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Featured image credits: PA/Reuters

A Director of the building company who produced insulation panels for Grenfell Tower that subsequently failed all safety tests is also a top government advisor.

Mark Allen is a technical director for the UK arm of the French multinational Saint-Gobain, a Director of Celotex, which produced the insulation used in the tower. Mr Allen regularly advises the Tory Communities Secretary Sajid Javid on building safety standards and regulations.

Mark Allen, Technical Director, Saint-Gobain, who advises the government on building regulations

Allen is also a member of the Building Regulations Advisory Committee (BRAC) — who regularly makes recommendations regarding industry regulations to Communities Secretary Sajid Javid. 

In 2013 Saint-Gobain registered a profit of nearly 600 million Euros (about £530m by today’s exchange in pounds) — and announced global sales of just over €39Bn (£34Bn) in 2016. Company clients are spread all over the world, particularly in the Middle-East and India.

The The RS5000 insulation panels ‘failed all safety tests’ after the police examined them following the Grenfell disaster — which so far has only officially claimed 80 lives, but in reality, the death-toll (not due to be announced until the end of the year) will almost certainly be in the 100’s.

Following the failed safety tests, Celotex is reported to have halted its supply of the panels for use on buildings more than 18 meters high.

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The Department of Communities and Local Government (DCLG) website says that members of the Building Regulations Advisory Committee (BRAC) are appointed directly by the Secretary of State for the Department of Communities and Local Government (DCLG), Tory MP: Sajid Javid.

The DCLG website all says that:

Members are appointed on an independent voluntary basis to represent particular areas of expertise or experience. They are usually appointed for 2 or 3 years. There is no prescribed minimum or maximum number of members.

The website also lists Allen as an advising member of the committee.

The website also states that the purpose of the committee is to:

advise the secretary of state in England on making building regulations and setting standards for the design and construction of buildings

The RS5000 was supplied as part of the £8.6 million ‘refurbishment’ of Grenfell Tower and was coupled with Reynobond PE cladding, an aluminium-cased rain sheet which is also flammable.

According to Celotex’s website, the insulation has a class 0 rating under building regulations — meaning that it has the highest possible rating for preventing the spread of fire and heat.

Yet, the companies “health and safety datasheet” notes that:

The products will burn if exposed to a fire of sufficient heat and intensity

The company clearly takes a keen interest in government housing policy — as a quick trawl through their Twitter feed reveals:

It seems that the millionaire property mogul and Chancellor of the Exchequer Phillip Hammond — whose own property business is expected to benefit financially by over 10% a year through his own budget — particularly catches the company’s eye.

Sajid Javid himself, like many other Tory MPs and ministers, is himself a landlord. According to the TheyWorkForYou website, he has a rental income of at least £10,000 a year.

It should be no surprise then, that he was also one of the Tory Landlord’s who voted down Labour’s amendment that would force property owners into making their rented homes “fit for human habitation” last year.

Javid also has an extensive history in the banking sector, working as an investment banker for some of the world’s biggest banks and played a leading role in the sub-prime mortgage crisis that caused the financial crash of 2008.

Before joining the Tories he worked for the American super-bank Chase Manhattan as well as the German mega-bank Deutsche Bank, helping to sell the notorious sub-prime financial packages.

This web of legalised corruption, in which politicians are motivated purely by their own selfish personal and financial interests, is what truly lies at the heart of the Grenfell blaze.

The Tory policies which put profit before all else, and drive the poor ever-deeper into desperation, debt, poverty and death, are the root cause of not just Grenfell, but much of the completely needless human suffering we see in our society today.

While the Tory council leader of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, Nick Paget-Brown has resigned, he and the other corrupt elites mustn’t be allowed to get away with this.

The horror stories that the Grenfell survivors tell just keep on coming, but are becoming increasingly unreported in the mainstream. Local residents have said that payments given to the victims are now already deducted by the DWP from any benefits they receive.

And still, we hear stories of people being rehoused up north, and in the home counties. Residents have said that they will be declared voluntarily homeless if they decline such an offer, and thus the council will have no duty to rehouse them.

The Grenfell blaze is symbolic of everything that is wrong with this country at the moment, and it is only by exposing and challenging these corrupt elites that we can hope to change anything in the future.

The motivation to make a profit at the expense of even basic safety standards is clear throughout all of this horror.

And to make things worse, this latest disgusting revelation of corruption behind the Grenfell disaster is almost certainly just the tip of the iceberg.

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