLE

13 Nov 2014

Big questions for Boris over billion dollar property deal

Boris Johnson is under fire over his handling of a £1bn deal for a Chinese firm to redevelop a huge site on London’s historic Royal Albert Dock.

his follows an investigation by Channel 4 News into the track record in China of the firm which won the contract – ABP – and into whether ABP were given favourable treatment during the tender process.

There are also questions over donations to the Conservative Party from an Anglo-Chinese businesswoman who acted as adviser to ABP.

Sir Alistair Graham, a former chairman of the government’s Committee on Standards in Public Life, suggested to Channel 4 News there should be an independent investigation into the tendering process for the development, which will take place on publicly-owned land.

“It has the smell of a semi-corrupt arrangement, doesn’t it?” he told Channel 4 News:

“If, in fact, somebody is going through a sham process to ensure that someone they want to be successful in the process, but it’s not a level playing field for UK companies, and there have been some financial transactions of an intimate nature then that smells to me of a semi corrupt arrangement.”

In May 2013 the Greater London Authority granted Advanced Business Park – known as ABP – the tender to develop the 35-acre site at the Royal Albert Dock, a derelict site opposite London’s City Airport. The development was hailed by Boris Johnson as “a beacon for investors”, and ABP hope that the site will become an important forum for scores of Chinese firms operating in Britain. The project will include 3.2 million square feet of office space, leisure facilities, and 845 residential flats. It is thought to be China’s largest property investment in the UK.

ABP’s human rights record

Our film raises serious concerns about ABP’s human rights record in China. We discovered that ABP, and their partners in Chinese local government, were involved in the forced removal of some residents from their homes at the site of their one completed development in Beijing. We have obtained amateur video footage, shot by a resident, of demolition teams tearing down a family’s home with all their possessions inside, on Christmas Day 2010. The family also say they were denied fair compensation for losing their home. We have substantial legal paperwork detailing their efforts to secure proper compensation in the Chinese courts.

Boris Johnson confirmed to me in an interview for Channel 4 News that neither he, nor the Greater London Authority (which Johnson runs), assessed ABP’s human rights record in China as part of the evaluation process.

Johnson also said ABP’s human rights record in China “wasn’t relevant to the tendering process.” But the Mayor promised to “look at” any new information.

https://www.channel4.com/news/boris-johnson-london-propery-deal-china-albert-dock


“It had to be a cladding fire.”

British fire protection specialist Arnold Tarling isn’t wondering what caused the fire to spread so quickly in London’s Grenfell Tower early Wednesday. He’s certain the recently added exterior cladding system is to blame.

For years, the associate director of London-based Hindwoods Chartered Surveyors has been calling for improved fire safety regulations in the country.

Tarling said he burst into tears when he first heard from a fellow fire expert that the highrise was on fire.

Following is an edited transcript of an interview with him Thursday by CBC executive producer Tracy Seeley.

Q: In your opinion, what happened?

There was an initial source of fire. That cause is entirely irrelevant to what happened later. What happened is the fire got out of a flat, maybe from an open window or through a broken window from the heat. And then it started heating the panelling and the insulation above. That then set a chain reaction in which the panel started to burn.

The panels being aluminium, melt at 600 degrees [Celsius] or thereabouts. But the fire brigade cannot put out any of the fires behind these panels, because there’s metal there. You also have a wind tunnel effect sucking the flames up the wind tunnel, up between the insulation and the external cladding, melting the solid polyethylene above, and continuing the fire right up the height of the building.”

The cladding system is combined polyaluminum sheets with a filler of polyethylene. And that is what has caused the problems, because the polyethylene melts at a very low temperature and it catches fire. It is basically like a candle which is sandwiched between two sheets of metal.

We have seen those fires before. There was one in 2014 in Melbourne, Australia, but those didn’t enter the flats, because I understand the flats were sprinklered. In Britain, we didn’t have these flats sprinklered, and therefore the fire was able to enter the flats quite rapidly.

Q: What does this say about these modern methods of construction that could be potentially so dangerous?

What it actually says is that the building regulations we have in this country are not fit for … this form of cladding. All that you require to meet the standards is that the outside surface shouldn’t allow the spread of flames. What is going on behind the metal or the other surface is entirely irrelevant to building regulations. You could put expanded polystyrene in there, or anything else that burns.

Q: The construction company has said it followed regulations.

I have seen nothing yet that the architect or the contractor or the supply of materials breached the building regulations. The horrendous fact is that in 2014 I did a talk to the British Standard Institute at one of their fire conferences. And I said this will happen in this country. There will be multiple fatalities as a result if these cladding systems are not changed.

Q: How do you feel?

To be honest I burst into tears. This tragedy is totally avoidable. I would say it is wicked that these people have had to die. When I got a phone call from another expert at quarter to four in the morning, I went downstairs turned on the television and burst into tears. My wife came down thinking my mother had died.

It is terrible what has happened. It needn’t have happened. And the people responsible are either the politicians or their advisers. It need never have happened.

Q: What do you expect will happen?

Well, on the scale of what has happened in previous years where we’ve had inquests where it has been said we should have sprinklers in respective buildings and fitted retrospectively, what do I expect of government? Nothing! Nothing’s been done. Nothing’s been acted upon.

Time and again they said lessons will be learned. If I hear another politician say lessons will be learnt, I will scream. It is just soundbites. It’s just meaningless, just saying lessons will be learned when they’ve never been learned from the past.

London fire

Four managers at company paid £11million by taxpayers to manage inferno tower block shared more than £650,000 pay last year

  • Grenfell Tower in London is owned by Kensington and Chelsea Borough Council
  • In 1996, tenant firm KCTMO took over the management of the block of flats 
  • They gave a £10m refurbishment contract to a third body – Rydon Construction
  • KCTMO has been accused of ignoring warning signs regarding fire safety at flats
  • Four most senior members of KCTMO earned £650,000 between them last year

hey are the four most senior members of KCTMO and according to papers seen by MailOnline, they earned £650,000 between them last year.

Sacha Jevans, who is Kensington and Chelsea Tenant Management Organisation's Director of Operations

Barbara Matthews (centre) is the Executive Director of Financial Services and ICT, Yvonne Birch (left) is the Executive Director of People and Performance and Nicholas Holgate (right) who is Kensington and Chelsea Borough Council’s Chief Executive

Residents say they told former KCMOT worker ^  Siobhan Rumble  of their safety concerns, but claim their warnings were overlooked in the building that is ownedby Kensington and Chelsea Borough Council

A tweet sent by KCTMO's Barbara Matthews on February 22 showing off the company's Best Not-For-Profit Organisations to Work For award by The Sunday Times

 http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4603626/Taxpayers-11MILLION-company-managing-Grenfell-Tower.html

Truthseeker1‏ @thewakeupcall09

Tony Redpath, Amanda Gill, Laura Johnson & Jonathan Bore all NEED TO RESIGN from RBKC


Scott Nelson @SocialistVoice

WATCH: The 1984 documentary that predicted a disaster like Grenfell Tower


And from a fictional tv series…

Predictive programming?

Grenfell Tower disaster parallels in House of Cards, 1993.

 Originally broadcast on December 12th 1993, these edited excerpts from the BBC’s ‘House of Cards’ are incredibly prescient, in light of the events of last Tuesday. The obvious satirical commentary of the show highlights the withering opportunism of governments and media alike to jump on such stories. The points are made in general, but I found the arguments around social injustice, and the nature of the cause of the tragedy – a gas explosion in a run-down tower block – particularly chilling. Especially uncanny are the details of the degraded state of public housing, and even the specific points that a small fire on the fourth floor began the blaze, and the death toll being 72 (an estimated figure of around 70 from the fire service yesterday was given in relation to Grenfell).
I am simply struck by how a 25-year old show can so closely resemble today’s reality, with seemingly so few of the issues having been addressed in the interim.
20 June 2017

The Grenfell Tower fire was the end result of a disdainful housing policy

The people who lived in Grenfell Tower should be writing this article. But those who died cannot tell their stories, and those who survived are still dealing with their trauma. The residents had tried for so many years but were silenced by a system that prevented them from being heard. The most persistent were threatened with legal action for defamation which had the effect of discrediting their claims of neglect and mismanagement. It’s only now that people are listening – when it’s too late.

I worked with a group of residents living in Grenfell Tower through my involvement with the Radical Housing Network, a network of housing campaigns across London. The first meeting of tenants in early 2015 was attended by around 100 residents. Each spoke of the historical neglect of the building, of the Kensington and Chelsea Tenant Management Organisation (KCTMO) failing to undertake basic but vital maintenance or improvements. Residents recounted incidents such as disturbing power surges in which appliances “blew up”.

I’d been asked to help the residents organise and campaign on the specific issue of a major refurbishment of the building being undertaken by a private contractor. The residents – mainly social tenants but also people renting from private landlords in flats previously purchased under right-to-buy – represented a typical slice of working-class urban London. They were ethnically diverse, and many had brought their children with them to the meeting. Their unequivocal message was one of a failure by KCTMO and the private contractor to respond to their concerns, let alone take any action about them.

This disdain for residents did not surprise me. It was the same story across many of the campaigns I’d worked on: one where private contractors and developers worked with local councils to “regenerate” estates, while systematically ignoring the views and needs of residents.

The recent history of social housing is one of contempt for council tenants and denigration of council housing. The scale of the tragedy at Grenfell is singular, but the underlying causes of the fire are deeply economic and political. This approach to and accompanying narrative about social housing dates back to the 1980s. It is still driving processes of urban gentrification across London.

Council housing was conceived and built in the postwar era as a mainstream way of living – a place “where the doctor, the grocer, the butcher and farm labourer all lived on the same street”, in the words of Nye Bevan, the politician most closely associated with the state-managed housing revolution. Primarily for the working class, it also housed many of the more comfortably off as well, and was not a derided way of living. Indeed, in 1979 one in five of the richest tenth of the UK’s population lived in social housing. Key aspects of council housing were genuine security and affordability. While far from perfect, it was a standout achievement of the postwar rebuilding of the UK.

Since Margaret Thatcher introduced right-to-buy in 1980, neoliberalism has come to dominate all aspects of economic and social policy. Council housing and its tenants have been undermined and sidelined. Council homes, reduced in number by over 2m, are available only to the most economically dispossessed in society. The Thatcher revolution, continued by New Labour, required that the state and public sector be reduced as much as possible. Regulation and “red tape” were enemies of entrepreneurialism. They were characterised as intrusive and undesirable, while the private sector was hailed as the epitome of efficiency and responsiveness.

In the council housing sector, these changes came together in a drive towards removing housing from local government ownership and control. Council housing was handed over to newly created quasi-private bodies, such as arms-length management organisations and tenant management organisations, or transferred en masse to housing associations. This was justified by claims that management of social housing would improve, bureaucracy would be done away with, and responsiveness to tenants would increase.

Regeneration projects are now invariably delivered through hugely complicated public-private partnerships, with little government funding. Instead, in exchange for their work, private developers receive highly lucrative long-term contracts, such as PFI, and valuable land on which to build homes for private sale. Local government has become distanced from housing provision, central government funding for social housing has been reduced, and the involvement of powerful private companies has increased. As this has happened lines of accountability have become blurred, and social housing tenants have become a “necessary evil”, tolerated by the private sector only because they allow lucrative private market housing to be built.

The consequences of these shifts, and of the accompanying decades of disinvestment in housing policy, are now being seen across London. It is not simply the Dickensian levels of inequality we see in the city on a daily basis, or even the atrocity of the Grenfell fire. It is also the way in which tenants of social housing are treated as problems to be managed, with no voice and little respect. The experience of the Grenfell Action Group is not that of an outlier or a cock-up. It is symptomatic of these gradual and systematic changes in the social housing sector, and in society more broadly, over the past 35 years.

Grenfell was a preventable, political tragedy, about which ordinary people have been warning for years. The tragedy happened because ideology and the bottom line have come to matter more than people’s lives. If anything positive is to come of this disaster, it must be that we start to value council housing again – and the people who live in it.

Five questions about Grenfell Tower that must be answered

With a criminal investigation under way and a public inquiry announced, the AJ puts forward five key questions about the causes of the tragic fire

1. CLADDING • 2. THE REGS • 3. ARCHITECTS’ ROLE • 4. BUILDINGS AT RISK • 5. IMMEDIATE ACTION

The residents of Grenfell Tower in west London had repeatedly warned of the potentially devastating effects of a fire before last week’s blaze. At the time of writing 79 people were dead or missing, presumed dead, as a result of the disaster. The exact cause of the fire at the 24-storey building in north Kensington, which had only recently undergone an £8.6 million refurbishment by Studio E Architects, remains unknown. Much more evidence will be needed before fingers can be pointed and, of course, there may have been multiple causes. Even so, the new cladding on this 1974 concrete block has already become a major focus of attention after eyewitnesses said the fire spread up the building’s exterior with alarming rapidity. Here are five key questions which will need to be answered.

One of the main aims of the refurbishment was to improve the building’s thermal performance through new external cladding. In its designs, Studio E Architects, working with contractor Rydon, specified a cassette-type insulation system comprising Celotex FR5000 insulation board attached to a timber backing. The drawings also specified a Reynobond aluminium composite material (ACM) rainscreen panel to be installed 50mm in front of the insulation. The lightweight Reynobond panel comes with either a polyethylene core or a slightly more expensive, honeycombed mineral core, which is more fire-resistant.

According to a report in The Guardian, at Grenfell, the construction team used the cheaper panels. These are prohibited on high-rise buildings in the USA and – according to the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) – also breach the UK’s Building Regulations 2010, which restrict their use on buildings over 18m tall.

Earlier this week chancellor Philip Hammond said a criminal investigation would be launched to investigate these possible breaches – in particular discrepancies with Part B (fire safety) Volume 2, Paragraphs 12.5-12.9, which state that cladding and insulation on buildings over 18m tall should be of limited combustibility. This is defined further in Table A7.

2. If this cladding method breached the regs, why was it used at Grenfell Tower?

Grenfell tower ©harley facades c1059 complete 4

Source: Harley Facades

This will be a key question for the Met’s criminal investigation and the public inquiry but, at the time of writing on Monday (19 June), Kensington and Chelsea Council remained unwilling or unable to answer basic questions put to its press office five days previously, including if and when Studio E’s project was granted Building Regulations approval and when exactly Grenfell Tower last had a fire risk assessment.

What is known is that fire experts have long claimed that Part B is inadequate and open to exploitation. The document has not been properly reviewed since 2006 and, in 2015, a survey by the Fire Sector Federation, which represents fire and rescue organisations, found that 92 per cent of its members believed that the regulations were ‘long overdue an overhaul’.

In the UK, products are tested on an individual basis, rather than in combination with other building components. This contrasts with the testing regime in the Middle East. Following a series of serious fires in high-rise buildings there linked to the use of panels containing polyethylene – the same cladding material apparently fitted at Grenfell Tower – the UAE banned the material and ruled that components must be fire-tested alongside other components.

Konstantinos Tsavdaridis, associate professor of structural engineering at the University of Leeds, told The Times that the UK needed to adopt such a system, adding: ‘You may have very good material indeed. But if you install it as part of a system with gaps and voids, the smoke and the heat can pass through and create a chimney effect, funnelling flames to the floors above. That’s what happened at Grenfell Tower.’

The role of procurement and whether value engineering was at play will also be in the spotlight, as will the government’s war on red tape and so-called ‘health and safety culture’ and whether this drive helped allow rules to be broken or bent. After speaking to affected residents last Sunday, London mayor Sadiq Khan said: ‘To those who think rules, regulations, health and safety investment, are a bad thing, I say come to Grenfell Tower, come and meet the wonderful people I have met and remember those who have lost their life in a preventable accident that didn’t need to happen.

‘The tragedy we have seen is the consequence of mistakes and neglect from politicians, from the council, and the government.’

3. Could the declining role of architects have played a part in this tragedy?

The answer to this will of course depend on the exact cause of the fire and thus on the outcomes of the public inquiry. However, there is a suspicion that there is no longer a single competent professional such as an architect or engineer who has responsibility for specifying materials and – alongside the building control and fire officers – ensuring such materials, or a safe and legal alternative, are used and correctly installed.

Instead, the argument goes, responsibility for risk has been spread around to the point where no-one knows where responsibility lies. In a recent opinion piece for The Guardian in response to the Grenfell Tower fire, architect Deon Lombard – a former project director at tp bennett who has worked on major refurbishment projects and on residential towers – wrote: ‘In the past, architects have specified construction materials and have then been in a position to ensure that the specified materials were used. This is increasingly not the case as performance specifications enable alternative materials to be used, often selected by the developer, contractor or subcontractors.

‘With architects now seldom having the authority to insist on specific products being used, there is a tendency to go for cheaper materials, without necessarily understanding the impact or knock-on effect.’

RIBA Council member George Oldham – Newcastle upon Tyne’s city architect from 1979 till 1990 – told the AJ that ‘something has been lost’ in the move away from filling such positions, pointing out that his role had involved a wide range of responsibilities, including fire risk and maintenance of buildings.

He said: ‘There has been a shift from public sector control of the design and building process to something which is more or less a free-for-all.’

Statement from Studio E

We are deeply shocked and distressed over news of the devastating fire at Grenfell Tower.

Our thoughts are with those that have been affected by this tragic incident, together with all of their relatives and friends.

Given the ongoing nature of the incident it would be inappropriate for us to comment or speculate further at this stage. We will be available to assist the relevant authorities as and when we are required.

4. Are there any other buildings at risk?

Grenfell©chirlajon

Source: ChiralJon

According to the DCLG, there are 4,000 similar residential tower blocks in the UK – many of them owned by local authorities.

Councils around the country including London boroughs, Sheffield, Leeds and Manchester are urgently carrying out fire safety checks while tower block residents in four major Scottish cities – Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aberdeen and Dundee – were quickly reassured by the authorities that the cladding believed to have been used at Grenfell Tower had not been used on their buildings.

In addition, at least one architecture practice is internally reviewing its designs for tower blocks and the building materials used.

Simon Bayliss, managing partner at HTA, said: ‘We’ve set up a technical group across our various architecture studios and different teams, so we can represent all of the buildings we have built recently or are currently building.

‘We will be looking into the implications of the detailing, the packages we’ve prepared, our role on the projects, and preparing ourselves to work with the clients and the contractors should they need any assistance.’

Bayliss, who lived in a 20-storey tower block for eight years, said that HTA had yet to establish whether any of its schemes used the same cladding as Grenfell Tower.

He pointed out that a 2012 fire at a HTA-designed 22-storey tower block in the Chalcots Estate, north London, which had used aluminium cladding, had not spread to other floors.

‘We need to look at every single one individually and make sure that the right things were done,’ he said.

Prior to the Grenfell Tower fire, safety checks on tower blocks appear to have been in decline.

According to figures published in last weekend’s Sunday People, fire safety checks at tower blocks and commercial buildings fell 25 per cent in the five years from 2011 to 2016, from 84,575 to 63,201. Worryingly, the cladding used in Grenfell Tower is not restricted to residential buildings either. The Times reported that £553 million of public sector money has been spent fitting buildings with similar external cladding, including schools, hospitals and leisure centres.

5. What needs to be done immediately to make sure post-war, high-rise residential blocks are safe?

Ampthill estate by nico hogg

Source: Nico Hogg

Ampthill Estate in Camden

Among the most extreme solutions is give up on these buildings and to simply flatten them. Writing in last weekend’s Observer, mayor Khan wrote: ‘It may well be the defining outcome of this tragedy that the worst mistakes of the 1960s and 1970s are systematically torn down.’

Others have suggested less drastic measures, including the retrofitting of sprinklers to all high-rise residential blocks, a recommendation made in 2012 by the coroner at the Shirley Towers inquest.

At present, only towers built in England since 2007 and above 30m high have to have sprinklers fitted. Their effectiveness was praised in 2015 by a spokesman for the Chief Fire Officers Association, who maintained that no-one had died in any fire in the UK in a building with a ‘properly installed sprinkler system working the way it’s meant to’.

However, others point out that it will take months to fit sprinklers to all vulnerable towers and call for far more urgent action.

Leading architect Rab Bennetts said: ‘We cannot wait. We need to get moving on several thousand towers. The government needs to ensure there are fire extinguishers and smoke alarms on every level, they need to make sure fire doors work properly and the seals are good and they need to  ensure that flammable clutter and rubbish isn’t left around on landings.

‘There are thousands of people in these blocks and they need everything done fast to ensure they’re ok.’

Timeline

  • April 1991 Cladding cited as a key factor in a fire at Knowsley Heights, Liverpool
  • June 1999 One person dies in a tower block fire in Garnock Court in Irvine, Scotland. The cladding is cited as a factor
  • 2005 Scotland requires sprinklers in all new-build tower blocks above18m
  • 2006 The government insists on sprinklers in new-build tower blocks of flats higher than 30m
  • July 2009 Six people die in a fire in Lakanal House, south London. The coroner says that the Building Regulations should ‘provide clear guidance’ with regard to the ‘external fire spread’ on buildings
  • April 2010 Two firemen are killed fighting a fire in Shirley Towers, Southampton
  • November 2010 Fifty-eight people die in a fire in a 28-storey block of flats in Shanghai. External insulating material is cited as a possible cause
  • 2012 Shirley Towers inquest. Coroner recommends sprinklers should be fitted to existing residential tower blocks
  • March 2013 Lakanal House inquest recommends retrofitting sprinklers to existing tower blocks
  • January 2014 Planning permission is granted for the £10 million refurbishment of Grenfell Tower, including new external cladding. Completed in 2016
  • December 2015 Cladding is cited as a cause for the spread of a fire at the 63-storey Address Hotel in Dubai
  • January 2016 Legislation introduced in Wales requires sprinklers in every new home
  • November 2016 Grenfell Action Group warns that the block’s manager KCTMO is ‘playing with fire’ and ‘only a catastrophic event will expose the ineptitude and incompetence of our landlord’
  • 14 June 2017 Fire breaks out on the fourth floor of Grenfell Tower

https://www.architectsjournal.co.uk/news/news-analysis-five-questions-about-grenfell-tower-that-must-be-answered/10020900.article#.WUkmYqhYrqA.twitter

GRENFELL TOWER – THE BRUTAL ILLUSTRATION OF INEQUALITY

Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea Council (RBKC)

One of the first people to put their face in front of the media was Nicholas Paget-Brown, leader of the Tory-run council.  Mr Paget-Brown is an interesting man – he used to be involved in the Tory think-tank Bow Group, so is clearly well-connected in Tory circles.  He offered his resignation but the council cabinet unanimously declined to accept it.

IMG_0927

The housing stock in the borough is run by Kensington and Chelsea Tenants Management Organisation (KCTMO) – which is basically the council giving itself another name.  It was KCTMO (yes, the council) who employed the services of the contractors to undertake a £10m regeneration of Grenfell Tower.

Survivors and locals keep repeating that they almost feel that it could be an intentional action as they believe the council are in the process of social cleansing an area that could potentially make them a lot of money.  I won’t speculate on whether this is true or not.

Regeneration – companies involved:

The Grenfell Tower regeneration project

Grenfell Tower Pre-assessment by Syntegra Consulting, 2013

An article in The Guardian covers all those involved in the project:

  • Harley Facades Ltd (originally Harley Curtain Wall): run by Robert Bond, who lives in a Kent mansion, they undertook the cladding work for £2.6m.
  • Rydon: construction firm was the lead contractor having won an £8.6m contract to regenerate the estate.
  • Artelia UK: commissioned to project manage the refurbishment.
  • Max Fordham: Building services engineers.
  • Studio E: Architect.
  • Witt UK/PSB: ventilation firm.
  • Celotex: supplied insulation for cladding.
  • JS Wright & Sons: worked on the ventilation.
  • Arconic: Designed Reynobond PC used in the plastic cladding.  Despite selling fire retardant cladding for just £2 more per piece, the council chose the cheaper option.

The questions that need answering

  • Why was such a huge amount of taxpayers money spent on superficial cosmetic work when essential safety work was required but neglected?
  • Why were residents concerns continually ignored and, worse still, threatened with legal action by the council solicitor?
  • Why was the cladding used despite recommendations by it’s manufacturer that it NOT be used on buildings taller than 10m?
  • Is it true that there used to be a sprinkler system within the tower block in the seventies?
  • Why were the council offices closed all this weekend (directly after the fire) despite the plight of those who have lost everything?
  • Why can the government pledge nearly £400m to refurbish Buckingham Palace (even though the Queen doesn’t live there any more) but pledge £5m for many people who have lost the only homes they had and all their possessions.
  • Why did the stairwell fill with smoke?
  • Why did RBKC not contact the British Red Cross until Friday afternoon to ask for their assistance on the ground?  It seems that despite the devastation and carnage that unfolded in front of their eyes, they still continued to ignore the residents until they couldn’t do so any longer.
  • How can your surplus stand at such a huge figure yet housing such as Grenfell be so lacking in basic safety measures?
  • How can you justify spending out on making paving stones ‘less slippery’ using new equipment and extra manpower in the richer areas, yet seemed to adverse to spending money where it NEEDED spending?  That is the public purse!
  • Why are your wages so extortionately high?  What justification is there for them – it can’t be because of added responsibility of the position as you’ve shown no responsibility whatsoever!

Legal Aid

The council were alerted numerous times by residents and the Grenfell Action Group (GAG) of potential safety risks.  Not only did the council ignore them, they even went so far as to silence them by issuing a solicitor’s letter!

