Again, no knowledge of history here is there

Which is odd for someone whose degree was modern history really:

To look after its properties, the council created the largest management organisation of its type in England – unfeasibly large, it turned out, and unaccountable to its own tenants. This was the £11m-a-year body that handed the £10m refurbishment contract to the builder Rydon. The best that can be said of such outsourcing – whether in managing flats or running council departments – is that the public ends up paying more for a service that’s worse. It allows big companies to profiteer from basic public needs, and to evade democratic control.

Just to point out:

The 24-storey tower block was designed in 1967 in the Brutalist style of the era by Clifford Wearden and Associates,[5][6] with the council approving its construction in 1970 as part of phase one of the Lancaster West redevelopment project.[7][8][5][note 1]

Construction, by contractors A E Symes, of Leyton, London, commenced in 1972 under the council housing system with the building being completed in 1974.

Hmmmmm.

21 comments on “Again, no knowledge of history here is there

  1. The tower block is a remnant of an already failed socialist Utopia of the 1960s. When legions of ordinary people had their homes knocked flat on the orders of Councils to the design of Marxist scum.

    Far from planned communities in the sky what the got was crime, violence, vandalism, ugly defacement, piss poor services, turds and used needles in the stairwell and a life of fear and unpleasant circumstances.

    In short socialism in microcosm.

    That leftist scum are trying –once again–to blame their mess on others is only to be expected.

    The Tories response needs to be do nothing for now–as a tactic–but say plenty (using the full page ad tactic more effectively this time) about socialist hypocrisy.

  2. — “To look after its properties, the council created the largest management organisation of its type in England – unfeasibly large, it turned out, and unaccountable to its own tenants.”

    Yet strangely, the solution to all our problems is an ever bigger, still less accountable state.

    — “The best that can be said of such outsourcing…is that the public ends up paying more for a service that’s worse.

    Really? Nothing about efficiency and competitive pricing? Transparency, as opposed to a trillion pounds of unfunded pension liabilities?

    But sometimes it’s not even worth bothering to refute, is it. Not when it’s The Guardian playing its readers like a fiddle.

  3. > such outsourcing – whether in managing flats

    He’s describing the transfer of homes from the council to an arms-length management organisation (K&C TMO) as “outsourcing”. No, it isn’t.

    The whole point of taking housing revenues away from councils was to stop them using tenants’ rents to fund council waste: under a TMO the rent money is ring-fenced for repairs and maintenance.

    We complain about council wastefulness today, but back in the 1980s and 1990s it was off the scale, especially at places like Lambeth with huge amounts of council housing.

  4. It’s a company limited by guarantee, with 4 councillors on the board.

    How this is a ‘big company’ doing ‘profiteering’ is beyond me.

    The point often missed is that your local authority has a lot of varied activities to think about – social care, roads, the leisure centres, libraries, environmental health, the stray dog service, grave digging etc.

    How much time do you think the chief executive spends thinking about any one of them? Not humanly possible.

    These not-for-profit social enterprises generally just do one thing. The management can focus.

    I think the lesson from this disaster is that no one structure is immune from disastrous stuff ups.

    For this bloke to suggest it couldn’t have happened if it had stayed in LA control is just silly

  5. The best that can be said of such outsourcing – whether in managing flats or running council departments – is that the public ends up paying more for a service that’s worse. It allows big companies to profiteer from basic public needs, and to evade democratic control.

    This is probably true, the reason being that the people charged with managing the works on behalf of the public don’t give a shit and are incompetent in any case. This is always the case with contracted works: they are only as good as the individuals in the client organisation.

  6. “whatever and whoever a judge finds at fault – this procedure or that subcontractor – the true causes of the failures go far wider. They lie in the way Britain is run.”

    In other words: ” The facts don’t matter to me, I’ve decided that the evil Tories murdered these people.”

    If the way Britain is run is so murderously awful, why does Mr Chakrabortty continue to live here and why do hundreds of millions of black and brown people like him want to come here?

  7. Adrian,

    He might be right it wouldn’t have happened in LA control – they’d never have spent the money on it in the first place…

  8. “Britain is still a country that murders its poor”

    How do you go to Oxford and have a job as a producer at the BBC and declare that this is “murder”? Deliberate taking of life. Not negligence or incompetence but actual murder. Jesus wept.

  9. “the council created the largest management organisation of its type in England”: observe, the cunning censorship of not saying that it is a TENANT management organisation.

    “…unfeasibly large…” very likely, but socialists like large – why is this an exception?

