Disabled residents of Grenfell Tower have told a public inquiry that no-one discussed with them how to escape the 24-storey building in an emergency. One woman said it took her 30 minutes to walk down from her 20th floor flat when lifts were not working. Lawyers for residents and the…
Today marks the third anniversary of the Grenfell Tower fire which killed so many people. Justice still hasn’t been done, there’s been no arrests. So I thought I’d repost what I did for the first anniversary, a list of all the victims and the details of their lives which the wider world got to know about in the worst of circumstances. I plan to do it every year now, I think.
I hope it’s helpful for anyone who stumbles across it, even though it’s just some research done by someone who wasn’t there. I hope it’s good enough.
Grenfell United, the survivors and bereaved families group, said: ‘It’s a sad day when bereaved and survivors are asked to weigh up the need for truth and need for justice.
‘The past few weeks have been very difficult and this decision still makes us nervous. We can’t help but worry about how this will impact prosecutions later. It is clear that corporate lawyers are playing every trick in the book.
‘The inquiry is about getting to the truth so that lessons are learnt and the government can make changes. We take part to make sure there will never be another Grenfell and people are safe in their homes.
As you may know, a thousand-page report regarding Grenfell Tower has been released. I did once live in a building with appalling fire safety standards, but not anymore and I don’t live in London. I woke up the morning afterwards to see the horrible news. It’s still horrible, and at the moment I think the most sensible thing I can do is pass on the words of Doctor Who actor Noel Clarke. He does live there, and one of his friends lost their niece in the fire.
Like a lot of Brits I was kinda intrigued by the trailers for The Accident. It looked sort of unimpressive aesthetically, I thought, but it had some good actors attached and an interesting premise. So I watched it. Hooooo boy.
Here is a summary of the first episode of The Accident:
Down-to-earth Welsh hairdresser Sarah Lancashire walks into her 15-year-old daughter’s room and finds her having sex with an older guy. Instead of ripping his balls off or calling the police (as having sex with a 15-year-old girl is you know ILLEGAL) she seems pretty chill about it all and tells the guy (uh, the pedophile) to escape out of the window before the girl’s dad comes back. Okay.
Downstairs the husband comes in and he’s dressed in a banana costume for a fun run. The adults go off to the fun run and while they’re there they listen to some clunky foreshadowing about how much everyone loves the village and will fight for it etc etc. Meanwhile some teenagers including the daughter are meeting up at an old abandoned building.
These are BAD KIDS! You can tell because some of them have DYED HAIR and PIERCINGS. They sneak under the extremely ineffective barbed wire and start vandalising the place. One of them spray-paints a willy which is the only realistic thing anyone in this story does. While the daughter and her friend are painting a butterfly mural on the upper floor of the building for some reason, there’s a massive gas explosion. Oh no! The explosion can be heard at the fun run zone and all the adults decide to go and see what happened. Okay, that I can buy, as I also live in a village and villagers are nosy AF.
The parents hear that kids are inside the building, which is odd cos no-one saw them go in, and start worrying. A phone call comes in from one of the girls (the daughter’s friend?) which confirms that a whole bunch of teens are trapped. Cut to some heroic firemen working to free them, using a angle grinder, WHICH SHOOTS SPARKS EVERYWHERE, in a GAS EXPLOSION. I considered for one second that that maybe was a plot point and the rest of the show would be about prosecuting incompetent rescuers, but… um, it seems not.
Anyway at this point the head of the company which owns the building shows up, despite this apparently being a pretty remote Welsh village, how the hell did she get there so fast?! Sarah Lancashire, whose daughter is trapped within rubble and possibly dead, hits this lady with the mild insult “you built this place cheap as chips!” Um, it’s past the watershed, you can swear, you know. A TV camera is filming this because the TV cameras are there, in this remote village where an explosion happened apparently less than an hour ago.
Then the building collapses completely and kills almost everyone inside! Who saw that coming? Dust fills the air. Everyone looks… peturbed. Maybe shocked at a pinch. And… that’s it for the big scene of horror and grief!
But, seeing as Sarah Lancashire is the main character her daughter survives, albeit so severly injured she might be disabled for life. Emergency services whip body bags out right in front of the crowd, way to go guys. Also one of the firefighters is dead, this is Alan who is married to Debbie, a deaf woman. Casting a deaf actor (Genevieve Barr) to play a deaf character and making her disability not the most important aspect of her is the only good move this show appears to have done, I think.
