Click amount to donate direct to CounterPunch
  • $25
  • $50
  • $100
  • $500
  • $other
  • use PayPal
It’s your last chance to make a tax-deductible donation to CounterPunch in 2017. Help us gear up to fight the status-quo in 2018! Every dollar counts!
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

The Ideology of Bonfires

by

The number of those reported killed in the Grenfell Tower fire in London’s West End is rising. The reporting I’ve seen started the count at six, soon rose to twelve, then seventeen, and now stands at fifty-eight. There are some on social media claiming the number may be as much as ten times higher. This question at least will be answered sooner rather than later. What is also true is that a fight over numbers at this point distracts from more pressing facts. I.e. This loss of life was preventable and there is a direct link from the Conservative Party’s guiding ideology to this tragedy. The Labour Party tabled a bill less than a year ago to upgrade the safety of residences like Grenfell Tower. The Conservatives with their majority voted against it and so the bill died.

Think on this. Politicians voting openly against the safety of those they represent. How could they justify it? How could this not be political poison?How could the media essentially ignore such blatant disrespect by elected representatives of their constituents safety? The answer is straightforward. The Conservative Party campaigned on killing regulations. They bragged openly about eliminating two regulations for every one brought in. The core of their ideology was the ever exalted goal of “getting government off the back of business.” In the specific case of this Labour Party bill the Conservative majority rejected it on the claim of avoiding “unnecessary regulations”

The direct result of this lack of regulation for Grenfell Tower residents was the use of incendiary cladding instead of fire retardant cladding, and no requirement for a sprinkler system. As to the media the Conservative’s killing of Labour’s tenant safety bill was simply business as usual, dog bites man, expected behavior, one measure among too many to highlight. Google ‘bonfire of regulations’ and you will discover that like minded political behavior is not in short supply. As with many political regressions today America is leading the charge for this one. As is also not  uncommon America once led by example having suffered its own versions of Grenfell in what were called the ‘bad old days’ before this redux.

There will be time to determine precisely how many died in the Grenfell Tower fire. The exact number does matter because every human life counts. For now what is most urgent is doing everything required to help those who survived to grieve and recover. On that score the Conservative’s handling of this crisis so far resembles nothing so much as it resembles an introduction – “Gasoline meet fire”. British comic Jonathan Pie sums up the tragedy and the Conservative’s conduct as papering over poverty with flammable cladding.

What should happen now is the passing of a tenant safety bill like the one that Labour tabled a year ago. Will it? What matters is that government regulations are enforced. Will they be? If this means hiring more enforcement officers, and it does, so be it. If there is anything at all that government is there for it is to ensure that the pursuit of profit does not lead our citizens to being burned on a bonfire of deregulation.

More articles by:
Weekend Edition
December 15, 2017
Friday - Sunday
Paul Street
What’s Not Happening With Mr. Jones
Timothy M. Gill
The Height of Racial Resentment: White Cops
Andrew Levine
Democrats Have Much to Learn and the Odious Have Much to Teach Them
Luciana Bohne
Operation Jerusalem Capital: Second Balfour Declaration or Arab-Israeli NATO?
Anthony DiMaggio
#MeToo: Women are Speaking Out, Are We Listening?
Jeffrey St. Clair
Out Walked Monk
Ann Robertson - Bill Leumer
The Demoralizing Impact of Trump, But Hope Has Arrived
Samantha Paez – Sandra de los Santos
The Most Dangerous Place for Mexican Women is in the Streets
Martin Billheimer
Assassins of the Image: the CIA as Cultural Gatekeeper
Jérôme Duval
From Slave Trade to Debt: Occupation Disguised as “Discovery”
Vijay Prashad
The October Revolution
John Wight
The Grenfell Fire UK Establishment Circus
Steve Martinot
Twisted Thinking: Police Militarization in Berkeley
Robert Fantina
Juvenile Delinquency in U.S. Government
Dave Lindorff
Stupidity and Blindness Have Destroyed Whatever Democracy the US Ever Had
Pete Dolack
You are Working Harder and Getting Paid Less
Joseph Natoli
The Axioms of the Other
Susan Babbitt
Why Don Quixote?
Ralph Nader
What Does Trump Mean by “Make America Great Again”?
Ramzy Baroud
Towards a New Palestinian Beginning
Binoy Kampmark
Escaping Reality: Roy Moore and the Rage of Decency
Mark Luskus
Corporate Interests Are Warping the Internet
Brian Terrell
A Story of Two Blockades: New York City and Yemen
Ron Jacobs
Sinking in the Swamp
Brian Cloughley
Prepare! Pursue!! Prevail!!!
Matthew Stevenson
Into Africa: The Tanzania-Zambia Train to Nowhere
Jill Richardson
We Agree Assault is Bad, Now Let’s Agree on How to Punish It
Jeremy Corbyn
The Greatest Threats to Our Common Humanity
Walter Clemens – Stephen Advocate
The Amoral Code of America’s Dirty Old Men
Sheldon Richman
Trump & Co.’s Vile Anti-Immigrationism
Jessicah Pierre
Trump’s Cruel Policy on Haitian Refugees
George Wuerthner
Water Rights or Water Privileges?
Nick Pemberton
What I Learned in Ghana 
Missy Comley Beattie
It’s Capitalism
Tom H. Hastings
Stop Trump movement
Thomas Knapp
The Real Internet Censorship Threat
Robert Koehler
Peace on the Far Side of Nuclear Weapons
Kary Love
Christmas Letter to Jesus
Tom Clifford
China: From the Treasure Fleet to One Belt, One Road
Charles R. Larson
Trump’s Blueprint for State Capture
M. Shadee Malaklou
Jay-Z’s 4:44 Moves Black Radical Thought Through and Beyond the Classroom
Michael Dickinson
What About Our Debts, Pope Francis?
Phil Rockstroh
What Was Verifiably Great About America: Fragments of a Memoir Set to a Musical Soundtrack
David Yearsley
Froberger’s Musical Therapy
Edward Curtin
A Man Turns
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail