The recent conflagration at Grenfell Tower in London seems destined to be one of those defining moments which socially and unconsciously resonate for generations. At its most simple ( if it can be described as such ) it is an indescribable tragedy where upwards of 80 people lost their lives. At its most complex, it can be seen as a metaphor for the ongoing battleground between political, social and economic groups at different ends of a spectrum, and for the reductionist set of values current political classes have displayed towards the most poor and disadvantaged within our society. That this battleground exists within one of the most affluent areas of the UK creates further almost unbearable tensions.
Although essentially a humanitarian tragedy, there is little chance it will be seen in any terms other than political. Clashes between council and housing organisations portraying extreme conservative ideology and a population group frustrated by continuing austerity and cutting safety corners predate this tragedy. Literally inflamed by resident’s concerns regarding safety being ignored for years by the same organisations, those angers and conflicts are currently visible during meetings between elected local government officials and representatives of the local tenants; early post-tragedy attempts to hold meetings behing closed doors suggested continuing extreme differences of opinion.