IMG_1052

In 2013, Justice Secretary Chris Grayling made cuts to the legal aid budget, the result of which meant that most ordinary folk cannot access legal aid any more because they simply can’t afford it.  So even when the GAG (the abbreviation isn’t lost on me) knew the council were breaching safety with inadequate alarm systems and evacuation procedure, there was little they could do because they couldn’t afford to!  This highlights the very issue of inequality in this country.  The Tories have slowly chipped away at the rights of the masses until voices can no longer be heard.  The latest idea of scrapping the Human Rights Act and policing the internet more heavily just adds to this.

So who’s to blame?

Without knowing the reasons why the fire started (maybe a power surge caused the fridge to ignite) it’s impossible to say.  However, one this is almost certain – the cladding used on the tower exacerbated a fire that London Fire Service say, they did extinguish.  So, who is responsible for the cladding?

It’s not the manufacturers – they simply fulfilled an order – although that particular cladding should now be banned.

It’s not the builders who were simply following orders to fit it.

So who made the decision to use that particular cladding?  Who proposed it, who checked it, was it assessed against other options and who rubber-stamped it?

Who is the person at RBKC in charge of health and safety within social housing?  Why was there no proper evacuation procedure in place?  Why did it take for numerous complaints from residents to even get simply signage?

Who is the person who should have been coordinating and assisting all those affected by the fire but who has been nowhere to be seen?

Who has been making the most appalling decisions since the fire occurred?

Oh, and I haven’t forgotten you Mr Barwell…

Lastly, why did the then Minister for Housing, Gavin Barwell, sit on a report that had urgent recommendations on tower block fire safety to prevent this very thing from happening?  Is he going to be held accountable?  He’s just been promoted by Theresa May.

Why did 71 Tory landlords vote against the bill to make rental properties fit for human habitation – including Police and Fire Minister, Nick Hurd!

All those extortionately paid staff at RBKC and in the government are a shocking example of all that is wrong in our society.  They lack any decency.

And all those unpaid volunteers who stopped to help due to simple common decency and compassion are a shining example of all that is good.

Nor you, Mr Johnson…

In 2013, whilst London Mayor, Boris Johnson responded to criticisms about his cuts to fire services and the risks to life by telling a Labour politician to “get stuffed”.

So many questions.  So many lives lost.  So many lessons still not being learned.  So much deflection of responsibility.

https://scepticpeg.wordpress.com/2017/06/20/grenfell-tower-the-brutal-illustration-of-inequality/

https://www.parliament.uk/documents/lords-library/hllreform.pdf

The Bow Group Acknowledgements:

Nick Paget-brown and Camilla Batmanghelidjh

https://www.bowgroup.org/sites/bowgroup.uat.pleasetest.co.uk/files/Go%2520Zones%2520-%2520Policies%2520for%2520the%2520Places%2520Politics%2520Forgot.pdf

Camila Batmanghelidjh and Boris Johnson

Boris Johnson and Camila Batmanghelidjh

http://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/598681/Kids-Company-Camila-Batmanghelidjh-charity-swimming-pool-mansion-Hendon

Grenfell: Exploitable Flaws Found In Building Control

According to the Fire Sector Federation, the Building Control Alliance is a “unique industry group made up of representatives from all the organisations directly involved in building control in England and Wales.”

Though its own website is currently not available, the organisation is described as comprising “the organisations supporting the many thousands of building control professionals – the Chartered Institute of Building, the Chartered Association of Building Engineers and the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors – and the professional associations promoting public and private sector building control, Local Authority Building Control and the Association of Consultant Approved Inspectors.”

The BCA, the Fire Sector Federation says, is the only place where all these “voices and competing interests” come together as one.

It appears to be a lobby group which has issued guidance and presentations, seen this morning, highlighting an exploitable loophole in the fire compliance regulations relating to the use of external cladding on buildings over eighteen metres in height.

 

https://www.byline.com/column/67/article/1741

London fire: Flats acquired for Grenfell Tower survivors

June 21 2017

The upmarket Kensington Row complex includes a 24-hour concierge service and a private cinema, the website of developer St Edward’s says.

Each new home will be fully furnished, and the government says will be completed to a high-specification.

http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-40357280


Chris GilesVerified account @ChrisGiles

You do know these are just the social housing units that were anyway part of the development – not a gift from above?


Jon Stone@joncstone

 

Spin alert: are they ‘luxury flats’ or ‘newly built social housing’?


Nick Pettigrew @Nick_Pettigrew


“Grenfell victims given luxury flats”. No, they’ve been allocated the social housing flats such developments are required by law to build.


Snobby Tory Kensington residents don’t want Grenfell Tower survivors living in nearby luxury apartments as they will ‘lower house prices’.

What a horrible thing to say to those effected . Nasty sods

link



 


 

 

 

 


https://www.berkeleygroup.co.uk/property-developers/st-edward/about-st-edward

Retired KCTMO Board Member Michael Beverley, age 50, found dead (2009)

He was the TMO’s longest-serving board member.

Karen Buck, MP for Regent’s Park and Kensington North,  paid tribute to Mr Beverley.

She said: “I worked closely with Michael for many years and was deeply saddened by news of his death at such a young age.

“I always found him full of humour, interest and compassion, and he put so much effort into his community that his loss diminishes us all.”

Robert Black, chief executive of the TMO, echoed their sentiments.

 

The Tories proved themselves tonight to be without honour, courage or integrity. They will regret this vile betrayal of good men and women

 

 

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Paedophile Clarence Henry Howard-Osborne’s files could have ‘brought down government’

It appears paedophile Clarence Howard-Osborne, Australian Parliament stenographer, trafficked children to PIE members.

Howard-Osborne was a contact point for senior PIE figures and a leading pedophile called John Stamford in Amsterdam.

And the thing that was very disturbing about them was that the Brisbane kids [photographed by Osborne] were appearing in the German magazines …

then we’d find a copy of the same magazine in English … and it was almost like a tourist guide for paedophiles.

They could come to Brisbane and meet these kids.

And this was all arranged through bloody Clarry.

We discovered that the motto of the paedophile group over there was – ‘sex before eight [years old] before it’s too late’.

One of the German magazines was named Spartacus and it was the codename of an international underground paedophile network.

It was run by a bloke called John Stamford out of Amsterdam.

He originated from the UK and I think sort of got himself in a bit of strife there and went over to Amsterdam and he was running this network, and Clarry Osborne was part of that.”

The names on the index cards, so dutifully recorded by Osborne, were not only those of the boys he had seduced, but adults – members of the judiciary, the legal profession, politicians, academics, and even police officers – with sexual interests in children.

ELM GUEST HOUSE

Image result for Spartacus magazine - Brochures for Elm Guest House in the UK advertised discounts for Spartacus members.

10% DISCOUNT TO SPARTACUS CLUB MEMBERS

Image result for Spartacus magazine - Brochures for Elm Guest House in the UK advertised discounts for Spartacus members.

CLARENCE HOWARD OSBORNE’s photos appeared in Spartacus magazine – Brochures for Elm Guest House in the UK advertised discounts for Spartacus members.

Spartacus was in fact published by former British Catholic priest and paedophile Stamford, who had fled the UK for Amsterdam

Stamford also ran the Spartacus Club, part of the British-registered Spartacus International.

Two secret inquiries were held by the Public Service Board in 1973 into Osborne, and as a result, the chief court reporter was moved to the Hansard bureau at Parliament House


 18.15 – Eric Kasir / Neil Kier / Carol Kasir


[CHRIS] I knew who to complain to, how the system worked. Now, when the police, because they thought, they knew that Carol Kasir’s son, Eric, was 10, was living there. They also suspected and their own words ‘that other children might be present’ they approached Richmond Services, told them about the raid. Now procedure dictates that normally you would have got, say, the local field social worker in the local office who would have come in with the police on the raid. Any children present, they would have taken, they would have taken them into care. However, on the day of the raid, the man from Kingston, err from Richmond Council, who, who was on the raid with the police was Neil Kier, the officer in charge of Grafton, who took Eric into care.

[BILL] That’s her son Eric?

[CHRIS] That’s her son Eric. So you can understand why Carol was so angry.

[BILL] So, so, she knew, she knew that all the kids were coming from this children’s home. Then what they done on the night of the raid was took her own child and put her own child in that children’s home.

[CHRIS] Not only that, but with the very guy who had been one of the people supplying the boys, so Carol knew full well what that meant.

21.20 – David Hamilton Grant / Kings & Queens parties / Monday Club / Harvey Proctor / John Stamford / Peter Glencross / John Rowe / Michael Rowe (aka Captain Paul Reinhart)

[BILL] And one thing we never touched on, also, in this video suite, there was also a regular visitor there and his name was David Hamilton Grant. David Hamilton Grant was a child pornographer.

[CHRIS] Yeah.

[BILL] He made child pornography and

[CHRIS] Distributed it.

[BILL] Distributed it

[CHRIS] Yes.

[BILL] and the possibility of snuff movies as well.

[CHRIS] Yeah, but you need to understand where this starts from, and we’re talking about ..if you’re talking about the movies that were made in the video conference facility, but you have to broaden it out and understand the Kings and Queens parties. Now most of the people who attended the Kings and Queens parties were from organisations like The Monday Club.

[BILL] And what was The Monday Club exactly?

[CHRIS] The Monday Club was a right wing Tory party club for extreme right wing views, and people like Harvey Proctor belonged to it. All those sort of people belonged to it. Now one of the people who was involved with Carole Kasir, if you go back to prior to the raid, the evidence we’ve got, and indeed still have is The Monday Club paying for adverts in Capital Gay, which was the main gay newspaper in London.

[BILL] Capital Gay.

[CHRIS] Capital Gay. For the Elm Guest House. They were also paying for adverts to be put in a magazine called Spartacus. Now Spartacus was a magazine run by a man called John Stamford, who operated out of Holland. Stamford ran a European wide vice ring involving children. He was a known paedophile. He was a known maker of very nasty child pornography.

link

Truthseeker1‏ @thewakeupcall09

Prince Charles & David Hamilton-Grant ‘The Souvenir Video Guide to Royal London’

David Hamilton-Grant 16 CHILD PORN BRITS BOOTED OFF SUN ISLE The Sun 03-08-88

David Grant (producer)

David Grant (born 1937) sometimes billed as David Hamilton Grant was an Englishporn producer, and suspected child pornographer during the late 1960s and 1970s.

David Hamilton Grant was born Willis Andrew Holt in Uxbridge in 1939. He changed his name by Deed Poll on the 22 January 1982 to David Hamilton Grant.

Originally a photographer, Grant first film was Love Variations (1969) a sex education film that was based on a ‘marriage manual’ Grant had photographed/published a year earlier. Grant’s sex film empire grew in the 1970s, he opened up a number of adult cinemas, the first being ‘The Pigalle’ in 1974,[1] distributed foreign sex films through his “Oppidan” company.

ELM GUEST HOUSE; DAVID HAMILTON GRANT; DENHAM GILBART-SMITH

“In 1984 he was convicted and imprisoned for ‘possession of over 200 copies of an obscene article for publication for gain’ this was in connection with the film ‘Nightmares in a Damaged Brain’ a violent ‘video nastie’ which featured children in sex scenes.

“Upon being released from prison, David Hamilton Grant fled to Cyprus and lived there until he was deported in 1988.

“An article in The Sun around that time described Grant as a “drug dealer” who had “corrupted thousands of children”, during his time in Cyprus.

“It would seem from Mr Grant’s central position in the schematic below that it was not just the children of Cyprus that he corrupted.

“David Hamilton Grant is thought to have died as a result of a contract killing in 1991.

“The ‘family tree’ document appears to show the commercial chain involved in the trafficking and sexual exploitation of children from Richmond care homes.

“Above David Hamilton Grant we can see the ‘Care Home’ part of the chain.

http://aangirfan.blogspot.com/2013/02/elm-guest-house-david-hamilton-grant.html


Pedophiles arrested
‘more powerful than the Mafia
by Mark Burdman
On Feb. 2 , in London’ s Old Bailey court, four men were convicted for running a ring of pedophiles-adults who sex­ usually use children-which had recruited at least 150 young boys , some as young as nine, for repeated sodomic abuse.
It is the biggest ring of pedophiles yet uncovered in Britain.
British newspapers Feb. 3 said it had been run as a “Mafia­
like conspiracy. ” One man arrested was too frightened to
testify, declaring that the ring was “more powerful than the
Mafia. “
According to experts on child abuse in Britain, this case is only the beginning. Interviewed on British television Feb. 3 , Dianne Core, head of the Childwatch organization, stated that “people in high places” were involved in pedophiliac activities , and that the whole matter would “explode” during the coming months.
The London Daily Telegraph’s crime  correspondent reported Feb. 3 : “Despite the convictions , po­lice believe there is still a flourishing pedophile network in Britain, with a sophistication said to resemble the Mafia. “

The most prominent figure in the ring, Colin Peters , was trained at Oxford, and was formerly a senior adviser in the British Foreign Office. Following his Foreign Office work, he prosecuted cases for the British Customs and Excise.

Investigators working on the case had interrogated at least one senior member of the House of Lords , one vicar in West London, and officials in Whitehall , “but the police did not have sufficient evidence or manpower to pursue their suspi­cions ,” the Telegraph reported.
Alan Delaney, the official head of the ring, is a cleaning company director. Delaney would procure young boys for pedophiles , by putting job advertisements in the press .
The ring would also procure boys who were members of a junior soccer team. Many of the youngsters had been at special boarding schools for educationally below-normal children.
Others were runaways , who were caught up by members of the Delaney-Peters ring, who would roam” the streets of Lon­don scouting for boys .
According to the Feb. 3 Telegraph account, the young boys were “passed around its members for sexual degradation and, when the attraction faded, abandoned to a life of pros­titution, drugs , and petty crime . . . . The boys were tempted off the unfamiliar London streets with promises of food,
accommodation, money, and a sympathetic ear. Some were plied with drugs, including cocaine, and sexually assaulted while under their influence.”
When he was brought before presiding Judge Pownall for sentencing Feb. 3, Colin Peters was told: “On your own admission, you found boys to satisfy your lust. You were prepared to encourage them to drugs or to lace their drinks­ and you have made matters worse by trying to get witnesses not to attend court. You did that to save your own skin. That was disgraceful. You of all people should have known that. “
‘A permanent conspiracy’ British deputy police superintendent John Lewis , who oversaw the investigations , is calling on Scotland Yard to create a special squad to deal with pedophile rings. Lewis declared Feb. 2 that “these people are as organized and so­phisticated as any other  criminals, and are involved in a permanent conspiracy which is renewed daily as they hunt for new boys. They need to be targeted like bank robbers. It
is important that we should not feel complacent. Positive policing should be continued.”
British police investigators were reportedly angered by the light sentence meted out to Peters , Delaney, and their two  collaborators. The four received, in total, only 34 years of sentences. Peters received only 8 years, for combined charges of conspiracy to commit buggery (sodomy), buggery and conspiracy to pervert the course of justice. Delaney was jailed for 1 1 years , on conspiracy to commit buggery, indecent assault, taking indecent photographs , indecency with a child, and attempted buggery. One of the four was given only 6 years.
A senior British police officer told the Daily Express Feb.
4: “It should have been more. The damage these people have
done to young lives is very severe.”
In an editorial entitled, “Is This Justice?” the Express Feb. 4 called the sentences “woefully inadequate . . . weighed against the enormity of
their crimes and the emotional and physical damage they did
to their victims , some of whom were only nine years old. “
Moncini and the Satanist track
The London case has refocused attention on another recent case, in Trieste, Italy, involving one Alessandro Mon­cini, a businessman nabbed by law enforcement in the United States and convicted in 1988 for importing child pornography (although he received a paltry one-year sentence and was released “on good behavior” after serving less than three
months in jail).
Investigators in Trieste working on the Mon­cini case have recently been to the United States, attempting to accumulate more information on what they believe to be a “most exclusive ring of international pedophiles.”

Informed sources in Britain believe that the Delaney­ Peters ring and the Moncini-linked networks are connected,

and that both are part of an international pedophile conspir­acy.

U. S. law enforcement officials have in their possession tapes of Moncini attempting to procure a young girl, for Satanic-ritual abuse purposes.

Experts on ritual abuse stress that pedophile rings , as horrifying as they are in and of them­ selves , are actually fronts for, or extensions of, hard-core Satanist cults , for whom the pedophiles provide young boys.

In Britain, however, the Home Office has repeatedly
indicated its opposition to allowing the matter of satanism to
be pursued by police and in the courts.

Should this attitude continue, it will be impossible to crack the command-struc­ture controlling powerful pedophile rings.

Investigative leads

Experts in pedophilia and Satanism report to EIR, that
that the dossiers on previously publicized cases of European­
based pedophile rings have never been fully closed, and may
now be reopened. These involve pedophile rings that were
either cracked or exposed in the 1 986-87 period. Three of
them are worth noting:
On June 1 8, 1987, the head of the Belgian national
office of UNICEF was arrested for involvement in a large­
scale child pornography and pedophilia ring. Ring leader
Jozef Verbeeck had used his influential position in UNICEF
to procure children, often from broken homes, some as young
as eight months old, for some 400 wealthy clients across
Europe. The basement of UNICEF in Brussels was used to
store pornographic pictures of children.
• In spring-summer 1987 , Dutch authorities uncovered
one of the worst cases of collective child sex abuse in record­
ed history. In a small town called Oode Pekala, during the
Easter holidays , a gang of pedophiles , dressed as clowns,
lured more than 70 children into taking part in pornographic
movies.
On Aug. 3, 1986, the Sunday Times of London “In­sight Team” exposed the activities of a secretive organization called the Spartacus Club, based near Amsterdam in Holland, which sent pedophile literature to 25 ,000 subscribers in Great Britain, and which specialized in procuring boys from the Philippines for pedophile activity. Headed by one John Stam­ford, the club was part of Spartacus International, which published homosexual literature and the Paedo Alert News, “a magazine about boy love. “


What is new is the location concerning these two people as this was not revealed to me when I made FOI request to Northampton Crown Court PREVIOUSLY but was mentioned during a telephone call today by a source who I will not name yet

https://webbrain.com/brainpage/brain/0FE31538-2121-8495-33A5-86073BE95DE1/thought/2782

 

Paedophile’s 2,500 victims

link


A cover-up continues to the present day.


International VIP Paedophile Networks

Members of the judiciary, the legal fraternity, there were politicians, it was the top end

in Australia and the UK …

Clarence Howard-Osborne      

According to police who saw the files, Howard-Osborne was also distributing child pornography and had links to PIE – the Paedophile Information Exchange – based in Amsterdam, and with paedophile contacts around the world.


March 18, 2016

QUEENSLAND government stenographer and paedophile Clarence Howard-Osborne gassed himself in his car in the garage of his home in Mount Gravatt, on Brisbane’s southside, in September 1979.

He had accidentally come to the attention of police, and fearing the exposure of his “life’s work” – extensive files on his boy victims – he took his own life.

On searching Howard-Osborne’s house in Eyre St, police soon discovered a monstrous cache of documents, audio recordings and photographs pertaining to more than 2500 young male victims. According to police who saw the files, Howard-Osborne was also distributing child pornography and had links to PIE – the Paedophile Information Exchange – based in Amsterdam, and with paedophile contacts around the world….

…a dark force beneath everything, weakening official inquiries into it, sending files missing, impelling alleged suicides when the truth strayed too close.

link

He was a world-class stenographer and his name was Clarence Henry Howard-Osborne.

…a leading shorthand writer for the Queensland courts and later state parliament in Australia.

caught photographing boys in bushland near Mount Gravatt.

Items seized from Howard-Osborne’s home.

Osborne was taken by police to Eyre St. There, they discovered thousands of pictures of naked children, hundreds of hours of tape-recorded conversations with boys and a meticulously organised filing cabinet filled with index cards bearing the details of his victims, from their names, ages and addresses, to their physical measurements. It was later estimated that Osborne had been involved with more than 2500 under-aged males over a 20-year period.

Police took Osborne back to headquarters in the city for questioning. They also confiscated three carloads of materials – a fraction of Osborne’s sordid trove of information.

Investigators were initially bewildered by the magnitude of the case

Down at headquarters, police noted that Osborne was remarkably cooperative.

Former Juvenile Aid Bureau officer Dugald William MacMillan said the JAB was not informed of the Osborne case on the day he was brought in by CIB officers and questioned. “They [the original investigating officers] never came near us,” MacMillan recalled. “I was absolutely stunned when I heard this story.

I couldn’t understand why the CIB hadn’t followed it up and they’d let him go.”

Osborne was found dead the day after he was questioned by investigators in September 1979

Incredibly, Osborne and his voluminous files were never thoroughly investigated by police. According to officers who viewed the Osborne material at the time, the names on the index cards, so dutifully recorded by Osborne, were not only those of the boys he had seduced, but adults – members of the judiciary, the legal profession, politicians, academics, and even police officers – with sexual interests in children.

One former officer said the Osborne material was enough “to bring down the [then Queensland] government overnight”.

The officer said when he suggested the Osborne case deserved a thorough investigation, despite the fact that Osborne himself was dead, he was warned off by a senior officer and told to leave the matter alone.

Premier of Queensland Australia – Joh Bjelke-Petersen with Queen Elizabeth at the opening of the Queensland Art Gallery in 1982

MacMillan added: “My understanding is the case went as high up as the premier’s  (Joh Bjelke-Petersen’s) office because of who Osborne was.”

By the early 1980s the Osborne case had been all but forgotten, and many of the diminutive stenographer’s secrets were presumed lost with him. Except a retired Queensland police officer with a conscience and a phenomenal memory, who wanted to pursue Osborne at the time – and was warned off by senior officers, and who received a death threat after he pushed the paedophile investigation too far – only to be drummed out of the force, never forgot the case.



And in breaking his silence, he wouldlink Osborne to an international paedophile ring, and the child abuse scandal currently rocking Westminster in the UK.

During the 1970s, Osborne was a familiar face around Parliament House. Political staffers remembered his outgoing personality, and his obsession with holidaying in Thailand. And a trainee shorthand co-worker recalled Osborne’s most peculiar hobby. “He used to take and develop his own photos  of the boys he went with,” remembers the co-worker. “He would show these photographs around at work.

I saw hundreds of them. There were even pictures of babies.

Complaints over Osborne’s behaviour were lodged.

Two secret inquiries were held by the Public Service Board in 1973 into Osborne, and as a result, the chief court reporter was moved to the Hansard bureau at Parliament House

In the winter of 1980, almost a year after Osborne had gassed himself at Mount Gravatt, a Juvenile Aid Bureau detective in the city branch headed down to the storeroom to retrieve a fresh police notebook.  He could not know that that routine trip for some stationery would change his life.

 In the storeroom, he noticed dozens of boxes on the shelves marked “Osborne”. “Within those boxes were all these index cards …

I recognised names … it was quite obvious there were members of the judiciary, the legal fraternity, there were politicians, it was the top end

there were no bloody truck drivers and bricklayers amongst them,” the retired officer, who requested anonymity, said.

The following year, another young detective was transferred into the JAB. The officer developed a trust and rapport with the newcomer, and they were soon digging through the Osborne files together. “But we both realised we had to do it on the quiet, we had to sneak the stuff out,” he said.

“We found magazines. There were German issue magazines. There were American magazines.

And the thing that was very disturbing about them was that the Brisbane kids [photographed by Osborne] were appearing in the German magazines …

then we’d find a copy of the same magazine in English … and it was almost like a tourist guide for paedophiles.

They could come to Brisbane and meet these kids. And this was all arranged through bloody Clarry.

We discovered that the motto of the paedophile group over there was – ‘sex before eight [years old] before it’s too late’.

One of the German magazines was named Spartacus and it was the codename of an international underground paedophile network.

It was run by a bloke called John Stamford out of Amsterdam.

He originated from the UK and I think sort of got himself in a bit of strife there and went over to Amsterdam and he was running this network, and Clarry Osborne was part of that.”

Spartacus was in fact published by former British Catholic priest and paedophile Stamford, who had fled the UK for Amsterdam in the early 1970s after being convicted of sending obscene literature through the post.

Stamford also ran the Spartacus Club, part of the British-registered Spartacus International. The company described itself as “general publishers of trade and business directories, periodicals, newspapers and journals”.

Through the 1970s Stamford also appeared regularly in the press as an advocate for gay rights, and was a leading member of what was known as the Paedophile Information Exchange PIE.

It was founded in 1974 as a pro-paedophile activist group. In addition, PIE had a “contact page”, a bulletin where members placed advertisements. They were required to quote their membership number, general location and their sexual predilections. PIE managed the replies through a private post office

The Paedophile Information Exchange PIE was allegedly given £70,000 by the Home Office between 1977 and 1980 – the equivalent today of about £400,000.

A former Home Office worker revealed that Jim Callaghan’s Labour government and Margaret Thatcher’s Conservative administration, which took over in 1979, may have provided funding for PIE.

The whistleblower said senior civil servant Clifford Hindley, who was head of the Home Office’s voluntary services unit, signed off a three year grant for £35,000 in 1980.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2571632/Home-Office-gave-Paedophile-Information-Exchange-70-000-Group-allegedly-given-taxpayers-money-1977-1980.html

Secret service infiltrated paedophile group to ‘blackmail establishment’

BRITISH security services infiltrated and funded the notorious Paedophile Information Exchange in a covert operation to identify and possibly blackmail establishment figures, a Home Office whistleblower alleges.

