Five years on from Grenfell

Five years on and still we are waiting for anyone to be held accountable. Why is it that the wheels of justice always turn so slowly, if at all, for the working class and marginalised communities? The Grenfell Inquiry has revealed how the pursuit of profit was prioritised over the safety of people, shamefully enabled by successive governments who regarded safety regulations as a ‘burden to business’.

The tragedy of Grenfell was due to many different factors that culminated in the horrific events of five years ago. However, it is the government that holds the ultimate responsibility to protect the public and it was political decisions from governments of all shades that permitted a culture of greed to flourish among the many companies who refurbished the tower.

We need more politicians who will stick up for the most vulnerable in our society, rather than those whose heads will be swayed by corporate lobbyists. A Parliament of millionaires and stacked with people from the business world will continue to prioritise the wealthy over the most vulnerable people in our society. We need more working-class people in the House of Commons who understand the lives of ordinary people.

The government now has guilty knowledge of the risks presented by unsafe cladding and it’s unforgivable that five years on there are still thousands of buildings that remain potential death traps for their residents. This must be fixed as soon as possible, but we must also fix the culture of the state which views the lives of working-class people and minorities as less important than others. Changing this culture and putting in place and enforcing regulations to prevent a repeat of the fire will at least mean the residents of Grenfell didn’t die in vain.

Above all, we need justice for the victims – and those at the very top must be held accountable for their actions.

Julian Vaughan

June 2022

Further Reading

The Grenfell Tower Fire: A crime caused by profit and deregulation

Deregulation, the absence of law and the Grenfell Tower fire – Daniela Nadj

You can follow the Grenfell Inquiry via live stream here:

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