Tag Archives: Cressida Dick

Flames of the blame game

The Guardian gave us a story on Wednesday and it was a story. Now, we can argue that there are more than a few markers in place, So when we see “The British system for fire testing building materials is utterly inadequate and underestimates the ferocity and spread of real blazes, a study commissioned after the Grenfell Tower disaster has claimed“, that might be good and proper (still debatable), yet the part that seems to be skated over, the icing of denial so to say is the facts that I had were a given in June 2017. They were in the Reynobond PE brochure. It has two important messages. The first being ‘This test method measures flame growth on the underside of a horizontal test specimen, using the Steiner tunnel test‘, that is interesting as we know that cladding tends to go vertical, so why not do a vertical test? The second was “It’s perfect for new and retrofit projects less than 40 feet (three stories) high“, these two alone should have stopped the dangers in its track. A request for a vertical flame test for the Grenfell building, as well as the need for a written confirmation that Reynobond PE was in fact the acceptable option for this building. Merely the application of common sense in the entire matter and the article by Robert Booth should have reflected that. So when I get to read “But they fail to reflect how materials burn in the real world, according to a highly critical report published on Wednesday by the Association of British Insurers (ABI)“, I start wondering who the stooge is that is taking the heat for the massive blunders that got 71 people charcoaled. I saw that within 5 minutes whilst reading up on the basic facts on the matter that basic issues had been negated, or merely ignored. So it is not what the ABI is suddenly preaching on how systems were outdated, it was the mere application of common sense and the lack of it within the council (or is that the KCTMO) to sign off on these matters got 71 people murdered, because when we consider the absence of common sense, they are not people, or victims that were killed, they ended up being the collateral damage of a mass murder, that is how we should see it, and that is how I personally regard that to be. When we consider “a building is significantly more flammable than the British Standards Institution test BS8414 shows“. When we consider the Evening Standard in August 2017, where we see “Alison Saunders said that although investigations were at a “very early stage” gross negligence manslaughter was among the offences that prosecutors will consider if police find enough evidence“. The mere documents I found (product brochures), seem to hold that part of the evidence, unless proper fire testing was done and Raynobond had given a written guarantee that Raynobond PE would suffice for the additional 21 storeys, there is a first setting of evidence that ‘gross negligence manslaughterwould already be an option that seems to fit (for now). Yet the Guardian also had important goods on June 16th 2017. With company director, John Cowley stating “Omnis had been asked to supply Reynobond PE cladding, which is £2 cheaper per square metre than the alternative Reynobond FR, which stands for “fire resistant” to the companies that worked on refurbishing Grenfell Tower“, so as we move from Omnis Exteriors to Harley Facades, where was the council in all this? So when we see “the Fire Protection Association (FPA), an industry body, has been pushing for years for the government to make it a statutory requirement for local authorities and companies to use only fire-retardant material. Jim Glocking, technical director of the FPA, said it had “lobbied long and hard” for building regulations on the issue to be tightened, but nothing had happened“, we see that the law had been inadequate for a long time, yet in addition to this This against the latest article where we see “The BS8414 test is overseen by the BSI, a private company appointed by the government as the national standards body. The panel that drew up the rules for the test include representatives from the plastic foam insulation industry. The BRE, which carries out the tests, is the former government building research station that was privatised in 1997“.

You see, these two statements are the actual ballgame now. When we consider that: “as the UK’s National Standards Body, the BSI is also responsible for the UK publication, of international as well as European standards. BSI is obliged to adopt and publish all European Standards as identical British Standards (prefixed BS EN) and to withdraw pre-existing British Standards that are in conflict“, so when we accept that and also accept that “Frankfurt’s fire chief, Reinhard Ries, said he was appalled at the fire at Grenfell Tower and said tighter fire-safety rules for tower blocks in Germany meant that a similar incident could not happen there. US building codes also restrict the use of metal-composite panels without flame-retardant cores on buildings above 15 metres” a statement that the Guardian gave in June 2017, we see that there is a massive amount of systemic failures. With ‘withdraw pre-existing British Standards that are in conflict‘, there is an implication that whilst the BSI was ‘privatised’ it never ended up doing its job (a speculative assumption that seemingly holds water after reading several accounts). The massive requirement for much higher fire protection levels imply just that and in all this, people hid behind a veil of insecure assurances and in all this ignorance is not a defence, not by my standards and not in court.

