The charred and burnt Grenfell Tower looms over Kensington’s affluent landscape as a disturbing and painfully appropriate symbol of austerity.
The inferno is not dissimilar to fires in shanty towns of developing world. Yet it happened in one of richest boroughs in U.K, Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea. Which has reserves of hundreds of millions and can spend £25 million refurbishing Exhibition Road. Illustrating well their prioirities. Daily Mirror cited that the use of plastic cladding in favour of non-flammable panels saved the regeneration process over £5000. So £5000 was the price they put on those hundreds of lives lost. Why? To make the building more aesthetically pleasing for the rich neighbour of Kensington and Chelsea to look upon, a thin veneer of glossy paint to hide the bruised and blistered community that lived within it.
It towers as a symbol of poverty. It rises over its surroundings as a symbol of a community marginalised and forgotten. It shall remain forever as a symbol of systematic and continuous failure of government and the local council.
Now this isn’t a terror attack, an outsider committing a crime out of hate and anger and jealousy of our community. Nor is it a natural disaster, an unavoidable accident or act of God. Rather, this was an act that came from within, a mark of how obnoxious and distant this government is from working class people.
These Londoners from many corners of the world that are likely to have perished in that building had nothing to begin with in the first place. Those who survived have nothing to continue with as well.
It is worth mentioning too that the response from the whole community of all faiths, nationalities, ages and colour has been heart warming. However, the fact remains that this is one of the most atrocious and catastrophic failures of government and council we have seen in recent years. The people of that community are right to be angry and right to demand responsibility be taken. The responsibility HAS to be taken by someone whether that be by the council, the government or those responsible for the regeneration of Grenfell tower. Whether that responsibility will ever be taken by a government who have so consistently shown ignorance and negligence to the poor is another question altogether.
Grenfell Tower represents the worst of our current society and will forever mark the vast chasm between the rich and the poor, the upper class and the lower class, and will symbolise those who have and those who do not.
My thoughts are of course with those who have perished and those who now go on to live life scarred forever.