The Tory housing crisis and Grenfell ‘spin’ shame

Sienna Rodgers

Heygate Estate

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This is what the Tory housing crisis looks like: deposits from £210 in the 1960s to tens of thousands of pounds now, “my rent is nearly as much as I earn”, knocking down housing estates, agent fees, Christmas spent in wholly unsuitable emergency accommodation missing basic facilities, slum landlords raking in housing benefit.

It’s all in Labour’s latest party political broadcast, which shines a spotlight on the devastating reality of Britain’s housing crisis under the Tories.

The range of people featured in the video, from retired coalminer Len to school teacher Cindy and single mum Rachel, shows the problems lie on a spectrum. It’s not just being unable to get together a £50,000 deposit, and it’s not just a homeless man with PTSD whose temporary accommodation is about to close. None are given special attention; all these experiences are equally shocking.

“I’m not one for voting. But I’m not happy with this government that’s in now, and personally I would say go with Labour. Because when they were in power, okay there were mistakes made, but there was nothing like this now.” It’s this honest message, offered by a foodbank manager at the end of the broadcast, that gives these films a real sense of authenticity and makes them so effective.

The Labour Party’s mini-documentary comes as the Mirror reports Tory canvassers were overheard “discussing how to spin the Grenfell blaze for political gain” just a mile from the tower. That’s after the Kensington and Chelsea Conservatives put out a leaflet asking residents to rate the importance of the Grenfell tragedy on a scale of 0 to 10. Shameless.

Jeremy Corbyn said at the launch of Labour’s London election campaign on Monday: “The residents of Grenfell have been forced to experience the double whammy of a heartless Tory government and a hopeless Conservative council.” As it turns out, that was a generous assessment of Tory candidates in the Royal Borough.

Sienna @siennamarla

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