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Anorak | After Grenfell: John McDonnell suggests Camden Council is guilty of attempted murder?

After Grenfell: John McDonnell suggests Camden Council is guilty of attempted murder?

by | 26th, June 2017

John McDonnell says the Grenfell Tower disaster was “murder”. The shadow chancellor says the victims of the horror in west London were “murdered”. He says the dead were “murdered” as a “direct consequence of Tory attitudes to social housing”, cuts to fire brigade numbers and political decisions made over “decades”. As such the guilty should be charged with murder, no? And the likes of Camden Council leader Georgia Gould, where residents have been forcibly evacuated from tower blocks swaddled in flammable cladding similar to that used at Grenfell Tower, should be arrested for attempted murder, right?

Camden Council is run by Labour. The cladding on its estate in Swiss Cottage was installed in 2006, under Tony Blair’s Labour government. It’s good to see that McDonnell is not biased in his call for justice. In his judgement, Tory and Labour members are all guilty of murder. Lock ’em up. And the LibDems, too, after all they formed the coalition government. And let age be no barrier to justice. Go back over those decades when mass murder was fomenting in politicians’ warped hearts, and lock up anyone still alive. Strip honours from the dead.

McDonnell’s judgement that the dead were “murdered” is at least hasty. The deaths of 79 innocent people were not designed and arranged. Georgia Gould’s decision to evacuate the towers in her area was not because she experienced a change of heart about murdering scores of people. Thousands of people who advised and worked on cladding tower blocks with dangerous substances are not part of a huge conspiracy to murder. If they are, they are being remarkable silent.

McDonnell makes get play of speaking up for the victims. But we know how little politicians think of the great unwashed by their attitudes to Brexit. When the working classes and poor voted for change, they were called thick. David Lammy, who lost a friend in the Grenfell fire, wanted the Brexit vote undone by the politicians, you know, those people who knew best about social housing and used their nous to commit “murder” in a decades-long plot. “We can stop this madness’: London MP David Lammy calls on Commons to overrule Brexit vote and ‘end nightmare’,” ran the headline. As one writer notes: “Lammy has pushed himself to the forefront of politicising Grenfell. He wants to be a voice for the voiceless. We must be a society where ‘we care for the poorest and the vulnerable’, he says. This is the same David Lammy who following the first June disturbance, following Brexit, devoted himself to overthrowing the voice of the voiceless.”

Politics matters, but let’s not put too much faith in politicians.

Meanwhile, it turns out that every council block cladding checked since Grenfell has failed fire safety tests. So far 60 of 600 blocks have been tested. And what of the insulation behind the cladding? No news on that.



Posted: 26th, June 2017 | In: News Comment | TrackBack | Permalink