So when we take a look at that fire test that the BSI has (at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V4KA8S4yLoI), I personally get the feeling that Raynobond PE was never properly tested in this way (or any way for that matter), not before the fire at least, so when we look at the mess of interactions, I wonder what it will take and that too was covered by the Guardian when we see the quote “Cressida Dick, said on Wednesday that detectives were a long way from passing files to the Crown Prosecution Service and that she had asked for extra government funding over several years to help cover the costs of the inquiry“, I think that it goes further than this, the entire sales trajectory, the entire consultancy path from deciding on the parts to be ordered and the implementation of it all shows to be a clear factor and all the documents give rise to a much larger problem. When we see the mere interaction that the BSI is claiming to have and what we get as response from Germany (a EU nation) implies that the foundation of fire protection is just not there. The statement by the Fire Protection Association (FPA) bears this out.

The final part is the impact of choice. ITV gave us “The Kensington and Chelsea Tenant Management Organisation – which managed and maintained the council’s housing stock – decided to put the contract back out to tender and Rydon ended up agreeing to take it on for £8.7 million“, which puts the KCTMO in the hot seat, almost literally. You see the cost cutting had influence on several fronts and there is no way that it was all personnel. They also gave us “On Thursday night Rydon repeated its assertion that all the refurbishment work carried out at Grenfell Tower met both building and fire regulation standards and was signed off by the council. Grenfell Tower was built in 1974. The refurbishment project was, in theory, an opportunity to retrofit the building with a sprinkler system but it wasn’t taken. I’m told the idea wasn’t even discussed“, so which ‘fire regulation standards‘ were signed off on and who signed off on it? As we see that there is a huge discrepancy on the fire regulations at all, we can make the assumption that the council, or their representatives will now need to rely on large levels of ‘miscommunication‘, to avoid having to stand in the dock. More important, there is a desperate need to get these documents collected and soon, before they accidently go missing through the use of ‘Miss Filing‘ and her alleged ability to conveniently place documents, that poor lady does get blamed too often for too many things, ain’t that the truth!

In this I will end with the setting that Huw Evans, the director general of the ABI opened. He gives us the quote: “This latest research is yet more evidence that fundamental reform is needed to keep our homes and commercial premises safe from fire. It is a matter of urgency that we create the right testing regime that properly replicates real world conditions and keeps pace with building innovation and modern design“, yet as the director general of the Association of British Insurers he should have been aware, clearly aware that is that the task of the BSI, The British Standards Institution is to ‘withdraw pre-existing British Standards that are in conflict‘, and with the quotes seen, as well as presented settings regarding the prohibition panelling which we got from Frankfurt’s fire chief, Reinhard Ries regarding ‘tighter fire-safety rules for tower blocks in Germany meant that a similar incident could not happen there‘, we need to wonder how cladding is set (if it is set) in Europe as per the European Committee for Standardization. Yet none of these spokespeople seems to make reference to that did they? That is the setting we see and we see it from several sources, which now gives the question in all this, what is Huw Evans actually targeting, because it is not merely the overhaul of BS8414. The mere lack of mention in the cladding process because when we see the mention of the Hackitt review (independent Review of Building Regulations and Fire Safety by Dame Judith Hackitt, at https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/668831/Independent_Review_of_Building_Regulations_and_Fire_Safety_web_accessible.pdf), that part is not merely showing parts of the entire matter to be a joke, the findings on page 67 of that report “Contributors believe products are marketed with specification data presented in ways which can easily be misinterpreted. Indeed, individual elements are often used as part of compound systems that are not fully tested as systems“, the findings I had from one brochure (Raynobond PE) shows that the cladding should never have been used in the first place. In addition on that same page we see “The standards of workmanship for the installation of some safety-critical products (e.g. cladding) is not made explicit in the Approved Documents“, which is odd to state the least, I get that it is in the report, yet the fact that the KCTMO might not have set minimal levels, whilst approving a party for £2.5 million less should have been foremost on their minds. In addition, the application of: ‘the Approved Documentsmight be valid, but it leaves me with a whole range of additional questions. Here is that report: Attached

And we need to consider on page 6 “I am aware that some building owners and landlords are waiting for direction from this review on what materials should be used to replace cladding that has been identified as inadequate“, shows that whilst the Europeans have settings for standards on fire prevention, the BSI has not set the target that high, even as we saw ‘withdraw pre-existing British Standards that are in conflict‘, giving us more questions regarding the BSI, as such it seems that the tenants are in a much more dire situation, because there is every chance that Huw Evans, the director general of the Association of British Insurers is all about the insurance part and what he sees so far could spell that the overall insurance of apartments in high rises are prone to larger insurance premium increases than one would usually expect and there is a precedent for Huw to do just that, even if we do not grant insurances any consideration in the most optimum of times, they do have the right to up the premium if the risk warrants it, so in that regard, well over 350 buildings are loaded with tenants that will see their premiums spike as per next year’s insurance bill, that is, if the ABI is willing to wait that long, because that is at present not a given. Not when you tailored yourself for the Financial Times interview on April 25th.

Even I had not predicted the Grenfell situation to be a mess so complete that one might actually wonder how anyone has any value regarding safety or quality, it seems that there are many tainted sides to all this and that just like the blogger who in 2013 got the Metro to give us (at http://metro.co.uk/2017/06/14/council-threatened-blogger-with-legal-action-over-grenfell-tower-warnings-6708453/) “A local blogger who highlighted the danger in Grenfell Tower was sent a legal letter by lawyers working for the local council – accusing him of defamation and harassment” as well as “The letter, which was allegedly sent in 2013, was sent by a solicitor working for Kensington Town Hall. The local group behind the blog alleged that there had been serious failings on fire safety“, this was published Wednesday 14th Jun 2017, whilst the letter was from 2013, if the Grenfell Action Group can produce that letter for the media, we have the partial evidence of a much larger issue, the issue that certain dangers were optionally, optionally because the refurbishments were not completed until 2016, an actual danger. If any of the elements of the blog are shown to be there at the night of the fire, we see more than a systemic failure, we see clear Kensington Council acts that were in place to minimise exposure of dangers. And in that I will state that it only holds grounds if the letter and the 2013 blog show elements that were a true fact after the fire. The mere fact that the council struck out to a blogger is an actual concern as well. This is not about freedom of speech, it is the fact on what was written, but I need both to ascertain whether the Metro had anything viable at that time.

With so many fingers in several pies and so many ‘considerations’ of the pastries that is set on a large table named Grenfell, there is the danger that any interaction and any connected evidence will delay official acts, investigations and proceedings more and more is now a serious consideration whether in the end prosecution of any party remains viable. It would upset so many players but the question is realistic enough and that is not a good thing, not in this time and place.


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The Setting of strategies

The danger of any person trying to look through the mud that we know as political strategies related to ‘what is real’ and ‘what is unlikely’. There is no ‘non-reality’!
We know that certain steps have been staged (as a good politician would). This staging is not unlike the game ‘GO’ where we place the pebbles in such a way that entices to other to place their pebbles, completing our strategies.

This I discussed in last week’s blog involving the fading pension plans. Yes, and as suspected, whilst Dutch politicians are in vacation mode, the Dutch pension funds are now filling the Dutch with dread of a possible 10%-20% loss of retirement. That is some fear in their world of quick rising prices. (www.nos.nl)

Today is not about that, even though there are possible links! Today it is about renewed issues on telephone taps and how the powerful Murdoch gets another painted target. Yet are his words so wrong? We had the phone tap probe, we have seen the Leveson report, and instead of actually acting on the Leveson report as much as possible. Parties involved seem to be having another go at Rupert ‘the Piñata’ Murdoch. A lot or the press is getting a little sour as words are hashed and rehashed into statements of whatever they could be called.

You see, is this an ACTUAL criminal investigation, you know the one with barristers, judges and both parties taking notice of the evidence act?

Or is this another inquiry that has gone on for two years, giving more visibility to Chairman Keith Vaz and a few other political head honcho’s? Do not think that I am on Mr Murdoch’s side. I will instantly stand by the views of Hugh Grant and Lord Justice Leveson in the attack on the events that surrounded phone hacking, and not just the Sun/News of the world.

There is however the valid thought that cooperation is required and should be given. However the following quote “The committee has heard from the Metropolitan Police’s assistant commissioner Cressida Dick that since May ‘voluntary co-operation (with News UK) has been significantly reduced’ and that police have had to obtain court orders regards ‘requests for new material’“.

Is that the issue? This has gone on for 2 years now. Is thus the statement by Mr Murdoch “totally incompetent” when it comes to describing the acts by the Metropolitan Police entirely wrong? If this has gone on now for 2 years, then yes, I think it is time to look at the questions being asked, and asking additional relevant questions to the investigating offices.

Not doing so could turn this entire phone hacking scandal into a fair label of ‘Witch hunt’ and as such, I would see this as the premise to attack the Leveson report. This is because the two are linked. I remain in favour of implementing the entire Leveson report. Not because I am so much in the know of things, but because I have utter faith in the wisdom of Lord Justice Leveson. Those who claim to know and judge the report as invalid, whilst not in possession of a Law doctorate are required to remain very silent on the matter, unless they show actual valid documentation! I admit that this is slightly strong wording, yet having listened to a few people blatantly attacking the Leveson report in favour of unmonitored freedom of the press, after which I asked in regards to the reports footnote 417 in regards to the accuracy of information, their….. ‘emotional repartee’ in my direction gave me what I needed to know. (They had no clue, or better stated, having never read the Leveson report).

