So there has been a disaster at Grenfell Tower; who is responsible?
Ultimately the government :-
- England requires that all new tower blocks higher than 30m must have sprinkler systems fitted (in Scotland the height limit is 18m). So for some reason new towers are unsafe without sprinkler systems and old towers are safe?
- Allowing a tower block to be clad in a flammable material which has been linked to previous serious fires and is banned in the US. It’s use in a residential tower block is at best foolish. A government report as far back as 2000 suggested that “We do not believe that it should take a serious fire in which many people are killed before all reasonable steps are taken towards minimising the risks”.
- The appearance of council tower blocks is more important (after all they’re next door to rich neighbourhoods) than the safety of residents.
- The government believes that regulation and red tape are an unnecessary burden on business; to put it another way, the government would rather let rich people get richer than stop poor people being incinerated in their own homes.
There will be an enquiry into the fire, and undoubtedly the government will find someone other than themselves to blame.
But don’t forget that the ultimate responsibility for warehousing poor people in fire traps lies with the government.