Thursday 15 June 2017

Theresa May didn't even bother to meet any of the victims

Theresa May is completely out of her depth.

She should have already learned her lesson from her cowardly refusal to debate her political opponents during her vanity election, but somehow she still seems to believe in insulating herself from reality. The latest example of this is her refusal to meet residents or local people during her visit to the site of the Grenfell tower fire.

The reason she didn't meet locals has been given as "security concerns", but Jeremy Corbyn, the Labour shadow housing minister John Healey and the new local Labour MP Emma Dent Coad put aside any security concerns to speak to local people and reassure them that they will speak up for them and ensure the truth will come out.

The big question that has to be asked about Theresa May's visit is what was the point?

There's no point in going to look at the burned out shell of the building. The wrecked building isn't the main concern by any stretch of the imagination. The people who suffered and died because their fire safety concerns were ignored are obviously the main issue.

Perhaps Theresa May didn't want to be seen dealing with angry questions from residents about why their concerns were ignored, or why a succession of Tory housing ministers sat on a report recommending tower block fire safety improvements for four years.

Maybe she thought that video clips of potential confrontations with furious residents might be bad for her already shattered public image, but once again it seems like a cowardly delusion because nothing expresses contempt for their suffering more than touring the disaster scene like some kind of ghoul, whilst refusing to meet the victims.

I know that there are much more legitimate grounds to be angry (the Tory ministers who claimed that it shouldn't be up to the government to enforce tower block fire regulations, the succession of Tory housing ministers who sat on the fire safety report they were handed in 2013, the shocking Tory mismanagement of the whole housing sector in general, and the way the residents' concerns were blithely disregarded as if the views of the working poor are worthless) but Theresa May's refusal to meet the victims is symbolic.

It's symbolic of a Tory indifference towards the plight of ordinary people that has been evident for seven ruinous years of Tory austerity dogma for the poor and ordinary, inflicted in order to fund lavish handouts for corporations and the mega-rich.

Hundreds of thousands more kids are growing up in poverty; millions of workers have seen the real value of their wages eroded away like never before; hundreds of thousands of disabled people have been callously mistreated in the dehumanising corporate administered assessment regimes the Tories forced them into; a million workers are trapped in the financial instability of exploitative Zero Hours Contracts; hundreds of thousands of students are leaving university with debts they will never pay off despite entire lifetimes of paying a 9% social mobility tax on their disposable income; and now elderly people with degenerative diseases face having their homes asset stripped in order to fund another lavish round of Tory handouts for the mega-rich.

All this suffering has flowed under the surface as the complicit mainstream media have tried to distract the public from the social and economic devastation of Tory austerity dogma, but the suffering, and the Tory indifference to the suffering have been crystallised and exemplified by a hopelessly out of touch Tory leader touring the site of yet another avoidable disaster, and refusing to even meet any of the victims.

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