Friday, June 30, 2017

Another whitewash

Two weeks ago a still-unknown number of people died in the Grenfell Tower fire. In the wake of the fire - which appears to have been significantly worsened by government austerity and neglect - the British government promised a full public inquiry. Instead, they're delivering the usual whitewash:

Residents and survivors of the Grenfell Tower fire have told the judge heading the inquiry they are unhappy with its narrow remit and want a broader investigation into the causes and aftermath of the disaster that killed at least 80 people.

Sir Martin Moore-Bick, who was named as inquiry chairman on Thursday, cautioned that he was doubtful it would be as wide-ranging as many residents hope.

Meeting the bereaved and survivors on Thursday morning, the former court of appeal judge engaged with their suspicions and was candid about the restrictions under which he would work.

“I’ve been asked to undertake this inquiry on the basis that it would be pretty well limited to the problems surrounding the start of the fire and its rapid development, in order to make recommendations as to how this sort of thing can be prevented in the future,” Moore-Bick said afterwards.

Bloody Sunday. Hillsborough. Iraq. Torture. Child sex abuse. And now Grenfell. From the British establishment, its always the same game: appoint one of their own (usually with significant baggage) with narrow terms-of-reference which expressly avoid the real issue. Then its delay, delay, delay, before finally producing an insipid report which holds no-one accountable and recommends no real change. Because the purpose of these things isn't to find out what really happened or hold those responsible to account - its to mollify (or rather, wait out) public anger, "draw a line" under the issue, and ensure business as usual continues (in this case, the usual business of the social murder of the poor for the profit of the rich).

The good news is that UKanians are no longer accepting these sham inquiries as anything other than an establishment con-job and are refusing to cooperate with them. And unless the Grenfell inquiry promises real justice, the same will probably happen here too. The question is how long it takes the establishment to realise that their game is up...