The former civil servant has told detectives investigating the activities of paedophiles in national politics that the Metropolitan Police’s Special Branch was orchestrating the child-sex lobbying group in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

The whistleblower, who has spoken exclusively to the Sunday Express, says he was also warned off asking why such a notorious group was being handed government money.

It emerged late last year that PIE was twice gave amounts of £35,000 in Home Office funding between 1977 and 1980, the £70,000 total equivalent to over £400,000 in today’s money.

Those details surfaced only after the whistleblower highlighted his concerns to campaigning Labour MP Tom Watson and his revelations have triggered an ongoing Home Office inquiry into why the cash was given to PIE which was abolished in 1985 after a number of prosecutions.

Until now, speculation about the grant has centred on Clifford Hindley, the late Home Office manager who approved the payments. However, the whistleblower told the Sunday Express he thought higher and more sinister powers were at play.

He has given a formal statement to that effect to detectives from Operation Fernbridge, which is looking into allegations of historic sex abuse at the Elm Guest House in south-west London

PIE, now considered one of the most notorious groups of the era, had gained respectability in political circles. Its members are said to have included establishment figures, and disgraced Liberal MP Cyril Smith was a friend of founder member Peter Righton.

In 1981, Tory MP Geoffrey Dickens used Parliamentary privilege to name Sir Peter Hayman, the deputy director of MI6, as a member of PIE and an active paedophile. In 1983 Mr Dickens gave the Home Office a dossier of what he claimed was evidence of a paedophile network of “big, big names, people in positions of power, influence and responsibility”. The Home Office says the dossier no longer exists.

Whistleblower Mr X, whose identity we have agreed to protect, became a very senior figure in local government before retiring a few years ago. In the late 1970s and early 1980s, he was a full-time consultant in the Home Office’s Voluntary Services Unit run by Clifford Hindley.

In 1979 Mr X was asked to examine a funding renewal application for PIE, but he became concerned because the organisation’s goal of seeking to abolish the age of consent “conflicted” with the child protection policies of the Department of Health and Social Security and asked for a meeting with Mr Hindley, his immediate boss.

PIE was being funded at the request of Special Branch which found it politically useful to identify people who were paedophiles. This led me not to pursue my objections. At that time, questioning anything to do with Special Branch, especially within the Home Office, was a ‘no-no’.

“I was under the clear belief that I was being instructed to back off and that his reference to Special Branch was expected to make me to do so.

He asked for a file the Home Office kept on PIE, but his request was refused. However, he was certain then Tory Home Office Minister Tim Raison, who died in 2011, must have signed the 1980 funding application.

Mr X has given a formal written statement to the inquiry set up last year into former Home Office links with PIE but has refused to meet the inquiry in person because he fears “repercussions” under the Official Secrets Act.

Special Branch was an integral part of the intelligence service gathering intelligence on spies and political threats to the state.

http://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/485529/Special-Branch-funded-Paedophile-Information-Exchange-says-Home-Office-whistleblower

As Osborne was sitting down with Wilson at UQ on the other side of the world, PIE was causing a storm in the UK.

Several members were charged with conspiring to corrupt public morals, and details of the outfit emerged during court proceedings. It was described as “sick and a force of evil”.

PIE’s contact point in Australia was Clarence Howard-Osborne 

Media coverage of PIE intensified through the late 1970s, as did the group’s attempts to push its message, which included the abolition of the age of consent. And its contact point in Australia was Osborne.

“Clarry had been operating for so long that he virtually became the guru of paedophiles,” the officer said. “All of the paedophiles that we looked at were all in there [in the Osborne files], and that was only scratching the surface. They all came from Osborne’s system.”

In the end, the officer and his partner were on the brink of launching a major sting. 

The tension was just unbelievable. We took some of the Osborne files one day and we read them on a hill in Dayboro. We couldn’t get caught with it.

“It got to the point where we actually said to each other, don’t be surprised if they find one of us dead in the Brisbane River … that’s how bad it was getting.”

The officer also found a bullet in the drawer of his desk at the Juvenile Aid Bureau. He took it as a death threat. In the end, his investigation petered out, having met with constant obstructions.

More than three decades later, the impact of PIE continues to play out in Britain via its Independent Inquiry Into Child Sexual Abuse, announced by Home Secretary Theresa May in mid-2014 following the scandal surrounding late entertainer Jimmy Savile and his abuse of hundreds of children.

The Chair Of The Goddard Child Sex Abuse Inquiry Makes A Statement : News Photo

The Independent Child Sex Abuse Inquiry was established by Home Secretary Theresa  will investigate alleged allegations of child abuse by key members of Westminister and Whitehall.

It was set up after investigations in 2012 and 2013 into the Jimmy Savile sexual abuse scandal revealed widespread abuse, including claims of abuse stretching back over decades by prominent media and political figures, and inadequate safeguarding by institutions and organisations responsible for child welfare.

 

Incredibly, a part of that same massive ring had taken root in Brisbane, Queensland, courtesy of Clarence Osborne.

Equally astonishing is that the extensive Osborne files were never properly investigated, despite the best efforts of a handful of honest officers. The boxes of material sat for years in the JAB storeroom under lock and key.

Their whereabouts are currently unknown.

In Osborne’s wake remain a number of serious questions.

Why did the Queensland police never look into the expansive Osborne material given that his notorious activities were known to some officers prior to his suicide in 1979?

How did the Osborne material, given its global reach, manage to evade the serious scrutiny of various subsequent inquiries, including the Fitzgerald and Kimmins inquiries?

And why hasn’t Australia’s current Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse not examined historic links with government and institutions such as the police?

http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/queensland/paedophile-clarence-henry-howardosbornes-files-could-have-brought-down-government/news-story/247c25b437c48ae08605d5953eda3ddf

Elm guest house scandal: Coded advert that gave signal to perverts

The written message “10% Discount to Spartacus Club Members is understood to have alerted abusers that young boys were available for sex.

link

Why did Leon Brittan refuse to ban PIE?


more on Joh Bjelke-Petersen

Joh Bjelke-Petersen with Queen Elizabeth at the opening of the Queensland Art Gallery in 1982.

Sir Joh Bjelke-Petersen, … premier of a” notoriously corrupt government” in Queensland.

In 1984 Bjelke-Petersen was created a Knight Commander of the Order of St Michael and St George (KCMG) for “services to parliamentary democracy”
“I don’t believe there can be any doubt what his biggest legacy is – he was the long-term leader of a Government which engaged in rampant nepotism and used a corrupt and sometimes brutal police force for their own political ends…. the kickbacks for illegal brothels…
it was the intimidation and harassment in so many individual people’s daily lives that was the worst aspect of the police force of the time.
Political activists were continually having their houses raided and searched (with the constant fear that drugs might be planted), cars were followed and often stopped and occupants questioned or searched for no particular reason.”


Queen Elizabeth Silver Jubilee Fountain celebrations at the Queensland Art Gallery site, 11 March 1977 

In 1984…
BjelkePetersen was knighted by the Queen in 1984.
 photo joh lb_zpshbl574qi.jpg
Also in 1984

MStar210684

Leon Brittan and the 1984 “Cabinet Minister Scandal”

The ‘Cabinet Minister scandal’ ran for exactly one week at the height of the Miners Strike, 21st June-28th June 1984.

It started with a denial in The Times, and ended with libel threats and an MP being gagged by the Speaker of the House of Commons. It was never mentioned again in British newspapers.

If the Thatcher government believed the ‘MI5 smear’ story, then why wasn’t there an inquiry into MI5’s alleged role in the scandal?

The way the Thatcher government dealt with the scandal was similar to the way the Elm Guest House scandal was suppressed in August 1982. That story made the headlines for 10 days before the Attorney General joined forces with Elm Guest House’s lawyers to threaten libel action against any newspapers that dared to print further allegations.

Elm Guest House: The History of a Cover-Up

Clockmaker Keith Harding played vital role in Britain’s biggest child sex ring

MUSIC box collector and clock maker Keith Harding, whose staff restored antiques for royalty, played a vital role in Britain’s biggest child sex ring.

The pervert met regularly with MPs Leon Brittan and Cyril Smith at his world-renowned workshop. 

Image result for "david napley" + "harvey proctor"

The former Liberal leader Jeremy Thorpe would also drop by along with key members of the vile Paedophile Information Exchange Steven Adrian Smith and Tom O’Carroll.

A PIE list seized in 1984 records Harding, who died from cancer last year aged 82, as member 329 and his address as Hornsey Road, Holloway, north London.

He is understood to have kept hidden a list of more than 1,000 PIE members with prominent names including top politicians from the Thatcher era.

One of his staff, who worked for him between 1980 and 1987, said: “Leon Brittan and Cyril Smith were both regular visitors to the shop.

Usually they would come in via the side door, other times they would ring the bell at the front entrance and come in. 

“They’d straight away ask for Keith who would be coming down the stairs. 

“Then they would then either go up to his office for a private meeting or they’d go out for several hours.” 

Image result for leon brittan goodnessandharmony

Top Tory Leon Brittan ‘photographed entering underage sex den during police investigation’

The former MP for Cleveland and Whitby is said to have been snapped by officers on a 1986 surveillance operation focusing on rent boy orgies

Our sources say it is unclear what happened to the photographs or why the raid was called off.

A friend of the officer on the investigation said: “The rent boys would be driven to flats or garages where large groups of men were waiting.

“These included Brittan and Smith. Pictures were taken as men entered or left buildings where the abuse was taking place.”

link

More on Clarence Henry Osborne:

He was a leading shorthand writer for the Queensland courts and later state parliament- a world-class stenographer and his name was Clarence Henry Howard-Osborne.

A book on Osborne, The Man They Called a Monster, was written by criminologist and academic Dr Paul Wilson

Wilson also wrote about a British pedophile outfit called the Paedophile Information Exchange (PIE).

At the time of writing his book, several members of PIE were being prosecuted for various crimes throughout Britain and Europe. Wilson speculated that the charges against PIE were not because crimes had been committed, but because “the very existence of such an organisation … offended both the government’s and the police’s sense of morality”.

In the mid to late 1980s, years after the publication of The Man They Called a Monster, PIE was exposed in the world press as part of a massive international pedophile ring, its tentacles reaching into Westminster.

And Clarence Howard-Osborne, was part of that network.

According to a retired Queensland police officer who viewed Howard-Osborne’s files in the early 1980s, there was evidence that Howard-Osborne was a contact point for senior PIE figures and a leading pedophile called John Stamford in Amsterdam.

Also in the files were innumerable references to a pedophiles involved in local rings.

link

Paedophilia is a ‘hobby’: Queensland academic advocated to have no age of consent laws

November 26, 2016

A Queensland criminologist and convicted paedophile once advocated to scrap the age of consent laws for children because he believed they “should have the right to conduct their sexual lives like adults do”.

In the book, Wilson suggested that paedophilia was a “hobby” and claimed abusers went to “great lengths to look after the child” they were preying upon.

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Criminologist Paul Wilson in 1996.

By the early 1970s, Wilson was an established commentator and civil libertarian, known too for his sandy hair and his red sports car. He was part of an academic experiment to test if transcendental meditation might have a favourable impact on crime rates. The experiments were to be conducted, of all places, in the tough mining town of Mount Isa in far northwestern Queensland.

Wilson in the early 1990s at the Queensland University of Technology.

It was in the mid-1970s – not long after the offences occurred at Indooroopilly – that Wilson claimed he had a peculiar encounter in his office at the University of Queensland. By his own account, Paul Wilson was paid a visit by a top government shorthand expert, Clarence Howard-Osborne.

Howard-Osborne, in his late 50s, had brought with him documents and a manuscript about his life and philosophies.

Wilson would learn that Howard-Osborne had had relationships with more than 2500 boys over a 20-year period and had carefully documented these encounters.

Howard-Osborne had a filing cabinet filled with index cards detailing the boys’ physical attributes, as well as thousands of photographs of naked children he’d taken himself, and more than 8km of secret recordings.

“Howard- Osborne said that he had come to see me because of my reputation as a civil libertarian and because he was sure I would respect his rights to privacy,” Wilson later wrote.

Howard-Osborne claimed he was afraid he was about to be arrested.

A pornographic film of men having sex that he had bought by mail order from Denmark had been seized by Australian Customs.

His primary worry, however, was that police might confiscate his “research” – the unprecedented and lurid documentation of his sexual activities with children that he had amassed over the years.

Wilson claimed he met Howard-Osborne over the next few months.

By the time of their meetings, some senior police and members of the legal fraternity were fully aware of Howard-Osborne’s behaviour. Some had known for years.

In late 1979, Howard-Osborne had by chance come to the attention of police.

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In November 2012, Wilson was accused of sex abuse alleged to have happened in the early 1970s. He is fighting the charge.

On 16 May 2014, Wilson was committed to stand trial on six charges of indecent treatment of girls under the age of 17. Wilson pleaded not guilty to the charges.

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High-profile criminologist denies having a full frontal photo taken with a CAT covering his genitals as he faces court charged with four counts of sexually abusing a young girl

Criminologist Paul Wilson leaves court in Brisbane where he faces four counts of indecent treatment of a girl under the age of 12 in the mid-1970s

  • Leading criminologist Paul Wilson on trial over four counts of molestation
  • Paul Wilson is accused of molesting a child under 12 (from age 8-11) in the 1970s
  • The jury heard the retired criminologist played sexualised hide-and-seek 
  • He said he has no memory of a photo with a cat covering his genitals
  • Mr Wilson said he has a hazy memory of taking a nude photograph 

A retired Queensland criminologist accused of molesting a young girl in the 1970s has begun giving evidence at his trial.

Paul Richard Wilson, 74, is fighting four charges of indecently dealing with a child under 12, between March 1973 and November 1976, in Brisbane’s District Court.

The jury has heard allegations he played sexualised hide-and-seek and kept a full-length naked poster of himself in his wardrobe that he showed to his alleged victim.

The Man They Called a Monster, by criminologist and academic Dr Paul Wilson

Professor Paul Wilson

Fulbright Scholar, Wilson would held distinguished academic posts – in the early 2000s he was Dean of Humanities at Bond University on the Gold Coast, as well as that institution’s Chair of Criminology – and Paul Wilson was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) in the Australia Day Honours of 26 January 2003.

Prof Paul Wilson OAM is an Australian author, sociologist and criminologist. He currently holds the Chair of Criminology at Bond University. Prior to this he held academic appointments at the University of Queensland and several American Universities. He also was a Fulbright Scholar. He has authored 24 books on crime and related social issues. He is an occasional columnist for several Australian newspapers. In 2003 he was awarded the Order of Australia Medal for ‘services to education, particularly as a writer and lecturer in the field of criminology and to the community through raising public awareness of social justice issues’.

Paul Richard Wilson (born 1941) PhD, OAM is an Australian author, sociologist and criminologist.

He currently holds the Chair of Criminology at Bond University. Prior to this he held academic appointments at the University of Queensland and several American Universities. He also was a Fulbright Scholar.

He has authored 24 books on crime and related social issues, He is an occasional columnist for several Australian newspapers. In 2003 he was awarded the Order of Australia Medal for ‘services to education, particularly as a writer and lecturer in the field of criminology and to the community through raising public awareness of social justice issues’.

Bibliography

* The Police and the Public in Australia and New Zealand (with D. Chappell), University of Queensland Press, Brisbane (1969)
* The Sexual Dilemma: Abortion, Homosexuality, Prostitution and the Criminal ThresholdUniversity of Queensland Press, Brisbane (1971)
* The Policeman’s Position Today and Tomorrow: An Examination of the Police Force (with J. Western), University of Queensland Press, Brisbane (1972)
* The Australian Criminal Justice System (with D. Chappell), Butterworths, Sydney (1972)
* Australian Social Issues: Perspectives for Social Action, Butterworths, Sydney (1972)
* Immigrants and Politics, Australian National University Press, Canberra (1973)
* Crime and the Community (with J. Brown,) University of Queensland Press, Brisbane (1973)
* Deviance in Australia (with A. Hiller), Cheshire, Melbourne (1975)
* The Helping Professions: A Critical Appraisal (with A. Pemberton and P. Boreham), University of Queensland Press, Brisbane (1976)
* Public Housing for Australia, University of Queensland Press, Brisbane (1976)
* Delinquency in Australia: A Critical Appraisal, University of Queensland Press, Brisbane (1977)
* Of Public Concern, University of Queensland Press, Brisbane (1977)
* The Australian Criminal Justice System (with D. Chappell), revised, Butterworths, Sydney, (1977)
* Planning for Turbulent Environments (with J. Western), University of Queensland Press, Brisbane (1977)
* The Other Side of Rape, University of Queensland Press, Brisbane (1978) ISBN 0 7022 1167 2
* Mental Disorder or Madness (with E. Bates), University of Queensland Press, Brisbane (1979)
* The Two Faces of Deviance (with J. Braithwaite), University of Queensland Press, Brisbane (1979)
* Intimacy , Cassell Collier-Macmillan, Sydney (1979)
* The Man They Called a Monster, Cassell, Sydney (1981)
* Black Death, White Hands, Allen and Unwin, Sydney 1982 (revised editions 1985, 1988).
* Murder of the Innocents: Child Killers and Their Victims, Rigby, Adelaide (1985)
* Street Kids (with J. Arnold), Dove, Melbourn (1986)

http://www.nimbinmardigrass.com/2012/PaulWilson.html

  February 18th 2016   Hung jury in the case of high profile criminologist Paul Wilson

paul-wilson-north-america

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Professor Paul Wilson OAM is a Research Fellow and Honorary Professor in Criminolgy and Forensic Psychology at Bond University. He has worked in Canadian and American Universites and research institutes, was Dean of Humanities and Social Sciences at two Australian Universities and also Director of Research at the Australian Institute of Criminology. He has co-authored or authored thirty books and hundreds of articles or reports mainly in the areas of miscarriages of justice, violence and violence prevention and most recently, mass crimes of atrocity. He is a practicng forensic psychologist and in August, 2011, will be givng a keynote address to the Australian Psycholgical Society National Conference on Miscarriages of Justice and the role of the forensic psychologist

Experience

  • 1993–2011
    Professor and Chair of Criminology, Bond University
  • 1991–1993
    Dean and Professor of Social Science, QUT

Education

  • 1971
    University Of Queensland, Sociology

Honours

Order of Australia Medal

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robyn lincoln

Paul Wilson & his wife Robyn Lincoln

Queensland criminologist Paul Wilson found guilty on child sex charges

Nov 23 2016

High-profile Queensland criminologist Paul Wilson has been found guilty on four child sex charges dating back to the 1970s.

The 75-year-old was convicted on four counts of indecent treatment of a child under the age of 12.

Luminaries provided him with character references – 16 in all.

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Revealed: Paedophile criminologist Paul Wilson wanted age of consent scrapped and defended child abusers saying they ‘look after’ their victims

  • Paul Wilson convicted of playing blindfolded sex games with a young girl 
  • The abuse took place in his Brisbane home between 1973 and 1976
  • In 1981 Wilson published a book defending paedophiles and child abuse 
  • Argued against an age of consent and said children ‘should have the right to conduct their sexual lives like adults do’
  • Called child abuse a ‘hobby’ and said abusers ‘look after’ their victims 

He was once one of the country’s most well-regarded criminologists – but following his conviction this week Paul Wilson will now go down in history as a child abuser.

While his guilty verdict shocked many in court on Wednesday, it has emerged that Wilson has a sordid history of defending paedophiles and promoting ‘man-boy love’.

In 1981, Wilson published a book defending the activities of a follow paedophile as merely a ‘hobby’, suggesting that abusers ‘go to great lengths to look after the child’ they attack, and arguing that the age of consent should be abolished.

The book was called The Man They Called a Monster and was based on the life of Clarence Howard-Osborne, a government official and serial child abuser.

Over the course of two decades Howard-Osborne preyed on young boys, photographing and filming the encounters as well as keeping a detailed filing cabinet full of ‘data’ he collected.

He wrote: ‘Clarence Osborne and his fellow paedophiles are just part of a long tradition of folk devils created by a vengeful society and a sensationalist press.’

In his view, there was nothing wrong with having sex with children, provided no ‘violence, force, fraud or pressure’ was used.

In a section dealing with the ‘rights’ of children, he added: ‘It is only logical that children should have the right to conduct their sexual lives with no more restrictions than adults do.’

In the same section he argued for the abolition of any age of consent, and ‘all legislation relating to the age of consent in the field of sexuality specifically.’

Image result for criminologist Paul Wilson awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia
Journalists Chris Masters and Phil Dickie with Paul Wilson and former premier Peter Beattie.
Paul Wilson awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia for his contribution to education.
He was sentenced to six months in prison.
Judge Julie Dick sentenced Wilson to 18 months imprisonment suspended after six months. Dick said the offending was persistent, brazen and involved the corruption of a child “of tender years”.

Bond Uni has been in the news recently with criminologist lecturer Professor Paul Wilson facing court on child abuse charges. Former student Fiona Barnett says the rot at the University goes deep.

Trapped inside Australia’s vast child abuse network (Part 2)

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via L8in
Image result for Bravehearts Child Abuse Agency

Bravehearts Child Abuse Agency tries to erase their relations with Convicted Pedophile Bond University lecturer Paul Wilson

November 26, 2016

On Wednesday 23 November 2016, my former Bond University forensic psychology lecturer Professor Paul Wilson, was convicted of 4 counts of child sexual abuse.  The following day, he was sentenced to 18 months prison.  I have it on good authority that such a long line of female victims are waiting to testify against Wilson regarding their own historical child abuse experiences, Wilson should spend the rest of his life in prison – or court.

The media refer to Wilson as a ‘now-retired’ academic, psychologist and criminologist.  This is misleading, since Wilson was head of Criminology at Bond University right up until police started investigating him.  People like Wilson simply don’t retire from academia.  Some of my Bond University lecturers are much older than Wilson who was Dean of Humanities at Bond for 10 years.

I got to know Paul Wilson while taking a forensic psychology class he shared with Katarina Fritzon in 2006.  That same year, I assisted Fritzon and Wilson with their textbook, ‘Forensic psychology and criminology: an Australasian perspective’ and was mentioned in that book.  At that time, I knew nothing about Paul Wilson’s pro-pedophilia articles and books, and blindly trusted that Bond University was an ethical institution.  As it turns out, Paul Wilson is not an exception, and Bond University is a pedophile haven.

Wilson is part of a Queensland based VIP child abuse network.  Back in the early 1980’s, when lecturing at the University of Queensland, Wilson organised a pro-pedophilia conference to be held at UQ until public outcry forced the university to cancel the event.  Also while a UQ lecturer, Wilson ‘accidentally’ showed a class of psychology students the end of a kiddie porn snuff film.  One student in that class was the daughter of a Queensland police commissioner; other student witnesses are now practising psychologists.

Until now, Paul Wilson has evaded arrest and conviction due to his VIP pedophile network connections which included Queensland Police Commissioner Terry Lewis who had a dirt file on Wilson which  featured in the Kimmin’s Report and found its way into the Fitzgerald Inquiry.  The existence of the snuff film that Wilson did indeed show at UQ was whitewashed by the Fitzgerald Inquiry.

This pedophile did not only commit numerous crimes against children, but he also brazenly promoted pro-pedophilia doctrine and anti-victim thinking within academia and the Australian media that he regularly addressed.

I personally experienced the pro-pedophilia / anti-victim stance taken by Paul Wilson and the other Bond University criminology, law and forensic psychology lecturers.  In fact, I was victimised, placed under excessive scrutiny, and finally subjected to a false and vexatious notification by Bond University staff to the psychology registration board because I adhered to mandatory reporting legislation and took a pro-victim / anti-pedophile stance in my classes.

Image result for Bravehearts Child Abuse Agency

Every connection with Paul Wilson must now be questioned.  This includes the fact that Paul Wilson’s wife Robyn Lincoln, who also lectures in criminology at Bond University, sat on Braveheart’s advisory board.

Robyn Lincolnresigned her position on the Bravehearts executive committee immediately following the arrest of her husband Paul Wilson in late 2012.  Bravehearts subsequently tried to erase record of their relationship with pedophile Paul Wilson’s wife, including in 2013 revising the Two Strikes article and replacing Robyn Lincoln’s name with Hetty Johnston’s.  This is fraudulent.

robyn lincoln

Bravehearts should be open and transparent about their relationship with the woman who supported her pedophile husband throughout his multiple trials.

Since addressing the national press in Sydney a year ago, I have been inundated with contact and information from hundreds of victims of child abuse and VIP child sex trafficking rings around the globe.  I have been entrusted with names, times, places, and connections.  I now have a unique and thorough understanding of the nature of child sex trafficking and networks.  I know which police, judges, lawyers, universities, government agencies, politicians and child abuse support agencies are engaged in child sex trafficking and its cover-up.

Bravehearts is a fake advocacy agency funded by the government to gather information and silence victims of child trafficking.  Hence their close relationship with Bond University and their pedophile protector lecturers.

terry goldsworthy

After Paul Wilson was charged, Terry Goldsworthy replaced Wilson as Bond University’s head of Criminology, and he replaced Robyn Lincoln on Bravehearts’ advisory board.

