Grenfell Inquiry : Harley Facades – not exactly covering themselves in glory – plus a protest

Not Grenfell of course, but another of Harley”s projects

This month, the Grenfell Tower Inquiry heard from witnesses from cladding specialist firm Harley Facades, the sub-contractor under Rydon who were partly responsible for the refurbishment of Grenfell Tower.

Daniel Anketell-Jones, Harley Facades’ Design Manager until 2016, had said that some designs, drawings, documents and emails relating to the Grenfell Tower refurbishment were “lost forever” after wiping the drive of his laptop – which he kept after leaving the firm.

Anketell-Jones also said “I believed everything would be kept on the company server because all the laptops just attached into the server and all the emails were retained on there.’

As some of our readers will know, this blog has had more than our fair share of tech issues, but that excuse is beyond ridiculous.

These are just a few local residents’ responses to this as posted on on our local Nextdoor:

Nextdoor is well-known for neighbours getting together in the community to offer a lending hand and for small businesses to advertise their services ; so here is what a nearby business posted:

Perhaps Mr Anketell-Jones should give them a call?

Owner of Harley Facades, Ray Bailey, had said that all employees of the firm who had worked on the refurbishment except for Mr Anketell-Jones were able to send emails.

Normally this sort of thing might be considered to be perverting the course of justice, but thanks (or no thanks) to a decision taken by the Attorney General Suella Braverman, Daniel Anketell-Jones, or any other corporate witnesses at the Grenfell Inquiry for that matter, are exempt from prosecution.

With regards to the insulation and the cladding Mr Bailey had said that his firm had been convinced by Saint Goban and Celotex thay the insulation met regulations and that “they signed off on it, so as far as we were concerned the products were safe.”

He also told the Inquiry that he had been unaware of fires involving the cladding in Dubai in 2015.

Oh dear, cladding specialists who don’t have any idea of what they work in? It’s really hard to believe that THOSE RESPONSIBLE FOR PUTTING CLADDING ON PEOPLE’S HOMES DID NOT APPREAR TO CONSIDER ANY POTENTIAL FIRE HAZARDS OF WHAT THEY WERE WORKING WITH.

If that doesn’t show utter incompetence, we don’t know what does .

Ray Bailey did call for combustible materials to be banned, saying “the legislation is complicated to use, it’s not very clear, and I think any form of combustible insulation or cladding should be banned immediately”

Well he would say that, wouldn’t he?

Bailey’s son, Ben Bailey, had been appointed Harley’s Project Manager at Grenfell and it was revealed that the firm did not inspect the installation of insulation, windows and cavity barriers on the south face of the Grenfell Tower before cladding was fitted .

Inside Housing reported that Ben Bailey, 25 years old at the time, had previously project-managed only one job – Merit House in Barnet. Inside Housing revealed in June that this building is among 14 other Harley projects that have required urgent remediation since the fire.

Apparently spending time working for the family firm in his school and university holidays was enough to qualify young Ben to be put in this role.

As for emails (well, emails that hadn’t been deleted anyway) , Peter Apps of Inside Housing also reported that the Inquiry also saw an internal Harley email shortly before its appointment in 2014 which warned that items would “need looking at by our proposed Grenfell House [sic] construction team” (they couldn’t even get the name right) .“And therein lies the problem,” the email said. “We don’t f****g have one” It added: “Unless we can gear up and service it we are doomed to fail.”

It does has to be said that while individual witnesses may be exempt from prosecution ; corporations are not.

Unfortunately, we’re not convinced this will be the last time crucial evidence will just happen to be unavailable and sorry lame excuses for incompetence and negligence are made.

We know that KCTMO and RBKC certainly haven’t much of an effort to hold on to important information about tenants (still to this day in some casrs) – so we won’t exactly be too surprised if they claim ignorance or say they no longer have the crucial information details about the building ….

If the trauma of the fire and the pain we feel from losing 72 innocent members of our community in what was a preventable disaster hasn’t been bad enough, also listening to the “it wasn’t me – pass the parcel avoid the blame game” played by so many individuals and organisations, such as Studio E, Rydon, and Exova – who all played a part in this – at the Inquiry has been a truly sickening experience for us.

Ray Bailey had said “We are not statutory compliance experts. Building control are the experts on compliance,”

Well, witnesses from RBKC Building Control will be giving evidence tomorrow so let’s see what they have to say….

