Grenfell Council ‘Did Not Hate The Poor’

Today the London Review of Books publishes a 60,000 word investigation into the Grenfell Tower fire. Written by Andrew O’Hagan, the piece draws on more than one million words of interview notes and ten months’ research to chronicle the tragedy. O’Hagan told the Today programme this morning:

“Like most people I came to this with an incredible sense of anger and dismay… there seemed to be so much editorialising going on from the beginning, from the very first hours of the fire people wanted faces on a wanted poster… much of that understandable dismay and anger, it couldn’t stand up alongside all the evidence… people wanted accusation to stand for evidence in this case, to call out the leader and the deputy leader of the council as being somehow patently responsible for this, it didn’t at all stand up to the evidence… people are away with the fairies if they think that people who work for councils in housing hate the poor… the evidence goes the other way, the council responded as well as they could under tremendously difficult circumstances.”

The report raises questions over the responses of the emergency services, especially the fire brigade’s ‘stay put’ policy. The Public Inquiry into Grenfell is ongoing. The immediate, crude politicisations of the disaster are unraveling…

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Quote of the Day

Expelled Tory MP, Richard Benyon, on the short three-day Programme Motion for the Withdrawal Agreement Bill:

“Whether you had three days, three weeks or three months debating this, you would not hear one original argument that we hadn’t otherwise heard in this process…”


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