The #Grenfell ‘demolition order’ is not what it looks like

There are a lot of rumours circulating on social media today about a ‘demolition’ notice found on the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea (RBKC) website relating to Grenfell Tower in 2014:

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The SKWAWKBOX contacted RBKC about this and, although the initial answer from the council was an entirely non-responsive and unhelpful one about the causes of the fire, which had no relation to the question asked, eventually a relevant answer was received:

‘The building works under FP/14/03563’ relate to the refurbishment that are believed to be linked to the rapid spread of the fire, so the demolition notice is not completely irrelevant to the disaster, but it is not, at least according to all the available evidence, the ‘smoking gun’ of a conspiracy theory to get rid of the tower for property development or something similar.

There are many, many things to be angry about in the events that led up to last week’s terrible tragedy, but this does not appear to be one of them. Please share this to prevent an unjustified theory being used to discredit the effort to obtain justice for the victims and survivors of Grenfell Tower and to change the system to prevent further needless loss of life.

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4 responses to “The #Grenfell ‘demolition order’ is not what it looks like

    • I’ve been trying to analyse this story.

      There’s apparently a conspiracy theory going the rounds about demolition being planned in 2014 to clear the area for development.

      We must ignore this because it’s not true (fair enough) and being used to discredit the efforts to obtain justice. It’s that second part I don’t follow.

      Unless the theory is that “they” planted the demolition story to distract us – it’s all a bit convoluted for me I’m afraid.

  1. And yet… and yet.

    The building is going to be demolished. That is a foregone conclusion. The only question is the timing.

    Combine the statements and proposals, enacted and those not yet, and they point in a disturbing direction.

    The Red Cross has/will be brought in because the site is effectively a war zone. Bodies were cremated. There is little chance of counting numbers, let alone identifying the DNA attached to those numbers.

    The building is/may be unstable and is about to/could collapse (according to ideas floated in the MSM from the very first hours of the disaster.)

    The landlords do have any list of who lived in the flats. If they had a list, we would know the tally of the missing. During the Ladbroke Grove rail crash it was understandable that no one knew how many people had been on the train. But in public housing, when the residents were home at night? No list, no hint as to how many were in the building, let alone a list of survivors?

    All disasters are immediately compared to previous – the worst ever stadium disaster or rail crash, the ranking of this or that terrorist incident. But in this case… nada. The tally is somehow irrelevant. Bear in mind that the worst ever fire in U.S. history claimed just over 600 lives.

    Incentive. This is wobbly ground but the sides in this debate are clearly defined in class terms. Ignore, for a moment the vested interest of Kensington council and the builders who shirk responsibility while deleting web pages. Oh, and the housing associations that have posed as charities for years while drawing right royal salaries – while drawing on the public purse.

    This is Planet Guardian. Sad but true. In which we can sip champagne (I won’t insult socialists. We are talking about neo-cons dressed as liberals). In which we celebrate, root, cheer on migrants, claiming to throw open the doors… while posting sentries at the gates of our own self interest.

    To chivvy on refugees while failing to provide safe housing for them, while ignoring their plaintive voice, while dressing up the borough so that “we” don’t have to see them… and when a disaster befalls the poor, to look the other way.

    The Finsbury mosque story was used – yes, used – to wipe Grenfell Towers off the front pages. Sorry. Which is the bigger story?

    In sum, there are vested interests who prey on the poor and the voiceless. But in practice they are no different to the bleeding hearts that dress their own moral wounds while leaving the suppurating wounds of the poor to be infested by gangrene or worse.

    The building is going to be demolished.

    I would not be surprised to hear some declaration from the depths of unaccountable bureaucracy that the Grenfell Tower is unsafe for the firefighters. Or to hear the Red Cross warriors say there is nothing left to recover from the dust.

    The building is going to be demolished.

    Will that happen before the bureaucracies publish the lists of residents? A list that I am sure they are hiding behind their backs.

    Will the tally of bodies recovered just stop – at a number. A media factoid. True yet incomplete. Half the truth is a lie.

    “I promise to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.”

    Partial information is a lie. The media needs to learn that. The whole story is the only honest story.

    The building is going to be demolished.

    Many were cremated. They were there. But they will not be counted in any police exercise. They will not be found, box-ticked and announced in a statement to the press. What will happen to them? Where will they go?

    And will the building’s demolition come before the victims and their surviving relatives get the answer they deserve?

    Neither press nor politicians have any interest in cold, clear facts. Shrill declarations of intent are worthless. The practical disappearance of Grenfell Tower from the front pages today is testament to presses true, undeniable voice.

    Sorry for a long post. I should have offered it as an article, which I’m happy to expand.

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