A power surge and the Danse Macabre

There was a power surge in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea. That surge may not have been the cause of the Grenfell Tower tragedy, but it lies in the ashes on the streets and in the hearts of those affected.

The motto of the local authority of Kensington and Chelsea London Borough Council is “Quam bonum in Unum habitare” (‘How good it is to dwell in unity’). Nothing now sounds more hollow.

There is much speculation as to the cause of the tragedy:

  • A gas explosion?
  • A faulty fridge?
  • Power surges in faulty wiring?
  • Lack of entries and exits?
  • Conflicting evacuation advice?
  • Lack of sprinkler systems?
  • Combustible external cladding?
  • All of the above?

These are technical issues to be resolved by those with relevant expertise. They are secondary to the root cause, most vociferously and vividly said on the streets by Ishmahil Blagrove.

and Lily Allen

There is indeed much disunity in the Royal Borough, exacerbated by social divide. That it should emerge within the backdrop of a burned out tower block and grieving families is truly horrendous.

The palpable despair goes beyond grief and is turning to anger. The Danse Macabre of blame shuffling begins with the Council who seem to be off-stage. The unity, such as it is, can be seen in the food and clothing donation points; the disarray in the chaos of its distribution.

There is a discrepancy between the legitimate expectations of residents and the elected bodies that are supposed to represent them. There is a clamour born of the divide between the rich and poor, the odd and the even, the needs of the people and the rubric of government.

How high this clamour will reach is epitomised by the sad shell of Grenfell Tower. When a segment of society is wrapped in aesthetic cladding, a single spark can ignite and destroy the fa├žade and expose the dispair of shattered lives.


That Article 50 can be rescinded has always been known. It was featured in the Lords’ debate in February before Article 50 was even triggered (March).(http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/article-50-brexit-reversible-lord-kerr-a7592241.html).

The French and German statements, while not particularly revealing, do seem to be reminding people of that.

I do wish people would stop talking about ‘hard’ or ‘soft’ Brexit. The UK referendum was about leaving the EU, leaving the EU market and the free movement of EU nationals to and from Europe. Article 50 does not allow a tiered approach to exit. There is pretty much no ‘deal’ to have here; the EU will not allow concessions to a leaving member state that would in any way be seen as more favourable than to member states. It is just not going to happen.

The true horror of this goes right back to Cameron hoping to prop up the right wing of the Conservatives. He never thought he would lose (sound familiar now?). Cameron didn’t want Brexit. Boris didn’t want Brexit, he wanted to look glorious in defeat and move in to Number 10 (and still hopes to). Theatre May was a Remainer but had not campaigned (we know why now, she can’t. Hopeless at it). From the quiet shadows she pounced on the prospect of power.

So, we had a Government limping into a Brexit they did not want. Call a GE on the basis of a ‘hard’ Brexit (in reality, the only one possible). Get a resounding huge majority and at least you can take comfort of the ‘people’s will’ while you do the ridiculous. Then.. OOOPS. No majority.

Still infatuated with power, Theatre May grabs on to any rope in the water, no matter how slippery and covered in slime.

My only lament in this was that Corbyn didn’t stand up and say, “you know what? To hell with this referendum, we are not leaving the EU. We have been lied to and manipulated by successive Tory governments”. If Labour could have grasped this and really put their back in to supporting JC, there would have been a Labour landslide.

As it is I remain (pun intended) highly dubious about the future of the UK if we continue as we do. My only hope is that the negotiations begin to look so cataclysmic that someone stands up and screams STOP. Enough is enough (groan).

Another referendum?..hmm. I think it has left such a bad taste in the mouth that it will be a courageous call for any politician to make for another hundred years.

An unpredictable beast this thing called the electorate.