RBKC at the Inquiry tomorrow morning – protest

Tomorrow, Thursday the 1st of October, witnesses from RBKC building control will be giving evidence and there will be a socially distanced protest outside at 13 Bishops Bridge Road, W2 – near Paddington Station fron 9:30am – 11am.

THINKers will be there, along with several members of our North Kensington community and we urge anyone who shares our deep concern and anger to come and join us.

More dirty tricks from the TMO

Yes, it’s our “old friends” those “lovely people” at Kensington and Chelsea Terrible Mismanagement Organisation again.

They have recently been in the act of contacting resident members with a letter notifying them that there will soon be another AGM planned (they have said around the second half of November, we’ll see..) and a form to fill in for members to update their details.

Here is a copy of the letter and form:

And here’s why we are suspicious:

1: They have most of the details of their members and also, most members have the TMO contact details and the TMO can be easily looked up online. If people need to update their details, why wouldn’t they do this voluntarily anyway? Why does this need to be some mass exercise by the organisation? Oh yes, because getting rid of lots of resident members would certainly help the management to get their own way and would obviously be of no benefit to anybody except those who have some serious questions to answer at the Inquiry.

2. Many resident members did not receive a form and letter. This does not appear to be just some simple admin mistake on their part because they do not have the updated details; members who have not heard from them just happen to “accidentally” include some very well known residents – including Samia Badani and Colville Labour Cllr Monica Press; both of whom have spoken out against the practices of the TMO before.

So if the organisation gets very few responses, we’re wondering if resident members will just be “accidentally” erased from the list.

3. The form also asks members if they wish to continue being a member of the TMO. So we will refresh our readers’ memories and show this old post from 2018, just to show how this organisation treats its resident members in votes and to show how unreliable their information gathering and voting is:

We also note they are STILL using the – unreliable to say the least – data collection and electoral services of the dubious Mi-Voice. The same conpany who failed to notify residents of meetings and votes before and the same company behind the dodgy surveys supposedly showing high resident satisfaction (when KCTMO was responsible for the management of our homes), which even RBKC now concedes were false.

We can also look back to this open letter from the BWRA just before that shambles of an EGM in 2018 :

No prizes for guessing why some in charge of the TMO didn’t want Monica Press to know about their latest activities then…

THINKers point out that for the sake of fairness, accountability, and truth and for Grenfell, the 72 residents who died in the fire, the North Kensington community and all who live in social housing in this borough, KCTMO needs to remain in place as an organisation as it is; for the purposes of the Grenfell Tower Inquiry.

These communications and their actions both last year and the year before, only suggest to us that they are reducing the vote and dissolving some resident memberships in yet another bid to try and dodge their way out of facing justice.

In the words of the BWRA from September 2018 “we members need to be sure that the KCTMO remains accountable to us and to the Grenfell Inquiry and the Police

The ongoing antics and actions of KCTMO, both then and now, only leave us smelling a rat…..

Fire safety and Conservative controversy : Playing politics or playing with fire?

Image: “Houses of Parlianent in Grenfell-Style cladding” by Zoom Rockman from Private Eye 2017

Over a week ago, on Monday the 7th of September in the House of Commons, the Fire Safety Bill passsed its first reading. This did not go without controversy as Conservative MPs voted to defeat a Labour amendment to the Bill.

Read the debate in full here:

Our local Kensington MP, Felicity Buchan voted with her party and unsurprisingly this has not gone down too well with some locals and supporters of our community Here are some reactions on social media:

Here are some reactions from Labour

And here is what Felicity Buchan had to say :

Fanning the flames?

What do we think? Well, as sure as dogs bark, and cats meow; most MPs vote with their party , so we cannot say we are exactly too surprised if our Conservative Party MP obeys the whip and toes the party line.

Of course, that doesn’t change the fact that residents and local community groups who have had postive meetings with Felicity Buchan before and some who held out hope that she might have taken a stand on this, do feel very betrayed and angry.

Kensington MP Felicity Buchan

But is all what it seems?

Here is some of what Gill Kernick in excellent fellow North Kensington blog The Grenfell Enquirer has to say:

This was a vote about certain specific amendments to the Fire Safety Bill as proposed by Labour. It was not a vote about whether or not to bring the Recommendations from the Inquiry into law, which is what seems to be being reported.
It is also unclear whether these amendments are sound… And we don’t seem to be considering that.

