If the BBC is to be believed then today will see the publication of a first report on the Grenfell fire which is highly critical of the London Fire Service.
Of course the Fire Service made errors – who wouldn’t in such an unforseen emergency situation?
However, to criticise the Fire Service is a little premature (though, I’m afraid they’re an easy target – they ‘lost’ the fatalities).
I agree with Matt Wrack here on ‘R4 Today’.
Effectively the Fire Service is first in line to rescue – come what may.
Theirs is not ever to consider any rational responsibilty. If it were they would be unlikely to turn out at all.
Their highly criticised lack of ‘control’ is I suggest, inherent in any emergency. And this in an emergency that was not supposed to happen – because cladding was not supposed to be flammable. That would be entirely outside their mindset. Which bright spark (as it were) suggested that it was okay?
That’s why the London Fire Service suggested that people should remain in their homes – they had long been briefed by the government that the buildings were robust enough to withstand local fire. Which is also why the Fire Service had no high platforms – who needed them when the building regulations had, for years, ‘confined’ the fire.
If the BBC leaks are correct then today’s report will pummel the Fire Service, without actually taking account of (neoliberal) government over the last twenty years or more.
That is pretty much, for me, a definition of neoliberalism!
We’ve really arrived when self- blamimg is what some public servants feel obliged to justify.
Nonetheless, I suggest we should really expect much more incisiveness from a judge – even a retired one.