The date a day desk diary shows a cartoon of four wolves in sheep’s fleeces and the caption reads “Now what ?”
Where is the leader of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea ? (wolf 1)
Where is the housing officer for the area of the Grenfell Tower ? (wolf 2)
Who is in charge of it and who was in charge of it before the boundaries were changed ? (wolf 3)
Where is Health and Safety ? (wolf 4)
I confess I have not read everything in the papers, any papers. It is sickening. And rolling news means just that – it rolls on whether there is anything to say or not, filling up the gaps with anger, pain, frustration, rationalisation and horrible stories…
And while Jeremy Corbyn is proving so much better at touchy-feely than Theresa May (it would be worse if she pretended to it and he’d kiss a fish if it would give him a vote) where were the local Labour activists when the Grenfell Tower Residents Association needed just a little help ?
Five years is a long time to complain that the fire doors don’t work, that there is no sprinkler system, that there are no hoses. One solicitor with a brain could have marshalled most people into paying their monies into a separate bank account, to be withheld from the RBKC until their reasonable safety concerns were met, perhaps even paying for some of the longed for installations and providing receipts and evidence.
The rich have contempt for the poor when they try to better themselves and ignore with specious charity the unremitting work that keeps roofs over heads. Even bad roofs. When you have done the work that pays your way, you don’t have a lot of time or energy left over for anything else. All sorts of people turn up to help when you are dead, wounded, disenfranchised or literally on the street but they are not around before the event.
Tower blocks are just about fifty-fifty when it comes to advantages and problems. Always have been. They are not maintained because maintenance costs money and is unremitting work. Remember – it’s the poor and they are always with us. You’d better hope they are, they keep the machine running. And I think one of the most chilling things I heard was a woman saying that there was a policy of putting the elderly and the ill higher up where they couldn’t escape a high wind let alone a wanton fire.
The disconnect is on both sides. Services have been run down so that you can’t reach a social worker, you don’t know who to go to for help and if you do, it involves pages and pages and pages of stuff you can’t necessarily understand. You understand the fire. The cladding was inflammable in the name of economy and it fed itself into an unstoppable blaze within a few minutes. You understand death. But you don’t understand that providing money takes time too. This is not a reality show. There isn’t £5 million in gold pieces in chests in the basement of 10 Downing Street. How is it going to come and who is going to distribute it ? When?? Where ???
I don’t know anything about Theresa May but she is not well served by her advisers. They are out of touch with the people who were burnt out at Grenfell but they are also out of touch with the relentless speed at which media now works.
Jeremy Corbyn turns up, immaculate white shirt open at the neck, embraces, is embraced and meets local church representatives who have been doing their best.
Theresa May turns up, suited, made up, flanked by security, ushered to police and fire service: give her the benefit of the doubt, she knows this is going to take money and money has to be arranged.
But televisually, her visit doesn’t play.
Spilt milk can be mopped up. Spilt blood sticks.
And she starts on the Brexit on Monday 19 June.
Hmmm!!! 1 billion to the DUP despite saying there is no magic money Tree. What is so sad is that those tower blocks were peoples homes and all they wanted was safety mechanisms put into place. There are no words really for all that is happening in the UK. It is certainly not what our forefathers fought for.