Read the blog post in full here:

Grenfell, the Conservative vote & why we are missing the point

And this is what a Conservative source said to us about the Labour amendment: “Labour put down what is known as a ‘wrecking amendment’, designed for the Government to vote down. It’s a typical opposition ploy that all parties do in opposition. An example would be an amendment to the Queen’s Speech (which the Government has to pass), saying that nurses should get a pay rise; the Government duly votes against and the opposition then says the Government doesn’t think nurses deserve a pay rise, even though that might not be the case ”

Fair point – that’s party politics we guess – but a further Conservative source told us they believe that “everything will be done in the end in the right sequence”. Sadly, THINKers do not share their confidence in this.

While not all Conservatives have approached this Bill and issues of fire safety with bad intentions, we have little faith for other reasons that this Conservative Government will ever really act and put the necessary changes into place, and here are a few brief glimpses into why…..

No smoke without fire

Inside Housing also reported from the Grenfell Tower Inquiry on Monday the 7th of September and over emails between (Grenfell Tower contractor) Rydon’s Commercial Manager Zak Maynard and sub-contractor Harley Facades, with Maynard’s email saying “and we are quids in!” as a result of savings made by switching to the cheaper (and far deadlier) aluminium composite cladding.

Private equity firm Coller Captial, fron 2009 until 2015, owned a fifth of Rydon, through Jersey-based Cavendish Square Partners, and the boss and founder of Coller Capital, Jeremy Coller also donated money to the Conservative Party in the same year.

Last year, Private Equity News reported that Boris Johnson’s brother, forner Minister Jo Johnson (who will soon be in the House of Lords), was set to be the ghostwriter of Mr Coller’s autobiography.

Also elevated to the House of Lords by Boris Johnson this year along with his brother, is another high profile Conservative, Sir Edward Lister. Forner Leader of Wandsworth Council from 1992-2011 where he was controversially known to have sold off council housing to absentee investors, after that , Lister, known as Eddie to his friends, (who include the notorious Peter Bingle), became Boris’ London Deputy Mayor with responsibility for policy and planning until 2016, when he was appointed as Chair of the Government’s housing regulator the the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) which later became part of Homes England in 2018.

Boris Johnson & Sir Edward Lister

At the beginning of this year the Financial Times reported that Lister had last year “joined the board of a Jersey-based holding company for a housing start-up (TopHat) without any public disclosure” and that his “directorship was not announced by the government or the company and it does not have to be disclosed in Jersey, meaning there was no way for the public or bosses of rival housing companies to find out about the role.

One board member of the HCA under Lister, was Anthony Preiskel, who had a background as a property developer and also sat on the board of KCTMO during the Grenfell Tower refurbishment and was there until 2017 just after the Grenfell Tower fire.

Back to some more Twitter responses and here is what fire safety expert Phil Murphy had to say:

This is the British Standards Institution, the national standards body responsible for technical standards and safety.

We thought to have a closer look at some of the membership of the board of the BSI:

One Non-Executive Director of BSI since last year, is Ian Lobley. Mr Lobley’s background was as Managing Partner at 3i Group plc, the FTSE 100 international investor focused on mid-market private equity and infrastructure. The same year that Coller Capital invested in Rydon, they also invested in Mr Lobley’s conpany.

This might seem like a slight deviation on our part from the main subjects of fire safety and homes, but many like us would hope to see some indication of the focus of those on regulatory safety boards to not be purely profit-driven.

Moving back firmly to the main subjects of this blog post, another Non-Executive Director of the BSI is Douglas Hurt, who also happens to be a Non-Executive Director of new homes developer Countryside Properties Plc, where he is also Chair of their Audit Committee .

Safety first? People before profit? We’re not so sure about that…...

An example of how Countryside Properties treats some of their leaseholders can be found here

Claims made by the Government and their supporters that they are fully committed to fire safety in homes and people before may also appear to be extinguished in the minds of some when looking through a list of Conservative Party donors over the past decade and seeing where their interests and priorities lie:

John Bloor of Bloor Homes has donated over £1.6million, Residential Land Ltd have donated over £200,000, Canary Wharf Group have donated over £135,000, regular Tory Conference sponsors Thakeham Homes have donated around. £120,000.

