Stop the Blame Game

There is very little that can yet be properly said about the appalling tragedy in North Kensington. We can all, as we do, pray for those who have died, who have been injured or who have lost all their property. Some, I wish I could claim to have been of their number, have rushed to give practical support. Others have made financial contributions. And, of course, the emergency services can and must be praised for all they have done and are continuing to do.

But what we cannot do, at least not yet, is blame anyone for the disaster. We don’t know the facts. We must wait for them to be established.

It was depressing, therefore, to read that Mr Corbyn has already decided that the fire was caused by wicked Tory cuts. Maybe it will turn out that he is right. Maybe it will be found that the cladding, which seems to have been the villain of the piece, was made of flammable material which was chosen because it was cheap and would save public money. On the other hand, it could just as easily turn out (I am certainly not casting blame) that the cladding was chosen because it was thought to be “green”, that it would reduce the “carbon footprint” of the residents. In that case, we must look to Mr Blair’s government, not evil Tories, for answers (it was that government which insisted that tower blocks should be given their cladding). And maybe it will turn out that all the experts, wrongly but not criminally, thought the cladding was not a fire risk.

The answers will come eventually, but we simply don’t have them yet. And, sad though it might be for the likes of Mr Corbyn, it can’t be beyond the realms of possibility that it will transpire that no one behaved badly at all, that the mistakes (and I agree there must have been mistakes) were not in any way malicious.

Charles

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10 thoughts on “Stop the Blame Game

  1. I could not agree more, Charles. I have so far refrained from commenting on this truly appalling disaster but I’m sickened by some of the comments I have read in the media and social media in particular.

    Stop the blame game is exactly what we should be doing, and pray for those who have suffered.

    Thank you for this post.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much, Araminta. I didn’t think I had said anything controversial, but some of the responses on Face Book suggest I got that wrong.

      Charles

      P.S. Your site is proving something of a success for me. The editor of the Oldie has asked me for my permission to publish one of my blogs in the next edition. I willingly gave my permission, I hope that is all right with you.

      Liked by 3 people

  2. There were, apparently, many issues with the management. The management were contracted by the council. The council, according to some, simply ignored tenant complaints for some time referring them to management. Individual council estates are generally not the purview of the national government. The status quo cannot hold. That much is certain. I do, however, think the prime minister is wise in ordering an inquiry while staying out of the way. St Jeremy’s luvvies will hit May over the head with any stick.Corbyn also risks becoming a parody of himself.

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    • I can’t claim to be a great admirer of the Council of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea (though it may have become more reasonable in recent years). When I worked for the (Tory) member for Kensington in the 1970s I found that most of the councillors were thoroughly disagreeable and not in the least interested in the well being of their voters. If things haven’t changed much over the years I can certainly accept that it is likely that the Council ignored complaints from the residents of Grenfell Tower. But that doesn’t mean it caused the fire.

      Poor old Corbyn, I agree, is at risk of becoming a parody of himself.

      Charles

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      • Pride comes before the fall. Usually, a politician actually has to hold power before she or he becomes convinced of her/his importance and centrality to the human condition. Corbyn is already showing extreme signs of hubris and entitlement. His militant supporters are only making matters worse.

        Grenfell Tower was unsafe. It had been unsafe for years and the management have had problems elsewhere. Reading what some tenants have written about life there, the management and Council will have hell to pay.

        Liked by 2 people

  3. Of course political axes will be ground and points attempted to be scored. Well done on the “Oldie” that plus your Top Six in “The Independent” assures you a place in bloggings hall of fame.

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  4. I did wonder at Corbyn blaming Tory cuts, when ten million pounds had just been spent on renovating the building (albeit in a disastrous fashion).

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  5. From my limited experience in the contacting game, I think it entirely possibly that both sides involved, in the cladding refurb of the time, will have been so absorbed in playing at hard nosed contractors trying to catch each other out, that thoughts of what if something went catastrophically bad won’t have entered their heads. it might be the case that an enquiry has to pick apart relevant codes, statutes and working practises, to discover what shouldn’t have happened. On the properties of the cladding, one of my clients (a Chemist who has worked on fire retardant materials) suggested that relevant experts will be thin on the ground.
    It seems to me that politicians who go scapegoat hunting are little removed from a baying mob that smells blood. Lynchings – even in they’re only in the courts of the gutter press – do not serve the public interest

    Liked by 1 person

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