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TOPIC: The Grenfell Tragedy: Working-Class Lives Matter

The Grenfell Tragedy: Working-Class Lives Matter 17 Jun 2017 06:38 #3262

  • Paul-UB40
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JUN 2017 Thursday 15TH posted by Morning Star in Editorial

AVOIDABLE tragedy has again hit a working-class community, with the Grenfell Tower inferno bringing out the best in our multicultural society and our overstretched emergency services.

Fire, ambulance and police services reacted without delay, risking their own well-being in the west London tower block to rescue survivors and minimise loss of life.

Local mosques, churches and community halls offered emergency accommodation and gave food, drinks and clothing to those who escaped the blaze.

People of all backgrounds across the capital responded to appeals for material assistance, helping fellow Londoners who had lost their belongings.

But heart-warming as it is to see once more a multiracial, multicultural community unite before a monstrous disaster, other emotions, anger and frustration, come to the fore.

Questions arise as to why death-scarred tragedies in homes, workplaces, schools and transport — places where people are entitled to feel safe — continue to strike after the usual recitations by those in authority about never again, hearts going out, in our thoughts and prayers, lessons learned and so on.

Experts will need time to discover the precise cause of the Grenfell Tower inferno, but their concentration will focus on technical details.

The greatest conundrum, unlikely to be answered is whether those who hold the reins of power value working-class lives too cheaply.

One of the main driving forces of London property values in recent years has been the construction of tower blocks offering luxury flats as investments or future boltholes to wealthy overseas citizens.

A comparison between the fire precautions and emergency provisions laid down for these and the tower blocks owned by local councils and operated by arm’s length management organisations or sold into the private rented sector might be instructive.

Would the luxury apartment sector affix flammable polystyrene panels to the block exterior?

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