This week we have been witness to yet another tragedy in our country. This time terrorism was not to blame, the fire at the Grenfell Tower in London was not the first tower block fire in this country but it’s scale and devastation is something never seen before on our shore. As I write this, the official death toll is being reported at around 58, but Senior Figures in the Metropolitan Police and the London Fire Brigade are reported as expecting the death toll to be much higher, one senior figure having reportedly said he hopes the final number isn’t into three figures. So what does the UK political system and our media do, simple and predictable, they try to score points off each other, with blame being apportioned here, there and everywhere. The media indeed helps to fuel this with their bias towards different political parties.
Well certainly something disastrous has gone wrong, but exactly what we do not know, so let’s show respect for the victims, their families and loved ones, not to mention all of those exceptional people in our emergency and health services who have risked life and limb to help the victims. Let us not try to score political points and apportion blame at this time. The time for this – if appropriate, is after a thorough investigation has been completed into the cause of the fire and how it came to spread so rapidly. There may need to be a criminal investigation in parallel or indeed afterwards, but trial by media before we know the facts, is unjust, and disrespectful to the victims. Yes there is anger in the local community and beyond, but that anger must not be allowed to compromise the investigation and any subsequent proceedings. otherwise the truth may never emerge and lessons never learned.
Let us concentrate on the needs of the victims and the local community, whilst the professionals do their work of investigating the cause/spread and failings of any corporate bodies or individuals without prejudice.