The latest attempt to get the Establishment off the blame-hook it’s rightly squirming on over the terrible tragedy at Grenfell Tower is to try to spread the blame to everyone.
The BBC’s Andrew Neil and others were, at the weekend, spinning the line that because the flammable cladding is being found in nearly every building checked for it, it’s a ‘systemic’ fault.
And because the buildings are in Labour council areas as well as Tory ones, ‘it’s nothing to do with austerity’.
This is so transparently false that it’s almost embarrassing that they’re trying it.
Yes, the buildings are in areas run by local authorities controlled by both parties – but the decision to impose austerity and slash local authority funding was made by Tory and Tory-controlled governments.
The Tories are absolutely not absolved by the widespread occurrences of the problem. In fact, they are damned still further. Their cuts have been so severe that even relatively lightly attacked Tory councils are in severe trouble.
And Labour councils – poorer to begin with – have been hit far harder.
Severe funding shortages have forced councils to cut every possible penny, with dire consequences for the people who live in those areas – and the very, very few councils that are not short of cash (Kensington and Chelsea were running surpluses in the hundreds of millions of pounds) and skimped on the safety of their residents anyway are all Tory-run.
Because only Tory-run councils, let off lightly by Tory governments, stand a cat in hell’s chance of having some spare cash.
And of course, the ignored reports, delayed law changes and kicking into the long grass were all done by Tory governments.
The false media narrative is nothing more than an attempt to get a useless, criminal government off the hook. It won’t and can’t succeed.
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