Developers of Millbank Tower Reuben Brothers – David and Simon – also have, according to the Financial Times , donated nearly £200,000 .

Reuben Brothers are also the developers partly behind Paddington Walk where leaseholders have had to pay out £3.5 million to have dangerous cladding removed.

Jamie Ritblat of Delancey reportedly donated £50,000 to the Conservative Party shortly before his company purchased the former Olympic Village (which is now “East Village E20”) for redevelopment at a knock down price.

Delancey are now part- owners of the Earl’s Court Site, having bought it from Capco late last year.

Other notable Conservative donors in the property development business have also have included Nick Candy, Tony Gallagher of Countywide Developments Ltd the late Tony Pidgeley of the Berkeley Group and also media magnate and former pornographer Richard “Dirty Des” Desmond of Northern and Shell – his alleged dealings with Tories and the Government over the Westferry Printworks housing scheme and affordable housing do not make for comfortable reading for some. See this:

…Which certainly calls into question the conduct of Boris Johnson and especially that of Robert Jenrick, Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government.

So any hopeful residents looking to Jenrick for action will likely be in for huge disappointment as he seems to think his top priorities in the job are being the developers’ BFF and advertising Taylor Wimpey – that’s if he lasts much longer in his post that is.

He who pays the piper calls the tune?

To us, all the above just points to self-regulation from this Government, with their friends in certain places bending Ministerial ears towards their own interests. (We could say worse, but as a little North Kensington community blog, we do not have the resources to handle encounters with multi-millionaire property tycoons and their lawyers.)

Burning issues

So THINK will not be flooding Felicity Buchan’s inbox with complaints; we do know she reads our blog and we hope she sees this post and our points and concerns.

It is not purely just the regulations or lack of that we feel fired up about in this case; it is questions of independence of some of those who are supposed to be in charge of regulating, the transparency issues or possible conflicts of interest there may be in some cases, and we agree firmly with the Grenfell Enquirer on the point about lack of accountability structure.

And while it still may be early days, from how we have seen of the primary interests of the Prine Minister and several of his colleagues and how some of them appear to operate (the cronyism, the cosy relationships with property development bigwigs for example) . We have seen enough in the way of indicators as to whom and what Boris and his Government colleagues may or may not take notice of to have more than just a hunch that they will do very little.

After all, some of those who are in charge are and were, part of the problem in the first place.

We‘re sorry to state the obvious , but people voted for Johnson’s Government and this is what we are stuck with; which is far from reassuring to all the residents living in homes with potentially dangerous materials and other possible fire safety hazards..

So we will leave the last word with one such resident whose Tweet says it all really:

Going down the tube: South Kensington station plans are a one way ticket to over-development

Today is the last day for formal objections to the South Kensington Station redevelopment proposals to be in by. Readers can join us and send your objections in to RBKC via this link

We are also informed that today is the technical deadline, for RBKC’s planning officers to take views into account but that the RBKC Planning Committee will be accepting comments and views from residemts right up until the date this goes to the Committee. (No date has been announced as yet .)

One thing that unites all residents of this borough, North or South, no matter what their political affiliations are or whatever other issues are, is the concern about over-development and the need to preserve the unique character and history of our borough. THINKers might live at the other end of the borough, but the protection and maintenance of our historical features and the character of our residential areas and wanting the very best for our communities is a matter for all.

THINK believe that the controversial plans from TfL and Qatari-based developer Native Land pose a threat to the streetscape, the skyline, and the local community and will change the character of South Kensington for the worse.

Here are just a few reasons why we are opposed to the plans :

– The design and height for the new station is out of place with the location and nearby listed buildings and will dominate the whole of South Kensington, obscuring protected views of the museums from all sides of the area

The proposed 5 storey bullnose is more of an eyesore than a landmark. The Save Our South Kensington website has pictures showing the impact of this here

– It had been reported in some parts of the local news that the redevelopment would bring step-free access to South Kensington station. This is not true. TfL had planned to include lifs from the District and Circle line platform (but not the Piccadilly Line) to a new entrance at Thurloe Street, to increase the size of the District /Circle platform and to upgrade the ticket hall but now they have refused to commit to this; therefore the only real positive in these redevelopment plans has been removed. Residents and visitors alike concerned about the lack of step-free access can make their case to TfL on the Transport For All website here but we think that troubled and tone deaf TfL will be far more preoccupied with their own financial crisis and are very unlikely to listen.

