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Dekka

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  1. On the fire crews story, there are dots to be joined here. The leaders of Cheshire Fire Service have strong links with the flame retardant industry, which has a long history of buying up fire officials who then push for more of their chemicals in products, even though they're incredibly toxic, especially when they burn. In 2014, working for the Dept. for Business, I led on proposals to change the UK's furniture fire safety regulations which would have led to a massive reduction of flame retardants in our furniture (about 45kgs per household). The chemical industry went into overdrive to prevent this happening. We went out to consultation and about 13 returns were from regional fire services - all but one strongly in favour of our changes. Cheshire was the only one to object. In short, when you move up the apex of industrial power, there are many connections between Big Chem and Big Pharma, and many of the same individuals. For example, Sir Patrick Vallance is chair of the Grenfell Scientific Advisory Group which slipped out a document a while back saying that they didn't think the role of flame retardants in the fire needed to be looked at (when in fact they were responsible for most of the deaths). Vallance of course has strong links with GSK which is represented by the massive PR firm, Burson Cohn & Wolfe. BCW also represents the world's big 3 flame retardant producers. The flame retardant industry funds the fire science lab at Imperial College which played a big part in blocking changes to the furniture regulations. Imperial and BCW frequently supply staff to one another. Sir Ken Knight was the government's chief fire safety officer and leads on the Grenfell independent experts panel and has close ties to the FR industry; also played a major role in blocking changes to the furniture regualtiosn; he's also mates with the head boys at Cheshire. Sir Ken is anti-sprinkler (because they would do away with flame retardants) and when he was at MHCLG, he insisted the fire team there were also anti-sprinkler. A guy there worked with me and I eventually realised he was being operated by Sir Ken. He quit government, had to move north and was very lucky to instantly get a job with Cheshire fire services.
  2. There's a lot behind this story! My FBU friends have been working hard for the past two years for the same kind of foam to be taken out of service in the UK. It's all ker-ching of course. As it happens, a lot of firefighters don't use the foam, mainly because it's so hard to clean up. But the contracts with the suppliers mean they have to pay to replace it on a regular basis anyway. But there's some light on the horizon, in the form of a natural product made by Hydro Navitas that is not only non-toxic, it actually performs better than water in putting out fires. A few UK services have taken it up and more look set to follow. As for 3M, you may have seen this story: https://theintercept.com/2018/07/31/3m-pfas-minnesota-pfoa-pfos/ which shows why if you "follow the science" you need to first find out who's paying the scientists. "Owning the science" is the insider phrase the chemical industry uses.
  3. "MDF type of Kitchen cabinets also covered with formaldehyde. Irony is that we put food stuff in there. Where can I buy a duvet without any of these shit on it?" It's very hard to find duvets without flame retardants (and pillows) and the retailers either won't tell you or don't know (deliberately) if they use them or not; tend to just say that's their suppliers' business. Unfortunately, EU (and probably post-Brexit) chemical laws mean they don't have to tell you what chemicals they're using. I changed all my bedding a few years back and got it from Green Fibres https://www.greenfibres.com in Totnes. They use wool fillings and no FRs. I had a long talk with the guy who runs it and he's genuine; good quality products. Also worth checking out the website of a friend of mine who makes mattresses and pillows: https://www.cottonsafenaturalmattress.co.uk Give Mark a ring there; he's an expert on FRs in furniture and has spent years fighting the government to get shot of them. I got my mattress from them and it's brilliant - very well made; no FRs; not cheap but will last the rest of my life.
  4. Well, I was in charge of the furniture regulations for 12 years. It was me who discovered they don't work and I became a government whistle-blower over the fact. Still fighting the government about it! I'm advisor to the London Fire Brigade Union's contaminants group and work with Grenfell survivors. One of the reasons I'm so sceptical of covid is because some of the same people (e.g. Vallance and Hancock) are behind the perpetuation of flame retardants at the expense of human health and the environment.
