On the Grenfell Towers Fire

Still working on things in relation to Grenfell as something that belongs to a more long-term development—if you like, a culmination of so many cover-ups since the advent of brutalised Thatcherism as the neoliberal agenda unfolded during the last 40 years or so.

Most of these initial cover-ups occurred in the north of England like the Battle of Orgreave during the miners’ strike, the Bradford football stadium fire of 1985 (a book has recently appeared on this subject suggesting the fire was anything but an accident) and then Hillsborough in Sheffield in 1989. Seeing the north of England was then the epicentre of the revolt against neoliberalism, it was as if the system needed to murder enough of the people in that neck of the woods to make them submit forever. But it didn’t quite work out like that and though defeat after defeat took place nonetheless enough protagonists refused to lie down, endlessly demanding proper enquiries take place. Hillsborough especially. And only a week ago Hillsborough has finally got somewhere with manslaughter charges leveled against top cop Duckenfield and Company.

By then the Grenfell fire had happened at the very heart of Britain’s ruling elite, especially its toffocracy all—or nearly all—possessing double-barrel names; in short William Blake’s “Perfidious Albion” in its purest essence. But the drip, drip, drip over the years of endlessly re-enforcing the same lies has also stimulated an ever greater anguish, something which has finally snapped and let rip in the immediate aftermath of Grenfell Tower. Nothing but nothing has been silenced here. True, after Hillsborough, though Digger Murdoch’s filthy rag The Sun was virtually vanquished in Liverpool and surrounds, there were few moves towards semi-autonomous activity.

This is not so around Grenfell. It’s as though despite the hideous gentrification surrounding the tower, radical Notting Hill has been reinvented even if in a somewhat welcome turbulent and confused way. Rank ’n’ file tenant groupings seem to be springing up all over after the inspiring spontaneous help-outs organised by Christian, Muslim, and other faiths centered on Trad Dad places of baneful worship. However, an even more baneful ruling class on Grenfell’s doorstep during this horrific event proved to be worse than appalling. The latter are now utterly discredited and, more importantly, utterly demoralised, even terrified of the London mob again appearing on their fekking doorsteps.

Old radical Notting Hill—as we’ve long said—has dipped away towards its peripheries to the big social housing estates of Lancaster West, in the middle of which is Grenfell Tower, together with a newly repopulated Wormwood Scrubs as its playground, where great encounters among many different peoples have become the order—or rather disorder—of the day. A place where gays (many are Muslim) openly fuck in the long grass and Muslim school gals have fistfights shouting out endless fucks at the top of their voices, pleasantly kept in a kind of Queensbury Rules of white and black school chums. (For sure it’s great but do their Mums know they carry on like this? Hey Mum ease up gal!)

The Scrubs has also become one of our terrains of eco-intervention, in this instance trying to stop the place being developed as the centre of the High Speed Rail Link (hsr2) and Treeza Mayday’s pet project of making Acton City another fuckin’ enclave for the world’s super rich, maybe Chinese or Russian especially post-Brexit. And sure enough two years or so ago we got stuck into this project with ever-greater gusto, so much so that bigwigs on Hammersmith and Fulham Council have recently threatened to banish us from the Scrubs as evidently we’ve “altered the landscape.” We sincerely hope so and those bastards can take a running jump…

Moreover, radicals in and around Grenfell Tower some moons ago began to elaborate a tenants’ blog which has become the best in the United Kingdom. It’s always been a joy to keep bumping into them on the Scrubs, always endlessly uplifting. Good people and jeez isn’t that blog now getting millions of hits as they accurately predicted the fire even getting threatened with eviction for saying it was going to happen? We also endlessly cussed out the tmos (Tenants’ Management Organisations) just like the Grenfellers which in fact were the product of the inter-class community politics of Notting Hill in the 1970s (and were we the only ones who openly denounced all of this at the time???).

Over the last two weeks or so, the msm, especially the bbc and itv news, have been loathe to mention this blog but even they now have to admit it exists, if only just. And will the usual public-school Leninists of New Left Review publish it? Reluctantly at best though most likely it will be some other outfit. Moreover, that passive bourgeois negotiating body of eco-Leninists belonging to fowss (Friends of Wormwood Scrubs) hates us.

Our mates were gutted by Grenfell with Eddie Daffarn’s flat burnt out and the guy would have lost his life if not finally having been rescued by firefighters. These Grenfell guys now have come back in something like an apocalyptic state of mind, Eddie furiously riding around on his bike with one hand on the handlebars the other holding up his mob, his mouth racing with inspired language. And how the mighty are falling in front of him and all of us! And these Grenfell guys and gals are all keeping away from the msm. These people endlessly kept insisting on direct democracy and we reckon this has had a real impact precisely because they practically live in the same social space as all the other marginalised tenants, and that, alongside really relevant theory, is what really matters with little or no separation between theory and everyday life. There’s thus no real difference between any of the tenants even though many come from different countries all over the world.

Because of the tragedy of Grenfell Tower, the ruse of reason has kicked in and class thankfully is back to the fore and with it the United Kingdom’s social apartheid is also back. Full-belt. Everywhere people on street corners and at work are talking about class again. What a feckin’ relief! And rank and file responses keep increasing not only in the well-publicised invasion of Ken & Chelsea Town Hall but in many clandestine actions which don’t appear on the walls of local Dazebos. That evil hipster toff bastard, Rock Feilding-Mellon, head of the building contract that put up cut-price inflammable cladding on Grenfell Tower has had to leave his smart 3 million quid house close by—a gaff bordering Holland Park next to the Embassy Belt/Royal Palaces—because of bricks thrown through windows and gully low graffiti painted up like “Fuck Off Yer Bastard.”

Yep, good hooliganism is on the move everywhere alongside a reinvigorated Corbynista Momentum that doesn’t possess the same edge confining itself to a slightly bloody-minded left social-democratic parliamentary perspective. They are prominent at all meetings and they are altering street names—or rather adding to them—throughout Notting Hill. The Royal Borough has become the Rotten Borough, and Nasty Party/Toxic Party, etc., scrawled up everywhere on street signs. All somewhat limited and you know these people have yet to grasp real autonomy but maybe in time will do so. For feck sake get inspired on something like the old King Mob slogans—only better. And is all this going to stop with a re-vamped Labour Party devolving all power to local constituencies overthrowing the rule of the old-time parliamentary party; something like a Syriza party a few years later?

We have yet a world to win geared towards an uprising of the world proletariat or else we will be nothing, dying in total despair!

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