By the way, that footnote is “Clause 1(i) of the PCC Code requires the press to take care not to publish inaccurate, misleading or distorted information, including pictures” (page 673, Leveson report).

If we could only apply this requirement to advertisements at times! (Big Smiles).

So we must prevent that these events to ‘evolve’ into a witch hunt. I am NOT stating that this is happening, but after 2 years that image is starting to linger and that is wrong too. My issue is with the statement that was in that same Sky news article (at http://news.sky.com/story/1117618/murdoch-phone-hacking-probe-excessive)

In his letter he set out how the company disclosed 500,000 documents after 185,000 man hours at a cost of more than £65m.” When the coffers are at minus 1 trillion and student costs are growing and growing, these costs are only excessive if the government is not able to make Mr Murdoch pay for these costs.

I personally have always been to mind that once we need to focus and stretch the actual letter of speech, we lose facts of what is the goal. Basically, in these words I am wondering whether the committee has lost the view of the Big picture. (My apologies if I am incorrect).

So where is the issue of strategy? Well, if we read the “The Leveson Report: implementation” (at http://www.parliament.uk/briefing-papers/SN06535), then at 6.5 (in the full PDF version) we see some additional delays in implementing the Royal charter. I quote: “Lord Wallace of Saltaire: My Lords, my briefing says that it is not appropriate for the Privy Council to consider more than one royal charter at a time on the same issue. The noble Lord may consider that the Press Standards Board of Finance has therefore been extremely clever in what it has done and may draw his conclusions from that – and that accounts for some of the delay.

So we have more delays. Granted that they are procedural, but I wonder how many papers have reported on that delay? I reckon not many! Out of sight, out of mind is a valid strategy that has been in long standing with politicians and corporate spokes people all over the world.

So is this a strategy by Mr Murdoch to keep the focus away, or is this an investigation that is getting stretched in a very expensive way to stop your privacy from getting chartered protection? Not non-privacy by government (aka GCHQ), but by those who are making money out of side stepping commercial reasoning for ignoring privacy for the simple reasons of greed?

The issues of strategies are actually wider set then most will think. Against the Dutch pension issues, there is the view of George Osborne, the British Chancellor of the Exchequer. This is viewed in the subtitle “A majority of directors at the Washington-based International Monetary Fund disagrees with its own advice on UK fiscal policy.” which is part of the article at http://news.sky.com/story/1117069/imf-board-disagrees-over-uk-fiscal-policy.

Even though this sounds good for the Exchequer, the issues of no tax rises in the upcoming years (or after 2015 as he states it) is not just short of wrong (at http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2013/jul/11/george-osborne-deficit-tax-rises) , I feel that this could only be kept if a play is made to the pension funds (like the Dutch are trying now), as well as the shale gas approach which is seen as ‘frackalicious’, yet, we should not forget the issues that the Dutch county ‘Groningen’ is going through as it has seen a rise in small earthquakes giving home owners massive costs to repair and additional losses in house values. These issues are to some extent denied/ignored as the investigation is going on, yet the damages that the people see in the news on a regular bases tells another story. At present corporations are now claiming for millions in damages from both the Dutch gas company (NAM) and the government. (at http://www.dvhn.nl/nieuws/groningen/article9972913.ece/Corporaties-claimen-miljoenen-bij-Nam) there is also the claim for compensation to be awarded for the loss of housing value, which adds up to over 10,000 houses for up to 25000 Euro. (Yet one house in the newscast has a value decrease of almost 150,000 Euro). Let us not forget that these were only test drilling, the actual drilling has not even commenced. If the exchequer is depending on these numbers then he might be in for a rough ride. In addition, even though Isla Britannia is decently larger then the Netherlands, there is enough evidence that these issues will have a serious impact on housings and the environment.

If this is all about strategy, then playing the cards close to the chest seems a debatable wisdom. Because when this all goes south, it is not about the Isle politicians are sitting on, but the issue whether there will be a nation left to serve.

Should you doubt that statement (which is fair enough), then consider on how ‘well‘ the US claims their economy is getting. The fact that Detroit is now bankrupt should be enough concern that the American way is not a solution.
We, the Commonwealth nations must stick together to stay afloat and survive, fight together to become the nations of true prosperity again.

None of these strategies are ready for that essential need!

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