As you can see in this clip from Mustard TV, on Monday afternoon I visited one of the five Norwich tower blocks which have failed fire safety tests. I want to make absolutely sure everything is being done to protect residents after the failed tests and will continue to take action as your local MP on this issue.
But there is a much bigger context and in the end the buck for this stops with the government.
How many times have you heard a Tory politician rail against “the health and safety culture” and commit to “slashing red tape”? To please his party’s backers in the corporations and finance, David Cameron even ideologically introduced a ‘rule’ that for every one new piece of regulation, two had to go.
Let’s be clear. cutting red tape is Tory code for increasing the profits of their supporters in corporations at the expense of the rest of us - citizens and the public realm. It us who have to pick up the tab in terms of bearing increased risk and insecurity.
I am also finding it very difficult to trust a government which has wilfully delayed action on fire safety in towers blocks, was planning to remove the requirement for sprinklers in new school buildings and has sacked thousands of firefighters.
And then there’s the disastrous consequences of the Tories’ ideological debasement of all of our public services. If you haven’t spotted their modus operandus, it goes like this. Slash budgets to local authorities and then scapegoat them for impossible decisions forced onto those authorities by those cuts.
These are a couple of the impossible choices passed off to councils by the Tories. Do we feed and dress vulnerable older people or upgrade fire safety in tower blocks? Close fire stations or shut Sure Start centres?
The unutterably sad thing about all of this is that these are false choices. If you can give give £80bn away to the largest corporations and the already wealthy in tax cuts, then you can afford to make sure people can live in safety in Tower blocks. And if Theresa May can shake the ‘magic money tree’ to find £1.5 billion pounds to buy a deal with the DUP to keep herself in power, there’s no excuse for slashing services across the rest of the U.K.
You can watch the full Mustard TV report on this issue here.