Please stop exploiting the dead of Grenfell Tower

Jun 17, 2017 by

by Brendan O’Neill, spiked:

We don’t even know how many souls perished in the Grenfell Tower inferno, and yet already they are being marshalled to party-political ends. Already Labour-leaning commentators and campaigners are using them, using the freshly dead and the unspeakable horrors they experienced, to make milage for their party, to brand the Tories evil and Jeremy Corbyn saintly. In the 20 years I’ve been writing about politics, I can’t remember a national tragedy being exploited for party-political gain so quickly. The time between a calamity occurring and the use of it to harm one’s political enemies and fortify one’s political allies is shrinking all the time. It’s now mere hours, minutes even, courtesy of social media. What has happened to us?

In the 24 hours since fire engulfed that tower in west London, the blame game has been intensifying. There’s a feverish hunt for the one person or the one thing – or the one attitude, primarily uncaring Toryism – that we might pin this horror on. The landlords didn’t care enough. Theresa May’s new chief-of-staff ‘sat on’ a report about tower-block safety. Tories, including rich Tories with double-barrelled surnames (awful creatures), voted against a proposed new system of fines for landlords who let down tenants. Boris Johnson, when he was mayor, made cuts to fire services. Even worse, during a debate about the cuts in the London Assembly he told a Labour rival to ‘get stuffed’. That detail is appearing everywhere, because the true aim here is not to work out what went wrong at Grenfell but to say: ‘Tory scum.’

Social media is awash with Tory-bashing. This party, May herself, is to blame. How? Why? Did they light the flames? Fan the flames? No, it’s because they do not care. They are wicked and they emit this wickedness. They ‘love money more than life’, tweeters say; they have unleashed the ‘horror of austerity’; they are still the ‘nasty party’ and their nastiness kills. The speed and ease with which legitimate questions about what the managers of Grenfell allegedly failed to do have crossed the line into the blackening of certain Tories’ names, and the indictment of the entire culture of Toryism, suggests this is driven less by an instinct for thorough investigation than by an urge for retribution. There’s an old-world feel to it: something dreadful has happened and so we need someone, some thing, to punish for it, to project our grief on to, to transform into the human embodiment of this sin so that he or she might be cast out and our society cleansed.

Read here

 

Related Posts

Tags

Share This