Grenfell, the conservative vote & why we are missing the point

Grenfell Tower Inquiry Photo by Felix Mittermeier on Pexels.com

On Monday 7th September the Conservatives including Fiona Buchanan MP for Kensington and Chelsea voted against Labour’s proposed ammendments to the Fire Safety Bill.

But this is missing the real point, the lack of an accountability mechanism for implementing or ensuring the effectiveness of recommendations from any Inquiry or Inquest. Let’s begin to tackle that.

What was voted on

This was a vote about certain specific ammendments to the Fire Safety Bill as proposed by Labour. It was not a vote about whether or not to bring the Recommendations from the Inquiry into law, which is what seems to be being reported.

It is also unclear whether these ammendments are sound… And we don’t seem to be considering that.

Terrible leadership

What is clear and completely unacceptable is the pain this has caused (again) to the Grenfell community.

The Grenfell community is close – you can connect with over 90% of the residents, bereaved and survivors by contacting Grenfell United.

Why did she not get in touch with the community beforehand (if possible) to discuss the vote, explain her position and get their input?

Or at worst, plan to meet with them immediately afterward?

Instead, an awful official message that does nothing but further drive distrust.

The real issue

And what is again being missed is the real issue.

There is no accountability structure in place to ensure the recommendations of inquests or inquiries are either implemented or effective.

If we are serious about learning and change we have to address this. You can’t expect every recommendation to be read into primary legilsation, if nothing else it will take too long.

This issue has been raised again and again and yet nothing changes.

JUSTICE’s Report

JUSTICE’s director, Andrea Coomber said,

Our recommendations, in particular our proposal for a special procedure inquest, aim to equip the justice system with a means of effective investigation less dependent on the mercy of successive governments. Further, they aim to ensure that the implementation of recommendations is monitored – a crucial objective if we are to understand how the virus has killed so many and how to avoid future recurrence.

Cambridge University Bennett Institute for Public Policy Report

Institute for Government Report

The vote on Monday is masking the real issue , of a lack of an accountability mechanism for implementing or ensuring the effectiveness of recommendations from any Inquiry or Inquest.

Let’s begin to tackle that.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email