Congratulations to rapper Stormzy (pictured above), who won two Brit Awards – best male solo artist and best album last week. He then made an superb freestyle performance in which he laid into Theresa May over Grenfell.
Watch it here:
We also have news of another fantastic achievement , Stormzy also encouraged his followers on Twitter to sign and share the petition to the Prime Minister to build public trust in the Grenfell Tower Inquiry. The petition now has over 100,000 signatures and will now be considered for debating in Parliament
We ask all who have not yet signed to do so here:
Three bereaved members of our community – Adel Chaoui, Karim Mussilhy and Sandra Ruiz, who started the petition, issued a joint statement: “this week the public have shown they’ve not forgotten about Grenfell. Just as in the immediate aftermath of the fire, when local and national Government response was lacking – they’ve backed us again – and demanded that the voices of the survivors and bereaved are heard”
But two articles appeared in the press over the weekend to cause much anger in our community. One, from Amanda Platell appeared in the Daily Mail on Saturday. In the article, Ms Platell wrote that Stormzy should show a “scintilla of gratitude to the country that offered his Mother and him so much instead of trashing it”
Oh dear, so some expect Stormzy and others who have become successful to go away and remain silent on Grenfell? That their success is because of and not in spite of, this country and Government? Because this is the tone that the article appears to have taken.
Well we at THINK believe that under this Government and the previous coalition Government, that living standards have fallen and many of the poorest and most vulnerable are the people who have suffered the most because of their heartless policies and the drastic cuts they have made.
We certainly wouldn’t ever give them any credit for Stormzy’s natural talent and sheer hard work!
We as North Kensington locals who lost friends and neighbours in the fire, have more than a “scintilla of gratitude” not only to Stormzy and some other well known celebrities such as Lily Allen and Adele, who have supported our community, shared this petition and spoken up in support for many survivors and bereaved around Grenfell, but also many in our community who have been directly affected and yet still campaign for justice for Grenfell and for better treatment for our community.
Maybe Ms Platell can write about our council and our Government who appear to want to forget Grenfell and all affected? (Or perhaps not) Anyway, we believe that the only award that Ms Platell could ever possibly win would be a”Queuing up behind Katie Hopkins rent-a-quote look how controversial I can be s*** stirrer award” – but there isn’t one so we won’t bother wasting any more time on her……
We have seen some excellent coverage in the media on Grenfell and some in our local community particularly from Channel 4 News, The Guardian and even The Times, and from James O’Brien on LBC, but sadly of course, we have also seen some truly shameful articles in the press too.
Take the singling out of the resident of Grenfell Tower with the alleged faulty fridge for example. He was named, blamed and pictured in various newspapers without any real evidence that either him or his fridge was to blame for the fire.
We know that it is important to report far and wide of many possibilities over the fire, but is stating “man whose faulty fridge started Grenfell Tower inferno” really an accurately reporting of the facts?
We know that before the fire, that residents of Grenfell Tower were subject to a number of power surges there, and if the fridge really had been the source of the blaze (we, in our opinion would beg to differ) who ever heard of an individual who innocently purchased an alleged faulty appliance to be to blame for a supposed fault of the manufacturer anyway?
We decided to look at the NUJ code of conduct:
Principle number 2: “Strives to ensure that information disseminated is honestly conveyed. accurate and fair.”
And this: Principle number 3: “”Does her/his utmost to correct harmful inaccuracies”
Perhaps some who have rushed to point the finger of blame at this former resident of Grenfell Tower would like to offer him an apology?
Not forgetting this: Principle number 4: “Differentiates between fact and opinion”
Well it is our opinion that some in the media should not be portraying theories as facts…..
The other article that upset many locals here was a piece in the Sunday Times by Gabriel Pogrund which made allegations about local campaigner, Lancaster West resident and friend of THINK, Joe Delaney.
The article, headed ” “Homeless” Grenfell Tower activist has flat” , alleges that Joe is staying in his flat and not his hotel while claiming to stay in his hotel to claim food allowances (which he would not receive if back living in his flat) . It is claimed in the article that Joe has been photographed a few times leaving his flat in the morning.
Now where do we start with this disgrace of a newspaper article? If Gabriel Pogrund had spoken to some of us or had actually attended local meetings here, he would have known that many residents from the walkways cannot live in their flats as there has been a lack of heating and hot water and also the poor state of the communal areas, not to mention a close up view of Grenfell Tower overlooking their homes.
Residents there have made visits to their residences to retrieve their belongings and collect post, not to stay there – if some would truly like to know the facts.
If some actually knew Joe, they would also know that he has had to take a few short breaks as he has been doing so much hard work for this community. We support Joe 100% and do not appreciate some trying to do a hatchet job on one of our friends and most dedicated campaigners.
The piece also gives a false impression that residents from there are living in the lap of luxury – well let us state that we know many and they aren’t, but not to let the truth get in the way of a (not very good) story……
Maybe if Mr Pogrund is annoyed that some residents from Grenfell Tower and the walkways are staying in four star hotels, he should come and have a look at the standard temporary accommodation that RBKC provides for those on the housing list? Because we have – they send people to squalid bed and breakfast places, usually infested with mice, rats, cockroaches and bedbugs, where crime, violence and hard drugs are a regular presence.
We wouldn’t expect a stray cat to live in those places, let alone any human being. If Gabriel Pogrund seriously expects the council to be sending traumatised residents somewhere cheaper, he should say so, because these places are where the Rotten Borough sends others…….
We accept there are differences of opinion and believe in freedom of speech, but we do wish that some would some would exercise their freedom of speech more responsibly. It is articles such as these which are provocative to say the least, cause upset to many local residents here, but also encourage trolls and bullies to pick on already traumatised people online
THINK say to all who campaign for North Kensington, for justice for the victims of Grenfell Tower, for our housing and against the catalogue of injustices that both RBKC and the Government have dealt our community – you will always have our full support.