  5. It's true and largely unknown/covered up. The growth/profit increase in chemicals is almost exponential. One example. Back in the late 80s, the flame retardant industry, working through its bought officials in the fire services and government, played a big role in bringing in UK furniture flammability regulations that have led to every household containing around 45kgs of FRs in its sofas/mattresses/cushions etc. On the back of this, the FR industry then persuaded producers of duvets, carpets, curtains - all items for which there aren't even any flammability requirements - to also pack their products with FRs, all backed by the insurance industry which works closely with the chemical industry (primary aim to protect homes before lives), working through fake fire safety organisations who of course recommend lots of FRs in everything. In recent years, the FR industry has also been very successful in packing its chemicals into building insulation foam (used in just about all new houses) to around 40% of the mass. Which means a modern home is absolutely stuffed with these toxic chemicals, inside and surroundings. The downside is that these chemicals are always eventually found to be toxic and eventually banned (but still in our sofas and walls, etc). And a few years ago it was proven that they actually make a fire far more toxic. Which is why - and this is a long story - the government is working very hard to cover up the toxicity of the Grenfell fire, telling survivors, believe it or not, that the fire was not toxic. Just to make things worse, the government itself proved in 2014 that the furniture flammability regulations don't even work, but of course has failed to do anything about it since that would massively cut industry profits.
  6. Thanks. I didn't know that. The pollution just adds to the pollution. The problem with chemical legislation is that it allows companies to do their own (minimal) testing before putting a new one on the market. Years later, it's proved to be toxic and banned but Big Chem already has the near-identical replacement on the market. Du Pont lost their case re Teflon - but it took 27 years and millions of dollars to (not entirely) prove they were guilty. But of course Teflon pans are still everywhere, just the new slightly different formula.
  7. And this effect will almost certainly be true for other common chemicals in our systems such as flame retardant chemicals from sofas, mattresses, carpets etc, the brominated variety of which are in the same family as PFAS (e.g. Teflon).
  8. A factor that is totally ignored, deliberately so, in the world of vaccines, chemicals etc is that are usually tested in isolation to any other chemicals that will almost certainly be present in the finished product, whether that's a sofa or a human being. But these other chemicals can often reverse the effect of the target chemical or in combination be highly toxic. For example, last Sept, the European Food Standards Authority released a report (link below) that shows, amongst other things, that PFAS chemicals (often found in drinking water) are at high levels in all of us can reduce the effect of vaccination. These findings were echoed in other studies, including a US report in 2017 and a study of children in the Faroe Islands. Animal studies also show these chemicals cause a reduction in vaccine effectiveness. "Consistent findings from observational studies in other study populations provide further support for an adverse association between several PFASs and vaccination response in children and adolescents" Which perhaps raises a question about government claims that the only way to rid ourselves of covid-19 is via a vaccine. https://www.efsa.europa.eu/en/news/pfas-food-efsa-assesses-risks-and-sets-tolerable-intake
  9. Some more on Vallance, GSK and chums that may not be so generally well known: GSK has worked regularly with the massive PR firm Burson Cohn & Wolfe. BC&W also represents the world's largest flame retardant producers. GSK together with Imperial College set up the Engineered Medicines Laboratory in 2015. Imperial is currently trialling its new coronavirus vaccine. Imperial College also has a long history with BC&W. Imperial's fire science lab has played a major role in blocking changes to the UK's furniture regulations which would lead to the removal of flame retardants in sofas and mattresses. Vallance is also Chair of the Grenfell Inquiry Scientific Advisory Group which at a meeting on 23 October 2019 (minutes here), recommended nothing much needs to be done about flame retardants where the fire is concerned, even the massive amounts that were burned in internal products. Tony Blair was a leading lobbyist for the Furniture Regulations, stating that we must have chemically treated furniture as soon as possible. He was (probably still is) close mates with the CEO of BCW (Burson Marsteller as it was known then). The Regulations instantly created a £300m per year market for flame retardants. Another member of SAGE, friend of Vallance and Chief Scientific Advisor to MHCLG is Professor Alan Penn. At a recent virtual conference about Grenfell toxicity, Penn answered my questions somewhat oddly by praising the effectiveness of flame retardants. When questioned about this by myself, firefighters, cancer research professionals and green industry representatives in follow up correspondence, he was unable to provide any proof for his claims and is now refusing to answer at all. Details of the Grenfell toxicity scientists here. A recent report by the European Food Standards Authority (confirmed by other studies) reveals that the high levels of PFASs chemicals (man-made from a variety of products/sources) in all of us greatly inhibit the effectiveness of vaccines, i.e. no chance of zero covid by vaccine. Many flame retardants contain PFASs. Also: GRENFELL INQUIRY TOXICOLOGY REPORT – in the control of Professor David Purser who has a long history of colluding with the flame retardant industry. GRENFELL INDEPENDENT EXPERTS PANEL – Chaired by Sir Ken Knight, who also has a long history of flame retardant support and was hugely responsible for blocking changes to the Furniture Regs. He has also just been appointed Chair of a new British Standards committee which will have overall control of fire safety, including Grenfell matters. DAME JUDITH HACKITT – spent most of her working life in the chemical industry, mostly for Exxon Mobil which amongst other things makes flame retardants.
  10. Not sure that they mean the actual objective truth should be sought; more the truth as that particular religion decrees it to be? I'm feeling my way with this a bit, but I think real spirituality has to be linked to greater awareness and self-awareness. The reason being that the universe includes that facility for human beings to develop. But most religions appear to offer only fixed goals, rather like doing a crossword puzzle that someone else has put together; rather than striking out into the creative unknown. I take your point about modern living. However, Gurdjieff mostly taught in cities because he reckoned modern life provides plenty of irritations; and without irritation it's not possible to grow (by resistance).
  11. One aspect of this for me is to do with personal development. Or rather the lack of it where much of what is called "spiritualism" is concerned. Perhaps the mildness of a lot of new-agey types is a reflection that they do not believe that development - greater awareness, insight, ability to see the truth - requires a lot of personal work. It just happens when you "open your heart" or "accept Jesus/Hubbard/Osho into your soul" etc. Anyone who advocates work tends to have a much smaller audience. Gurdjieff for example.
  12. The UK's Chief Scientific Advisor is Sir Patrick Vallance. More info on him below (which I sent to Dr Vernon Coleman recently): Vallance is Chair of the SAGE committee currently advising the UK government on coronavirus policies. Vallance was President of R&D at GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) which he joined in 2006 and left in 2018, during which time the company pleaded guilty to criminal charges and paid $3bn in fines. GSK is working on a coronavirus vaccine and also has a side line in making virus masks. GSK has worked regularly with the massive PR firm Burson-Marsteller. Burson-Marsteller also represents the world's largest flame retardant producers. GSK together with Imperial College set up the Engineered Medicines Laboratory in 2015. Imperial is currently trialling its new coronavirus vaccine. Imperial College also has a long history with Burson-Marsteller. Imperial's fire science lab has played a major role in blocking changes to the UK's furniture regulations which would lead to the removal of flame retardants in sofas and mattresses. Valance is also Chair of the Grenfell Inquiry Scientific Advisory Group which at a meeting on 23 October 2019 (minutes here), recommended nothing much needs to be done about flame retardants where the fire is concerned, even the massive amounts that were burned in internal products. As a footnote, it might be worth reminding ourselves of the following: GRENFELL INQUIRY TOXICOLOGY REPORT – in the control of Professor David Purser who has a long history of colluding with the flame retardant industry. GRENFELL INDEPENDENT EXPERTS PANEL – Chaired by Sir Ken Knight, who also has a long history of flame retardant support and was hugely responsible for blocking changes to the Furniture Regs. CHAIR OF THE SCIENTIFIC ADVISORY GROUP TO THE GRENFELL INQUIRY – Sir Patrick Vallance (see above). DAME JUDITH HACKITT – spent most of her working life in the chemical industry, mostly for Exxon Mobil which amongst other things makes flame retardants.
  13. Here's an irony about being told to spend more time indoors. UK homes contain the highest levels in the world of flame retardant chemicals, all of which are toxic and each of which eventually gets banned for being so. Flame retardants get into house dust, then into our systems, e.g. UK mothers' breast milk contains the highest FR levels in the world. Flame retardants cause cancers and a whole range of illnesses and are particularly harmful to children and their neurological and mental development. In other words, your home is far more dangerous to your health than the virus. Instead of putting his clothes in the wash and having a shower as soon as he comes home, he'd be better off throwing out his sofas, mattresses, carpets and bedding. Replace them from countries that do not have our ridiculous furniture flammability laws that do not even work. Oh, and don't buy a new home since the insulation behind the walls will also be packed with flame retardants.
  14. Thanks for the update. Have you got "Gurdjieff's Early Talks" which came out in 2014? I've found it really useful for dipping in at random then thinking through what I find there.
  15. In another part of my life, I fight the government regarding the fact it is poisoning us all in our own homes in order to protect industry profits. The smell I get around this kind of corruption - which is not easy to see - is similar to the smell I get from Rowling. It's hard to pin down but there's something that doesn't add up. For example, she never speaks about the art/technique of writing and never mixes with other children's authors. UK children's writers are a pretty well-connected bunch but Rowling has never shown the slightest interest in mixing. I don't think this is just because she writes commercial stuff - plenty of commercial authors talk/write about their craft, e.g. Stephen King. Then there are the lies . . . like her editor on Desert Island Discs talking about how once he'd decided to publish her book, he rang her with the news. But he also said she had an agent at the time, in which case there is no way he would not have contacted her agent first.
