Another Grenfell Tower Hustle

After being somewhat skeptical we’d have an inquiry into the Grenfell Tower fire my hopes were raised slightly when I heard news reports of people discussing how the fire spread. Alas, I’m now back to where I started:

Firefighters have strongly denied claims by a lawyer for some of the Grenfell Tower survivors that the way they responded to the blaze was affected by racism.

At the public inquiry into the disaster, counsel for the Fire Officers Association (FOA), the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) and London fire brigade rubbished the allegation from Imran Khan that there was “unconscious or some conscious racism” in the way firefighters responded to the blaze in the tower, which was home to a diverse community of people from all over the world as well as the UK.

On Tuesday, Khan, representing 27 bereaved survivors and residents, said: “The use of … stereotypes, including in one instance referring to someone as ‘foreign’, in the statement of the firefighters on the face of it suggests unconscious or some conscious racism.

I am doubtful that, when the adults were in charge, race-hustling lawyers were permitted to burden such inquiries with empty charges of “unconscious racism” on the part of rescuers. But those times are long gone, in more ways than one:

The inquiry also heard that firefighters were not trained in dealing with the way the blaze spread and there was no procedure for an emergency evacuation

The FBU said the evidence so far suggested firefighters had received no training in tackling a cladding fire, no training to spot breaches of compartmentation or to effect an emergency evacuation of a high-rise residential building.

I bet they’d collectively clocked hundreds of hours of diversity training though.

(Incidentally, Imran Khan is the lawyer who represented Stephen Lawrence’s family during the MacPherson enquiry.)

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15 thoughts on “Another Grenfell Tower Hustle

  1. Khan should be careful. If he thinks others have “unconscious or some conscious racism” then the same charge can be levelled equally at him in his dealings and statements.

    Most swords have two edges, and can cut both ways.

  2. The more I hear about this whole Grenfell disaster thing the more it reminds of a third world type disaster. Something like the one last year in Pakistan when 132 people were killed when they were stealing petrol from a crashed tanker and someone decided to light up a fag and up they all went.

    Tell me how this differs from the engineered disaster that Grenfell was, whether it be a lit fag or a dodgy fridge that brought stupidity on stupidity to a point of mass deaths.

    I see this lawyer was born in Pakistan as well.

    So, let’s just have a look at what is going on here, including yesterday’s post and my comment about Leo Vardker wrongfully saying that the abortion vote brought Ireland into the world’s top nations. Here is the ranking based on human development of each of the nations mentioned in both posts, I included Jamaica on behalf of the Jamaican hustlers that were busted falsely claiming the 125k Grenfell relief funds!

    Ireland 8 -sorry Leo ya dork
    UK 16
    Poland 36
    Russia 49
    Romania 50
    Jamaica 94
    India 131
    Pakistan 147

  3. I play gold with a guy who was quite senior in the Met, a real old school copper. He was saying the scuttlebutt is that the guy who started it was cooking crack cocaine.

  4. He was saying the scuttlebutt is that the guy who started it was cooking crack cocaine.

    Given the media silence on how the fire started, and how the inquiry has skipped over the cause and focused on how the fire spread, I think it’s a given that it was started by someone from a protected class who should never have been there, was doing something highly dangerous and illegal, it had been going on for months, and was common knowledge.

  5. Here’s a bit of a steer for Khan. An article in the Guardian (so it’s impeccably true, Imran!) has Pat Goulbourne, the senior fire officer at the scene, saying this:

    “You could hear people screaming for help,” Goulbourne said. “There were people making signals for help. It was dreadful. There are hundreds of people in there. Men, women, children were coming out fully sooted. Black. They had been through a layer of smoke in complete distress.”

    Note how the racist can’t be bothered to listen fully to the needs of this diverse community. To him, it’s just “screaming” and “signals”. And note the derogatory term “sooted”, even though he corrects himself and uses the term “black”.

    Seriously, if I was a fire-fighter I would start to wonder why the fuck I even bother.

  6. Was there anyone in the entire building who wasn’t a foreign crook and/or benefit scrounger?

  7. The use of … stereotypes, including in one instance referring to someone as ‘foreign’

    Someone is either foreign or they are not. It is not a stereotype, any more than being ‘tall’ or ‘bearded’ is. It’s a fucking adjective.

    Seriously, if I was a fire-fighter I would start to wonder why the fuck I even bother.

    Showing your unconscious racism there. Don’t you know that your job is to unconditionally save these people yet still be insulted by their lawyers?

  8. Could it be that the reason only “foreigners”, our suntanned British brethren and asylum seekers exclusively died in the blaze was that all the white British were out at work?

    Joking apart, I know that Nigerians in particular but others too get a council dwelling and then go back to their home (the rent paid by the Government/council). They then rent out the place for multiple occupancy to others who may (or may not) sub let in their turn so no one knows who or how many people were actually in the place. A very lucrative little scheme as the weekly rent from several tenants is probably more than 6 months wages back in Africa.

    Of course, as it is impossible to know who was entitled to be there, then anyone can claim to have been a tenant and claim kom-pen-say-shun. I know that all the false claims associated with the disaster are claimed by people with non traditional English names …

  9. Bloke in N Dorset

    As I’ve heard it, the guy was woken when the fire started in his fridge or microwave or somewhere by the fire alarm he had prudently installed himself. He warned his neighbours to get out, which they did. Hard to see what more he could have done.

    A lesson to us all: don’t cook crack cocaine in your sleep.

  10. A bigger scandal is that the Fire Brigade doesn’t train firemen to fight fires in high rises. In London. This isn’t an imported third world problem, it’s 100% home grown.

  11. @zut, they are trained to fight highrise fires, but that training assumes that the physical fire containment holds and they don’t have to deal with a broken fire elevator and drag their gear up the single set of.stairs.

    For me the biggest question is how do you build a tower like that with such bad insulation that it needs external cladding. Our apartment in Calgary is in a late 1970s tower, 28 floors, 10 apartment’s per floor and we only need to crank the heating when it gets below -15.

  12. The fridge caught fire and burned hot and hard. Think about that for a minute. Device which is really simple, compressor and some lights, caught fire and rather than smouldering and going out went up big time. Amazing. What the hell do they make fridges out of that they turn into torches and then torch a building?

    Where are the product liability cases about this going? The liability insurers must’ve sweating bricks, and their reinsurers but I’ve not heard a peep about this. Something is supresssing info about the underlying cause in favour of a focus on cladding. Fine but don’t forget TH fridge.

    The Japanese “5 why’s” approach matters. Why did everyone die. Why was the building on fire? Why did the cladding catch fire? Why did the cladding burn? Why the fuck was a fridge on fire?

  13. “(Incidentally, Imran Khan is the lawyer who represented Stephen Lawrence’s family during the MacPherson enquiry.)”

    Apparently the gang alleged to have killed Lawrence were supposedly suspected of a string of offences including at least one attempted murder and probably more and worse.

    But the victims weren’t black.

    As far as I’m aware they have never been charged with any of them.

    In fact the Met is probably too busy to even bother investigating any of those crimes against whites (and non African browns).

    So much for institutional racism!

  14. But the big questions about the Grenfell enquiry are:

    How much did the fortnight’s memorial service which took up the first two weeks of the long awaited enquiry cost?

    If family members and other involved people aren’t allowed to sit as judge or jury in court cases because they are too emotionally involved and can’t be trusted to be objective or even clear headed, how come the first two weeks of the enquiry were spent in an emotive grief-fest of shroud waving and victim and survivor empathising?!

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