– The developers’ case for providing “affordable” housing has been overstated. In fact they are only planning to provide 27% affordable housing, even though council rules state they must have a minimum of 35%. None of the housing will be for social rent. and they will be demolishing 25 existing homes as part of the plans.

– As for RBKC Planning rules, there appear to be countless breaches of these – and the Save Our South Kensington campaign website has listed them all in detail here:

Residents and representatives say no!

A Queen’s Gate resident who was already concerned about the Holiday Inn Forum Hotel in Cromwell Road and what could possibly happen on the Earl’s Court site, said “Plans show tall buildings from South Kensington to Hammersmith with none fitting into the existing streetscape”

Andrew, a resident said “The station design does not fit in with our historical area at all and they will be ruining listed buildings and features for this. It will be an ugly centrepiece for South Kensington that nobody wants”.

Some residents have also told us that they are concerned about Pelham Street the loss of light, the unnecessary extra retail units and the extra waste and disturbance this will bring. They are concerned that this could also encourage crime and anti-social behaviour to the area.

Almost every resident we spoke to on this felt that these plans, especially considering the excessive height and the lack of regard for listed buildings, historical features and protected views, could be a slippery slope to more and bigger development plans coming to the local area.

Cllr Greg Hammond who represents nearby Courtfield Ward, had this to say to us: “I was hoping for a conservation-led approach to the development of South Kensington station, but am bitterly disappointed. The proposal is the antithesis of conservation-led, being a collection of glass and steel buildings that are totally inappropriate right in the middle of a conservation area, and also block protected views of the Grade 1 listed museums and cause some physical damage to the listed station building too in their construction. To add insult to injury, TfL have also cancelled the much-needed capacity improvements to the station, so there are really very few benefits left for residents. I will do everything possible to support local residents make the case to the Planning Committee to reject this application.”

Kensington MP Felicity Buchan, plus a number of other RBKC councillors including Mary Weale, Janet Evans, Quentin Marshall and Sof McVeigh have made it clear that they against the redevelopment proposals too

The Kensington Society have also submitted their objections to the proposals and these have appeared on fellow Kensington blog From The Hornets Nest here

Local groups and residents associations opposed to the plans include Thurloe Owners and Leaseholders Association (TOLA), Pelham Residents Association (PRA), Ovington Square Residents Association, Earl’s Court Square Residents Association, Milner Street Area Residents Association, South Kensington and Queen’s Gate Residents Association, Drayton Neighbourhood Association, Melton Court Residemts Association, SouthKen Station Tenants Association, and South Kensington Busimess Association.

North Kensington stands with South Kensington

THINK believe these proposals sbow no regard for South Kensington, its history, its buildings, local businesses or residents. Instead the only thing that these plans appear to have in mind is bringing in maximum profit for TfL and the developers , which will be at the expense of destroying the character of the local area and bring no benefit whatsoever to either residents or visitors

We call on our readers who share our opposition to these plans to send in your objections to the RBKC Planning Committee and to sign up to the Save Our South Kensington campaign for updates.

Below is another picture of the planned station design which shows just how imposing the new building would be over the whole of the South Kensington and how out of keeping with the character of the area it would be. We stand with the residents of South Kensington and say NO to the plans. We are not outright opposed to any redevelopment of the station per se, but there has to be a better way forward and this is very definitely not it.

Portobello Film Festival starts tomorrow!

The Portobello Film Festival is 25 years old this year. We had been, as we do every year, really looking forward to going but we were concerned that due to Covid-19, that this fantastic, incredible groundbreaking and free event in our community might have had to be cancelled.

But fortunately the event organisers have found ways to ensure our favourite local and international independent film festival does go ahead this year; just with a few restrictions and some extra health and safety measures in place to keep us all safe.

Here is what they have to say:

This year the Festival will have an Eastern European feel to it, showcasing films from Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, and Lithuania, as well as the usual selection from Germany, Spain, and Belgium, and two nights of London/UK films. The Award Ceremony will be on Sunday 20 September at the Muse

An exhibition of Festival artworks by the likes of Blek Le Rat, Dotmasters, Andrew Logan, Sickboy, Joe Rush, Lucy Sparrow and Pure Evil will be on display from 3 – 13 September.

