Having reflected on all this, I have a couple more observations I want to make.
1. I would challenge anyone who believes in the sanctity of deregulated free markets to read this and tell me how their position can stand. The behaviour described points to a problem so much wider than building safety.
If we want to solve almost any of the problems which face us - starting most obviously with the looming climate disaster we all face - we have to get much, much better at policing the actions of big businesses. It's completely fundamental. It is the problem.
2. I was fairly dismissive of Jon Roper's honesty earlier in the week. I've now reflected. While it doesn't minimises what he did, the kind of bravery needed to stand up and admit fault like that is not just absent from most witnesses, but, frankly, the whole of public life
It makes a difference to have told the truth and not to have gaslighted the victims to save your own skin. That is not worth nothing and he didn't have to do it. The same goes for Jamie Hayes.
3. At the end of a week where it would be easy to conclude that everyone is soulless and corrupt and there is very little hope, I continue to be inspired by the campaigning work of @GrenfellUnited and @EOCS_Official. Keep fighting the good fight.
Anyway, usually try to limit myself from offering sweeping opinions like this, but reading and watching all this it sort of feels, if not now then when.

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20 Nov
This is a very fair point - which I accept having added my name to those who said it was terrible this week.

I agree with Jonathan that the faith placed in the regs (and those who enforce and describe them) is a part of the picture alongside many other factors
To add just a few more, evidenced by the inquiry so far:

Doctors get struck off for poor or dishonest practice. Where is that accountability for individuals engaged in building homes?

Why does the end consumer (the person that lives in the home) have so little power?
The blurring of the line between marketing and official advice or (even worse) building science. This is something that extends well beyond the incorrect use of insulation.
Read 7 tweets
18 Nov
It is basically impossible to have watched the Grenfell Tower Inquiry and not feel that the construction industry is rotten from top to bottom: architects, contractors, product manufacturers, certifiers. The entire industry has come across as venal, careless and negligent.
I base this on not just the acts but the way they were treated by most of those involved as normal behaviour. An industry desperately in need of tough, independent regulation and an entirely new culture. Grenfell was the inevitable consequence of years of bad practice.
I'd add as well, the groups who have been talked about this week - LABC, NHBC, BRE - are unheard of to most people but are major industry bodies in the sector. These are groups with real influence. All had roles to play in the post Grenfell Hackitt review
Read 4 tweets
18 Nov
Here's the story: in 2014/15 Celotex could not get its insulation past NHBC inspectors for use on high rise buildings. In September 2014, the body said Celotex had "no relevant testing information" for the product
In January 2015, a contractor emailed Celotex to say NHBC had rejected its insulation from a high rise it was working on.

“They [NHBC] are claiming that it does burn, as does the Kingspan K15 product and they are very nervous of it being used in high rise buildings,” email said
It got worse a couple of months later when Ardmore, another developer, was ordered to remove Celotex from a job in progress at great cost because it was not compliant with the regs.
Read 13 tweets
18 Nov
Lunchtime update from the Grenfell Tower Inquiry:

Former head of marketing at Celotex denies any responsibility for "thoroughly dishonest" marketing of product used on Grenfell
So let's go through some of the things that were put to Mr Evans and what he said. Another Celotex employee, Jamie Hayes, says Paul Evans agreed to putting the additional fire barriers into the test, and had sign off
Mr Evans says: "I can't remember having any discussion about that with these three people... On the basis of what I can remember I would have to say this discussion didn't happen."
Read 14 tweets
17 Nov
Update from the Grenfell Tower Inquiry:

LABC issued a certificate for the insulation used on Grenfell Tower which simply copy and pasted Celotex's 'intentional, dishonest and deliberate' description of it as suitable for high rises
So who are LABC? It stands for 'Local Authority Building Control' and they are a representative group for council building control officers. But they are also a commercial entity that offer product certification for a fee.
After manipulating a large scale test to get a pass (see tweets yesterday), Celotex wanted an LABC certificate to convince building control officers that the testing was all correct and the product could be used on high rises (their big rivals Kingspan also had one of these certs
Read 11 tweets
17 Nov
The long awaited Social Housing White Paper out today. Key bits on regulation include:

- Regulator to proactively monitor services to tenants
- Routine inspections of housing providers every four years
- Can issue uncapped fines, performance plans and book emergency repairs

- Transparency to be a specific part of regulation, with landlords required to disclose certain details
- Can survey condition of properties with two days notice
- Councils and ALMOs to come under the new regime
- Regulator to hire new team to deal with consumer issues
Analysis: some of this is expected, but it is tough and will force housing providers to get their house in order with regard to services. These changes have their roots in the Circle Housing debacle as much as Grenfell insidehousing.co.uk/insight/insigh…
Read 4 tweets

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