POLITICS

Chris Williamson Made A Video Blaming Neoliberalism For Grenfell And It Got Pretty Intense

'Deregulation, privatisation and cuts. The three pillars of a violent idea called neoliberalism.'

10/08/2017 15:44

Labour MP Chris Williamson has published a video blaming the “violent ideology of neoliberalism” for the Grenfell Tower fire. 

The shadow fire minister uploaded the clip on his Facebook page on Thursday, condemning 30 years of “deregulation, privatisation and cuts”, which, he said, were what led to the June 14 blaze. 

Speaking directly to camera, Williamson branded Labour Prime Minister Tony Blair “equally complicit” as Margaret Thatcher

“The survivors and the friends and family of the dead are understandably still angry. That’s why we need answers and justice for Grenfell,” Williamson said.  

He went on: “So, who’s to blame? The answer isn’t simply one or two bad apples. 

“The causes of the inferno go much deeper. In fact, they stem from the core principles of an idea that has plagued every government since Thatcher.

“That idea is called neoliberalism and it’s a violent ideology.” 

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What remains of Grenfell Tower

The blaze killed at least 80 people after it broke out in North Kensington two months ago.

The cheap cladding in which the building was encased allowed the blaze to spread rapidly and fierce criticism has been levelled at the local authorities for poor management of the block. 

A public inquiry led by retired judge Sir Martin Moore-Bick is due to get underway later in the year. 

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Chris Williamson blamed former prime minister's Tony Blair and Margaret Thatcher

He said Thatcher’s government abandoned fire safety regulation, but added: “Tony Blair’s government was equally complicit. Having swallowed the pill of neoliberal ideology, New Labour blurred the lines of responsibility for fire safety enforcement. 

“They insisted that the role of a fire officer should be to inform and educate rather than simply enforce.” 

Williamson also slammed Thatcher’s part-privatisation of council building work, claiming it led to poorer fire safety inspections and pointed out the UK has lost 11,000 firefighters since 2010.

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Blair's government was said to have 'swallowed the pill of neoliberal ideology'

The criticisms of Blair come as the former Labour Prime Minister revealed in a BBC Radio 4 interview that he is “really serious” about “remaking the centre left” of British politics.  

“Post financial crisis, post 9/11, people want change,” he said. “And the stresses of globalisation culture and economic are severe. But the change has got to be change that’s sensible and modern. 

“The truth is this populism of left and right where the right essentially blame the immigrants and the left go anti-business, I mean this will not produce solutions.

The former PM also admitted he was “very briefly” a Marxist after he read a biography of the Russian revolutionary Leon Trotsky at university. 

“I literally didn’t stop reading it all night. It opened a different world to me,” he said.

But after a year, Blair said he began to believe the Bolshevik’s ideology “wasn’t right”. 

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