I was targeted by Bond University after adhering to mandatory reporting laws in the Bond University psychology clinic.  I reported fresh allegations of child abuse by a Miami (Gold Coast) DOCS foster parent against a 10 yo child. In response, Bond University psychology lecturers made a false & vexatious notification to the Psychology Board about me.  Terry Goldsworthy – whom I have never met – removed my age at the time of my child abuse and reported me to police & AHPRA as an adult perpetrator instead of a child victim of my childhood abuse.  In support of this false & vexatious notification, Goldsworthy used his position as a Bond University lecturer & a Gold Coast police officer. Goldsworthy exchanged emails with authorities that referred to me as a criminal ‘suspect’.

Goldsworthy called my child abuse experience “outlandish claims.”

Terry Goldsworthy’s research interests include the role of the Nazi Waffen SS… His first book Valhallah’s Warriors examined the genocidal actions of the German SS in Russia during WW2.

Is Terry Goldsworthy who labels a child abuse victim’s testimony ‘outlandish’ the sort of person suited to being on a child abuse organisation’s advisory board?

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braveheart-snip

Too many of these exist – they need exposing and closing


Pedophilia Network Exposed in Australia — It Starts at the TOP, Just Like in the USA and UK

A woman has claimed that she was sold for sex by a “VIP pedophile ring” which allegedly included a former Prime Minister of Australia. Fiona Barnett, 45, claimed to media in Sydney that she was trafficked to “pedophile parties” at Parliament House in Canberra aged five, according to the News.com.au site.

She claimed she was abused by an ‘elite’ ring which she says included high-ranking politicians, police and members of the judiciary.

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back to Joh Bjelke-Petersen…illegal brothels, ugly sex

...the truth about his administration began to emerge from an inquiry into police corruption.

In late 1986 two journalists independently began investigating the extent of police and political corruption in Queensland and its links to the National Party state government.

Dickie’s reports, alleging the apparent immunity from prosecution enjoyed by a group of illegal brothel operators, began appearing in early 1987

This was too much even for a tame Bjelke-Petersen cabinet. After trying to block the inquiry and dismissing five ministers, he was forced to resign in December 1987.

The inquiry went on to expose crime, corruption and cronyism extending far beyond the police.

On September 23, 1991, he went on trial for corruption and perjury. However, a hung jury ended the trial, and Bjelke-Petersen went free.
It was later discovered that the jury foreman was a member of Bjelke-Petersen’s National Party and had assisted in raising funds for his legal expenses.

Four cabinet ministers were eventually jailed; a fifth died while awaiting trial. The police commissioner, Sir Terence Lewis, got 14 years. The voters threw out the Nationals in favour of Labour, and Sir Joh became the 213th person to be charged

later years…he had become a tourist attraction in his old brick family farmhouse, with its pictures of the Queen and Sir Joh together.

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Despite their estrangement, former Queensland police commissioner Terry Lewis and his biographer Matthew Condon have one thing in common: their love for little fish. It’s the meanings behind the metaphor that differ. For Lewis, little fish were the small bribes before “The Joke”, as it was colloquially known, became big business. For Condon, author of the true-crime trilogy Three Crooked Kings, Jacks and Jokers and All Fall Down, they are titbits of new information he regularly receives about old corruption scandals.

Lewis, 88, will die protesting his innocence, but he was self-accused. His obsessive diarising secured his conviction on charges of corruption, the entries partly corroborating the evidence of Jack “The Bagman” Herbert. Recording his memoir was his biggest mistake. His second biggest was engaging Condon in the belief it would clear his name.

Condon instead provided an insight into the Lewis persona, particularly his fascination with power, status and indispensability. His influence has waned but his malice has not. As Condon describes in this book, Lewis, even before he terminated their collaboration, used intimidation to try to manipulate his biographer.

Unlike Condon’s trilogy, Little Fish are Sweet features Lewis as a peripheral character. Condon returns to the era of Frank Bischof, who was commissioner between 1958 and 1969, sponsor of the young Lewis, and patron, along with many corrupt detectives, of the notorious National Hotel.

The place to go for after-hours drinking and illegal prostitution, the National was the subject of a royal commission in 1963-64, chaired by Queensland judge Harry Gibbs, who was later chief justice of the High Court.

A quarter of a century later, another royal commissioner, Tony Fitzgerald, examined Gibbs’s finding that there was “no acceptable evidence that any member of the Police Force was guilty of misconduct or violation of duty in relation to the policing of the hotel”.

Fitzgerald was sympathetic towards Gibbs, stating that “nothing in the terms of reference or structures of the Royal Commission … would have alerted it to the possibility that it confronted an orchestrated ‘cover-up’ based on, and supported by, institutionalised police attitudes and practices”.

Condon, in contrast, argues that Gibbs’s findings amounted to a spectacular failure. He cites a former legal intern who worked for the solicitor-general’s office at the time. Not only did Bischof influence the draft terms of reference, alleges the intern, but Gibbs “was aware he was not getting the full story”. Gibbs effectively had three choices. He could have requested the government expand his terms of reference or he could have resigned. He instead continued with the inquiry, thus compromising himself and emboldening a new generation of corrupt police. What should have been Bischof’s Watergate moment was instead a whitewash.

Establishing who these police protected remains Condon’s interest. There’s no question they included the operators of illegal brothels and casinos, but Condon muses as to whether the network shielded even more insidious criminality. He cites the case of Brisbane man Clarence Howard-Osborne, 61, who took his life in 1979. Described by Condon as one of the “worst serial pedophiles”, Howard-Osborne, by the time of this death, had been involved with more than 2500 under-age males, photographing them naked and meticulously recording their personal details and physical measurements.

Howard-Osborne appeared not to have acted alone. A former Juvenile Aid bureau officer who viewed the seized material discovered names of alleged co-conspirators including judges, lawyers, politicians, academics and police, and links to overseas pedophiles. What should have been a major criminal investigation was terminated during Lewis’s reign, with threats to the officer and his premature retirement on medical grounds.

Having looked far back into the 1950s and beyond, Condon believes a network of teachers and counsellors across various Brisbane schools put Howard-Osborne in contact with his victims. From a purely evidentiary point of view, more research is needed to validate that belief, but it’s not unreasonable speculation. Whatever the case, Condon’s research into several other high-profile Queensland pedophiles of that period reveals the effectiveness of universities and elite schools as their shield and haven.

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Joh Bjelke-Petersen conspired to appoint corrupt Terry Lewis as Queensland police commissioner

david moore

David Moore (right) with then Police Commissioner Terry Lewis (left) TV puppet Aggro and TV presenter Fiona MacDonald in the 1980s.

Ex-TV cop “Officer Dave” Moore committed for trial on child porn charge

FORMER national children’s television police identity “Officer Dave” Moore has been committed to stand trial in Brisbane for possessing child pornography.

http://www.news.com.au/national/ex-tv-cop-officer-dave-moore-committed-for-trial-on-child-porn-charge/story-e6frfkp9-1225825843357

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The hidden hand of her majesty

February 10, 2007

The misconception the monarch has a hands-off role in Australia has been exposed

…publication of a book that sheds fresh light on the notion that Queen Elizabeth II might not only be Queen of the United Kingdom and Queen of Australia, but Queen of NSW and, for that matter, Queen of Queensland.

http://www.smh.com.au/news/national/the-hidden-hand-of-her-majesty/2007/02/09/1170524304007.html?page=fullpage

The return of Joh Bjelke-Petersen – premier who made the Queen sovereign of Queensland 

9 July 2012

Some of the decisions by the new Queensland LNP Government have a striking resonance with those of long-time Queensland Premier Joh Bjelke-Petersen

The Newman State Government is showing its monarchist colours with Queensland set to become the first state in Australia to restore the title of Queen’s Counsel.

After nearly two decades of Senior Counsel, the state’s top barristers are expected to soon resume the old title, QC. The title QC dates back to the late 16th century, when Sir Francis Bacon was appointed the first Queen’s Counsel.

When Queensland decided to dump the title in 1994, it was riding the wave of modernism that was sweeping though many Commonwealth and former Commonwealth countries. It was replaced in many places with various permutations of Senior or State Counsel, with no apparent loss of efficiency or purpose. The Bar Council of the Queensland Bar Association has confirmed to the Attorney-General’s office its in-principle support for the proposal to recommence the appointment of QCs, and the matter is expected to go before Cabinet soon. Queensland Bar Association president Roger Traves SC, acknowledged in a letter to members that some might view the move as pro-monarchist.


inquiry-queen

The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse will take evidence at The Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre on July 14, 2015 in London, England. The inquiry will ‘investigate whether public bodies and other non-state institutions have taken seriously their duty of care to protect children from sexual abuse in England and Wales’.


Update:

Former student who was ‘oiled up, photographed and sexually abused’ before being caned for ‘telling lies’ says school tried naming building after headmaster who oversaw paedophiles

  • John, who is in his 60s, said his housemaster Harry Wippell assaulted him 
  • He claims then principal Harry Roberts caned him for ‘telling lies’


Principal Harry Roberts oversaw four convicted paedophiles at Churchie after he was hired in 1947.

Housemaster Harry Wippell

John said he was soon introduced to Wippell’s friend, government stenographer Clarence Henry Howard-Osborne, who allegedly photographed him after making him take off his clothes and covering him in oil.

Paedophile Kingpin Charles Geerts & John David Stamford (Dutch) De Telegraaf 31-12-93, p37


Elm Guest House – CHE

In 1975, a Conservative Group for Homosexual Equality (CHE) was formed by party members, led by Peter Walter Campbell, a Professor of Politics at Reading University.

Campbell belonged to the Monday Club, a sub-group of ultra-libertarian Conservatives who believe in privatising everything from the prisons to the police. He was a member of the Albany Society which had campaigned for homosexuality to be legalised in 1967, and the very left-wing dominated Campaign for Homosexual Equality. They might have regarded him as an oddity, but he was like many of them in one striking way – he was a paedophile.

The name “Peter Campbell  – Monday Club” is found on this list of clients of the Elm Guesthouse, a boy-brothel. 

The place was closed down in 1988 but before she died, Mrs Kasir gave a list of regular clients to a former child protection officer, Mary Moss, who was investigating allegations made by victims. It was stunning, full of famous names from the world of show-business, M15 and politics. It included numerous MPs, and “Peter Campbell  – Monday Club”.

It could not refer to anyone else. Other Monday Club members on the list were Conservative MPs Charles Irving, Peter Bottomley and Harvey Proctor.
Not only did Peter Campbell use the boy-brothel, but he advertised it in the newsletter of the Conservative Group for Homosexual Equality, which he edited.

The advertisement mentioned that Elm gave a discount to members  of the “Spartacus club”  – an infamous pederast network that fixed up paedophiles with victims to molest while on trips abroad.
Photo_on_2012_12_21_at_14_28_4

Researchers for NAPAC (the National Association of People Abused in Childhood)  have tracked down a letter Campbell wrote in 1982, at the time of this advertisement, with a handwritten note on it from Peter Campbell to John Rowe, another frequenter of the Elm Guesthouse, saying “I have now inserted the entry about the hotel but can’t find the text about the Dutch adventure   – could you please let me have another copy? – Pete”. The Netherlands was the nearest and most popular destination for the boy-molesting holidays organised by Spartacus Club.  
Campbell could hop on the train at Reading and be in Paddington in forty-five minutes. From there he could take the Central Line Tube or more likely, on his professorial salary, he could afford to take a taxi to Barnes in Richmond. There he would select whatever bewildered, depressed young boy took his fancy, take him to a bedroom or even into the sauna, perform obscene acts on him, check him back in, and then have a drink in the bar before going on to meet friends at the House of Commons, or home to Reading. He was probably a member of the Spartacus club himself, and despite all of that he went on teaching in a British university. This molester of children was paid to teach teenagers aged from 18 upwards.

  Under the leadership of John Major, the CGHE increased in size and strength and by 2010 it had quite simply taken over the party.

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Peter Campbell‘s fellow Monday Club members:

ASSOCIATES –  JOHN PINNIGER, SIR CHARLES IRVING, DEREK  LAUD, HARVEY PROCTOR…

John Pinniger, Lambeth Councillor at the same time as John Bercow and a fellow member of The Monday Club


young_monday_clubbers

Other Monday Club members – John Remfrey  Pinniger (far left) was a leading activist and political adviser in the right-wing Conservative Monday Club during the early 1980s

Three of the Young Members’ Group at a Club Conference at Chilham Castle, 1980: John R. Pinniger (YMG Chairman), Richard Turnbull, & Gregory Lauder-Frost.

John R Pinniger  –  former Conservative councillor for  Lambeth 1990

He was also a leading activist and political adviser in the right-wing Conservative Monday Club

Pinniger worked closely with the Conservative Member of Parliament Harvey Proctor, who was then Chairman of the Monday Club’s Immigration & Repatriation Committee.

He co-authored papers with Proctor including:

”Immigration, Repatriation, & the Commission for Racial Equality”, by Keith_Harvey_Proctor, M.P., John R. Pinniger, M.A., with a foreword by Sir Ronald Bell, Q.C., M.P., published by the Monday Club, 1981, (P/B).

Pinniger was a director, along with Derek Laud of

LUDGATE LAUD LIMITED

https://companycheck.co.uk/director/904390291/MR-JOHN-REMFREY-PINNIGER/companies

John Pinniger was a “research assistant” to Harvey Proctor MP and to Sir Charles Irving MP and Pinniger worked at Harrod’s menswear shop in between his parliamentary duties.

via Troy@snowfaked

twitter.com/ciabaudo:

Sir Charles Irving

 Pinniger also worked for Charles Irving who offered steady ‘stream of advice’ to CHE

Peter Tatchell was a leading member of the Gay Liberation Front (GLF) but never knew or met any GLF members that were paedophiles like John David Stamford ?

On 27 August 1971, I arrived in Britain from Australia. The next day, I saw a lampost sticker near Oxford Circus advertising the Gay Liberation Front. My immediate reaction was a feeling of exhilaration. Four days later, I was at my first GLF meeting. Within a month, I was helping to organise many of GLF’s bold, irreverent zaps.

LINK

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May/June: CHE takes part in two episodes of Jimmy Saville’s Speakeasy, the first with GLF and the second on its own. This is the largest audience CHE has achieved to date, and the phones at the London Office, staffed by volunteers, don’t stop ringing afterwards for twelve hours, despite having two extra lines put in for the occasion.

www.amiable-warriors.uk/timeline.shtml

From Peter Tatchell, human rights campaigner

If you want to understand how we won LGBTI law reform in the UK, read this history of the pioneering Campaign for Homosexual Equality – and remember with pride the CHE campaigners who trailblazed the equal rights we now enjoy.

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Harriet Harman, PIE , etc …..

February 25, 2014

Is this the current CHE membership leaflet with photo of Nettie Pollard & Peter Tatchell from 2011?

“Pollard gave a constant stream of support to paedophiles and promoted their views.”

Photo below: Nettie Pollard (EC Member) with Peter Tatchell at the 2011 Annual Conference:

Nettie Pollard was member number 70 of the Paedophile Information Exchange.

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tatchell-and-nettie-pollard

 

nettie-pollard

Pensioner backed Paedophile Information Exchange and may hold key to links with left wing groups

Nettie Pollard was a key figure in the London left – a Sunday People investigation reveals her to be a chief apologist for some of PIE’s most chilling demands

Even those who have lived beside her for years have little idea about her life – none of her neighbours has ever been invited inside the home she has lived in alone for almost 30 years.

But 69-year-old Nettie Pollard may hold the key to how the Paedophile Information Exchange infiltrated left wing groups in the 1970s.

She was a key figure in the London left, working for the National Council for Civil Liberties for two decades.

But a Sunday People investigation reveals Pollard to be chief apologist for some of PIE’s most chilling demands.

Our investigation found that throughout her career Pollard gave a constant stream of support to paedophiles and promoted their views. She also:

  • Supported PIE’s call to scrap the age of consent.
  • Argued against the introduction of a bill to protect children.
  • Sat on committees with known ­paedophiles and PIE members.
  • Wrote a twisted essay defending sex between adults and children.

It emerged MP Harriet Harman, ­husband Jack Dromey and former Health Secretary Patricia Hewitt had been involved with the NCCL when PIE was affiliated to it.

Mrs Harman has subsequently moved to distance herself from Pollard and paedophiles, with a spokesman stating they “did not influence any of the work she did there”.

Image result for harriet harman pie

However one source involved with the London left in the 70s claims – ­embarrassingly for Mrs Harman – that she and Pollard did work together on occasions within the NCCL .

The source said: “Nettie was a big presence in the movement back in the 1970s and couldn’t be ignored by anyone wanting to get on in the NCCL.”

Our investigation first places Pollard in 1975 working as the Gay and Lesbian Officer for the NCCL.

And that brought her into close ­contact with the infamous PIE – the child sex group which campaigned to have the age of consent lowered or scrapped.

As well as her role at the NCCL, Pollard was and remains a significant member of the Campaign for Homosexual Equality – a group that defended PIE’s rights at their 1983 conference.

But even after PIE was disbanded in 1984, Pollard made no secret of her ­sympathy for the organisation’s aims.

In 1993 she contributed a ­defence of the ­sexualisation of youngsters to a book called Bad Girls and Dirty Pictures.

Entitled The Small Matter of Children, Pollard’s essay draws on work by knownpaedophiles such as former PIE vice-chair Warren Middleton to build its case.

Pollard argues child sex should be legal if the act is “consensual”.

It also uses language like “willing partners” to describe sex between adults and children.

But by far the most disturbing section is Pollard’s attempt to justify the sexualisation of children.

She writes: “Far from being ‘innocent’ and becoming sexual at puberty, as was once the common belief, it is now indisputable that everyone is sexual, even before birth.”

The research cited was also used in PIE’s bid to reduce the age of consent to just four.

Pollard continued to work for the NCCL until her mysterious ­departure from the group in 1997.

She was made redundant but reports from Feminists Against Censorship implies murkier reasons ­behind her exit.

A ­newsletter from the time reads: “Within the last several months, two of NCCL’s employees have remarked that the organisation’s longest-serving staff member, Nettie Pollard, was the last civil libertarian left on the payroll.”

Challenging the cost-cutting explanation given it added: “Since she is one of the few indispensable staff members, and the most ­expensive to make redundant, we suspect economy is not the reason.”

Pollard, whose Facebook page currently shows her support for causes including an anti-drones campaign and attacks on the “Big Brother” state, also showcases her taste in music with a link to indie rock band The Donutsh – described by one of their following as sounding “like Johnny Cash biting off Johnny Rotten’s head”.

She refused to answer the door to us when we visited her home.

Image result for harriet harman and nettie pollard
Harriet Harman and Peter Tatchell

Feb 2014: Convicted paedophile, Tom O’Carroll told The Guardian he remained a member of the NCCL’s gay rights committee for several years after Harman claimed his organisation was marginalised. NCCL archives in London have also shown how O’Carroll, a former chairman of PIE, asked Nettie Pollard, a staff member at the organisation, about the possibility of amendments to the 1978 child protection bill.

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Is Peter Tatchell A Paedophile Or Simply Misunderstood?

Peter Tatchell was born in Melbourne Australia on 25th January 1952, he moved to London in 1971 to avoid conscription. In 1978 Tatchell joined the Labour Party and moved to Bermondsey, South East London. Tatchell ran as the Bermondsey Labour Party candidate in the 1983 General Election. Despite Bermondsey being a Labour stronghold he lost to Liberal candidate Simon Hughes. In February 2000 he left the Labour Party for unknown reasons. In 2004 he joined the Green Party and was chosen to be their candidate for Oxford East in the 2010 General Election, however for some reason he withdrew his candidacy in 2009.
Comrade Tatchell
Peter Tatchell (the UK’s most prominent homosexual activist and a favourite of the BBC)has done more than demand the abolition of the age of consent, he has broken the law on the age of consent in Britain at least once.

Peter Tatchell is a regular on the BBC. The BBC have refused to state whether he appears as a human rights activist, homosexual campaigner or paedophilie apologist.
Peter Tatchell is a regular on the BBC. The BBC have refused to state whether he appears as a human rights activist, homosexual campaigner or paedophile apologist. They have also refused to state how much they have paid him for appearances.

As a gay 18-year-old Australian anti-Vietnam war draft-dodger, he came to the UK in 1971 and lived with a 16-year-old boy in London. The homosexual age of consent in England at the time was 21. Later he campaigned for lowering it to 16, and now he wants it lowered again to 14. What will he want after that?

When the age of consent for homosexuals was lowered to 16 an Outrage (Tatchell’s organization) banner said “16 is just a start” – it didn’t state what the end goal was.

Mr Tatchell criticises the age of consent laws. Here is a quotation from his own website:

“Nevertheless, like any minimum age, it is arbitrary and fails to acknowledge that different people mature sexually at different ages. A few are ready for sex at 12; others not until they’re 20. Having a single, inflexible age of consent doesn’t take into account these differences. It dogmatically imposes a limit, regardless of individual circumstances“.

Peter Tatchell wrote the chapter “Questioning Ages of Majority and Ages of Consent” for a book openly advocating paedophilia and finding ways “to make paedophilia acceptable“.

This book, published in 1986 and called The Betrayal of Youth (B.O.Y.), was edited by Warren Middleton, then vice-chairperson of the Paedophile Information Exchange, Britain’s number one paedophile advocacy group.

Image result for TATCHELL AND GLF

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Commenters on the book:

Peter Tatchell

Ken Plummer, Emeritus Professor of Sociology, University of Essex

Jeffrey Weeks

tatchell-and-weeks

Jeffrey Weeks & Peter Tatchell

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Academia and Paedophilia 1: The Case of Jeffrey Weeks and Indifference to Boy-Rape

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Ken Plummer

‘Paedophilia is natural and normal for males’

How some university academics make the case for paedophiles at summer conferences

Image result for Ken Plummer, Emeritus Professor of Sociology, University of Essex paedo

Ken Plummer is emeritus professor of sociology at Essex University, where he has an office and teaches courses, the most recent scheduled for last month. “The isolation, secrecy, guilt and anguish of many paedophiles,” he wrote in Perspectives on Paedophilia, “are not intrinsic to the phenomen[on] but are derived from the extreme social repression placed on minorities …

“Paedophiles are told they are the seducers and rapists of children; they know their experiences are often loving and tender ones. They are told that children are pure and innocent, devoid of sexuality; they know both from their own experiences of childhood and from the children they meet that this is not the case.”

As recently as 2012, Prof Plummer published on his personal blog a chapter he wrote in another book, Male Intergenerational Intimacy, in 1991. “As homosexuality has become slightly less open to sustained moral panic, the new pariah of ‘child molester’ has become the latest folk devil,” he wrote. “Many adult paedophiles say that boys actively seek out sex partners … ‘childhood’ itself is not a biological given but an historically produced social object.”

Prof Plummer confirmed to The Sunday Telegraph that he had been a member of PIE in order to “facilitate” his research

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/10948796/Paedophilia-is-natural-and-normal-for-males.html

Image result for tatchell and ken plummer

 

Peter Tatchell awarded Albert Medal 2016

Royal Society of Arts Leadership

The RSA’s Patron is currently HM Elizabeth II, the RSA’s President is HRH The Princess Royal (who replaced her father, HRH The Duke of Edinburgh in 2011), its Chairman is Vikki Heywood,[4] and its Chief Executive is Matthew Taylor.


Robert Whitehead (left)

Puffing Billy paedophile Robert Whitehead: the secret he took to the grave

December 31 2016

When Victorian railway sex predator Robert Whitehead died in jail last year, he took a big secret with him.

That secret was the identity of a small but powerful group of Victorian men who, according to his victims, ran what amounted to a protection racket for Whitehead, and whose influence allowed him to abuse train-loving boys, whenever he wanted, for at least three decades.

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Probe into claims Puffing Billy paedophile Robert Whitehead had high-level protection

June 28 2017

Claims  that Puffing Billy sex predator Robert Whitehead was enabled and protected by a cabal of powerful men are to be investigated by the state Ombudsman.

Justice took a long-time to catch up to Whitehead, who died in 2015 at the age of 84. His death came months into a lengthy prison sentence after he pleaded guilty to 24 charges involving six boys and ranging from sexual penetration and indecent assault to false imprisonment.

Robert Whitehead, pictured in 2015, died months into a lengthy prison sentence after he pleaded guilty to 24 sex crime ...Robert Whitehead, pictured in 2015, died months into a lengthy prison sentence after he pleaded guilty to 24 sex crime charges.

 

The offences occurred from the 1960s to 1980s.

Sex crimes detectives believe Whitehead may have had many more victims, and Fairfax Media understands there is at least one new accuser who is considering reporting Whitehead’s alleged abuse of him during the 1990s.

 

Wayne Clarke, one of Whitehead's victims.Wayne Clarke, one of Whitehead’s victims.  Photo: Simon O’Dwyer

 

Three of Whitehead’s victims spoke out last year about their belief that a small group of police, politicians and railway officials shielded their abuser from scrutiny. Whitehead was the subject of numerous complaints to police and railway officials over the years, but it appears action was not taken.

One victim who still works for the Victorian railways said Whitehead told him it would be futile to report him, because he “had protection”.

The victim also said Whitehead had enough influence within the Transport Department to have a job offer to become a train driver rescinded.

“I’ll never forget Whitehead standing on the stairwell above me saying: ‘I told you that you should’ve bent over for me.’ ”

It can also be revealed that the Puffing Billy Preservation Society may face legal action over the failure of its previous leadership to protect boys under its care by not acting on complaints against Whitehead.

