Friday, June 16, 2017

"A tragedy, but not an accident"

This is the phrase Ben Beachos rightly uses to describe the Grenfell Tower fire in a Vice article in which he cites "austerity measures, gentrification and a callous disregard for public safety" as the key contributing factors. It's hard to argue with his conclusions.

The Tories have slashed fire service budgets and refused to back legislation that would have required landlords to ensure that their properties are fit for human habitation, with Philip Davies arguing that it would put too much of a "burden" on them. Meanwhile, the landlord operating Grenfell Tower, the Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea, and its management company, KCTMO, are being criticised for apparently prioritising external cladding to prettify the tower for the benefit of its wealthy neighbours over spending money on a sprinkler system and other fire safety measures (especially in view of the fact that it may well have been this cladding that spread the fire to all floors so rapidly). Even worse, they repeatedly dismissed or ignored the legitimate safety concerns of residents, leading the Grenfell Action Group to issue a stark warning last year that "only an incident that results in serious loss of life" would result in safety being taken sufficiently seriously. Theresa May has demanded an public inquiry, and the findings are unlikely to make pleasant reading for her party and the landlord.

The front page of yesterday's Daily Mail posed a question: "How the hell could it happen?" Beach's piece provides answers aplenty, though not ones that the Tory-supporting, health-and-safety-gone-mad Mail and its readers are likely to find easy to stomach. Perhaps aware that the headline left it on shaky ground, the Mail also published both the name and pictures of the resident whose fridge is alleged to have caused the blaze, as if to point the finger of blame. Of all the many indescribably despicable things that the shitrag has done over the years, that's right up there with the most appalling.

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