The Daily Express were kind enough to print a letter I wrote to them about the true cause of the Grenfell Tower catastrophe. This is the full text of the letter.
Fire chiefs may have questions to answer regarding the loss of life at Grenfell Tower (“So many lives could have been saved”, 31/10/2019). But we need to remember the root cause of the carnage: the cladding voided the block’s fireproofing, which in turn turned London Fire Brigade’s advice to stay put into a death sentence.
We need to remember that the cladding was commissioned by upper-middle-class types from the surrounding Kensington & Chelsea area who had elbowed their way onto the block’s management committee, probably because they thought the building an unsightly carbuncle in their area. The blue paint on the cladding added nothing to the lives of working-class people who lived there, it just made the block more pleasant to look at. It would not have occurred to the sharp-elbowed interlopers to have done something so pedestrian as inform the Fire Brigade of their intentions – if they had, the resulting investigation would have found the cladding not only unsafe, but applied contrary to the US manufacturer’s warning not to apply it higher than fire service ladders could reach.
I can only hope that both survivors and relatives of victims, already struggling with trauma and grief, will come to see the true cause of this terrible tragedy.