Legendary film director Ken Loach appeared on BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire as part of a panel discussing a London housing estate in which people are living in poor conditions, and he slammed the Tory government’s “contempt” for ordinary people.
Former Tory mayor Brian Coleman appeared on the show to defend the housing estate in Barnet.
The show was discussing a story of an NHS administrator called Annie, who lives in a housing estate in which her family are being overrun by cockroaches.
In addition, other residents have claimed that water floods from the communal areas when it rains, which causes mould in some flats.
In response Coleman argued that they are “developing the estate” and that she should have known that living in the flat in question was always temporary.
“Obviously Barnet Homes are not going to spend vast sums of money on a block of flats that’s going to be pulled down in two years times."
You can see the logic in that. You are unsecured tenants. You knew you were unsecured tenants when you moved in.
“Does that mean they don’t count?” Victoria asked, to which Coleman stumbled through a “no of course not” response before saying the “council owes them nothing at all.”
When the conversation turned to Annie, she admitted that she was “speechless” by what Coleman had said.
At this point Ken Loach delivered a scathing retort, slamming Coleman and the Tory party for its lack of empathy.
“I think it shows contempt for people. I could weep,” he began.
I mean, to live with cockroaches, to live with damp, your kids getting asthma, to be told you don’t deserve anything, the council doesn't owe you anything, it's disgusting, Brian Coleman. It’s disgusting.
I’m sorry. You outsourced the maintenance to a private company which you 100% own. What are they doing? They’re meant to be maintaining this. How are they earning their profits, these private companies if they can’t even secure the flats as they are?
What links this to Grenfell is the contempt for people seen to have no power. Absolute contempt. Doesn’t care if they’re in a fire hazard. Doesn’t care if they live in the most squalid conditions…
And then, this conclusion:
That’s Tory Britain. Disgusting.