‘Grenfell is an example of how neoliberalism kills people’, says Lowkey


Labour leaders need to make clear that the Grenfell Tower fire is an example of how neoliberalism kills, according to hip hop artist Lowkey. The politically conscious rapper was speaking to a packed audience about lessons from Salvador Allende’s Chile. A US-backed military coup overthrew Allende, a radical democrat, in 1973. This unleashed a wave of terror and imposed neoliberal policies which affect the country to this day.

Alborada, which journalist Pablo Navarrete founded, hosted the event on 25 June 2019. Navarrete also contributes to The Canary.

“The soul of the Labour Party is a contested space”

Lowkey shared the stage with author Victor Figueroa Clark, who is also a contributing editor to Alborada, and Natasha Josette. He also spoke about neoliberalism in relation to the UK Labour Party:

Read on...

The hip hop artist later explained to The Canary that he sees this battle as fraught “with difficulty” because:

it seems that a commonsensical notion has been drummed into the political elite, really since [former Labour prime minister Jim] Callaghan’s $3.9bn loan from the IMF and obviously Thatcher after that, that corporations are better suited to running and administering the vital functions of the state.

Challenge the neoliberal logic accepted by much of the political class

He continued explaining that part of the story of Grenfell is how property developer and then environment secretary Michael Heseltine pushed legislation which reduced building regulations and which part-privatised building control during the Thatcher era. But Tony Blair’s New Labour approved of these changes as well.

Lowkey told The Canary:

It is absolutely vital that we are very clear in the ways that we aim to discredit that core logic and rationale which underpins so much of the function of the market state.

Let Grenfell mark the end of corporate control

He also said:

Really when we say Grenfell is a never again moment, we want it to end that relationship between corporations and the regulatory bodies which are supposed to police them. And so it is really important that we are demanding that in a bottom-up way. We are making those demands of local Labour Parties also.

In other words, the public will have to organise and demand changes if they want to see them take place.

Featured image via Mohamed Elmaazi

We need your help to keep speaking the truth

Every story that you have come to us with; each injustice you have asked us to investigate; every campaign we have fought; each of your unheard voices we amplified; we do this for you. We are making a difference on your behalf.

Our fight is your fight. You’ve supported our collective struggle every time you gave us a like; and every time you shared our work across social media. Now we need you to support us with a monthly donation.

We have published nearly 2,000 articles and over 50 films in 2021. And we want to do this and more in 2022 but we don’t have enough money to go on at this pace. So, if you value our work and want us to continue then please join us and be part of The Canary family.

In return, you get:

* Advert free reading experience
* Quarterly group video call with the Editor-in-Chief
* Behind the scenes monthly e-newsletter
* 20% discount in our shop

Almost all of our spending goes to the people who make The Canary’s content. So your contribution directly supports our writers and enables us to continue to do what we do: speaking truth, powered by you. We have weathered many attempts to shut us down and silence our vital opposition to an increasingly fascist government and right-wing mainstream media.

With your help we can continue:

* Holding political and state power to account
* Advocating for the people the system marginalises
* Being a media outlet that upholds the highest standards
* Campaigning on the issues others won’t
* Putting your lives central to everything we do

We are a drop of truth in an ocean of deceit. But we can’t do this without your support. So please, can you help us continue the fight?

The Canary Support us