ello yet again fellow home makers whoever and wherever you are. It's your friends here with another slice of the cake on the housing crisis. This time on further developments in the aftermath of the Grenfell Tower disaster, which we suspect are going to have more twists and turns than a best selling novel. Anyway, at the time of within this, the Government has announced a published inquiry. This is great as we'll finally get many questions answered... or will we? There is a catch, only certain areas will be looked into which begs the question, will the truth actually get out and will the victims get any sense of closure, justice, and straight answers?
Why do we say this? Just take a look at the long list of previous enquiries and their so often failed outcomes herald of free enterprise, Hillsborough and Bradford to name some high-profile failures which, in spite of the expense, still leave many questions unanswered and any blame being placed firmly on the shoulders of an unwitting scape goat who is usually a soft target. At these enquiries, evidence was ruled as being 'not in the public interest', which in itself will have people levelling accusations of a cover up to us. Stating that something is not in the public interest would strongly suggest someone has something very nasty to hide, suggesting a severe lack of sympathy, respect, and compassion to the often long suffering victim and no sense of remorse on the part of those responsible for causing the problem in the first place.
In an ideal world, the cause of the fire would be found. How it was started and who did it - if necessary justice served on the wrong doer. Those caught up in this horrific tragedy would get every question answered honestly. Sadly this world is so far from ideal so much of this is simply not going to happen as much as we'd all want this too. Social housing by its nature is an awkward area. The landlords are obligated to become a saftey net for the most vulnerable sections of society, no matter what ther situation. By not housing certain people or groups they would be breaking the law.
So, using this as a guide and, we really do hope this isn't the case, the fire could have been started deliberately as an insurance job or to put the fear of God into a neighbour they don't like and this may never be revealed as it would be deemed to be 'not in the public interest', even if that person had a history of violent intimidation and threatening behaviour to a given neighbour in that block.
We currently live in a block of flats in Newport and have lived through a similar experience, all be it on a smaller scale. Though years later we live with the fear it could happen again. We never received straight answers from anyone, in fact, we ran into a wall of silence. No one was going to tell us anything. 'It happened, get over it' was the collective attitude.
So there is a potential ability to pervert the cause of justice quite legally. Our major concern is that the actual truth may be altered to fit what the authorities and Government would prefer to hear. We suspect they are already looking for a scape goat and odds on favourite is likely to be the housing association and if it wasn't their fault they'll have to take the blame anyway.
The wall of silence could also be a factor. People are reluctant or feel it is safer and easier to keep their mouths shut if they do know anything. Those who speak out about what may or may not have gone on may find themselves the victims of a smear campaign or intimidation, which we'd rather hope is not the case.
Blocks of flats of any kind are far from ideal as accommodation. The close proximity of neighbours does cause friction. In a fire, safe escape is always an issue whether you live on the first or the 21st floor. If you have a walking disability or a young child you'd be wondering if you'll get out alive especially if it's dark. Crowded with residents with the same intentions, what if the passageways and stairwells are cluttered with bycicles, prams and so on? Could these problems and more be swept under the carpet and buried?
In the light of Grenfell's legacy, we feel blocks of flats should never have been or ever should be built. Some will disagree. Planners and Government ministers who don't live in them. But normal people like us, they'll argue their cost effectiveness and space saving advantages do they consider health and safety in their argument? Seemingly not if you hear and see any articles on communal blocks.
Anyway, which ever side of the fence you're on we're sure that you wouldn't want a repeat of Grenfell, yes Government legislation is making these places safer, but how safe is safe? What about those who live in them? Should people be permitted to know who they are expected to live with and the risks to them? This information would have helped us make a more informed decision about 'should I stay or should I go'.
With that, we'll go. Take care of yourselves and each other. This is Hawkeye and Dangerous blogging off.