Workers' Weekly On-Line
Volume 48 Number 18, June 16, 2018 ARCHIVE HOME JBCENTRE SUBSCRIBE


The Need for New Social Relations

June 14 marked the anniversary of the untold tragedy of the Grenfell Tower fire in which 72 people lost their lives and which left the community traumatised and angry. The people themselves have upheld an outlook of hope in their stand over the past year and in the silent march which was held to commemorate the anniversary. This outlook is not one engendered by the government or the authorities, but by the initiative of the people themselves and their humanity.

Indeed, the inhumanity of those in authority and the lack of progress in dealing with the survivors humanely in terms of re-housing and providing support, as well as bringing those responsible to justice, is notable. The whole tragedy, both before and after the fire, has underlined the anarchy that prevails in the economic sphere, and that the social relations which prevail demonstrate that working people must take power into their own hands. That is fundamentally what is revealed by the reality of class privilege and that the human factor/social consciousness is required in order to right the iniquities of society which flow from this reality.

Before the tragic event, reports had revealed how vulnerable such flats as Grenfell Tower were, yet it was the residents who were threatened with the law in fighting for change. And after the event little has happened to ensure the safety of similar tower blocks. This is a major scandal.

WWIE salutes the bereaved families, relatives and the people as a whole for not sitting idly by and for doing everything they can to rebuild the community and uphold the rights of all. But for all this, the apologies and fine words from the government have been proved nothing but a block to solving the problems.

With the Inquiry set up by the government, the people themselves had to fight to get their terms of reference recognised, their participation, their outlook. Even then, the firefighters who heroically dealt with this tragedy waiting to happen have been targeted by the Metropolitan Police for the "stay put" advice, which is sound advice when safety regulations and care had been followed. As is now known, this is the opposite of the case.

Justice must prevail over Grenfell Tower, the government itself must be held to account, and the people turn the tragedy, as they are doing, into a landmark in working for a society fit for human beings, in which the power of decision-making is vested in the people.


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