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Grenfell Inquiry and a socialist classic (E350)

It is over three years since the fire at Grenfell Tower killed 72 people and scarred the lives of many more. Countless promises have been made to the residents of North Kensington since then and assurances given that such an atrocity could never happen again. But as the Labour amendments to the Fire Safety Bill were voted down by MPs last week in parliament and recommendations from Phase One of the Inquiry diluted, warnings are still being ignored. Pat Mason is a leading campaigner for the fallen and the survivors of Grenfell, so we asked him just who is responsible for safety in the construction industry and if vested interests are compromising it.

‘The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists’ is one of the most important books in many people’s lives, setting them on a life-long political journey. First published in 1914, the issues it addressed then are still relevant today. More than a century on, tradesmen and labourers are still on zero hours contracts, there are still arguments around immigration, landlords continue to charge extortionate rents and the book remains a scathing attack on class relations and the impact of poverty. A graphic novel version is set to be published this month illustrated and adapted by the Rickard sisters, Sophie and Scarlett. They’ve done something which surprisingly no one has done before, so we invited Sophie to tell us how the idea came about and what drew them to this inspirational classic.

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