  16. I've worked with Gurdjieff-related groups and study for over 40 years. "In Search of the Miraculous" by Ouspensky is probably the best overall introduction to Gurdjieff and his work. But an excellent look at him as a man can be found in Fritz Peter's books - "Boyhood with Gurdjieff" and "Gurdjieff Remembered". Peters was sent to Gurdjieff's school as a boy against his will and that reluctance provides a great counter-point to the rather po-faced worship of the other followers. The books are funny and moving. I was pretty close to the man who ran the UK Gurdjieff group, who was a student of Ouspensky - a lovely man who was often tired of the formality developed around "the Work". I also knew the people at Beshara, which Bennett helped to set up. They told me that in his last years he became more and more desperate to find the spiritual truth behind human life, even becoming a Catholic late on.
  17. I've worked with Gurdjieff-related groups and study for over 40 years. "In Search of the Miraculous" by Ouspensky is probably the best overall introduction to Gurdjieff and his work. But an excellent look at him as a man can be found in Fritz Peter's books - "Boyhood with Gurdjieff" and "Gurdjieff Remembered". Peters was sent to Gurdjieff's school as a boy against his will and that reluctance provides a great counter-point to the rather po-faced worship of the other followers. The books are funny and moving. I was pretty close to the man who ran the UK Gurdjieff group, who was a student of Ouspensky - a lovely man who was often tired of the formality developed around "the Work". I also knew the people at Beshara, which Bennett helped to set up. They told me that in his last years he became more and more desperate to find the spiritual truth behind human life, even becoming a Catholic late on. Apologies - this was meant to appear in the recommended books section!
  18. I agree. Similar in any of the arts: lots of stories of apparent rags to riches feats but when you dig in a bit, there's almost always manipulation behind the scenes on people already trained in and/or brought up in comparative wealth. Sticking with children's fiction, there is a similar unconscious class bias, too, that pre-prepares the field for elite control. Children's writers are almost all middle-class, well-educated and white. There is some tokenism by publishers but that tends to be more towards colour than class, e.g. Malorie Blackman who is black but very middle-class, married to a white middle-class guy, an already successful businesswoman who moved into chidren's fiction because she saw it as a smart business avenue. As usual, what's hard to work out is the degree of conscious manipulation behind a success like Rowling's. Most people in publishing believe it was pure chance but as said her behaviour doesn't reflect that of someone from nowhere who just happened to succeed. She also filled the massive vacuum left by Enid Blyton and the subsequent focussing of children's publishers more on quality writing than commercial crap. Rowling came along just as this attitude was changing in publishing because all unique publishers were being bought up by a few huge business conglomerations who see books as just another product that must sell large and fast.
  19. There's a lot about JK Rowling that doesn't quite add up. For a start, her origin story: poor mother, eeking out cups of tea in draughty caffs, working on her first HP book. Philip Pullman exposed that one at a writer's get-together, i.e. in fact she comes from a pretty wealthy middle-class background and her sister offered to put her up in her house for free while she wrote the book. While it's true that any writer will want to project a compelling life story (although it's not essential), I don't know of any other children's authors that have put their name to such a blatant fabrication and right at the start of their career too. Then there's the fact she doesn't appear to have ever had anything to do with any other children's writers. I'm one and it's a pretty inclusive community. Pullman, by contrast, at the height of his fame, strolled into a children's writers' conference in Oxford, no guards or minders, and spent the day chatting to anyone who was interested. Okay, you could say she's ultra-famous and therefore is too big for most children's writers' groups. But she wasn't big when she first got signed, and plenty of newly-signed authors join the main writers' group. Apart from anything else, it's a great place to learn the craft and the business. But Rowling apparently didn't need that. Almost as if a business path was being rigorously followed, ensuring no connections made that might lead to exposure. Then her first publisher was on Desert Island Disks not so long ago and said some odd things. Like, he phoned her up when he decided to buy the book, to let her know, blah blah. But he'd also said she had an agent and no publisher would ever go straight to the author about a deal before speaking to their agent. Then there all her back-created stories. Like announcing Dumbledore was gay a long time after the books were published, and with no hint of it in the stories (I'm told). Or that Potter was born in South West London, again with no hint of that in the books. Or when her "accountant" (sure), leaked the fact that the identity of the crime novel that had failed was in fact JKR, meaning it immediately shot to the top of the charts. Or her ripping off Neil Gaiman (Books of Magic) with HP but coming down ultra heavy on anyone she perceives have done the same to her. In short, is her massive success purely the happy accident claimed by the publishing industry, or was there always more to it than that?
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