Jacob Rees-Mogg is right about Grenfell

It’s the ghoulish, Grenfell-exploiting offence-takers who are behaving immorally.

Brendan O'Neill

Brendan O'Neill
Editor

Share

Let me get this right: people are angrier with Jacob Rees-Mogg for saying the Grenfell residents should have fled their burning building than they are with the fire chiefs who told the Grenfell residents not to flee their burning building? I’ve heard it all now. There have been some mad Twitterstorms over the years but this is a new low. This fury with an MP for merely saying what we all know to be true – that it is a ‘tragedy’ more people didn’t ignore the fire service’s advice on that horrific night – is just nuts.

This is the news that JRM, Tory MP and favoured punchbag of the anti-Tory middle classes, has said something about the Grenfell fire of 2017 in which 72 people died. You’d never know it from the media storm, but what he said, on the radio this morning, was eminently sensible. He said he has read the first report of the Grenfell Inquiry, which was published last week, and has concluded that ‘the chances of people surviving’ the fire in Grenfell would have increased if they had ignored the fire service’s advice to ‘stay put’. He says that if he had been in that burning building, he would have left. ‘It just seems the common-sense thing to do. And it is such a tragedy that that didn’t happen’, he said.

That’s it. He was simply echoing the actual contents of the Grenfell report, which starkly says that fire chiefs’ ‘stay put’ policy proved disastrous for the Grenfell residents. The report said the London Fire Brigade’s ‘stay put’ policy prevented some families from escaping. It argues that fewer people would have died if the LFB had changed its strategy and adopted different methods earlier on during the fire. JRM is reiterating these facts. And yet people are angrier with him than they were with the LFB last week when the Grenfell report devastatingly called into question its ‘stay put’ approach to the Grenfell horror.

People are accusing JRM of saying the Grenfell residents lacked common sense. He doesn’t say that. He is saying that if he had been in the burning building, he would have left. To him that would be the common-sense thing to do. Many people agree. I do. This isn’t to insult the Grenfell residents who trusted the fire service. Nor is it to insult the firefighters who behaved with extraordinary bravery on that awful night. It is simply to question fire chiefs’ attachment to the policy of ‘stay put’, and to lament the catastrophic consequences it seems to have had on that night.

If you are more angry with a politician for saying it is a tragedy that people did not ignore dangerous advice than you are with the people who issued the dangerous advice, then your moral compass is in urgent need of repair. The cynicism of it all is breathtaking. People are purposefully misinterpreting and exploiting JRM’s words to the cynical end of hurting the Tories in the election. ‘Maybe this will cost them some votes!’ is the gross undertone of this confected media storm. Once again the leftish middle classes are exploiting the dead of Grenfell to score political points, and I say that is far more repulsive than what Rees-Mogg said on the radio this morning.

Brendan O’Neill is editor of spiked and host of the spiked podcast, The Brendan O’Neill Show. Subscribe to the podcast here. And find Brendan on Instagram: @burntoakboy

Picture by: YouTube

To enquire about republishing spiked’s content, a right to reply or to request a correction, please contact the managing editor, Viv Regan.

Comments

Harry Armitage

9th November 2019 at 3:20 pm

The fire brigade’s advice was entirely correct for the building as constructed.
Each flat was isolated from fire. The danger arises if someone leaves a flat entry door open where the fire is, so filling the escape route with smoke. So staying in your flat is/was safest.
They didn’t know how the added insulation rendered the building dangerous because the flats were no longer isolated from one another. (In fact efficiently connected from a fire spread point of view.)
The problem is thus technical not political. Whoever fitted the insulation incorrectly is to blame. Plus the inferior CE standards refrigerator that started the fire. (Which would never have happened in the old BS rules.)

Bill Cecil

10th November 2019 at 2:33 pm

Yes, ‘as constructed’, but the building was no longer as designed and constructed. It wasn’t just the cladding, but also (as I understand it) the addition of other things through ducts which meant that each flat was no longer a contained unit. The whole block should have been left as originally designed or demolished and the site redeveloped.

Guido Fubini

8th November 2019 at 9:42 pm

Dear Brendan,

I must start my commentary on your article with the sentence

People are purposefully misinterpreting and exploiting JRM’s words to the cynical end of hurting the Tories in the election

People are not misinterpreting JRM’s comment. It clearly implies that “if you have common sense, you would have disobeyed the LFB’s instructions” which is logically equivalent to “if you obey the LFB’s instructions, you don’t have common sense”. No misinterpretation! Moreover, there is nothing cynical about hurting the Tories!

