Take Me To Your Leader Writer
- David Seymour
- ...has written more leaders (newspaper editorials) than anyone alive or dead, an honour still to be recognised by the Guiness Book of Records or the Nobel judges. I have produced them for the Daily Mirror, Daily Mail, Sunday Mirror, Today, the Sunday People, the Evening Post (Hemel Hempstead), the Caithness Courier and the Student (Edinburgh). My creed is: Have opinions, Will travel.
Thursday, 15 June 2017
Is this what was meant by the 'Bonfire of red tape'?
It is impossible to say whether the widespread cuts in police numbers contributed to the three recent terrorist atrocities but it is equally impossible not to draw the conclusion that penny-pinching played a part in the awful loss of life at Grenfell Tower. Even though £8 million was spent on refurbishment, there clearly weren't effective fire alarms and defences. The firefighters did a wonderful job but their numbers have been cut. How long hospitals will be able to cope with mass tragedies such as this is questionable with the continuing shortage of funds and difficulties in staffing A&E units in particular. There were murmurings yesterday when these issues were raised that this was "playing politics" with a disaster. But it wasn't a natural disaster - not a hurricane or tsunami. It happened in a man-made building and seems to have been caused by and spread by man-created materials. And of course the decisions that stopped proper fire defences being installed and which relegated fire regulations were obviously man - and woman - made. Gavin Barwell when housing minister deliberately did not promote fire safety because it would cost money and introduce new red tape. What sort of mad ideology thinks saving people's lives is red tape? No one said that the "bonfire of red tape" the Tories promised would extend to the conflagration of scores of people. Barwell, now ensconced in Downing Street, is not particularly responsible. The shortage of funds and restrictions on "new red tape" were decisions taken above his pay grade. But it is no wonder people are so contemptuous of politicians when ministers are either too dumb to understand the consequences of what they do or too weak to fight against them. Nor, with hindsight, is it any wonder that the British people voted in such numbers for Jeremy Corbyn. "Cuts" is no longer just a political slogan. They are having a real impact on people's lives. Those families in Grenfell Tower weren't only affected by the lack of fire precautions but will have been hit by cuts to schools, health, welfare and in various other parts of their lives. The great political tragedy is that there is a vicious conspiracy - driven by the Tory papers - to stop discussion of the sort of country we want to live in. People say they want to take back control. Yet the real control isn't exercised from Brussels but from Westminster. And it is doing irrevocable damage to the country and the institutions which matter most to all but the privileged few.