Uk affairs


The mayor of London has a 17.2 billion pound budget. You would think he could find the few hundred thousand you have highlighted here to ensure some of the most vulnerable of the inhabitants of his city are safe, in particular if the local councils are strapped for cash. In reality all these high rises that were built in the 60s and 70s should be torn down and replaced.

Building regulations are actually quite strict in the US, as anyone who has dealt with a city on permitting issues could tell you. The issue very often in tragic events like this isn’t the regulations, it’s whether the regulations are being followed, in particular for low income housing where every conceivable corner is cut to save cost.


The Mayor of London from 2008 to 2016 was Boris Johnson.


… and the mayor for the past year was Khan. What has he done during that year to address these safety issues in his city?

As for the Berkeley balcony collapse, lax regulations were not the issue, failure of the management firm to do regular and proper inspections was the issue. The balcony was designed to hold 3000 lb, but dry rot is a widespread problem in wooden structures, so regular inspections are mandatory. Berkeley is about as liberal a city as you would find on the planet, so again left or right aspects of the argument are irrelevant.


Regular and proper inspections are part and parcel of a regulatory framework.
Incidentally, fun fact - Fred Cogley’s granddaughter was on that balcony when it collapsed.


i) The refurbishment was begun while Johnson was mayor.

ii) As far as I’m aware, it doesn’t fall within Khan’s remit.

The Building Regulations 2010 cover that.

London had its own Building Act under the Labour-controlled GLC but that came to an end in 1986 when Thatcher abolished the GLC. The abolished London Building Act was more stringent in terms of fire regulations than the national regulations which replaced it, according to Ronnie King, who is the secretary of the Parliamentary Fire Safety and Rescue Group and served as Chief Fire Officer for 20 years in Wales.

Left in the US does not mean left in Europe. The Democrats are “light touch regulation” merchants too.

If California has such unimpeachable building standards and regulations, why have 800 balconies been found to be dangerous and in need of repair?

Call me crazy, but I’d rather not take a walk onto a balcony made of a wooden beam, especially in rainy and foggy San Francisco.


Nice that we can quantify what a life is worth now. £5000/150= 1 life

Capitalism is so overwhelmingly broken.


How was it unsafe?


Disgusting if true, ignore the spelling errors


Again though, this is double standards BS from you.

You and others cheerleaded for Apollo House, despite every reputable Homeless charity agreeing with the serious Health and Safety risks that the exercise made. Your response, you have a feeling that a bunch of activists know better that professionals.

On pitch invasions, you bemoan authorities and stadium owners trying to stop them. More regulation you hate. And the only reason is that you found pitch invasions fun when you were a kid.


The pictures in the Independent today of the fire damaged building are horrific. I see on the BBC that there are still fires burning in the building. How is the structure even standing after that.


Concrete built is better built


Because unlike what the US government wants you to think post 9/11. Towers do not collapse because of fire.


A couple of points about building regulations:

  1. They’re minimum standards. There’s no reason why the specification of a building can’t exceed them.

  2. They need to be enforced. Ireland over the last decade has shown that just having regulations is a long way from them being effective. Enforcement is key.

  3. It’s often complicated. Despite it looking simple from the outside, creating good building regulations that meet all the requirements is probably quite difficult. This is prob even more of an issue when you have rapid change in materials and methodologies and in many cases the regulations are slow to catch up. I think this issue crosses all political ideologies - it turns out good technical specifications needs more than a sound bite

  4. Regulations can have unintended consequences. An example is how building regulations in Dublin to make “better” apartments I.e dual aspect etc then prove to make them more expensive to build and then less are built.

To summarise - it’s definitely shades of grey rather than clear black and white. This is an awful tragedy with likely multiple causes across multiple involved parties, political and apolitical. To suggest otherwise is pure over-simplification for political gain and to me that’s fairly crass.


It’s fairly black and white to me mate, a 24 storey residential building should not go up like a haybarn no matter what the circumstances.


also 24 storey buildings should have sprinkler systems installed and fire alarms in the common areas and not just in the units. I haven’t heard about the conditions in the fire escape, was the lighting working in there to help guide the people?


I don’t think anyone disagrees with that. It would also seem from the outside that the cladding was a large part of the issue. However, seeing as there seems to be such a low price difference between different grades of cladding, do you really think the building assoc/local council/contractor/architects/gov purposely specced that cladding knowing all the risks? That as @sidney seems to suggest they knowingly did that for £5k?

I think that mutlple contributory causes will emerge, some regulatory and some project specific and that to prevent these in the future lots of laws, regulations, processes etc will be changed. Not dissimilar to the way that the airline industry continually evolve after accidents.

That requires buy in from lots of involved groups - from gov through to builders. It’s prob quite complicated but it’s probably more effective than @Sidney implying that if Corbyn had just been PM for the last ten years this tragedy wouldn’t have happened.


Minimum standards means the minimum effort on the part of the contractor to adhere to any “standards”.

Fire regulations hadn’t been updated in ten years.

I implied that if the failed gospel of light touch regulation was treated as the nonsense it is instead of the unchallenged tenet of faith it is treated as by most of the UK media and the Tories, this fire wouldn’t have happened.


150 possibly dead, sweet Jesus. Horrific.

Not being flippant but when you hear of a catastrophe like this it’s usually in a deprived country like Bangladesh. Not on your own doorstep. Desperately sad wherever it happens but when it happens in some third world country it’s out of sight, out of mind to a large extent.

Those misfortunes caught up in it would have been better off to go in their sleep due to smoke inhalation. Gruesome and horrific to endure their last few minutes knowing that there was no way out. A choice of jumping to their death or being burnt to death.

Genuinely troubling story.


But you don’t know that’s true yet. It very well may be the case that there was plenty of regulation (there certainly is in relation to building regs and fire), it may even have been clearly followed and inspected but then it emerges that despite all this the regulations need to be improved because due to a combination of factors they’re riskier than previously thought.

That’s nothing to do with “light-touch” - it’s to do with effective regulations and my point was in the case of building regulations it’s likely to be technical rather than political and complicated rather than simple.


Bear in mind that numerous disasters took place under Labour socialist governments back in the day. We are quite fortunate that accidents with large numbers of fatalities have been reduced in the west over the centuries and we have accelerated the decline in recent decades.

That’s down to numerous different Governments actions, better engineering et cetera.

Some health and safety regulations aren’t to the favour of Sidney though. I guess those are different though and it’s only the Mail/Express that are loony about light regulation.