Now to the rest…the LFB instructed people to “stay put” because the building’s fire safety planning meant that this was the sensible thing to do! However, contrary to the building’s planning, poor cladding had been applied. Surely you cannot blame the LFB for not knowing some idiot tried to make money off the poor residents at Grenfell Tower! Also, surely you cannot blame the residents for obeying the instructions of experts! Do you still remember what the word “experts” means?

This is the whole issue with JRM, the Tories and their equivalents around the globe: defying the opinion of experts! And common sense must surely be to follow the experts’ advice!

Unfortunately, it takes either an expert or a person humble enough to know they are not one, to acknowledge an experts’ value and hence follow their advice when in a crisis. JRM and his entourage are none of the two!

Kind regards,
An expert

Ardy Fardy

8th November 2019 at 10:25 pm

I find your post somewhat facile, I suspect you are saying that everyone should have stayed put as that is what experts advise? Is that correct?
Anybody my age gets crap exert advice every month or so and mostly choose to ignore it. From the numerous tradies to doctors. Engineers give the only advice I take on face value as the ones I use have proven themselves to me many times.
In terms of a burning building I have been in that situation and people are stupid mostly. I was in a McDonald’s style restaurant when a fire broke out in the kitchen and spread to the building very quickly, I shouted for people to ‘get out’ only to be told ‘I’ll just finish this burger first’. I helped carry the last 6 out unconscious.
Experts have a role but to rely on them in all situations is a form of madness as this fire proved.

Peter Gardner

9th November 2019 at 12:40 am

Well another expert, a building inspector who for obvious reasons had to remain anonymous, said the cladding was the result of EU regulation and previously under UK regulation would not have been allowed.
The cladding was part of the planning of the building. EU planning.
Furthermore, the emergency services have access, and must have access, to the detailed plans of all buildings in their precincts. How the hell else are they supposed to be able to fight fires and rescue people? Whether that access failed on this occasion I do not know.
I know this because I worked on command and control systems for emergency services and the ability to integrate CAD drawings of buildings (and ships) and imagery into the operational planning and 3D walk-through tools provided by the software was an essential requirement. But that was outside the EU. Perhaps requirements are more rigorous outside the EU.

Peter Gardner

9th November 2019 at 1:28 am

Most of the comments on here are rather simplistic, if I may say so. I would have thought that staying put is sensible given certain conditions, such as there are proper fire doors and they are closed, smoke is not penetrating your flat, and the fire is under control and unlikely to spread. Regardless of the compliance of the building with regulations, the person in charge of the fire needs first to get those in immediate danger clear of that danger or remove the danger. Sometimes he can do both, sometimes he must choose one or the other, sometimes he can do neither. People take priority over material damage. As the situation develops the best course of action to choose will change too. If the fire is successfully contained those out of danger should stay put because moving them will require fire break doors to be opened, prevent built-in sprayers and fire suppressants from being used and take resources away from the containment operation. The critical point, obviously, is loss of control of the fire. I haven’t read the report but in general once that happens all that can be done is to remove as many people as possible from danger but even then it may not be certain whether you can get them out, whether doing so puts more in danger than it saves, how many are involved, whether all can be saved or only some, how far, fast and how quickly the out of control fire will spread. I don’t envy those having to make such decisions. They are not easy and the consequences can be horrific even with the right decisions.
The magnitude of the effects of such risks are greatly increased by size. We make aeroplanes larger and larger putting more people at risk from a single incident. Likewise with large accommodation buildings. A single house building risks a much smaller tragedy and is also a much simpler fire to tackle and decisions are more likely to be correct. A large building carries much greater risk and presents a far more uncertain situation and far more complex and dynamic set of decisions to those endeavouring to deal with the fire.
My own experience of fire fighting is in the navy. It was never my decision but one of the decisions it was the responsibility of another officer to make was whether to turn on the CO2 drench to extinguish a fire in the main machinery spaces. It would be certain to kill all those still fighting the fire but might save the ship. What would you do? Remember there is always a board of enquiry afterwards and it will not be a pleasant experience.

antoni orgill

12th November 2019 at 10:28 pm

So, do you think that Dany Cotton should resign? It seems that to insist _ even with the benefit of hindsight _ she wouldn’t do anything different is plain dumb. Yet, she remains in office claiming it is because she intends to implement important reforms … I don’t find that credible.