We are proud of delivering this free film festival in the heart of UK counterculture for 25 years now. It’s a pity the milestone has been tarnished by the Coronavirus outbreak but the team were keen, right from the start, to put on a living live festival if it was possible

So due to Covid restrictions, attendance numbers will have to be limited, and 1hr slots booked in advance on Eventbrite. The Festival will still be free but social distancing seating and facemasks (supplied at venue) will be necessary. There will be a thermometer gun at the door. Surfaces will be cleaned/sanitised regularly and the ventilation/air con will be in operation.

Thank you for your cooperation in these strange times!”

So tickets are limited this year to enable social distancing, but people can book tickets (still free!) via this Eventbrite link here

We recommend booking ASAP as the tickets are being snapped up quickly.

The full programme of events is below :

And further information is on the website:

Lost in translation, reason and understanding – and we are almost lost for words

Not all of our readers are fluent in Japanese, but the initials should give some a good clue as to the translation.

Still don’t quite get what we are referring to?

Here is the real logo of the consultancy firm :

Yes, this is Kaizen Partnership, the consultancy firm alongside Claremont Consulting that the Government has shamefully awarded £276,000 to supposedly consult with people over what should happen to the Grenfell Tower site.

We had something to say about that a few weeks back – here

Some of these people fron Kaizen have recently been spotted hanging around our neighbourhood with clipboards, asking people – some residents and some random passers by – as to what they would like to see happen to the Grenfell Tower site.

Kaizen in Japanese roughly means “change for the better”. But we’ve never ever heard of anyone achieving positive change through causing offence to a traumatised community in a disaster area and alienating the people most affected before……

This was similar to an exercise conducted by consultants hired from TFL out with their clipboards asking passers by and residents ages ago over what artwork design for the Ladbroke Grove tube station bridge they happened to prefer.

But perhaps we have to print in capitals to make it clear to some that THIS IS NOT EXACTLY THE SAME SORT OF MATTER.

Just in case they ask us – we will just tell them here that we think what happens to that site should be up to the survivors and the bereaved to decide amongst themselves and not decided by some ludicrous expensive public relations exercise involving the input and views of various people, some of whom have no connections whatsoever with the 72 people who lost their lives in the fire, or with their families, or with the survivors, and even in some cases, barely know anyone in this community at all.

We’d also probably tell these consultants that they can stick their clipboards where the sun doesn’t shine…

Let’s put a few points and questions to the Government by way of trying to translate to them just how appalling and tasteless this is:

Imagine if somebody went around around outside where your a loved one of yours lost their lives in an entirely preventable man-made fire disaster. conducting a survey in this way concerning what should happen to the site.

How would you feel if someone had the outright nerve to think that the decision of what happens to a site containing some of the remains of your loved one, should be made by conducting a general survey exercise like this and not strictly among those who lived there and their families?

Do you not see anything at all wrong with the matter of the Grenfell Tower site being treated in such a flippant way? And do you not consider how someone personally affected may feel?

This was a national disaster and is a site of loss; not a matter of changing a mural on a tube station bridge.

Not exactly thoughtful, tasteful or respectful is it?

THINK believe this is nothing short of an utter disgrace – we are trying to mind our language – but the words that came out of our mouths about this certainly aren’t printable in this family-friendly blog. We aim to be respectful, which is more than can be said for some of those in charge of us who appear to have little to no empathy for this community.

While we do not know who exactly is responsible for this, the ultimate responsibility for this lies with the Government Minister of State for Policing and the Fire Service, and the minister responsible for Grenfell Tower Victims work, Kit Malthouse.

Some might have hoped that as Malthouse once long before he went into Parliament was a councillor in neighbouring Westminster and served as Deputy Leader there , that he might not be too unfamiliar with our community. But then again, we have had a few Deputy Leaders here in RBKC before (notably Rock Feilding-Mellen and Daniel Moylan) who have treated our community with ignorance, arrogance and utter contempt before.

Regardless of whether this is Kit Malthouse’s idea or not, we think he needs to put a stop to this ludicrous, tasteless and thoroughly disrespectful exercise right away or else do this :

That’s Japanese for resign.