Law firm Ryan Carlisle Thomas is acting for several of Whitehead’s victims and is investigating all potential entitlements to compensation.

The Ombudsman’s investigation will go as far back as 1959, the year Whitehead served his first prison term, for abducting and molesting a boy scout.

Despite the serious conviction, Whitehead was given his job back on the Victorian government railways after his release from Pentridge Prison thanks to the intervention of Bolte government minister Sir Murray Porter, who lobbied railway chiefs as a favour for Whitehead’s father, who was his friend.

Whitehead grasped his second chance, rising to become a controller at Melbourne’s Spencer Street Station. He also became a prominent figure at  the Puffing Billy tourist railway and other volunteer rail services.

He used his government and volunteer railway positions to befriend boys, several of whom he went on to sexually abuse. Farifax has previously revealed how at least one boy was sadistically abused and imprisoned at a dis-used railway building Whitehead leased from the government at Taradale, near Bendigo.

A letter from Deputy Ombudsman Megan Philpot to Wayne Clarke, one of Whitehead’s victims, reveals the investigation will examine how Whitehead got his job back with the Victorian railways after his first conviction.

The investigation will also examine how Whitehead was able to lease state-owned property at Taradale and at Brighton beach in Melbourne’s south-east. His role as secretary of the Puffing Billy Preservation Society will also come under scrutiny.

Importantly, the investigation will delve into how the Victorian railways department, the Puffing Billy Preservation Society and other volunteer railway groups responded to complaints about him.

Fairfax has previously revealed how police could not find a record of Whitehead’s 1959 conviction in their archives.

Victoria Police has investigated why no record of Whitehead’s first offence could be found and determined that his record had been removed from its main criminal registry in error.

http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/probe-into-claims-puffing-billy-paedophile-robert-whitehead-had-highlevel-protection-20170627-gwzhvc.html


Cassandra Cogno‏ @CassandraCogno

Maria James murder:

  • Stabbed 68 times in her Melbourne home
  • Hands bound in what police described as a ‘frenzied attack’
  • Youngest son abused by two local priests
  • One priest seen covered in blood on day of murder
  • Police cleared suspects using wrong D

Trace: Police admit DNA bungle wrongly cleared paedophile priest as suspect in cold case murder

Bongiorno (left) abused the teenage son of Maria James. Father Bongiorno was ruled out of involvement in Maria James’ murder as a result of a DNA mix-up
July12 2017

Police have admitted they used an incorrect DNA sample to rule out a paedophile priest in the brutal killing of Melbourne cold case murder victim Maria James.

The ABC understands a bloodied pillow case, used to establish a DNA profile for the suspected killer of the Thornbury single mother, came from an unrelated crime scene.

Local priest Father Anthony Bongiorno, as well as multiple other suspects in Maria James’ 1980 murder, were cleared as a result of DNA testing against that incorrect sample.

Her two sons, Mark and Adam James, have now formally applied to the Victorian coroner to set aside the original finding and reopen the 37-year-old case.

Maria James was stabbed 68 times in her home out the back of her Thornbury bookshop in what police described as a “bizarre” and “frenzied” killing.

The ABC’s Trace podcast has been reinvestigating the murder for over a year, and recently became aware that an incorrect DNA sample had been used to rule out persons of interest in the case.

On presenting that information to authorities, the ABC was issued a statement by Victoria Police stating it had discovered “an error in the handling of an exhibit”.

“The exhibit in question had been forensically tested and used to eliminate suspects. A recent review by the homicide squad however has shown that the exhibit was in fact unrelated to the Maria James case,” the statement said.

“A small number of persons of interest who had previously been eliminated will now be re-assessed in accordance with normal investigation procedures.

“Victoria Police would like to stress that this was an isolated human error, and not the result of any flaws in the forensic testing process.”

‘I’m devastated by this information’

For nearly four decades, police have failed to identify Maria James’ killer.

In 2013, it was revealed Father Bongiorno sexually abused her 11-year-old son Adam, who has cerebral palsy and Tourette syndrome, in the weeks prior to her murder.

Now 48, Adam said he told his mum of the abuse and believed she planned to confront the priest.

Father Bongiorno died in 2002.

Trace also revealed a local electrician working at the nearby St Mary’s church said he saw Father Bongiorno with blood on his face, arm and hands on the afternoon of the murder.

The electrician, Allan Hircoe, said he took the information to Victoria Police, but was told it was not pertinent to the Maria James case.

“They just told me that the DNA [they] found at the scene is not [Bongiorno’s],” Mr Hircoe said.

“They had the DNA of [Maria James] and other DNA, and they said it’s not his.”

Police visited Maria’s eldest son Mark James on Tuesday night to inform him of their error.

Mark James said he was “shaken up” by the DNA bungle and found it difficult to accept.

“I’m devastated by this information,” he told Trace.

“They mentioned I think nine suspects that need to be retested, based on this error, and Father Bongiorno was among them.

“They apologised to me for what’s happened, and they apologised for previously being told that Father Bongiorno had been eliminated, whereas now they can confirm Bongiorno has not been eliminated through any type of DNA testing.

“I acknowledge human error is a fact of life, but it seems a bit odd that somehow this pillowcase got put into mum’s evidence lot.”

Family calls on police to reopen investigation

In light of the new information, police are hoping the killer’s DNA exists on other exhibits from the Thornbury crime scene.

Mark James said he believed police should reinvestigate Father Bongiorno as a key suspect.

He also called for an investigation into Father Thomas O’Keeffe, who was parish priest at St Mary’s Thornbury, and once abused Adam James on the same day as Father Bongiorno.

Survivors who had been abused by Father O’Keeffe in other parishes around Melbourne prior to him moving to St Mary’s told Trace he was a terrifying and violent “psychopath”.

Father O’Keeffe died in 1984, but it is understood police could access familial DNA that would establish a DNA profile for him.

This could then be compared against any newly created DNA profile of the killer.

Victoria Police said they were committed to achieving justice for the family of Maria James, but would not comment further on the case.

“My brother was sexually assaulted by both Bongiorno and O’Keeffe right before my mum was killed,” Mark James said.

“My mum found out about it. She had contact with the church, where that contact indicated she was going to complain, and within a matter of a day or two, she’s murdered under very mysterious circumstances.

“I think this merits reopening.”

Father Anthony Bongiorno was an alleged paedophile.

Father Anthony Bongiorno (right) was seen covered in blood on the day of Maria James’ murder.

Witness saw paedophile priest covered in blood near cold case murder victim Maria James’ house

27 Jun 2017

A priest who sexually abused the son of cold case murder victim Maria James was seen covered in blood on the day of her murder, metres from the crime scene.

The priest — identified as Father Anthony Bongiorno — had blood on his face and arm as he ran into St Mary’s Parish Thornbury, roughly 50 metres from the Melbourne bookshop and home where Maria was stabbed 68 times in 1980.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-06-28/trace-priest-seen-covered-in-blood-near-maria-james-crime-scene/8652936


Prestigious boys’ schools face multimillion-dollar lawsuits as lawyer claims children were sexually abused on an ‘outrageous’ scale

  • Lawyer claimed some of Sydney’s top schools face huge sexual abuse lawsuits
  • Jason Parkinson, who has 1,500 cases, said the abuse was on ‘outrageous scale’
  • He said it was ‘cruel’ that parents worked hard to send children to the schools
  • Mr Parkinson added that treating victims was likely to cost taxpayers ‘a fortune’

A handful of Sydney’s most prestigious schools reportedly face multimillion-dollar lawsuits from hundreds of people for historic claims of having been sexually abused as children.

Lawyer Jason Parkinson told the Daily Telegraph that top schools like Trinity Grammar, Knox Grammar and St Patrick’s College, Goulburn, were among the schools facing a series of legal claims.

He also claimed acclaimed schools such as Newington College and De La Salle colleges in Revesby Heights and Marrickville were among those facing huge lawsuits.

A handful of Sydney's most prestigious schools reportedly face multimillion-dollar lawsuits from hundreds of people for historic claims of having been sexually abused as children. Pictured, Trinity Grammar School

A handful of Sydney’s most prestigious schools reportedly face multimillion-dollar lawsuits from hundreds of people for historic claims of having been sexually abused as children. Pictured, Trinity Grammar School

Mr Parkinson said the abuse took place on ‘an outrageous scale’ and said the deluge of lawsuits was similar to that seen when asbestos was found to be harmful.

‘There has not been a common thread of criminality or negligence that has affected more Australians than child abuse and it is more egregious than asbestos because these institutions’ reason for being was caring for children,’ he said.

Lawyer Jason Parkinson claimed that schools like Trinity Grammar, Knox Grammar (pictured) and St Patrick's College, Goulburn, were among the schools facing a series of the historic allegations

Lawyer Jason Parkinson claimed that schools like Trinity Grammar, Knox Grammar (pictured) and St Patrick’s College, Goulburn, were among the schools facing a series of the historic allegations

The lawyer also claimed that private schools were more likely to cover up abuse as it is not mandatory for them to report it, whereas it is in state schools.

Mr Parkinson, who says he has 1,500 sex abuse cases on his books, said many o the boys who were abused are now seeing psychologists and psychiatrists – costing ‘a fortune’ to the taxpayer.

Trinity Grammar knew about abuse and protected teacher, victim says

An alleged victim of a Trinity Grammar teacher has come forward after 40 years, saying the school knew he was abused and they are still protecting the teacher today.
Christopher Howell from Trinity Grammar publication ‘The Grammarian’ in July 2013
The man, now in his 50s, came forward after Fairfax Media reported on Monday that school heads sent out a letter paying tribute to former teacher Christopher Howell’s “extraordinary legacy”.

“I’ve never been more disgusted with something than that letter,” John*, who cannot be named for legal reasons, said.

“The vision of Howell was enough to make me sick, but what the school was saying about him; it was a lie and the school knew it was a lie and it protected him.

“The school has broken faith with every parent, with every child.”

Christopher Howell pictured in the 1977 Trinity school magazine.

Christopher Howell was a teacher at the exclusive Melbourne private school for more than 40 years. He took his own life in January 2016, three days before his first court appearance on one count of indecently assaulting a student in the 1960s. He had retired in 2009 as the acting head of the senior school and was still involved with the school, but withdrew when he was charged in November 2015.

On the day of the January 29 court appearance, Trinity headmaster Michael Davies and his deputy Rohan Brown sent a letter to the school community in tribute.

“To many, including those penning this letter, Chris Howell was, is and always will be the best educator we have known. He was a hero to many who worked with him and alongside him,” it read.

The letter caused deep divides within the Anglican school. Several former students who contacted Fairfax Media said they made complaints to the headmaster and both the president and treasurer of the Old Boys board resigned in disgust. They claimed the heads tried to ban the board from debating the handling of the complaint and subsequent letter.

“There can be no winners out of this horrid situation, not least the victim(s) of sexual abuse who may have had to experience the displeasure of reading the Headmaster’s letter,” former treasurer Thomas Hudson wrote in his resignation letter obtained by Fairfax Media.

The first time John was aware of the letter was when he read it in the paper on Monday having left the school in 1975 following the alleged abuse.

“I felt on Monday exactly as I felt after it had happened. I felt dishonoured. I felt ill,” he said.

“Everything came back to me. Everything.”

John said he was sexually assaulted twice by the teacher when he was 15 and a boarder at Trinity. John claimed Mr Howell tried to force his penis into his mouth inside the tent John was sleeping in during a bushwalking trip at Tonimbuk, east of Melbourne, in 1973.

He said he was also assaulted in a storeroom on school grounds about two weeks later.

John said he disclosed the abuse to his father and mother in 1974.

“I remember his [his father’s] words. He said ‘Son, we love you, we believe you and we’ll make this right’,” he said.

John claimed he was with his parents when they reported it to boarding master and priest Leslie Wiggins, who was later convicted of indecently assaulting boys in Rosebud. After being told the claims were “nonsense”, John said he and his family reported to the headmaster John Leppitt.

John said Mr Leppitt told his parents: “You need to discipline your child and you need to consider whether or not to keep him in the school.”

On their way out of the school, John said they ran into Mr Howell in the corridor. He said his father grabbed Mr Howell by the throat, punched him and said “If you touch him again, I’ll kill you”. John said the sixth form master in a nearby classroom witnessed the tail-end of the altercation.

John contacted Trinity again following Monday’s report and spoke to headmaster Dr Davies, he said.

Dr Davies said in a statement to Fairfax Media that the safety and wellbeing of current and former students was of utmost important.

“If someone makes us aware of an allegation against a former teacher, we immediately offer counselling and support and encourage that person to contact police. Any allegation is treated seriously and with immediacy. Where allegations have been made, we have co-operated fully and openly with the police,” he said.

“If abuse was reported in prior years and not acted upon then that is in total contravention of policies and procedures which are now strictly adhered to in the school. 

“The safety and wellbeing of our boys and old boys is our highest priority and we continue to encourage anyone who is upset, has grievances or concerns to contact the school or the relevant authorities.”

John has joined two other men in legal action launched by Rightside Legal seeking compensation against the school and Mr Howell’s estate.

Another alleged victim has contacted the law firm.

“I’m so angry. But I’m doing this because I have to,” John said, encouraging others to come forward.

Another former employee of the school is facing a County Court trial in May. Mark Watson, who cared for boarders, is accused of abusing boys between 1975 and 1978.

* Not his real name. 

http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/trinity-grammar-knew-about-abuse-and-protected-teacher-alleged-victim-says-20170224-gukjok.html


Brisbane Grammar, St Paul’s had history of sex abuse, commission finds

February 15, 2017

Two prestigious Queensland schools have been revealed as sites of significant historical child sexual abuse, with “no systems, policies or procedures” in place to deal with allegations made against two staff with a long history of alleged child sexual abuse.

The Royal Commission released it’s findings into two Brisbane schools, including Brisbane Grammar School, an affluent boarding school for boys, and St Paul’s School, a coeducational private school operated by the Anglican Church, this morning.

It comes after a number of former students from both schools gave evidence to the Royal Commission, claiming they were sexually abused by Mr Kevin Lynch and Gregory Robert Knight while they were teachers between 1973 and 1997.

Mr Kevin Lynch worked as a teacher and then counsellor at Brisbane Grammar school, in Spring Hill, and St Pauls School, in Bald Hills.

He was found to have “sexually abuse a large number of students” during his time at Brisbane Grammar.

A number of senior staff at Brisbane Grammar were made aware of complaints against Mr Lynch but the headmaster, Doctor Maxwell Howell “did not report the matter to the police of the board of trustees”.

“In doing so he failed in his obligations to protect the safety and well being of the students,” the Royal Commission found.

“We find that during Dr Howell’s period as headmaster there was a culture at Brisbane Grammar where boys who made allegations of sexual abuse were not believed and allegations were not acted upon”.

Mr Lynch left Brisbane Grammar and took up a position as a counsellor at St Pauls’ Anglican School in 1989, where he continued sexually abusing students.

He was charged with 9 counts of abuse committed against one St Paul’s student in 1997 and committed suicide the following day.

The report found both schools had failed, in several cases, to investigate sexual abuse allegations and take measure to ensure the students under their care were kept safe.

Gregory Robert Knight worked as a teacher at St Paul’s between 1981 and 1984 and had previously worked at Willunga High School in South Australia and Brisbane Boys’ College in Queensland.

Inquiries uncovered that Knight had sexually abused a number of boys during his time in South Australia but, instead of being referred to the police, he was allowed to resign which meant “he maintained his registration as a teacher in South Australia”.

Allegations of sexual abuse continued during Mr Knight’s subsequent employment at Brisbane Boys College, in Brisbane’s western suburbs, and St Pauls’ Anglican School, where complaints were made that he had sexually abused a number of students in his capacity as a teacher.

The Royal Commission found that, following these complaints, St Pauls’ headmaster Gilbert Case accepted Knight’s resignation and gave him a favourable reference.

He then went on to teach at Dripstone High School in the Northern Territory, where another student alleged he had sexually abuses them and he was eventually charged with a number of offences.

He was sentenced to 8 years imprisonment.

The report pointed to a number of systemic failures in both Brisbane Grammar and St Pauls that “did not encourage or facilitate the reporting by students or staff of any instances or suspected instances of child sexual abuse”.

The hearing continues.

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/in-depth/royal-commission/brisbane-grammar-st-pauls-had-history-of-sex-abuse-commission-finds/news-story/112b23c23da5008996863269fbe84087

Religious institutions were 59% of reported abuse (37% Catholic). 70% abused were male. Abuse began @ average age 10

https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2017/may/16/royal-commission-has-led-to-more-than-100-child-abuse-prosecutions-says-head?CMP=share_btn_tw

Elite Qld schools failed to act on abuse

February 15, 2017

Two prestigious Queensland schools failed to protect students from sexual abuse, doing nothing about complaints from victims who were not believed, a royal commission has found.

The culture at Brisbane Grammar School for 24 years under former headmaster Dr Maxwell Howell meant boys who alleged abuse were not believed, the commission said on Wednesday.

After counsellor Kevin Lynch moved on to the Anglican St Paul’s School where he again sexually abused students during counselling sessions, two boys who went to headmaster Gilbert Case were labelled liars.

Mr Case’s inaction when told Lynch and teacher Gregory Robert Knight had sexually abused children meant he did not achieve his most fundamental obligation to keep students safe, the commission said.

It said Mr Case, who was headmaster at St Paul’s from 1979-2000, was put in charge of all Anglican schools in Brisbane despite former archbishop and governor-general Peter Hollingworth and diocese general manager Bernard Yorke, knowing about allegations he took no action when told of abuse by Lynch.

Brisbane Grammar missed opportunities to discover Lynch’s abuse because it failed to keep adequate records of students’ attendance at counselling sessions and their absence from classes, the commission said.

A number of complaints about Lynch were made to senior Brisbane Grammar staff, most significantly to its 1965-1989 headmaster Dr Howell, who died in 2011.

The commission said Dr Howell did not investigate a 1981 complaint or report it to police or the school’s board of trustees, failing in his obligation to protect students.

“We find that during Dr Howell’s period as headmaster there was a culture at Brisbane Grammar where boys who made allegations of sexual abuse were not believed and allegations were not acted upon.”

St Paul’s also took no action to deal with complaints about Lynch sexually abusing students, the commission’s report said.

The commission rejected Mr Case’s evidence that two students did not tell him they had been abused by Lynch, who committed suicide a day after being charged in 1997 with sex offences against another St Paul’s pupil.

“Mr Case told the students they were lying and threatened to punish them if they persisted with the allegations,” it said.

There were allegations during Knight’s three years teaching music at St Paul’s that he sexually abused a number of students.

The school’s only action was that Mr Case accepted Knight’s resignation in October 1984, giving him a favourable reference, the commission said.

Knight was accused of sexually abusing students at a South Australian school before joining St Paul’s and afterwards at a Northern Territory school, where he tried to resign but was immediately sacked and reported to police.

Dr Hollingworth’s successor as archbishop Phillip Aspinall reached a negotiated settlement for Mr Case to leave his position as executive director of the Anglican Schools Commission, a role that required him to ensure the schools had proper child protection policies.

Current Anglican Schools Commission executive director Sherril Molloy said measures were now in place to better protect children, including trained student protection officers in each school.

Brisbane Grammar repeated its unreserved apology and said it has learnt from its past failures.

http://www.news.com.au/national/breaking-news/abused-qld-students-not-believed/news-story/c13ed887ec55f544914f306dcb0e3670

Cranbrook headmaster Nicholas Sampson wrote ‘misleading’ letters after sexual abuse allegations raised

J Holland‏ @Giantkiller173

The question is this…***POLICE OPERATION SANO***was a task force looking into historical peados and Boris Johnson and Mackay were close mates when Boris taught at Geelong grammar….has Boris been questioned about the knowlegde he must have had about his best mate

Former Geelong Grammar Doctor David Mackie (right) leaves Geelong Magistrates’ Court.

Former Geelong Grammar doctor David Brian Mackey charged with 21 sex and assault offences

GEELONG Grammar’s resident doctor of more than 30 years allegedly assaulted girls and males over two decades during his tenure at the Corio campus.

Former prefect and long-term school general practitioner Dr David Brian Mackey appeared at Geelong Magistrates’ Courts on Friday facing 21 charges of assault, including 15 charges of indecent and unlawful assault of a girl, four charges of indecent assault of a male and two charges of indecent assault of a person. All alleged cases of abuse occurred in Corio between 1968 to 1989.

The victims names and ages have been suppressed but a letter from Geelong Grammar to former pupils states the complainants are past students of the school.

Dr Mackey was charged by detectives on October 25 last year following investigations into alleged abuse at Geelong Grammar School by detectives from the state’s historic sex abuse task force Sano.

Nine alleged victims are expected to form a group of up to 16 witnesses, including four former nurses and a paediatric doctor, who will give evidence at a four-day committal hearing scheduled for August.

One alleged victim will give evidence via video link from New South Wales while Magistrate John Lesser ordered a separate witness room be made available for other victims to give evidence from if they wish. Mr Lesser said it was important for all witnesses that the committal hearing was heard “in one go”.

Court documents viewed by the Geelong Advertiser allege Dr Mackie first committed the alleged abuse on January 1, 1958 — with many of the charges relating to alleged abuse over extended periods. Two charges allege Dr Mackey unlawfully assaulted a girl between January 1, 1977 and August 25, 1978.

A Geelong Grammar student from 1945, Dr Mackey was made head boy in 1952 and captained the school’s football team. He returned as the school’s resident doctor in 1964 after completing a medical degree at Melbourne University and working at The Alfred hospital and interstate. Dr Mackey held the senior position until 1993 and was fundamental in establishing the school’s Kennedy Medical Centre in 1969, replacing the closed Sanatorium.

Dr Mackey lived at the school’s Corio campus with his wife and four children during his tenure. After leaving Geelong Grammar School he worked as a general practitioner specialising in adolescent health. Dr Mackey is understood to have volunteered at Queenscliff’s Cottage by the Sea and was listed as a financial donor in the organisation’s 2014 annual report.

In the letter, current Geelong Grammar Principal Stephen Meek said: “Dr Mackey was charged with 21 offences from a number of complainants who are past students at the school”.

“The school cannot comment further as this matter is now before the court”.

Five former staff members at Geelong Grammar — Graham Leslie Dennis, John Hamilton Buckley, Stefan Van Vuuren, Philippe Trutmann and John Fitzroy Clive Harvey (known as Jonathon Harvey) — have been convicts of child sex offences.

Mr Meek said the community should have “full confidence in the school’s current medical practices and procedures”.

“Students have been able to choose male or female consulting doctors from local medical practices for many years, overseen by a senior medical officer and supported by a professional and dedicated team of nurses at our Kennedy and Timbertop medical centre,” Mr Meek said.

Mr Meek said the school, which was largely condemned for its failure to protect students by The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sex Abuse commissioners, had a zero tolerance of child abuse.

“As I said during the The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sex Abuse, the school deeply regrets the wrongful conduct by some of its former staff and I assure you that the current school leadership will continue to address these matters and support those affected,” Mr Meek said.

Mr Meek has urged anyone who needs support to contact its independent survivor liaison co-ordinator.

Dr Mackey, whose legal team has been granted permission to cross examine all witnesses, will appear at Geelong Magistrates’ Court on August 6.

http://www.geelongadvertiser.com.au/news/geelong/former-geelong-grammar-doctor-david-brian-mackey-charged-with-21-sex-and-assault-offences/news-story/601ba6fa5089b72612ea66f99609068f

In a statement issued in August 2015, the current principal of Geelong Grammar, Stephen Meek, said the school “absolutely condemns any form of abuse… that has occurred at the school in the past”. “I greatly regret that not all of our students received the care and support to which they were entitled”, he added,[21] whereas he had told school council meetings in 2007 that litigation regarding Trutmann’s (41) victims had been settled for about $350,000, his report described it as “Overall, this has been a very satisfactory financial outcome for the school”.[22]

List of perpetrators

  • Jonathon Harvey[23]
  • Philippe Trutmann[22]
  • John Hamilton Buckley[24]
  • The Revd John Davison (deceased)[25]
  • Graham Leslie Dennis[26]
  • Stefan Van Vurren[26]
  • The Revd Norman Smith (deceased)[26]
  • Max Guzelian (deceased)[26]
  • Andrew MacCulloch (deceased)[26]
  • “BIM”[26]

Prince Charles (1963) and Boris Johnson (1983) both at  Geelong.

http://www.smh.com.au/entertainment/books/boris-johnson-and-the-right-to-write-20130815-2ryy9.html

Peter Bottomley (his name is on the Elm Guest House list) also at Geelong

Before university (approx 1962) Bottomley worked around Australia including three weeks teaching at Geelong Grammar School and unloading trucks in Melbourne docks.

https://www.revolvy.com/main/index.php?s=Peter%20Bottomley

14 Feb 2017

Headmaster: response ‘just not good enough’

Former Geelong Grammar headmaster Nicholas Sampson faces questions about how the school dealt with allegations of sexual misconduct by former teacher Jonathon Harvey

The headmaster of one Sydney’s most expensive private schools, Cranbrook, wrote “misleading” letters about a teacher accused of child sexual abuse at his former school and failed to report the allegations to a higher authority, a royal commission has found.

Nicholas Sampson, then the headmaster of Victoria’s Geelong Grammar, paid teacher Jonathan Harvey to retire early in 2004 to avoid any formal complaints of child sex abuse being made against him.