    “… unaccountable to its own tenants”: except that they elect the majority of the board (eight out of fifteen) –

    “Election of Board Members
    Any Tenant or Leaseholder (other than a Local Authority Person) who has been a tenant or leaseholder for at least 1 year or more and is also a Member may stand for election. All Board members usually serve for a three-year term of office. They are elected as Borough Wide Board Members; a Board member must be nominated for election by at least five members. The elections are held annually and each member can vote for as many candidates as there are vacancies.”

    Mr Smackybotty is becoming perilously close to being hard to distinguish from a liar.

    By the by, the new Labour member for K&C seems to have been up to her neck in this matter: WKPD –

    Dent Coad is an opposition member of Kensington and Chelsea London Borough Council, which owns Grenfell Tower, and was formerly a council-appointed board member of KCTMO, which manages the council’s housing stock. In 2013/4 she was a member of the council’s Housing and Property Scrutiny Committee. She has been a member of the council’s Planning Applications Committee since May 2013, and a member of the main Planning Committee since June 2014.

  10. ‘Britain is still a country that murders its poor ‘

    At lest you have stopped beating your wives.

  11. BiW: “How do you go to Oxford and have a job as a producer at the BBC and declare that this is “murder”?”

    I’d have thought it de rigeur, actually…

  12. @BiW: How do you go to Oxford and have a job as a producer at the BBC and declare that this is “murder”?

    Having a dusky complexion probably helps.

  13. Tim Newman,

    “This is probably true, the reason being that the people charged with managing the works on behalf of the public don’t give a shit and are incompetent in any case. This is always the case with contracted works: they are only as good as the individuals in the client organisation.”

    The thing with the public sector is the variance. It’s not that they’re all crap, it’s that the beatings don’t start very quickly when they are. See, somewhere like WH Smith know in about a week if a store is having problems. They collect a load of data (visits, sales, complaints), run it through an algorithm and if it’s off, they investigate. Regional manager makes some calls, maybe does a visit within a few days. The reason could be all sorts of things. Maybe the branch manager has gone off the rails. Maybe he just thought he could handle something he really couldn’t. Maybe the town got flooded and no-one’s coming in.

    It’s always far, far too late when the public sector gets involved. Harold Shipman is killing an excess number of patients and a funeral director thinks something is up. Goes to the police about it. The police can find no evidence. But what did the NHS do? You’ve just had a problem highlighted by a member of the public who is close enough to make a good reading on things. Wouldn’t you be wanting to open up the file and take a look? Maybe he didn’t murder them, but if he’s killing too many patients, do you want him doing the job?

  14. The only way the whole setup could have been more like the Guardian Ideal would be if the Co-Op had done the building work.

  15. Wouldn’t you be wanting to open up the file and take a look?

    What, and potentially create a shitload of work?

  16. “This was the £11m-a-year body that handed the £10m refurbishment contract to the builder Rydon. ”

    If they didn’t have a competitive tender for that amount they’ve broken just about every EU and UK procurement regulation on the books and possibly a few laws

  17. It’s not that they’re all crap, it’s that the beatings don’t start very quickly when they are.

    True, but it’s a matter of degree, not form. I have a friend working in a very large and established household name American company which is about as customer-facing as you can get, but still – from what I hear – is stuffed full of useless jobsworths who for umpteen reasons can’t be removed, or nobody will remove them.

  18. “(has been a tenant….) for at least 1 year or more”

    27 is more than 1. So, for at least 27 years? Who choses the value of “or more than 1 year” that the tenancy must be longer than?

    You can usually tell somebody’s political alignment by their inability to put a coherent consistent sentence together.

  19. From the wiki article: “As part of the project, in 2015–2016, the concrete structure received new windows and new aluminium composite rainscreen cladding, in part to improve the appearance of the building.[22]”

    Surely the main objective was to improve thermal efficiency. A narrative is being created where the wealthy neighbours didn’t like looking at this ugly concrete block.

  20. @mike fowle, June 21, 2017 at 6:53 pm

    From the wiki article: “As part of the project, in 2015–2016, the concrete structure received new windows and new aluminium composite rainscreen cladding, in part to improve the appearance of the building.[22]”

    [1] Surely the main objective was to improve thermal efficiency. [2] A narrative is being created where the wealthy neighbours didn’t like looking at this ugly concrete block.

    1. Correct:

    EU & Blair (Blair Government’s Decent Homes Programme) Green laws mandated exterior insulation. Cameron continued.

    Result – Greenfail Tower. A Green candle doing what greens want – reducing world population “…by any means necessary”.

    Modern Green interpretation of “Wickerman – it could be you next”.

    2. Correct and MSM will perpetuate by interviewing those who say it.

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