Monday, 14 February 2011

Thor mercury: safeguard the Chief Constable's pension

Why has Thor remained open since 1987? It should have been banned and closed and cleaned up for the last 20 years. Why was Thor continuing to operate the plant – and expand it – with EA supervision? Why have EA and KCC and TDC simply remained silent ever since?

The Chief Constable’s pension needs to be protected to allow him to conduct an investigation into Thor and our civil servants and politicians.

“The workers first realised something was seriously wrong when three men were taken into hospital in 1992, suffering from severe mercury poisoning.
Peter Cele, 21, died seven months later. Englebert Ngcobo, 55, was in hospital for three years before he slipped into a coma and died.
They had all worked at Thor's mercury plant at Cato Ridge in Natal. The operation had been set up by the English parent company using technology and systems of operation which had been developed in Britain.
Thor had operated a mercury plant at Margate which, during the 1980s, was repeatedly criticised by the Health and Safety Executive for bad working practices and the over-exposure of British workers to mercury.
Under pressure from the HSE, Thor closed down its mercury operations in Britain in 1987 and expanded them in South Africa, where the plant relied on Zulu-speaking casual, untrained and unskilled labour.
In bringing their claim, which was also made against the Thor chairman Desmond Cowley, the workers enlisted the support of experts in occupational medicine and toxicology.
In their evidence, the workers testified that rather than trying to reduce mercury levels in the environment, the company adopted a policy of trying to control mercury exposure by replacing workers who had high levels of mercury with new casual employees. Others, they said, were sent to work in the garden until their mercury levels dropped.”

And at least 2 years of inaction from KCC and TDC and EA and Kent Police:

Where are the toxin reports?

Where are the site visit reports?

Where are the permits to continue to operate?

Or are we funding civil servants to protect each other form Police investigations – and a Police force too feeble to investigate beyond “close your windows, nothing to see, move along, contribute to the Police Cancer Fund”?

And only silence from our MP’s and councillors. Nothing mentioned in the council chambers. Nothing mentioned in parliament.

Shush. Keep schtum. Payoffs for silence if needs be. Documents shredded or lost if possible. Deny and delay at all stages.

And with Infratil and Manston, why is Leader Carter of KCC working with Infratil to secure a further £10M of public funds given Infratil removed air and noise monitors endangering the public?

Shouldn’t Leader Carter be calling for a Police investigation and opening the KCC and TDC files and Infratil flight logs from Manston and Ostend and Luxembourg for a Police investigation?

That’s a lot of banned overflights, a lot of banned flights and a lot of cancer on the rates. All deliberate and repeated for months and years.

We seem to have expanding an airport with dodgy if not simply incompetent plans – and deliberate deceit and fraud to endanger the public.

That's jail time and heavy fines. Corporate manslaughter. Endagerment. Dereliction of duty. Misuse of public funds.

Just as with Thor in South Africa. Or is Margate somehow less problematic?

And less regulation for Infratil in Kent compared to Scotlands or New Zealand - even to building on the East Kent drinking water supply.

And where are Kent’s journalists? Where are the lawyers? Where are the doctors?

Too busy to investigate one of the world’s most notorious polluters on their own doorstep?

Time for Change.

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