Harvey was later found guilty of sexually abusing a 16-year-old boy known as BLF by repeatedly plying him with alcohol, fondling his genitals and forcing him into a threesome with another man in the 1970s.

Mr Sampson told the commission he was alerted to allegations against Harvey by the victim’s brother, BLW, and conducted a “fairly cursory” investigation before asking Mr Harvey to retire early.

The commissioners found Mr Sampson should have notified the Victorian Institute of Teaching about the allegations and that he “should have made a documentary record of the reason [Harvey left the school]”.

Instead, Mr Sampson wrote letters to Harvey thanking him for his “outstanding service”, praising him as a “wonderful teacher, an outstanding housemaster, a fine and thoughtful colleague and a tremendous and committed schoolmaster”.

A second letter from Mr Sampson to Harvey confirmed an extra year of pay following his retirement “due to the exceptional service [he] offered”.

The commission dismissed Mr Sampson’s defence that the letters were for personal use: “The letters were plainly kept amongst the school’s formal records in relation to Harvey,” it found

 

“We also reject the submission that the letters were not misleading. No other records were produced which recorded the real reason for Harvey’s departure from the school, and no explanation was given as to why such documents were not produced.”

Mr Sampson, who became the headmaster of Cranbrook in 2012, an Anglican, $35,000-a-year school in Bellevue Hill, told the commission he was acting in the best interests of the victim, BLF, who did not want his identity revealed.

“We accept that Mr Sampson attempted to act in the best interests of BLF by securing Harvey’s resignation without disclosing his identity,” the Commission found. “It is clear, however, that he should have notified the Victorian Institute of Teaching.”

Royal Commission: Vatican has no test for paedophiles

In a separate sitting on Tuesday, the Commission also heard there was no requirement for the Catholic clergy to be screened for sexual attraction to children but that the Vatican does have a detailed assessment procedure for homosexuality.

The Catholic Church’s central authority spent 13 years developing a protocol on homosexual tendencies among potential priests but has stayed “silent” on the issue of paedophiles, the commission heard.

The commission is examining factors behind abuse claims in the Catholic church, with data showing seven per cent of priests were alleged offenders between 1950-2010.

“As I understand it, the Vatican is specific that you must test for homosexual tendencies but the Vatican is silent in that same way on testing for children,” Commissioner Andrew Murray said.

Sister Lydia Allen, who assesses candidates for the Seminary of the Good Shepherd in Homebush, said the Vatican was working on such a document.

“I have asked them if they have any documents on this situation of child abuse and they don’t yet … it’s part of a project they are going to work on,” she said.

“They do not have . . . anything that says, ‘You must assess for that’.

“However, I think it would be an unspoken rule. I don’t think it needs to be stated explicitly because it’s so obvious.”

David Leary, an academic and Franciscan friar, told the inquiry the assessment process was flawed.

“The first test for a candidate for either religious life or the seminary or for the priesthood is not a question about whether or not they’re homosexual,” he said.

“It’s about whether or not they are compassionate and that’s the thing that needs to be tested.”

Dr Leary said the Catholic church was “highly resistant” to understanding how its structures may have led to child sexual abuse.

“I don’t think we understand the psychology that underpins … child sexual abuse,” he said. “It’s really clear in every other jurisdiction except the church.”

Peter Thompson, rector of Vianney College in Wagga Wagga, told the commission it would be impossible to effectively screen every candidate for the priesthood.

“No one can infallibly predict that someone is not going to offend,” he said.

The hearing, before Justice Peter McClellan, continues.

http://www.smh.com.au/national/education/cranbrook-headmaster-wrote-misleading-letters-after-sexual-abuse-allegations-royal-commission-finds-20170214-gucoju.html

2004

Marlborough College, educator of royalty – the school in Wiltshire where Princess Eugenie is a pupil.

Former pupils include the poets John Betjeman and Siegfried Sassoon, the actor James Mason, the traitor Anthony Blunt, and songwriters Nick Drake and Chris de Burgh

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/1496642/So-I-have-400-misdemeanours-I-dont-think-Im-badly-behaved.html

Ghislaine Maxwell is alleged to have supplied a number of under-aged girls for Jeffrey Epstein‘s sexual abuse and sex-trafficking scheme, according to US court documents.

The 53-year-old was educated at Marlborough College and Balliol College, Oxford.

http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/prince-andrew-sex-slave-scandal-who-ghislaine-maxwell-1481707

FBI RECORDS ON JEFFREY EPSTEIN

https://vault.fbi.gov/

College rocked by new sex scandal

TEACHER Andrew Richards has left Marlborough College after police launched an inquiry into his alleged possession of computer porn.

This week both police and the £22,000-a-year public school, where Princess Eugenie is a pupil, have confirmed that a teacher is being questioned over material found on his computer.

Neither the school or police would name the teacher but the Gazette has established that the man arrested was the housemaster of C3 House.

Sources within the police force and the school confirmed that it had been Richards who was arrested.

The maths teacher was arrested in his home at the school after police carried out an undercover operation two weeks ago and seized his computer. They took action after receiving information that Richards had downloaded obscene images on his computer, which is still being examined by a specialist team of officers.

After news of the arrest began to circulate in the town this week the school issued a statement saying: “Marlborough College can confirm that following the discovery of inappropriate material on a computer, one of our masters has left the school with immediate effect.

“There is no suggestion of improper behaviour with any pupil in the school.

“The College brought the matter to the attention of the relevant authorities, with whom we have been working closely.

“We understand that the police are carrying out an investigation into

this matter and therefore it would not be right for us to comment

further.”

The master of the public school, Nicholas Sampson, said he was unable to make any further comment.

Wiltshire police put out a statement saying: “On Saturday, April 30 as a result of information received from Marlborough College a male member of staff was arrested and interviewed at Salisbury police station.

“The man was subsequently bailed without being charged to return to Salisbury police station on a date in June.

“Inquiries are being completed to establish if any offences have been committed.”

Marlborough College, one of the top five public schools in the UK, has been rocked by several sex scandals in recent years.

In 2003 the school’s swimming pool manager, Mark Davies, was arrested after allegedly indecent pictures were found on his computer. Davies, brother of the Olympic swimmer Sharron Davies, was cautioned but not charged.

In 2002 there was another scandal when students sitting an exam saw pornographic pictures projected onto a screen. Teacher Richard Jowett, who had been invigilating, had been looking at pictures of naked women on his computer unaware that it was sending the images to an overhead screen in full view of pupils.

http://www.wiltshiretimes.co.uk/news/7248830.College_rocked_by_new_sex_scandal/

Geelong Grammar took no steps to protect students after abuse reports, says inquiry

14 Feb 2017

Royal commission releases report into prestigious Victorian private school criticising headmaster who went on to Eton College

The prestigious Geelong Grammar School’s long-time headmaster took no steps to bring in measures to protect students from a teacher alleged to have sexually abused pupils, a royal commission has found.

Geelong Grammar’s 1980-94 headmaster, John Lewis, allowed Jonathan Harvey to remain at the school despite knowing about allegations against him, the child sex abuse royal commission said.

It said by 1991, Lewis – who became headmaster of England’s elite Eton College after leaving Geelong Grammar – knew about allegations Harvey sexually abused students in 1982 and 1985 as well as allegations of inappropriate conduct with students.

“Despite this knowledge, Mr Lewis allowed Harvey to remain in a position where he had unsupervised access to students,” its report said. “Mr Lewis did not take any steps to prepare policies or procedures to protect the safety and welfare of the students at Geelong Grammar.”

Geelong Grammar’s 2001-04 headmaster Nicholas Sampson, now headmaster of Sydney’s Cranbrook School, organised for Harvey to be paid his entire 2005 salary to retire a year early after a staff member complained his brother had been abused by the teacher in the 1970s.

Sampson attempted to act in the victim’s best interests by securing Harvey’s resignation without disclosing the former student’s identity, but should have notified the Victorian Institute of Teaching, the commission found.

Sampson thanked the maths teacher for his outstanding service and did not record in writing the real reasons for Harvey’s departure, despite verbally informing others at the school about the allegations.

The commission said he should have made a documentary record of the reasons, but accepted Sampson’s evidence that he would now approach a similar situation very differently.

The royal commission also criticised Geelong Grammar for not investigating a boarder’s 1989 complaint that he was sexually abused, before expelling the 14-year-old for speaking out.

No member of staff notified police of the allegations, the commission said. Lewis should have ensured the allegation was investigated, it said.

The commission also found the school’s Highton campus master Robert John Bugg was involved in the boarder’s dismissal for discussing the sexual assault with other students.

Bugg must have believed the likely perpetrator was probably a staff member, it said. “In removing BIW from the school and not investigating the complaint, Mr Bugg failed to protect BIW’s interests and the interests of other students at Highton.”

Live-in boarding house assistant Philippe Trutmann was convicted for abusing BIW and 40 other Geelong Grammar students.

The commission found the school put its own financial interests before those of a student seeking compensation after being sexually abused by a teacher by not disclosing that it knew the teacher may have been jailed for pedophilia.

https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2017/feb/14/geelong-grammar-took-no-steps-to-protect-students-after-abuse-reports-says-inquiry?CMP=share_btn_tw

‘A tsunami of survivors’: Law firms swamped by historical child abuse victims

2 Apr 2017

Australian legal firms are experiencing unprecedented demand from people who have suffered alleged child sexual abuse in institutions such as churches, schools and youth groups.

The demand has been spurred on by revelations from the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse and legal reforms which allow survivors to make a claim for damages regardless of when the abuse allegedly occurred.

Shine Lawyers received 61 inquiries about historical child sexual abuse in 2012, prior to the commencement of the royal commission in 2013. Last year the firm received 730 inquiries, an increase of more than 1000 per cent.

Law firm Maurice Blackburn has also experienced a surge in people exploring their legal options, with hundreds of new inquiries.

Shine Lawyers abuse law principal Lisa Flynn said the commission had created widespread public awareness about the devastating impact of abuse.

“It is an extraordinary increase which is largely due to the spotlight cast by the royal commission,” she said.

“The royal commission’s work over the past four years has really encouraged people to come forward and seek assistance. It’s been a tsunami of survivors coming forward.”

The commission held its final public hearing last week and will hand down its final report in December.

Ms Flynn said that while the long-running inquiry is wrapping up, it has left a strong legacy for survivors.

“Survivors have seen the bravery of others in coming forward and that’s given them the encouragement they need to come forward themselves,” she said.

“We know from people who have told their stories, it’s such a powerful way of seeking validation and justice.”

A number of states, including NSW, have scrapped the statute of limitations for civil action by child sexual abuse survivors, many of whom take decades to disclose.

Maurice Blackburn institutional abuse specialist Danielle De Paoli??? said the reform had allowed more survivors to come forward and seek justice.

“We expect this to continue, particularly given many states have now acted to ensure that archaic statutes of limitations have been removed to allow long overdue access to justice for abuse survivors,” she said.

Ms De Paoli said many defendants unnecessarily delayed redress for people who had been abused in an institution.

“Unfortunately too many organisations, including Scouts NSW and organisations of the Anglican and Catholic Churches, still continue to do the wrong thing by survivors, in spite of the significant evidence uncovered by the royal commission,” she said.

Figures released by the royal commission show the Catholic church paid $280 million in compensation to victims of alleged child sexual abuse between 1980-2015 and Anglican church dioceses have payments of just over $34 million in response to complaints over the same period.

The Federal government has announced a national redress scheme to compensate survivors to run for 10 years from 2018.

http://www.illawarramercury.com.au/story/4570843/a-tsunami-of-survivors-law-firms-swamped-by-historical-child-abuse-victims/


Feb 20 2017

Extraordinary legacy and hero to many; school knew of abuse allegation when it sent a tribute letter

The heads of a Melbourne private school knew a former teacher had been charged with abusing a student when they wrote a letter paying tribute to his “extraordinary legacy”.

The letter, branded by lawyers as “stupid and insensitive”, prompted two Old Boys to seek legal action against Trinity Grammar.

It’s the second abuse claim to rock the exclusive school, with another former employee set to go to trial over 41 historical sex offences against five boys.

The latest scandal involves respected former teacher Christopher Howell, who was charged by police in November 2015 with the indecent assault of a student in the late 1960s.

Mr Howell, who had taught at the school for 43 years, took his own life days before his court appearance last January.

In a letter to the school community after his death, the school’s heads paid tribute to his “extraordinary legacy”.

“To many, including those penning this letter, Chris Howell was, is and always will be the best educator we have known. He was a hero to many who worked with him and alongside him,” the letter, by headmaster Michael Davies and deputy headmaster Rohan Brown, stated.

“Chris was admired by so many; he always worked in the best interests of the boys and tirelessly in the service of others.”

The letter prompted three men, including one who sparked the criminal court case, to seek legal representation.

Two have subsequently issued civil claims in the Victorian Supreme Court against the school and Mr Howell’s estate.

“Stupid and insensitive is the only way to describe the headmaster’s letter,” Rightside Legal partner Michael Magazanik said.

“Our clients were appalled. Each of them had spoken with the school about what had happened to them.”

One of the men reported being sexually abused in the boarding house, where Mr Howell had been a resident master, and another said he was repeatedly sexually assaulted on a bushwalking trip in Victoria’s mountains. The boys were about 14 and 16 at the time.

The school was aware of the criminal charge against the former teacher at the time of the letter after his death.

In November 2015, Dr Davies said the Anglican school fully supported police in their investigations.

“The allegation has been brought by an Old Boy of Trinity who attended the school in the late 1960s,” he reportedly wrote in a letter to parents.

“He was made an offer of counselling and ongoing support and was referred to the police.”

He said the former teacher, who was still involved with the school, withdrew from all activities following the charge.

He encouraged all other pupils who felt “aggrieved” to come forward.

“Our greatest concern is for our students and, as ever, we prioritise their well being and that of our Old Boys.”

It is believed other former students had also contacted police following Mr Howell’s death.

Fairfax Media made repeated attempts to contact the school for a response.

A long-term colleague of Mr Howell’s said the allegations have rocked the school community.

“It has torn apart the community and we know, from our Old Boys particularly, they are devastated. So many of them have great memories of Chris, clearly there are some who don’t,” they said.

“I don’t know how you can defend something like this when the person is no longer here.”

Mr Howell was the acting head of the senior school at the time of his retirement in 2009.

Mark Watson, another former employee, has been listed to face a County Court trial in May. Mr Watson, who cared for boarding school students, is accused of abusing boys between 1975 and 1978.

Two of the alleged victims, aged 12 and 13, were Trinity students.

Law firm Maurice Blackburn is handling the compensation claims of at least one of the alleged victims.

http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/extraordinary-legacy-and-hero-to-many-school-knew-of-abuse-allegation-when-it-sent-tribute-letter-20170218-gufzfq.html


Royal commission: Outrage over church’s financial support for paedophile priests

24 Feb 2017

An admission that the Sydney Catholic archdiocese provides financial support for convicted paedophile priests has drawn outrage from sex abuse survivors at a royal commission.

Sydney Archbishop Anthony Fisher told the inquiry the church supports convicted Catholic clergy living in the community.

“That would include assistance with housing and some other kinds of assistance,” he told the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

“I am so angry at what they have done, I don’t want to give them anything further by way of help, but throwing them back on their family or community … others would say that’s just the church washing its hand again of responsibility.

“It’s a situation of damned if we do and damned if we don’t.”

Archbishop Fisher, along with archbishops from Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth, faced their second day of questioning at the inquiry into Catholic church authorities.

He told the commission the church could not confidently monitor convicted paedophile priests in the community.

“I can’t pretend we have remotely sufficient supervision for me to be assured they are not misbehaving again, that they are no risk,” he said.

“People can be very deceptive and clever in not letting on what they are up to.”

Archbishop Fisher’s comments drew the ire of Catholic church sex abuse survivors, many of whom say they have not been compensated fairly.

The inquiry has previously heard a recent reassessment of claims relating to the Christian Brothers order found almost 170 people were underpaid $14 million.

Outside the hearing, survivor advocate Gabrielle Short questioned how the church could justify financially supporting convicted priests when many survivors lived in poverty.

Advocate Mark Fabbro described the church’s internal complaints handling schemes, Towards Healing and the Melbourne Response, as “failures” that have not adequately compensated victims.

“It’s clear they are still in the mode of protecting the church at all costs,” he said.

“The priority seems to lie with putting the interests of the church before the interests of the victims.”

Melbourne Archbishop Denis Hart told the inquiry the future of the Melbourne Response was under consideration ahead of the introduction of a national redress scheme next year.

“I’d have to take advice on the pros and cons with that but I’d certainly be prepared to look at it,” he said.

The inquiry heard the archbishops would directly inform Pope Francis of the concerns raised at the royal commission, which has spent the past three weeks examining factors that led to a high proportion of child sexual abuse in the Catholic church.

Archbishop of Brisbane Mark Coleridge said the Vatican was too far removed from victims.

“One of the difficulties that the Holy See faces is that at times these are people who have never been at the coalface,” he said.

“They have never sat down with victims. They haven’t heard the stories. They haven’t listened to the pain. As long as that continues there will be fumbling … from the Holy See.”

The five archbishops indicated support for a new national regulator, Catholic Professional Standards Ltd, which will set, enforce and audit new benchmarks.

Archbishop Fisher told the inquiry the body would lead to greater transparency and accountability within the church.

“Clearly what we don’t want is any risk of returning to era of cover-ups and excuses and avoiding scrutiny,” he said.

The hearing, before Justice Peter McClellan, has adjourned.

http://www.cowraguardian.com.au/story/4491675/royal-commission-outrage-over-churchs-financial-support-for-paedophile-priests/

Cardinal Pell (pictured) was previously the Archbishop in both Sydney and Melbourne and is now serving at the Vatican

The alleged abuse was said to have taken place in the back room of Melbourne’s St Patrick’s Cathedral in the late 1990s, with the choirboy then asking to leave the choir, the book alleges.


Cardinal George Pell accused of sexually abusing two choirboys, book claims

Vatican’s financial chief, who has always denied wrongdoing, faces fresh allegations of abuse, relating to his time as archbishop of Melbourne

Cardinal George Pell, Australia’s most senior Catholic, is accused of abusing two boys at St Patrick’s Cathedral in Melbourne in the 1990s

New allegations of child abuse are being levelled against Cardinal George Pell, the Vatican’s financial chief and the most senior figure in the Australian Catholic church.

Fairfax Media has reported claims contained in a new book, Cardinal: The Rise and Fall of George Pell, that he sexually abused two choirboys at St Patrick’s cathedral after becoming archbishop of Melbourne in the 1990s.

The author Louise Milligan first flagged these claims on the ABC’s 7.30 Report in July last year. But according to Fairfax Milligan’s book, to be released on Monday, contains details of the accusations that have not been made public before.

After the 7.30 Report Pell accused the ABC of conducting a “scandalous smear campaign.”

Cardinal Pell’s office issued a statement on Saturday saying the cardinal had “not been notified by the Victorian Office of Public Prosecutions or Victoria police of the status of their investigations, which have been underway since at least February 2016.”

“Cardinal Pell will not seek to interfere in the course of justice by responding to the allegations made by Melbourne University Press (publisher of Milligan’s book) and media outlets today, other than to restate that any allegations of child abuse made against him are completely false,” the statement said.

“He repeats his vehement and consistent denials of any and all such accusations, and stands by all the evidence he has given to the royal commission.”

The boys, students at St Kevin’s College, sang in the cathedral choir and were allegedly abused by the archbishop in a room somewhere in the precincts of the cathedral. They left the choir and the school shortly afterwards.

Milligan claims one of the choirboys died of a drug overdose in 2014. His mother was subsequently told by the second boy that they had been abused by Pell when they were teenagers at the cathedral.

Milligan writes that both spoke to the Sano taskforce established to investigate allegations that emerged during a parliamentary inquiry in Victoria and the later royal commission into child abuse.

Pell has now been accused of abusing boys at three stages of his career: as a seminarian, a priest and as archbishop of Melbourne.

He has denied all these allegations on a number of occasions. No charges have ever been laid against him in relation to them. The cardinal, prefect of the secretariat for the economy at the Vatican, has stated that he willingly co-operated with the detectives of the Victoria police when they interviewed him in Rome in October last year.

Sano has also investigated allegations that as a young priest Pell abused boys in the swimming pool of his hometown Ballarat. Pell also denies these allegations.

Milligan writes that Pell and his defenders have been able to “bat off or gloss over” the swimming pool allegations by casting them as “horseplay or a bit of rough and tumble … The story of [the choirboys] has no such ambiguity. If these allegations are true, they point to utter, sinful hypocrisy.”

Citing ill health, Pell declined to return to Australia to give evidence to the royal commission in person last year and instead gave evidence by videolink from Rome. In February this year the Australian senate called on the cardinal to return home “to assist the Victorian police and office of public prosecutions with their investigation into these matters.”

Pell dismissed the parliamentary resolution as “an interference on the part of the Senate in the due process of the Victoria Police investigation.”

According to reports, the police have now twice sent briefs of evidence concerning Pell to the Victorian office of public prosecutions.

The Guardian is not claiming Cardinal Pell is guilty of any allegations of sex abuse, only that they have been investigated by police.

Operation Sano continues.

The Guardian contacted the Vatican, Pell’s office in Rome and his office in Australia for comment.

https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2017/may/13/cardinal-george-pell-accused-of-sexually-abusing-two-choirboys-book-claims?CMP=share_btn_tw

May 17 2018

Ballarat in Western Victoria became an epidemic of clerical paedophilia in the late 20th century. The dark tragedy affects thousands of lives to this day. It is widely acknowledged the Catholic Church protected its worst offenders and moved them on to prey on new unsuspecting communities. But how could offending on this scale have failed to draw the attention of local authorities? Who was protecting whom?

https://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/ballarats-children/news-story/33580594d14a97741e8cf4ded22179ba


Cardinal George Pell ‘to be CHARGED over child sex abuse allegations’ sending shockwaves through the Catholic Church

  • Cardinal George Pell will reportedly be summoned to Australia by police
  • The summons is believed to be related to a child sex abuse investigation  
  • Authorities are expected to announce the possible charges this morning

Cardinal George Pell is expected to be charged over child sex abuse allegations.

It is understood Cardinal George Pell will be summonsed to Australia from Rome in relation to a child sex investigation by Victoria police.

The summons will be issued today to the 76-year-old head of finances for the Vatican, according to The Australian.

Authorities are expected to provide additional details on the investigation and possible charges this morning.

It is not clear whether the cardinal will return home from Europe or if he will be extradited to face the charges.

Cardinal George Pell is expected to be charged over child sex abuse allegations (pictured eating in Italy)

Cardinal George Pell is expected to be charged over child sex abuse allegations (pictured eating in Italy)

Cardinal Pell will be summoned to Australia from Rome in relation to a child sex investigation by Victoria police
Cardinal Pell will be summoned to Australia from Rome in relation to a child sex investigation by Victoria police

Cardinal Pell will be summoned to Australia from Rome in relation to a child sex investigation by Victoria police

Cardinal Pell appeared via video-link for a public hearing of Australia’s national child-abuse Royal Commission in early 2015.

When he was asked to fly to Australia to appear in person, he declined, citing health problems.

The Cardinal was interviewed by three detectives from the taskforce in Rome in October 2016, who updated the evidence.

He has strongly denied the allegations of abuse.

The Office of Public Prosecutions submitted a second brief of evidence on Cardinal Pell to the police last month, according to The Herald Sun.

The summary said charges could be laid against Pell based on the evidence but that it was up to the to decide if they wanted to or not.

The Sano taskforce, which investigates allegations of sexual abuse, has been investigating Cardinal Pell since 2016

The Sano taskforce, which investigates allegations of sexual abuse, has been investigating Cardinal Pell since 2016

Police could be powerless to make Cardinal Pell return to Australia because he is so high up in the Vatican that he has diplomatic immunity.

Cardinal Pell was appointed to the Vatican’s Secretariat of Economy in 2014, the third highest ranked position within the church.

His high ranking grants him diplomatic immunity in Australia, meaning he cannot be forced to attend court or provide information, according to legal experts.

New South Wales state parliament member David Shoebridge told the Newcastle Herald in May that Australia had an extradition treaty with Italy, but it did not include the Vatican.

‘[Australia] hasn’t managed in 44 years to get one in place with the tiny pretend nation-state of the Vatican that exists wholly within Rome,’ he said.

‘This is why George Pell can’t be forced back to face questioning.’

Victoria Police will not comment on reports Cardinal George Pell is to be charged by summons over historic child sex abuse allegations.


A series of letters and documents published on the sex abuse royal commission’s website reveal details of Ridsdale’s abuse and the response from the Catholic Church, including Ballarat bishop Ronald Mulkearns.

‘I went haywire with altar boys’

Paedophile Gerald Ridsdale (left) arriving to court with George Pell 

Ridsdale has been convicted for abusing more than 50 children over three decades, dating back to his ordination in 1961.

After parents complained to then Ballarat Bishop James O’Collins about Ridsdale in 1961, O’Collins told him: “If this thing happens again then you’re off to the Missions” and sent him to Mildura. The royal commission was also told Bishop Mulkearns knew in 1975 that Ridsdale had abused boys — but did not act until 1988.

One of Australia’s most notorious paedophiles, Gerald Ridsdale

Inquiry probes Ridsdale’s relationship with Cardinal George Pell

Ridsdale told the royal commission the fact Cardinal George Pell accompanied him to court on child sex abuse charges in the 1990s was insignificant.

