Locals telling the story of the fire at Grenfell Tower speak with much emotion which has led to some conspiracies. Using facts, holding to account and investigating creates a platform for careless culprits being held to account.
The burning of Grenfell Tower was a horrific atrocity that was absolutely avoidable. Many have now said, the use of cheap illegal cladding (banned in Europe and in the States) was used to cover up social housing and hide away what is seen by the establishment as urban decay. This reflects the idea of the poorest in society not falling in line with expensive developments. Take a look at Lancaster West Estate’s immediate surroundings and the Nash Terrace looking houses that exist there. Buildings such as the Grenfell Tower to passers-by looked out of place due to the major developments surrounding the area. The council run Housing Association, used a ruthless “quick-fix” to cover up an ugly truth. The truth is evident and demonstrates the difference between rich and poor. The council failed to put up sprinklers and the Conservative council leader, Nick Paget-Brown, blamed residents for this. He told BBC2’s Newsnight:
“There was not a collective view that all the flats should be fitted with sprinklers because that would have delayed and made the refurbishment of the block more disruptive.”
Like many other urban areas, residents identify this as gentrification, the rhetoric of gentrification and what exists in the minds of Tory Britain. The Conservatives haven’t just let down nationally, but also locally in The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea.
The council has privatised most of its resources and the maintenance of social housing, seen as a reckless attitude to obtain cheaper costs. The refurbishment of Grenfell Tower was not only seen as an attack on the residents, the council dealing with the aftermath of this tragedy showed contempt towards the most needy. Note: Kensington and Chelsea council have a staggering £274m in reserves.
David Lammy, the Labour MP for Tottenham described the fire as corporate manslaughter. Many have agreed to this, suggesting that Grenfell Tower should remain as a monument to remind people of what corporate manslaughter looks like and how a Tory government can turn their backs on people based on social status.
Those responsible for this must be arrested and face trial for the deaths of so many. Having seen failure after failure by this government, it seems the Tory government days are numbered.