Okay so Sarah Lancashire heads to hospital with the other parents and watches them one by one learn their kids have died. This is the episode’s only actually well-done scene. One of the mothers (the mother of the daughter’s friend?) walks past SL and snaps sharply and horribly “She’s dead” and that got me right in the gut, credit where credit’s due.
While in the hospital SL talks to a guy who apparently saved her daughter in the building but we didn’t see him there who what why?? Also the nurse lets her go in the room, what the hell kind of hospital is this?
Back at home it turns out SL’s husband has been beating her and is about to do so again. She lets him do it and then comforts him for a while. That scene got a lot of criticism on Twitter (yes, I was eagerly Twittering along with others as it aired, and there was barely a positive tweet in the bunch) but actually I was okay with that, it’s definitely not outside the realm of possibility for a victim of domestic abuse to act that way. Refuge thought so too and posted about it which I thought was a good move.
Nearly at the end now. SL’s daughter starts communicating with her mother via blinking and the grieving parents hold a vigil. Company lady goes on TV, the clip of SL shouting “cheap as chips” gets dramatically played over and over and I found that hilarious, oh god I’m sorry. Not only am I not convinced the writers of this have ever met a Welsh person I’m not entirely sure if they’ve ever met a British person, no one has said that phrase in years.
The ‘next time’ trailer sees the deaf lady being beaten up, so much for a sense of community spirit.
This show is getting rave reviews across all the major British outlets and I have honest to god no idea why. See, it almost reached “so bad it’s good” levels, but the thing is: this was loosely based on two real-life tragedies: Grenfell and Aberfan. The Accident – a show about specifically children dying in a Welsh disaster – aired almost 53 years to the day after Aberfan. If you’re British or keep up with world news I won’t have to tell you about Grenfell, which was only a couple of years ago. Even sidestepping the issue of why there are so few Welsh actors in a drama inspired by Aberfan and so few black and Muslim characters in a tale inspired by Grenfell, the tweaking of the story (the death of innocents caused by bad corporate policy) to make the victims partly responsible for their own deaths leaves a very bad taste in my mouth. No-one in Aberfan or Grenfell Tower were breaking into a building when they were killed. This show, it feels exploitative and just so… cheap.
It goes without saying there are a lot of anger-making stories in the news right now, but this one particularly stood out to me.
This man’s defence was that the cardboard figures he had inside the cardboard “Grenfell Tower” effigy he burned were supposed to be him and his friends. I absolutely cannot get my head around this. His defence is that he thought it would be funny to imagine all his friends burning to death, apparently. Sorry for all the italics but that is the most pathetic, piss-poor excuse I’ve ever heard for anything.
Anyway, he got off.
Other excuses Paul Bussetti dished out: One of the figures he burned was supposed to be a person in a ninja costume, rather than a caricature of a Muslim person. Everyone at the party thought it was funny (to see figures apparently supposed to be themselves burn up). Despite the fact people uncovered a history of him making racist remarks, it absolutely was not racist. It was, in his words “just banter” except of course that normal damn people don’t banter about multitudes of people dying in a horrible, preventable tragedy.
Well. There’s only a couple of months to go until Bonfire Night. I hear people like burning effigys then, too, Paul.
It’s the second anniversary of the Grenfell Tower disaster today.
Fatemeh Afrasiabi Sakina Afrasiabi Mohammed Alhajali Alexandra Atala The Begum family The Belkadi family Raymond “Moses” Bernard Maria de Pilar Burton Vincent Chiejina The Choucair family Joseph Daniels The Deen family Tony Disson Eslah Elgwahry Mariem Elgwahry The Elsanosi-Ahmed family The El-Wahabi family Logan Gomes Marco Gottardi The Haftom family The Hashim family The Ibrahim-Hassan family Ali Yawar Jafari Hamid Kani Khadija Khalloufi Victoria King Deborah Lamprell Gary Maunders Mary Mendy Ligaya Moore Denis Murphy Mohamed Amied Neda Isaac Paulos Steven Power Hesham Rahman Jessica Urbano Ramirez Khadija Saya Abdeslam Sebbar Sheila Smith Gloria Trevisan The Tuccu-Ahmedin family Ernie Vital Majorie Vital