© PA Press Association
Both the Times and the FT eventually reported specifically on the different situation in Scotland and the rest of the UK with regard to the fire safety regulations for tower blocks. The Times reported:
‘No residential buildings with flammable cladding have been identified in Scotland’
The FT were damning in their verdict:
‘How lax building rules contributed to Grenfell disaster Warnings on fire risk ignored as governments appeared to focus on cutting red tape.’
The FT went on to explain how the Scottish Government had clearly learned from a smaller though still tragic incident in 1999:
‘On June 11th 1999, a disabled man was killed as a fire tore quickly through eight floors of the Scottish tower block he was living in. Alexander Linton, 55, may not be widely remembered, but his death sparked a review of Scottish building regulations that may have saved lives. After exterior cladding on the council-owned tower block in Irvine was blamed for the rapid spread of the fire, Scottish rules were changed. Now the outside walls of buildings must be designed to “inhibit” the spread of fire, and these requirements are backed up by a tough inspection regime.’
No such lessons appeared to have been learned in England where governments were urged to tighten regulations but no action was taken. There is now a rush to remove flammable cladding from more than 500 blocks and resignations have begun.
I hope this does not seem insensitive. I sincerely hope a Corbyn-led government will turn the tide of tory/New Labour selfish individualism since 1979. I’m just trying to add to the many pieces of evidence that Scotland is different and that these differences, in values, in law and in institutions. justify the need for greater autonomy to maintain, to protect and to enhance them.
You are right in pointing out the difference in values Professor.
In this tragedy it would seem that decisions were made putting costs above values.
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I had noticed this, through looking online & from my MP reassuring folk, that all councils in Scotland have now reported back on all social housing built tower block & they are fully compliant (to stricter Scottish building regs). I think data still needs to come in from privately built ones though. I don’t see or read too much of the BBC, but radio Scotland don’t seem to be mentioning it – but then, they have taking up nearly all their airwaves time telling us Scotland is going into recession and interviewing grand masters (not of chess). Always nice to know they take the people’s fears and safety so seriously, as a public broadcaster, and are determined that we should have lots to fear. Not mention the news that will allay fears, but repeatedly hammer on how much worse our country will get under Westminster rule.
I had forgotten about the sad event that spurred the Scottish building regs to change until someone reminded me yesterday – lessons learned well, I hope, but not by everywhere right enough. I have been absolutely shocked at the number of tower blocks in England that are not fire-safety compliant. Shocked. And horrified by the actions of the councils, and responses to the tragedy, there. Think you have rights? Only at the behest of government, and if that government thinks your rights don’t matter,,, (e.g. Theresa May). We truly do have our own government protecting us in Scotland, long may it last. But, that need to be protected from Westminster erosion of human rights is not right either.
It would be good to see politicians prosecuted for their repeated failures, but that is unlikely to be – I think the law says that the designers/builders, whoever took the role of managing the work and advising the client, have to take responsibility.
I would like to see laws made that ensure those in public office take their responsibilities, and the consequences of their choices, seriously.
Anyway, does anyone understand the economics here of how Scotland can go into recession without the rest of the U.K. when it does not have fiscal autonomy? A curious thing.
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I used to know a few academic economists. They said not to believe a word any of them say including themselves.
🙂 yes, I have no intention of believing them, when I figure out what they are talking about. I am getting to grips with some broad basics (what fiat currency is, how austerity doesn’t work,,,). This is interesting from Dr Craig of the commongreen
It does not quite answer my question on recession, because he doesn’t mention it (because it can’t exist solely in a country with no fiscal autonomy??), just that the economy is becoming flat (which Scotland can do very little about, while part of a very unequal union). I watched the very interesting video he posted from the university of Amsterdam, students interviewing an economics academic – I understood maybe 20% of it, but what I did understand was interesting. I wonder what the SNP stance is on post-Kensian economics (austerity will never boost the economy or get you out of debt, printing money and investing in infrastructure will) – they are anti-austerity, but is that driven by belief in more modern economic theory? Not that they can do much right now, but we have to look to getting a good start in the future, and laying down a solid base for an economy that works in practice.
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