mtbc: maze A (black-white)
[personal profile] mtbc
The development of news story of the fire that gutted Grenfell Tower has been an ongoing surprise to me.

Initially I somewhat dismissed the wall-to-wall news coverage. The BBC in particular seem keen to let a large news story wholly dominate live news for many hours even when new information comes at a low rate. I often wish they would give a summary and update on the half-hour but cover other stories too in between. Also, the fire was in London and I suspected that having the main news coverage decision-makers also in London elevated the fire's apparent signifiance. Further, initial official reports of the death toll were not high.

I had failed to quickly apprehend that the real death toll is probably high indeed: that there were initially many missing people who probably mostly range from unrecovered to unidentifiable.

Additionally, the preventability of the tragedy is a significant news story in its own right. Do government building regulations, whether national or local, really tolerate such devastating firetraps, even despite previous related fires and expert testimony that clearly warned of the risk? Maybe so, in which case some public officials may be truly culpable and people in other tower blocks may now be living in some peril. It is all the more surprising given how tight UK building regulations typically are and have been for many years.

A further surprise to me has been the public anger focusing on Teresa May of all people even after the government announced a public inquiry. I find it hard to imagine that she is high on the list of those truly responsible for the fire or for the immediate aftermath. I did not feel bad for her after the general election but in this case I do. Perhaps I am again wrong and she does somehow warrant being the focus of the current protests. I wonder if her crime is not one of material actions but instead of failure to obviously emote in the expected manner.

Date: 2017-06-17 11:29 am (UTC)
emperor: (Default)
From: [personal profile] emperor
I think there's an element of culpability attached to some Conservative policies about fire safety and suchlike; I think also she has attracted ire for visiting the site and not meeting any of the survivors, unlike Jeremy Corbyn and the Queen, both of whom did the latter.

Date: 2017-06-17 01:22 pm (UTC)
aldabra: (Default)
From: [personal profile] aldabra
The Telegraph today, as its main headline, is attributing the protests to hard-left agitation. Because no Telegraph reader is livid about poor people having to throw their children from the tenth floor windows of an inadequately maintained burning building, presumably. That's a hard left prerogative.

The Tories blocked a set of safety regulations for rented buildings in the last Parliament, being mostly landlords themselves. Habitability is an unreasonable burden. That's not directly relevant to these flats, but there is already anger about Conservative disregard for tenant safety.

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Mark T. B. Carroll

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