He said he could not recall much about his relationship with the then Father Pell in Ballarat in the 1970s, except he “would’ve met him, because he was Ballarat born-and-bred”.

“I can’t remember him being there … I can’t remember him … I never had much to do with him,” Ridsdale said of Cardinal Pell.

“We needed some people to come along [to court] for support … I don’t see it as having a very big significance.”

Ridsdale said his barrister asked Cardinal Pell to go to court, and he did not ask him himself.

He said, at the time, he did not know if Cardinal Pell knew about the nature of his charges, and he did not know, what Cardinal Pell planned to say.

He said his legal team was “clutching at straws.”

https://aussiecriminals.com.au/2015/05/27/vile-paedophile-gerald-ridsdale-gives-evidence-at-royal-commission-today/

Royal Commission into sex abuse hears of suicide problem in Ballarat

IT has been called a city that has a suicide rate “through the roof” and is marred by a “landscape of death”. And one old class photo illustrates it in black and white.

Ballarat is considered one of the most horrific sites of abuse in Australia after it was revealed

that at one time in the 1970s all the male teachers and the chaplain at the St Alipius primary school were molesting children.

The Royal Commission into Institutional Child Sexual Abuse this week moved to the regional Victorian city for hearings, and is expected to hear from one of Australia’s most vile paedophiles, Father Gerald Ridsdale.

It has also heard from sex abuse victims, who are detailing the crimes that were committed against them — and the lifelong trauma that created.

Philip Nagle was the first witness to give evidence yesterday. From the witness box, he held a black-and-white picture up of his grade-four photo from St Alipius Primary School in 1974, The Age reported.

Paedophile Gerald Ridsdale will be called to give evidence at the Ballarat hearings of the Royal Commission into child abuse.

Paedophile Gerald Ridsdale will be called to give evidence at the Ballarat hearings of the Royal Commission into child abuse.

There were rows of boys in uniform, who should all be aged in their 50s now. Instead, a third of the boys in the image are dead, believed by suicide.

It’s a graphic example of the suicide problem Ballarat has grappled with since the sexual abuse of what is feared to have been hundreds of schoolboys.

The exact number of victims isn’t known. There is no concrete evidence to link the suicides to sexual abuse, although Fairfax has previously detailed secret police reports that count at least 40 suicides by people sexually abused at the hands of Catholic clergy in Victoria.

But some are in no doubt the two are linked.

Peter Blenkiron, was 11 when he was abused at the Brothers’ other school in Ballarat, St

Patrick’s College, estimates there’s been 10 suicides in the regional Victorian city in the past year alone.

He told the ABC: “Ballarat has got this hidden trauma and landscape of death about it. I believe the suicide rate is higher than the road toll and we don’t hear about it. We have to stop that.”

He said the suicide rate was “through the roof” and believed since the abuse by the Christian Brothers an “atomic bomb went off and it’s destroyed so many lives over the years.”

Along with the suicides, there had been a number of other premature deaths linked to substance abuse.

St. Alipius primary school in Ballarat where many boys were molested.

St. Alipius primary school in Ballarat where many boys were molested.

Another victim will give harrowing evidence today of losing three family members to suicide who were abused as children by Catholic clergy in Ballarat.

The victim, who cannot be named, was sexually abused by convicted paedophiles Father Gerald Francis Ridsdale and Brother Robert Charles Best.

His brothers and a cousin committed suicide after being abused.

He is expected to tell his story to the royal commission today, the second day of a three-week hearing in the Victorian regional city devastated by decades of abuse.

 

‘I went haywire with altar boys’

Paedophile Gerald Ridsdale (left) arriving to court with George Pell 

A major focus of the Ballarat hearing is who was responsible for moving Father Gerald Francis Ridsdale from parish to parish, allowing him to continue to offend, and why.

Ridsdale abused more than 50 children as he was moved between nine Victorian parishes over three decades. He also abused an altar boy in Sydney.

Witness Philip Nagle has told the royal commission a third of his classmates had committed suicide

Then Ballarat Bishop Ronald Mulkearns knew Ridsdale had abused boys, “so he was taken out of there” and again moved to another parish, the commission heard yesterday.

Ridsdale will give evidence from jail via videolink later during the hearing.

with Australian Associated Press

http://www.news.com.au/national/crime/royal-commission-into-sex-abuse-hears-of-suicide-problem-in-ballarat/news-story/0ae5aa11e0505a69998b578e3d7c219b

George Pell with Gerald Ridsdale (left) arriving to court in 1993. Picture: Supplied

The photo that has dogged George Pell for years

THE photograph was striking: There was George Pell, then an auxiliary bishop, walking side-by-side into court with Gerald Ridsdale, the man later found to be Australia’s worst paedophile priest.

The decision by Cardinal Pell, now a Vatican cardinal, to support his former housemate that day in 1993 led to an image that has lived on in infamy in Australia for more than two decades, creating an image of a man who appeared to be more concerned with protecting the church than its flock.

And it made him something of a PR scapegoat for all that was wrong with how the Catholic Church handled the clergy sex abuse crisis.

Though Cardinal Pell went on to ascend the ranks of the Catholic Church and become Pope Francis’ chief financial adviser, he would eventually find himself pulled back to Australia.

On Thursday, Australian police charged him with “historic sexual assault offences” making Cardinal Pell the highest-ranking Vatican official to ever be charged in the church’s long-running abuse scandal.

George Pell with Gerald Ridsdale (left) arriving to court in 1993. Picture: Supplied

George Pell with Gerald Ridsdale (left) arriving to court in 1993.

Cardinal Pell has vehemently denied the allegations and vowed to return to Australia to clear his name. But he is likely to face a cool reception in his homeland, where he faced years of accusations that the church mishandled cases of clergy abuse when he was archbishop of Melbourne and, later, Sydney.

The towering former Aussie rules player’s abrasive nature has long been off-putting to many, with the father of one clergy abuse victim once accusing him of having a “lack of empathy.”

Cardinal Pell himself acknowledged as much in 2013, saying of his decision to support Ridsdale that day 20 years earlier: “I intended no disrespect to the victims. I understand now that they perceived it — and probably rightly — as such, but I did not at the time.”

Pope Benedict XVI with Cardinal George Pell. Picture: AP/Mark Baker

Pope Benedict XVI with Cardinal George Pell.

Cardinal Pell has said he set the program up out of compassion, though victims later criticised it as a way to keep them from suing the church.

“His style can be robust and direct; he does not wear his heart on his sleeve,” seven Australian archbishops and bishops wrote in a statement supporting Cardinal Pell in 2015.

“But underneath, he has a big heart for people.”

Cardinal Pell was born in 1941 in Ballarat, a deeply Catholic city in the southern Australian state of Victoria that would eventually become the epicentre of the nation’s clergy abuse crisis.

He was ordained a priest for the Ballarat diocese in 1966, and became an auxiliary bishop of the Melbourne Archdiocese in 1987. In 1996, he was appointed archbishop of Melbourne and was made Sydney archbishop five years later.

Impressive as his career trajectory was, he never managed to shake the Ridsdale controversy.

In many ways, the photograph encapsulated the Catholic Church’s attitude toward sex abuse the world over: Church leaders regularly sided with the priests who stood accused of raping and molesting children, placing the reputation of the church above the safety of the young and the real needs of abuse victims.

And despite what supporters dubbed his pioneering efforts to compensate victims, he was dogged for years by allegations that he should have done more to stop clergy from abusing children in the first place, particularly in Ballarat.

The city was devastated by disclosures of a huge number of church abuse victims, scores of whom killed themselves in an unprecedented cluster of abuse-related suicides.

In 2012, Australia’s government announced a royal commission into how the Catholic Church and other institutions have responded to child sex abuse.

Cardinal Pell testified repeatedly before the commission, and was peppered with questions about current Vatican efforts to address the scandal as well as how he dealt with abuse allegations against other clergy members during his time in Australia.

The cardinal largely deflected any blame, though eventually conceded that he had erred by often believing the priests over victims.

Last year, Cardinal Pell sparked a fresh wave of anger in Australia after saying he was too ill to travel back to his home country to testify — for a third time — before the commission, opting instead to testify via video link from Rome.

A crowd-funding campaign was quickly set up to send abuse victims from Ballarat to Rome so they could watch the testimony in person. Comedian and musician Tim Minchin released a blistering song entitled Come Home (Cardinal Pell), in which he called the cardinal an ethically hypocritical, arrogant coward.

In 2014, Pope Francis named Cardinal Pell prefect of the new economy secretariat, tasked with getting the Vatican’s vast and complicated finances under control. Critics in Australia saw Cardinal Pell’s move as an attempt to leave the church’s troubles behind and avoid dealing with the abuse scandal.

His reception in Rome wasn’t much rosier; Cardinal Pell has been a polarising figure at the Vatican ever since his appointment. Soon after he was named, he drew swift scorn from the mostly Italian-headed Vatican bureaucracy for boasting that he had “found” some 1.4 billion euros “tucked away” in Vatican accounts that didn’t appear on balance sheets. In fact, the money was well known to the secretariat of state.

Cardinal George Pell says he will return to Australia to fight the charges. Picture: AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia

Cardinal George Pell says he will return to Australia to fight the charges. Picture:

And over the years, he clashed with many other cardinals who resented his attitude suggesting that he was the main force for transparency and reform while others were resistant to change.

Cardinal Pell’s initial mandate was huge, tasked with broad rein to control all economic, administrative, personnel and procurement functions of the Holy See.

But the mandate was subsequently restricted to performing more of an oversight role. In a statement Thursday, the Vatican said Francis greatly appreciated Cardinal Pell’s “honesty” in working in the Curia and was grateful for his collaboration.

Francis was particularly grateful “for his energetic dedication to the reforms in the economic and administrative sector, as well as his active participation” in the pope’s group of nine cardinal advisers, the statement said.

But it was well known that Cardinal Pell and Francis had their differences in both style and substance.

It was Cardinal Pell, for example, who handed Francis a letter signed by 12 fellow cardinals complaining about the procedures surrounding Francis’ landmark synod on the family in 2015. The letter warned that the Catholic Church was at risk of collapse if bishops went too far in accommodating the flock over the contentious issue of letting civilly remarried Catholics receive communion.

In the end, Francis went ahead with the accommodation, albeit obliquely. In a statement Thursday, Sydney Archbishop Anthony Fisher stood by Pell and said the archdiocese would support him with accommodation upon his return.

“The George Pell I know is a man of integrity in his dealings with others, a man of faith and high ideals, a thoroughly decent man,” Fisher said.

http://www.news.com.au/national/courts-law/the-photo-that-has-dogged-george-pell-for-years/news-story/d218a60f50d73b3ba027d3bee4dd45c5

Cardinal Pell (C) walks with a heavy police guard from his barristers Robert Richter office to the Melbourne Magistrates' Court on July 26.

Vatican treasurer George Pell faces Australian court

July 26, 2017

One of the most senior figures in the Vatican will plead not guilty to multiple charges of historical sexual assault offenses, his lawyer told an Australian court on Wednesday.

Cardinal George Pell faced the Melbourne Magistrates Court Wednesday for his first hearing since the charges were made by Victoria Police last month.

Wednesday’s brief court hearing marked a significant moment in Australia, where Pell is the country’s most senior Catholic.

Pell is the most senior cardinal in the history of the Catholic Church ever to face criminal charges.
The cardinal, who is being represented by one of Australia’s leading criminal barristers, Robert Richter QC, has risen through the ranks from working as a young priest in Victoria to the third most powerful figure within the inner sanctum of the Vatican alongside Pope Francis.
His next court date will be on October 6.
The trial begins as Australia is still coming to terms with the shocking statistics published by the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.
The figures released February showed 7% of Australian priests, as well as other non-ordained religious brothers and sisters and other Church personnel, were accused of abusing children between 1950 and 2010.
The Commission found that approximately 40% of the priests from the religious order Brothers of St. John of God have allegations of abuse against them during this period.
The Commission also stated that the Church had been reluctant to investigate the reported abuse and also assisted in covering up the incidents after they were reported.

How George Pell gazumped other bishops to claim credit for tackling child abuse in the church

http://www.smh.com.au/national/how-george-pell-gazumped-other-bishops-to-claim-credit-for-tackling-child-abuse-in-the-church-20170510-gw1jrh.html

 

Child abuse royal commission: Priest abused every young boy at regional Victorian school, inquiry hears

23 Jul 2015

A notorious paedophile priest abused every boy at a regional Victorian school between the age of 10 and 16, the child sex abuse inquiry has heard.

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse is holding long-awaited public hearings in Ballarat to examine historical abuse suffered by children at a number of schools in the regional centre, at the hands of Catholic clergy and other members of the Church.

Some of Australia’s most notorious abusers, including Gerald Ridsdale, Robert Best and Edward Dowlan, were part of a paedophile ring operating in and around Ballarat for years.

In her opening address, Senior Counsel Assisting the Commission, Gail Furness SC, outlined the extent of Ridsdale’s offending.

She said the inquiry would hear evidence of Ridsdale’s time at the Mortlake parish during the early 1980s, including comments from the priest who took over from Ridsdale.

“Father Dennehy told the Catholic Church’s insurance investigator that he thought every male child between the ages of 10 years and 16 years, who were at the school, had been molested by Ridsdale,” she said.

Ms Furness said Ridsdale was a “prolific offender” during his time at Mortlake.

“There will be evidence that his behaviour around boys was no secret,” she said.

She also told the inquiry Cardinal George Pell – who later became Archbishop of Sydney and now oversees the Vatican’s finances – was one of seven present at a meeting in September 1982 where Bishop Ronald Mulkearns discussed the need to remove Ridsdale from the school.

She said under the heading of “staff” the notes from that meeting read:

The Bishop advised that it had become necessary for Father Gerald Risdale to move from the Parish of Mortlake.

Negotiations are under way to have him work with the Catholic Enquiry Centre in Sydney.

A new appointment to Mortlake will be necessary to take effect after October 17th.

The minutes did not disclose whether the Bishop said why the move was necessary, she told the inquiry.

“However … it is expected that there will be evidence that Bishop Mulkearns knew it was because Ridsdale had abused boys in Mortlake and that he had offended in this manner in 1975,” she said.

All male teachers at St Alipius PS were molesting

Ballarat was one of the most horrific sites of abuse and it was revealed that in 1971, all male teachers and the chaplain at the St Alipius primary school were molesting children.

Ms Furness said the royal commission would also hear from a survivor who had a photograph of his grade four class at St Alipius in the 1970s.

She said he would tell the hearing, of the 33 boys pictured, 12 had committed suicide.

In his opening address, inquiry chairman Justice Peter McClellan urged those attending the hearing to remember the victims and survivors.

“The evidence in the first stage of this hearing will include the personal stories of a number of survivors,” Justice McClellan said.

“That evidence will describe the gross violations of individuals by ordained members of the Catholic Church.

“As you are aware, the royal commission has revealed many shocking stories of the betrayal of children.

“As we listen to the evidence in this hearing, we should all reflect on the impact for those who have suffered in the Ballarat region, and the thousands of others who have suffered throughout Australia.”

Ridsdale to give evidence to inquiry via video link from prison

Justice McClellan said the inquiry would also hear from perpetrators but not directly about the circumstances of their offending.

“That has already been dealt with by the courts,” Justice McClellan said of Ridsdale’s crimes.

“However, the evidence has an important part to play in the royal commission coming to understand both the way ordained members of the Catholic Church became abusers and how the Church responded to allegations of their abuse.”

Ridsdale is serving an eight-year prison sentence after pleading guilty to 30 child sex offences in 2014.

It is the fourth time he has been jailed after three previous stints in prison for more than 100 other offences.

He will give evidence, possibly next week, via video link from prison.

The hearing will also consider why Ridsdale was able to move around to so many locations in Victoria, without being reported to police.

He offended and re-offended in Horsham, Inglewood, Camperdown, Ballarat North, Mildura, Swan Hill, Warrnambool, Ballarat East, Apollo Bay, Edenhope, Melbourne and Mortlake.

“I appreciate that the evidence of perpetrators may be confronting for some people, in particular survivors,” Justice McClellan said.

“However, without the evidence of perpetrators the true story of the response of the Church in Ballarat may never be completely revealed.

“I am aware that there may be different and strongly held views about the conduct of ordained people and the appropriateness of the response of leaders in the Church in the Ballarat Diocese.

“Many want this hearing. There are others who doubt the need for a public hearing. Some may not want the story told.

“Unless the truth is revealed and known publicly then [the] prospect of effective healing for survivors and institutions is diminished.”

Support on hand as inquiry prepares for gruelling three weeks

Today’s hearing was packed with survivors and their supporters and a spill-over court was set up in an adjacent building to cope with demand.

Justice McClellan said support would be on hand for survivors as the hearing progressed.

The Catholic Church also warned of a gruelling few weeks of evidence.

Bishop of Ballarat Paul Bird released a statement urging people across the region to support one another throughout the hearing.

He will also give evidence, as will Brother Peter Clinch, the Province Leader of the Christian Brothers Oceania Province.

Former Bishop Ronald Mulkearns, who is accused of moving perpetrators and destroying documents to avoid detection, is not on the witness list.

He did not appear before the Victorian parliamentary inquiry into child sex abuse, citing ill health.

Ms Furness said 17 abuse victims would give evidence and the commission would also hear from a psychiatrist about the post-traumatic effects of child abuse on survivors.

Some victims will give evidence anonymously, under a pseudonym.

“Many witnesses are expected to say that they were reluctant to disclose their abuse to anyone,” Ms Furness said.

“They are expected to give reasons such as feelings of shame, guilt, disgust, fear of punishment, fear of judgment and a belief that they would be disbelieved.”

Perpetrators must be called to account, victims say

Abuse victim Patrick Nagle, 50, of Ballarat, was abused at St Alipius and said testifying before the commission was “extremely difficult”.

“We’ve known this has been coming for about three months and I haven’t slept [the] last couple of nights,” he said.

“You’ve got to prepare yourself for it.

“[It was] very, very tough indeed, but [I’m] glad it’s over [I’m] going to go and have a beer now.”

Andrew Collins, 46, of Mount Helen, was abused by four different men at Ballarat schools and churches during his teenage years.

He said it was important that those who moved these men around and did not report the abuse to police were brought to justice.

“It’s not just the perpetrators, it’s the hierarchy that facilitated those abusers to cause so much more hurt, pain and suffering,” he said.

Mr Collins said the number of victims who had committed suicide was “horrendous”.

“There’s been over 40 confirmed suicides where suicide notes have been linked to the abuses, but we’re aware of many other victims who have taken their own lives,” he said.

“We’ve had 10 [suicides] in the last 12 months and it is just painful and horrendous to open up the newspaper and see that somebody you know, you know was abused, hasn’t told their family, has taken their own life.”

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-05-19/child-abuse-inquiry-begins-ballarat-hearings/6479902

Photo published for A time to stop the suicides

Even when Gerald Ridsdale was a young man he had the habits of a sinful old bastard.

Almost from the moment he was ordained in 1961, the Catholic Church in Australia’s most vicious offender was up to no good.

With his ear to the local gossip — perhaps even in the confessional when parishioners across western Victoria’s vast plains purged their fears and regrets — Father Gerry would be poised, waiting anxiously for the information he needed.

Word of a broken home, a death in the family, financial troubles; any weakness would do.

With this knowledge, Ridsdale — 81 on Wednesday — would swoop on grieving families, pretending to be offering wise counsel and pastoral relief. Doing the Lord’s work.

All the while, he was quietly preying on the parish’s children.

The more fragile the child the better for Father Gerry.

He has been convicted of abusing 54 children, but it is quietly speculated that Ridsdale’s victims can be counted in their hundreds.

While child abuse is cruel, Ridsdale was vicious, buggering most, revelling in the sexual depravity of using blunt instruments on children too young to play mini-colts football. Most victims were boys.

But when he tired of males, he would turn to girls.

When the royal commission into institutional child sex abuse marches tomorrow into Ballarat, the de facto capital of western ­Victoria, it will have been a long time coming for victims and ­parishioners alike.

To date, no national inquiry has tried to unpick the disaster of the Ballarat diocese that unfolded in the 1970s, 80s and 90s.

For while Ridsdale led the charge, he was not alone. In the mix were other convicted offenders including Brother Robert Best, Brother Edward Dowlan and ­Father Paul Ryan, who were aided by a grossly negligent church and, at times, a duplicitous police command. The bulk of the offending occurred in the 70s and 80s when Ronald Mulkearns was bishop of Ballarat.

Mulkearns, since retired, has been thrown under a bus by the church hierarchy in Australia, accused of destroying documents that would help piece together how such abuse could be covered up over decades.

Mulkearns, about the same age as Ridsdale, was the man who, once notified about the offending, was responsible for dealing with the offenders.

To say the modern church is outraged by the actions of the then pope’s man in Ballarat is an understatement.

“To say I took no action is wrong. I sent them for counselling. I can’t help if they blame me for what happened,’’ Mulkearns said in a recent interview.

“I regret terribly what happened. I wish I knew then what I know now because I would’ve done things differently.’’

The travesty of the Ballarat offending was that at the stroke of a pen on many, many occasions, offenders were simply shifted to a new parish. Ballarat one day, Edenhope the next. Things would go to custard in Inglewood, next stop Swan Hill.

All with the rubber stamp of the diocese.

For Peter Blenkiron, the next three weeks in Ballarat will be ­excruciating. He was abused at the age of 11 at Ballarat’s St Patrick’s College by Christian Brother Edward Dowlan, who was everything but a Christian. Now aged 65, Dowlan has admitted abusing boys at St Alipius in Ballarat in 1971, St Patrick’s College in Ballarat in 1973 and 1974, Warrnambool Christian Brothers College in 1975-76, Chanel College in Geelong in 1980 and Cathedral ­College, East Melbourne, between 1982 and 1988.

Blenkiron admits that he still struggles to cope with the effects of the abuse but is committed to speaking out because the alternative is watching his generation ­disappear, succumbing to suicide and drug and alcohol abuse.

“A lot of the stuff doesn’t even make the death notices because it’s too hard for the families, which is understandable,’’ Blenkiron ­laments. “Change is possible. It will be difficult. But to not do it will cause generational genocide.”

He says it’s not just the survivors of the abuse in Ballarat who are hurting but also their families, and these secondary victims also need support. “The ripple effect isn’t a ripple effect in Ballarat. It’s an atomic bomb.”

The impact of the abuse was immense, with the diocese covering several thousands of square kilometres — all the way to the South Australian and NSW borders.

The church, certainly until the 80s, dominated a region that was strongly old-school Irish Catholic, but so vast was the abuse that it was as if the church used the pedophiles as pin cushions across western Victoria.

The pins were moved whenever word spread that the priest was a predator.

For Blenkiron, like so many others, there is vastly more at stake than money, even if the diocese almost went broke under the weight of the offending.

“When you address this from a bottom-line point of view and don’t incorporate the values, you end up with trying to limit liability, save money, which is what the ­Towards Healing and the Melbourne Response did,’’ he says.

“It was about those two things, limiting liability, saving face, giving people some money, sign off, don’t mention it. That’s what used to happen.”

Blenkiron would like to see a national redress scheme trialled in Ballarat, along the lines of one for returned servicemen with post-traumatic stress disorder.

“Everyone says it’s too hard. Keep people out of jail, keep people alive, save the community money, change the culture. It’s a simple message.”

Francis Sullivan is the chief executive of the Truth, Justice and Healing Council, which is co-ordinating the Catholic Church’s ­response to the royal commission.

He believes the church leadership is still struggling with the backlash and agrees there needs to be a national redress scheme and an independent umpire who investigates and determines what the compensation should be.

“The Catholic Church will pay its full weight just like every other institution that has to, but it needs to be administered independently because the days of the Catholic Church investigating itself are over,’’ he says.

“I think the magnitude of the anger and disenchantment, not only in the community but in the Catholic community, has ­surprised, if not shocked, some of the leaders.”

He thinks that even though the church put redress schemes in place years ago, that effort has not taken away the anger people have towards the church.

“Its history is shameful and confronting and I think the royal commission and the reactions that have happened both publicly and privately demonstrate that, and I think that’s been again a real … learning, awareness, awakening,’’ Sullivan says.

“I think the church leadership has also recognised that an overly legalistic and risk management type of approach that was adopted in the past is just not suitable for a church and that real commitment to survivors and their families is a lifelong pastoral commitment.”

Yet Sullivan’s views are not always embraced by the modern church leadership, which, despite the white noise, has worked assiduously to right some of the wrongs.

The Melbourne Response adopted in the Archdiocese of Melbourne at the behest of former archbishop George Pell — despite some flaws — has been judged by those who know as being generally ­generous and biased towards the victims.

Much of the criticism has come from the fact that the weight of suffering has been so profound that few victims could be expected to respond with thanks toward the church. Indeed, why would they?

For the next three weeks, the royal commission will attempt to unpick the disaster that has been the Ballarat diocese.

The scope of the first hearing into the diocese includes St Alipius Primary School, St Alipius Parish, St Patrick’s College and St ­Patrick’s Christian Brothers Boys’ Primary School. At each school ­offending occurred.

It will also potentially hear evidence from offenders and seek to understand the extent of the damage to the community.

Shireen Gunn is the manager of Ballarat’s Centre Against Sexual Assault. CASA runs fortnightly support groups for male survivors of institutional abuse and Gunn says the group has just “grown and grown”.

She says there is anxiety among the groups about the commission and an air of expectation. “We have got some very heavy few weeks about to descend on our town,” she says.

Not surprisingly, she says CASA expects other survivors to come forward and make contact once the royal commission starts, but many of the abused are now dead. “We have a very high suicide rate … That’s what needs to basically stop.

“How that stops is people (being) able to reach out and be supported.”

Like all social catastrophes, the implications are local, national and even international.

It is certain news of the ­Ballarat hearings will filter quickly, if not immediately, to the Vatican.

Like Ridsdale, Pell is a Ballarat boy. While Ridsdale is wicked, Pell used his towering intellect to become, effectively, the Vatican’s treasurer. This makes him one of the world’s most influential Australians. Ever.

When Ridsdale appeared in court in 1993 for the first time to face charges, Pell naively supported his priestly brother.

Pell had shared a house with Ridsdale for about a year from early 1973 at the St Alipius Presbytery, next door to the primary school, where some of the offending had occurred.

By then, Pell was climbing the church’s equivalent of a greasy pole and was an auxiliary bishop of Melbourne.

“It was simply a gesture on my part,” Pell later lamented.

During a recent Victorian parliamentary inquiry into child sex abuse, both Pell and incumbent Melbourne Archbishop Denis Hart criticised Mulkearns and former archbishop of Melbourne Frank Little over their handling of abuse.

Those who understand the gravity of this will look back at these words as probably the most significant of the entire parliamentary inquiry.

While the inquiry served a purpose, it also seemed to become bogged down in its own self-importance, leaping on “revelations’’ that were in fact old news.

There is no doubt Pell and Hart have made mistakes, but, conspiracies aside, they have also done more than most to address the systemic failures, which almost exclusively occurred under the watch of Little and Mulkearns.

Little is dead. But it was clear from the evidence that he covered up abuse. Mulkearns, meanwhile, was accused by Pell, under parliamentary privilege, of destroying crucial church documents.

The Australian has unsuccessfully tried to interview Mulkearns, who failed to give evidence to the parliamentary inquiry because of a recent stroke. Until late 2013 at least, he had been saying mass in the diocese.

For Blenkiron, abused so long ago by Dowlan, the royal commission is difficult but necessary.

“It’s going to be difficult because we’re talking about authority figures in the judicial system, and it was authority figures that got us as kids,’’ he says.

“It’s a necessary pain … and I’m motivated by having nobody else die. Too many people have died.”

No one is sure of how many people have died after being ­abused. Police have made attempts to create a list detailing the number of suicides but The Australian ­understands that it is most likely inaccurate.

What is certain is that hundreds of people were abused in the Ballarat diocese, and most of these victims were so spiritually damaged that their lives will have been laced with misery.

If they are still alive.

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/child-sex-abuse-inquiry-a-time-to-stop-the-suicides/news-story/d48154a22f8f192f17caa6287bf10f22

Maitland-Newcastle Catholic diocese exposed after ‘fiercely resisting” a child sex victim in court

11 Jul 2017

MAITLAND-Newcastle Catholic diocese “fiercely resisted” paying compensation to the victim of a notorious child sex offender teacher in 2005 despite internal legal advice in 1990 conceding his victims would have “a pretty good case” to sue the church, royal commission documents released on Monday show.

The teacher’s trail of destruction through the Hunter over several decades included a parting gesture to the church a year before his death – his evidence to the 2005 court case saying he warned the diocese he was a convicted child sex offender before it employed him in 1974.

His crimes against children included threatening a 10-year-old boy victim that he would “kill your mum” if the boy told her about the serious sexual assaults.

Documents released by the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse show the teacher’s evidence on February 16, 2005 caused Catholic Church Insurance (CCI) less than a week later to refuse to cover the diocese for any claims by the teacher’s victims, and increased the substantial compensation ultimately paid to 10 victims because of the diocese’s liability.

Told: Former Maitland-Newcastle Bishop Michael Malone was told Catholic Church Insurance refused to cover the diocese for claims initiated by victims of a paedophile teacher.

The documents show CCI advised the then Maitland-Newcastle Bishop Michael Malone that “the dilemma we now face is the difficulty of defending the actions of the diocese, who allegedly allowed a known sex offender to work as a teacher in the Catholic education system”.

While it had originally planned to cover the diocese for claims against the teacher and was “conscious of its obligation to support the diocese in these difficult circumstances”, the Catholic insurer said “new information which has recently come to light” caused it to change its position.

It followed an affidavit by the teacher, who cannot be named by order of the royal commission, that he told Catholic Education Office directors Monsignor Frank Coolahan and Monsignor Vince Dilley during employment interviews in 1974 that he was convicted of sexually assaulting young boys at a Hunter public school in 1962.

The teacher, known by the royal commission as GKI, was a student at Marist Brothers, Maitland in the 1940s.

GKI was convicted in 1989 of sexually assaulting two boys, aged 10, at a Hunter Catholic school. But documents held by the Newcastle Herald, and others released by the royal commission on Monday, show parents raised the alarm about GKI on at least three occasions in the 1980s, including reports to the Catholic Education Office.

The documents include a report to the then Bishop Leo Clarke in 1990 by a church committee headed by the then Monsignor Philip Wilson, and tasked with reporting on the diocese’s handling of the teacher’s case.

The committee found serious gaps in the diocese’s child protection protocols, including a reluctance to include details of alleged sexual misconduct on a teacher’s personnel file.

“It would seem that if a teacher faced with allegations of sexual abuse resigns, there is nothing to guarantee that he/she will not be employed at some time in the future in a Catholic school in another diocese, or indeed in this diocese, given the reluctance to place information regarding the allegations in the personnel file,” Monsignor Wilson’s committee found.

It recommended that “personnel files contain all documents related to allegations, charges, convictions in relation to sexual abuse”.

The committee report noted that GKI had to be ordered by his probation officer to stay away from the church, the school and the children after he harassed children at Mass, followed the school bus and approached them in the street.

“Parishioners were extremely angry when they discovered that one of the teacher’s former parish priests had testified on his behalf at the court case in which the teacher had pleaded guilty,” Bishop Clarke was told.

“It would seem that there has been no attempt by the parish, school or Catholic Education Office to ascertain whether the victims have suffered financial hardship because of the events which have occurred since the time of the abuse.”

A note at the bottom of the report warned Bishop Clarke that parents had the right to sue the Catholic Education Office and the diocese for “failing to adequately protect their children”.

“Our legal consultant suggests that the parents in this case would have a pretty good case if they chose to act,” the note said.

But when one of the 10-year-old boys whose complaints led to GKI’s conviction for child sex offences in 1989 tried to sue the diocese for compensation in 2005, his case was “fiercely resisted”, his barrister Andrew Morrison, SC, said in a report on the case in 2009.

Mr Morrison on Monday said he was “not at all surprised” to learn the diocese knew GKI’s victims had a “pretty good case” to sue the church, based on its knowledge it had employed a child sex offender to put in charge of young children.

“The Catholic Church doesn’t appear overall to have learnt the lessons from what has occurred and been revealed, although there are significant changes in some areas and it is not the only institution to have been found wanting,” Mr Morrison said.

“It’s got a long, long way to go. There are still some very ugly attitudes among some decision-makers.”

http://www.theherald.com.au/story/4781015/church-employed-paedophile-then-fought-his-victims/#slide=3


Another Former high ranking parish priest accused of child sex abuse

A RETIRED Catholic parish priest who stands accused of several child sexual abuse offences was excused from appearing in Lismore Local Court on Tuesday where his case was mentioned.

Richard St John Cattell, 77, who now lives on the Gold Coast, faces nine historic charges including intercourse with a male between 10 and 17 years old as well as aggravated indecent assault with a boy under his authority.

Cattell served as a parish priest at several NSW parishes in the 1970s and 1980s before being promoted to Vicar-General of the Diocese of Parramatta in the early 1990s.

The offences allegedly occurred during Cattel’s time as a parish priest at various NSW parishes in Sydney and surrounds.

Prosecutor Luke Wiggins told the court on Tuesday the “bulk” of the alleged offences occurred in the Hawkesbury region on the Central Coast, while some of the charges occured at other locations such as Mollymook on the South Coast.

Magistrate David Heilpern adjourned the matter to Penrith Local Court on July 28.

Cattell was excused from appearing at the next court date if legally represented.

https://www.northernstar.com.au/news/former-high-ranking-parish-priest-accused-of-child/3201946/

In Mildura in 1972, Detective Constable Denis Ryan sought to charge a priest, Monsignor John Day, for sex offences against children. Ryan had obtained a number of statements from victims. The allegations were of a serious type — acts of gross indecency, buggery, rape, sexual assault.

It would have been the first time a Catholic cleric was charged with child sex offences in Victorian criminal history.

This unhappy story had its roots in an event on the streets of St Kilda in 1956, when Ryan as a young constable in the company of two more senior officers, detained Day, then a priest at Apollo Bay, after the priest was found drunk and semi-naked in his car in the company of two prostitutes. Ryan wondered why Day had not been charged at the time and was told by his sergeant, “Short of murder, no Catholic priest could be charged with any offence in Victoria.”

Detective Sergeant Jim Barritt, was a member of the group and was a close friend of Day’s. Barritt set himself up essentially as Day’s protector. Ryan did not inform Barritt of his inquiries and referred them to the most senior police officer in the area, Superintendent Jack McPartland at Swan Hill. McPartland ordered Ryan off the case and instructed him to hand over all statements to Barritt’s partner in crime, Superintendent Alby Irwin.

But Ryan would not let the matter go and continued to make inquiries and take statements from victims. In all 14 victims came forward before Ryan was forced out.

Ryan claimed he could have obtained statements from 100 victims. We now know Day has been the subject of more than 100 Towards Healing claims. I believe he had been an active paedophile for 50 years. He died unpunished in 1978.

Enter then Superintendent John O’Connor who travelled to Mildura with his sidekick Chief Inspector Harvey Child. They were “toe-cutters”, then Chief Commissioner Reg Jackson’s special investigators. Initially O’Connor offered Ryan an inducement, a promotion to the rank of detective sergeant and Barritt’s job in Mildura. Ryan knocked him back. That was when the shit hit the fan.

Ryan was ostracised within the force. O’Connor tried to fit up Ryan with disciplinary charges that were laughable and never got off the ground. He ordered Ryan’s transfer back to Melbourne, something he knew Ryan would not cop. O’Connor effectively destroyed Ryan’s career. Ryan left the force in 1972.

I co-wrote the book Unholy Trinity with Ryan. He came to my home and for four months we sifted through files and sat in my little office putting his story together. When he arrived he presented as a deeply anxious character. He spoke of nightmares, insomnia and lived with the almost constant onset of panic attacks. There was no doubt in my mind he was suffering the symptoms of post-traumatic stress and had done so for decades. Never mind that he had once been one of them, the cops had really done a number on him. A hamburger with the lot, in their dark parlance.

The book was published in 2013 and was received as a submission to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse in 2014. Ryan gave evidence to the commission in December 2015. His evidence was not challenged, he was not cross-examined. Rather, he simply read sections of his statement into the record at the commission. In the space of a morning’s proceedings, Ryan finally received the vindication he had sought since 1972.

Outside the courtroom, a long line of senior police, including the current Victoria Police Chief Commissioner Graham Ashton, stepped forward to express regret and offer their apologies.

The simple fact of the matter is Ryan need not have waited so long.

For many years prior to giving evidence to the commission, Ryan hammered away at Victoria Police, demanding answers. He was roughly ignored and the door remained shut on what I regard as the force’s darkest secret, the protection it afforded clerical paedophiles.

A Victorian independent MLA for Sunraysia, Russell Savage, decided to take up the cudgels on Ryan’s behalf. Savage was a former cop and had met Ryan and knew Ryan was telling the truth. He raised the Day investigation and Ryan’s disgraceful treatment in Victorian parliament. The then police minister, Tim Holding, requested VicPol conduct an internal review of the matter.

Ryan thought finally the wheel had turned in his favour. Surely an investigation by Chief Commissioner Christine Nixon would end his suffering and provide some form of succour. After all, it was 2006 and a raft of priests and clerics had been convicted of child sex offending, many of them in the Ballarat Diocese.

But despite Nixon’s investigation the big lie persisted. She responded with a letter in response to Savage’s inquiry in the parliament. The penultimate paragraph of that letter reads: “Following examination of this extensive statement by former Assistant Commissioner O’Connor, I am completely satisfied with the conduct of the investigations into the Day matter and that Denis Ryan resigned from Victoria Police of his own accord.”

This was the same O’Connor who had tried to fit Ryan up and who had ultimately conspired with bishop Ronald Mulkearns in Ballarat to pervert the course of justice by not charging Day and demanding Mulkearns merely move the perverted priest out of Mildura into another parish and a fresh group of unsuspecting children.

At the time of writing the book, we did not know the contents of O’Connor’s statement. We knew it existed but despite a successful application to VCAT for the release of police documents, O’Connor’s statement remained under lock and key. Now that we have seen it, we know why it was withheld.

O’Connor’s statement, sworn by him in 2006 when he was 90 years of age, was a litany of lies from a man prepared to perjure himself to the grave. When sections of the statement were read into the record by counsel assisting the Royal Commission, the public gallery burst into laughter, so ludicrous and outrageous was it.

Among the more extraordinary claims in the statement, O’Connor stated there were two Father John Days in Victoria and since 1956 Denis Ryan had battled under the misapprehension of mistaken identity. It was a lie and provably so.

According to her letter in 2006, Nixon relied almost entirely on O’Connor’s statement to form the view that the Day investigation which saw the priest removed from the Mildura parish but not charged, sent off to another parish where he would offend against children again, was a legitimate one and that Ryan had resigned of his own accord.

If you think that’s rough on Ryan then imagine what Day’s victims were going through. They had been told again they did not matter and the profound indignities they suffered at the hands of Day did not happen.

Comment was sought from Christine Nixon. She referred my questions to Victoria Police.

The trouble with that is Victoria Police have already conducted their inquiries. After the release of Unholy Trinity, former Chief Commissioner Mick Miller contacted his successor, Graham Ashton and urged him to read the book. Ashton did and then demanded the police files. He sifted through the files and quickly formed the view the Day investigation was a farce and that Ryan had been at best very poorly treated.

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/opinion/blogs/nixon-a-question-of-competence-not-gender/news-story/ed9c92c65ff4133398be7f54d7af1e19


James Fraser Darling member of the Spartacus Club 33 years FOR THE SCOT WHO PREYED ON THAI KIDS

Sentenced to 33 years for paedophile offences in Thailand. Released on appeal and deported. Served a grand total of 2 years inside.

James Fraser Darling – who preyed on boys as young as eight – gives one-to-one lessons to the children of wealthy families.

Darling, 56, who lived in Morningside, Edinburgh, before going to the Far East, is working in a private language school in Zhuhai in south China.

We discovered the pervert – the son of an Oxford don – posing as a respectable teacher in the same week as pop paedophile Gary Glitter jetted back into Britain.

But while Glitter, 64, was placed on the UK sex offenders’ register, Darling is subject to no monitoring or restrictions.

At his school in Zhuhai, Darling, who is paid pounds 450 a month, refused to speak to the Sunday Mail.

School principal Li Lulin said she knew nothing about Darling’s crimes – but would not sack him.

She said: “Give him a break. His performance here has been good. I won’t tell parents.

“It’s not up to the Chinese government to punish him for his past. His contract finishes in September. I’ll let him go peacefully.”

A Foreign Office spokswoman said: “It is a matter for the Chinese authorities if they admit him to the country. We wouldn’t necessarily know if Mr Darling was there.”

At the Chinese Embassy in London, a spokeswoman refused to say whether any action would be taken to remove Darling.

 CHILD SEX SHAME OF SCOTS TOFF: He molested Thai lads, court told

Fraser-Darling and other Westerners allegedly molested the boys at the picnics and in Fraser- Darling’s cottage near the poor village of Rawai.

The boys showed investigators photos of themselves naked with the man they knew as “Uncle James”.

Image result for James Fraser Darling

More nude pictures were found at Fraser-Darling’s home, along with a Spartacus magazine article on “boy love” written by a J.Darling. Fraser-Darling denies being the author.

Fraser-Darling, who went to posh Repton school, was arrested in November 1995 after a colleague at the university reported him.

He was about to leave Thai-land for Cambodia when police swooped.

The pervert was taken from prison to court in his brown jail uniform early yesterday. His ankles were chained.

Fraser-Darling admitted he was a paedophile.

But he denied the charges, claiming he was a scapegoat in Thailand’s “witch- hunt” against child sex perverts.

Fraser-Darling’s father is Scots academic Sir Frank Fraser-Darling, an expert on Scottish birds and Hebridean wildlife.

He also has a brother in the Diplomatic Corps.
Frank Fraser Darling lived on the island of Tanera Mor.
Tanera Mor is  notable as the location for Frank Fraser Darling’s book Island Years.

Someone was pulling strings to get him out of Thailand.

A PAEDOPHILE has arrived in Scotland to claim a family inheritance – still lying about his sleazy past.

Toff James Fraser Darling, 51, is in the Highlands to get what is left of his family’s cash after being freed from a Bangkok jail.

But while the former teacher claims he won an appeal against all convictions, the truth is that the Thais kicked him out after only reducing his jail sentence.

Fraser Darling was left a small fortune while languishing behind bars and used some of the money to win his freedom.

Now the pervert, who preyed on young boys in the seedy resort of Phuket, is staying at an pounds 18-a-night guest house in Forres near his former family home while he plans his future.

Local residents are unaware that he is a convicted paedophile.

 LIES OF DEPRAVED TOFF

Fraser Darling’s father, Sir Frank, died in 1979 at the age of 73 after his retirement as chief officer of the Imperial Bureau of Animal Genetics in Edinburgh.

Edinburgh-born Christina was his third wife and met him when she was taking care of his children after his second wife’s death.

Since Fraser Darling’s arrest he has been too ashamed to contact his brother Richard, 52, a senior Foreign Office intelligence officer, and his sister Francesca, 46, who lives in the USA.

He says he has spent his time in Scotland trying to register for work after a lifetime working abroad in Thailand, Iran, Sri Lanka and El Salvador.

Accused Scot was ‘like an uncle’ to Thai boys

THE paedophile son of a Scottish knight was jailed for 33 years in Thailand yesterday for preying on young boys.

Teacher James Fraser Darling, 47, whose father, a leading academic – was an authority on Scottish wildlife, was chained by the ankles as he was led away to the cells wearing regulation brown prison shirt and shorts.

The appalling sex acts he was convicted of were carried out on boys from a sea gypsy community at a Thai beach resort.

He was sentenced to five years each on nine counts of separating children from their parents.

Darling is the son of Sir Frank Fraser Darling, an Oxford don and expert on Scottish bird-life and Hebridean wildlife, who became chief officer of the Imperial Bureau of Animal Genetics in Edinburgh. He died in 1979.

Darling’s mother, Lady Christina Darling of Forres, Moray, died while he was on trial.

His brother Richard, a senior intelligence officer specialising in the war against drugs, works for the Foreign Office in Britain and did not attend the court.

Richard Ogilby Leslie Fraser Darling Counsellor, Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

Pervert Darling, a London University arts graduate, travelled the world teaching in Brazil and Sri Lanka before arriving in Thailand four years ago.

A book published by the Spartacus organisation – a European group linked to paedophilia – was found in his house, and a chapter inside, written by J Darling, described Roman orgies with young boys.

However, Darling denied that he was the author of the work.

The court’s decision was welcomed by FACE, the coalition against Child Exploitation, which has been monitoring suspected paedophiles in Thailand.

Almost everybody on Phuket knew James Fraser Darling.
 How disgusting can you get 2 years then deported back too our country!! Bloody loose around innocent children! Thank you for sharing this
MISC

Three of the Salvation Army’s most senior commanders are related to alleged or convicted abusers

 

26 Apr 2017

Three of the Salvation Army’s most senior commanders are closely related to men who have been accused of, charged with or convicted of sexual offences, ­including against children.

The revelation demonstrates how deeply the church child-sex scandal has affected the tight-knit Salvation Army community and comes after a royal commission uncovered evidence of horrific ­assaults allegedly committed by its officers and staff.

The commission identified at least 19 alleged child abusers within the Salvation Army over recent decades, while an ongoing police investigation into boys’ homes run by the church has led to two arrests so far.

WOODBURY, MAJOR ERROL

Woodbury_Errol

Major Errol Woodbury of the Salvation Army became a police chaplain in 1984. In 1988 he was appointed full-time as a senior chaplain a position he held until January 1995. Since then Major Woodbury has continued as an honorary chaplain. He is also actively involved in pastoral care ministry for the Salvation Army.

https://pansw.org.au/about/life-members/life-member-biographies/woodbury-major-errol

The Salvation Army’s national chief secretary, Colonel Mark Campbell, is the son-in-law of a former major, Errol Woodbury, who was the subject of “historical allegations” that led to his being stripped of his position in 2015.

Queensland’s divisional commander, Lieutenant Colonel David Godkin, is the son-in-law of a former Salvation Army soldier, Maurice Press, who is serving 5½ years in jail for 11 counts of sexual assault on a child.

The Australian has previously revealed that Ray Pethybridge, whose son Kelvin is chief secretary-in-charge of the church’s powerful eastern territory, will face court next month charged with 14 sexual offences, including indecent assaults on girls under 16.

Two of Mr Pethybridge’s alleged victims said they grew up in the Salvation Army but left the church after they came forward claiming to have been assaulted

“They just didn’t do anything about it,” said one woman, whose family reported the allegations to the Salvation Army in the 1980s.

“I don’t know whether they just turned a blind eye and didn’t know anything about it but I also think there was a mentality back then that if you ask God’s forgiveness … you will be forgiven.

The second woman said: “They like to think they have (changed) but how can they? To me, the Salvation Army has lost all humanity in the way we have been treated.”

More than 250 of those who gave evidence in private to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse said they were abused in recent decades in children’s homes run by the Salvation Army.

Evidence before the commission shows Mr Woodbury was involved in handling claims of physical and mental abuse against one such child in 1993.

In a statement, the church said it had “commissioned an independent external investigation into historical allegations made against Mr Woodbury, with the findings from that investigation being provided to both the Queensland Police and the NSW Office of the Children’s Guardian.

“A decision was made to terminate Mr Woodbury’s officership in 2015. Mr Woodbury is strictly prohibited from representing the Salvation Army in any official capacity,” the statement said.

The Salvation Army has previously said it “co-operated with a police investigation and … criminal proceedings” against Press, who was jailed in November.

A Salvos spokesman said “a number of significant changes to ensure policies and procedures remain best-practice’’ had been enacted. “The Salvation Army would like to again sincerely and unreservedly apologise to survivors, their families and the Australian public for serious past failures.”

Isn’t it funny how sometimes odd little coincidences occur in life?

Take this one for example – the Uncle, Cousins and Brother of the arch=pedophile Clarence Henry Howard Osborne – aka Clarrie Osborne – all lived withing a short walk or a decent stone’s throw from the Anglican Church Grammar School in East Brisbane, then known as the Church of England Grammar School, but best known as Churchie.

Gee that’s interesting Archie, I hear you say, but Brisbane’s a small town and sh*t happens and what does it all mean?

Plenty is the answer, especially in a town of well over a million that ain’t that small at all, but hold your breath and I’ll tell you why in a few minutes.

But for now just take a gawk and get the lay of the land.

First up, Clarrie’s Dad’s brother Merv – aka Mervyn Howard-Osborne – a lawyer about Brisvegas town.

He lived at number 11 Longlands Street, East Brisbane, a short jog or a mid-range gunshot from Churchie.

clarriebro

clarriecuz

Cool Arch, I hear you say. So what?

Just ask the Bovver Boy.

The joint below is where Clarrie’s brother Len – Leonard James Howard-Osborne – used to live, back in the days when Clarrie was in the Army.

The army? Clarrie?

I’ll tell you more about that in a minute too.

First though, have a peek at where Len used to live. It’s even closer to Churchie than Uncle Merv and the cuzzie bro’s joint.

clazza3


De La Salle College at Revesby a ‘hot spot’ of paedophilia, claims Sydney lawyer

July 17, 2017

DE LA Salle College at Revesby Heights has been labelled a “hot spot of paedophilia” by a Sydney lawyer who is working through thousands of historical child sex abuse cases.

The revelation about the Catholic boys school comes after countless men came forward with allegations of being sexually abused by numerous staff at the school in the 1970s and ’80s.

Among the worst offenders was Brother Anselm Hallam, also known as Tom Hallam, who was allegedly moved to the Sydney school from one in Melbourne after sexual abuse complaints were made against him.

Mr Hallam died in the early 1990s aged 92 before his charges could be heard in court.

John Comerford told NewsLocal that at age 18 he went to the Revesby school with a loaded shotgun to confront Mr Hallam, who allegedly raped him seven years earlier, but was told the teacher was dead.

Jason Parkinson, of Porters Lawyers, said an article that referenced the school in January led to about 15 men contacting him and saying they had been assaulted at the school.

“I think that says a lot about the number of children being abused,” he said.

“The men have complained to us that Brother Anselm would routinely molest the entire class of children by having them stand up at the side of their desk, and have them unbutton their shorts and then go from one child to the next.

“We consider it to be a hot spot of paedophilia in Sydney.”


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