Grenfell Tower Inquiry: Answers, Justice, Healing and New Homes required

September 15, 2017 Opinion , OPINION/NEWS , UK

Reuters photo

 

By

Hazel Speed

 

My initial thoughts, before writing an account of the TV broadcast by Sir Martin Moore-Bick on the Grenfell Tower Inquiry.

 

Will the survivors of the horrendous fire at Grenfell Tower achieve what they need most urgently, preferably or ideally, collectively of categories, though practically they will be separated by time?

 

Answers :  As soon as possible.

 

Justice :    As soon as possible.

 

Healing :   As soon as possible.

 

New home: As soon as possible.

 

When I watched and listened to every word of the broadcast, the first thing I noticed was the opulence of the setting, and what looked like some kind of gold leaf on the wall behind Sir Martin’s white cloth covered long dining table. Totally inappropriate.

 

Joe Delaney, representing survivors, as his own home was close to Grenfell Tower, said in interview later about that “People are still using inappropriate cladding in unfortunate situations.” He is also on record as defining Kensington Council’s Flagship as a Modern Day Titanic.

Apparently, those who revisit homes which survived in part or were untouched by the fire had been warned that they do so ‘at their own risk.’

Mr Delaney put his point across eloquently during the radio interview about this. He said that if he walked into his own home wearing stilts and fell over, then fair enough; but if he were gassed, suffered a shock, (and hurt in diverse ways), then he considered others would be responsible.

 

Reverting to the broadcast of the Inquiry by Sir Martin, in clinical presentation format, in a different time, subject and location, then perhaps the outline and content would be considered fully comprehensive, well constructed, and clearly defined, commencing as it did with true respect and reverence for those who lost their lives, survivors who lost loved ones and friends, also and/or homes, belongings.

There was one phrase I felt lacked the word ‘sadly’ at its commencement, an oversight I am sure.

Now, the snag is, survivors still feel uninvolved in this process.  Apparently, for Sir Martin’s report, regarding this Inquiry, to remain impartial he cannot invite any representative survivors to participate in this long procedure, as that would jeopardise its legality.

He can infer any people, or groups, in his report who may subsequently be prosecuted by others, but he himself does not have such mandate within his own remit.

The Grand Connaught Rooms in Central London are about seven miles away from the site of Grenfell Tower, but in moral terms, gold leaf is a lot further away than that.

Michael Mansfield QC, represents a number of the survivors but his enquiry to Sir Martin, if he may raise a question, was either ignored or not heard as Sir Martin was leaving the room following his speech, but to be fair, I believe the occasion was just to enable Sir Martin to advise the public of future procedures so it was therefore the sole reason for the broadcast today.

 

When I have written accounts on this dreadful and sad fire, I always think it is a situation that is so tragic, it takes bravery for anyone to imagine themselves in such a dilemma, to assist empathy by emotion and complement acquired factual knowledge of what we are told occurred on that horrendous day.

It is painful to even try that kind of mental and emotional exercise, so imagine what it must be like to survive it in actuality and suffer the loss of loved ones, friends, possessions and homes.

Grenfell Tower must be unique in circumstances, so the earlier quote about the Titanic does have the same type of sadness as an entity, albeit that tragedy involved its own particular elements of loss and terror also.

Some of the Grenfell Tower survivors, we are told, are moving into temporary housing which is not best suited for their needs, as nothing of a required permanent nature can be readily secured.

Though it does provide an urgently needed home for them, it precludes full healing as they still have insecurity of knowing another unknown move will eventually be necessary.  Some are fearful they will just be left where they are.

Even though survivors cannot, apparently, be part of the Inquiry as formal participants, one cannot help wondering if there is a facility in Law, or if one could be initiated, to establish a valid equivalent in status without jeopardising any breaches of legal etiquette re impartialness of evidence or procedure.

 

Imagine, for instance, the Nuremberg Trials not permitting the survivors of the Nazi death camps to give evidence when, in reality, they were the walking, breathing (only just), evidence around, and upon which, the trials depended.

Do we not have a type of moral simile with Grenfell Tower?

Please include the survivors in the Official Grenfell Tower Inquiry in some safe way, as it was their loved ones and friends, their homes and possessions, and their scars, not of their own creation or choice, but the negligence and malpractices of third parties.

 

They just now need:

 

Answers:  As soon as possible.

 

Justice:    As soon as possible.

 

Healing:   As soon as possible.

 

New Home:  As soon as possible

 

Can we not do this for them, please, Sir Martin as your Inquiry will not work otherwise, and Justice will not be done nor seen to be done, right from the beginning of this Inquiry, no matter how well your intentions and how honed your professional abilities and skills.

You are, after all, a purveyor of Justice, are you not, Sir?

Otherwise, what is the point.

Thank you.

 

 

 

 

Hazel Speed

Photo (c) Hazel Speed – used by kind permision to Tuck Magazine

Hazel Speed is a Philosopher, Writer, and Artist with various creative projects at differing stages of development. Her flaship project is an animation which has produced a film short: www.thepinkprofessor.com. She has also written an E-novel, ‘Just Suppose…!‘ which is available via the attached link.

Art sites: www.candystoreart.comwww.terrificart.comwww.artbadges.co.uk

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