Marvin Jones

8th November 2019 at 1:27 pm

Everyone has a banana skin with their name on it. Sometime in our lives, we say and do something that we so regret, and the politicians do that more often than most. The problem is, that anyone with half a brain would see that he did not mean anything offensive, but the worms of the left just had to use it with malice and scorn.

Peter Gardner

9th November 2019 at 1:41 am

Yes and JRM would always apologise if offence has been taken because he is a decent sort. And the Left of course take this as an admission of guilt obtained only as a result and benefit of their attacks, without which the bastard would have got away Scot free! A vicious circle. And we wonder at the toxicity of UK politics!

woweco6974 woweco6974

7th November 2019 at 5:27 pm

My Boy pal makes $seventy /hour at the internet. She has been without a assignment for six months however remaining mofiventh her pay have become $16453 genuinely working at the internet for some hours. immediately from the source….www.golden.jobs67.com

Bernard Greenwood

6th November 2019 at 5:44 pm

1 . JRM did say “if you or I ” when suggesting what would be the common sense thing to do , this left him
open to malign interpretation of his comments.

Jerry Owen

6th November 2019 at 6:55 pm

Does it make it him insensitive if his speech is twisted ?

Ven Oods

6th November 2019 at 2:47 pm

It’s rather disappointing that JRM’s words seem to have been twisted by sensationalists, but the point he makes is relevant.
As far back (1988) as the Piper Alpha disaster, the advice was to reach, and remain in, the living quarters during an incident. The only survivors of the conflagration were those who ignored that advice.
Presumably, the advice is based on compartments being intact, breathable air being available, and so on. Events can overtake such assumptions.
Imagine if the relatively junior watch commander at Grenfell had changed the advice, and many people had perished from smoke inhalation along the escape routes. The same people would be baying for his blood.
The inquiry approached this arse-about-face. It should have addressed the cladding matters first. That’s really why those unfortunate people died.

Jerry Owen

6th November 2019 at 5:10 pm

Ven Oods
Your last sentence is what I keep banging on about, why do so few people see that?

Lord Anubis

6th November 2019 at 9:04 pm

“The inquiry approached this arse-about-face. It should have addressed the cladding matters first. That’s really why those unfortunate people died.”

“Ven Oods; Your last sentence is what I keep banging on about, why do so few people see that?”

The popular “Left Wing” narrative is that the cladding was being installed on the cheap by a Tory council to “Prettify” a public housing tower block in order to “Upmarket” the neighbourhood for the posh neighbours.

Yes, there was an aspect of this. aging concrete tower blocks can look pretty grim and improving the appearance would certainly improve the subjective quality of life. not only for the neighbours but also for the residents. In itself, there isn’t actually anything wrong in trying to achieve this.

However , this is almost certainly not the primary reason for its installation. This wasn’t about prettying the building up. It was about improving the thermal insulation. At the same time that the cladding was being installed. Gas supplies for heating and hot water were also being installed throughout the building to replace electric heating. (Gas! In a Tower Block?? Really.? Ronan Point anybody??)

This was almost certainly (I only say “Almost certainly” since I do not have documentary proof) being carried out in order to comply with central government policies (And quite possibly policies driven by EU regulations, since others have already mentioned the EU) on CO2 reduction within the housing sector generally and public sector specifically.

Added to this, the accusations of the work being carried out “On the Cheap” are also more complex than they might appear. Public sector contracts are subject to fairly strict rules. Generally speaking the lowest bidder gets the job and while it is possible to turn lowest bidders down, one will almost certainly face a legal challenge to justify the decision, especially if the contract is a big one.

From what I have read, there were no building regs in place at the time actually preventing the use of the type of cladding that was used at Grenfell, so it is possible that had the LA insisted on something more expensive they might possibly have faced a legal challenge over the decision to specify materials that exceeded the building reg requirements at the time.

Ultimately, to my mind, the victims of Grenfell weren’t victims of parsimonious LA spending, They were sacrificed on the alter of the green agenda. CO2 reduction at all costs, even if it kills people.

If (When) we get a repeat of winter 62/63 (Which, being an older Dog, I can well remember! :0 ), the butchers bill as a result of the green agenda will not just run to the dozens, it will run to the tens of thousands.

(In the mean time, just ensure that there is at least one room in the house that can be heated using solid fuel. And also make sure that you have at least half a ton in store!)

Jerry Owen

6th November 2019 at 10:25 pm

Lord Anubis
Not much with your post I disagree with if anything. Yes, they were sacrificed on the alter of the green agenda.
I suspect the really important report will either be delayed and delayed or fudged.
We have a fireplace a large stock of wood and one ton of smoke free coal in store.
It will get colder in the not to distant future and energy prices will sky rocket.. fracking now banned in the UK will ensure this is the case.
Our comfortable life style is about to change.. by the design of the globalists hidden by ‘greenery’.

Michael Lynch

7th November 2019 at 10:40 am

Precisely. They have it all the wrong way around so it softens the blow for the real culprits. That’ll be the government bodies who passed this stuff via the British Standards protocol in order to save money. It’s that cheap and nasty cladding that killed those people and not the fire service. It takes a hell of a lot of guts to run into a burning building to rescue others, yet all that has been lost now. How utterly ridiculous.

gary davis

8th November 2019 at 7:33 pm

If you ref rro2005 it is a requirement by law to provide a safe means of escape at all times,if this block was not maintained to that standard as required what has it got to do with the firefighters,they might very well use this escape to access the building knowing it to be safe. The fact that the building was unsafe in a fire situation lays the blame with construction company and the people that maintain it,not the fire fighters.If the fire authority was ask to do the risk assessment on the building this should be taken into account and where responsibility should proportioned accordingly

Paul Carlin

6th November 2019 at 12:58 pm

I listened for about five minutes to Jeremy Vine’s radio output today. Rarely in the past have I heard such disgusting untruth, hypocrisy and sanctimony on such a subject.
Except for on virtually every other Jeremy Vine show.

Hersch Schneider

6th November 2019 at 1:57 pm

It’s great seeing him as the target for the ‘equal pay’ nonsense being brought to court at the moment. Nothing more amusing than watching the progressives turn on their own and a right-on type like Vine suddenly being seen as a figure of the oppressors, the ‘patriarchy’

Michael Lynch

7th November 2019 at 10:43 am

Spot on. I am enjoying the irony of watching them eating their own. It’s quite simply delicious.

Eric Blair

6th November 2019 at 12:39 pm

JRM has a long history of considering himself above the common herd in intelligence. This is just more of the same. Indefensible.

Paul Carlin

6th November 2019 at 12:57 pm

You didn’t read the article, did you?

Eric Blair

6th November 2019 at 8:20 pm

Yes. And disagreed with every word.

Jerry Owen

6th November 2019 at 1:11 pm

Eric Blair
I would appreciate some examples of his belief that he has a superior intellect … over to you Eric !

Eric Blair

6th November 2019 at 8:22 pm

His whole demeanour is one of class, school and national superiority. Examples: his Grenfell comment, his derison of Nick Boles, his slouching. Etc Etc Etc.

Jerry Owen

7th November 2019 at 8:01 am

Eric Blair
You haven’t answered my question.
I will ask again , give an example of JRM believing he is intellectually superior. Find me any quote .. just one if you can.
And as for his slouch… That represents intellectual superiority !! You need a dictionary!

Eric Blair

7th November 2019 at 11:09 am

“I’m a man of the people. Vox populi, vox dei.” Superior b******

Peter Gardner

9th November 2019 at 1:56 am

Point 1. JRM is of well above average intelligence.
Point 2. He said it was a matter of common sense according to the report, a view he shared and supposed his interviewer did too.
Point 3. Common sense is supposed to be the sense of the common man, not exclusive those of above average intelligence, not even the preserve of the rich.
Point 4. The logic of your comment indicates you are a) of well below average intelligence and b) acutely lacking in common sense.
Point 5. The truth of the previous four points indicate, though not with complete certainty, that you are a raving Lefty.

Genghis Kant

6th November 2019 at 10:03 am

To the hard Left everything right-wing is evil and everything that is evil is right-wing.

Therefore, because he is an evil Tory they take the worst possible interpretation of what he said in order to reveal what they want to believe he ‘really meant’.

Hersch Schneider

6th November 2019 at 1:59 pm

Classic deliberate, disingenuous twisting of facts from the hateful left.

Jerry Owen

6th November 2019 at 9:01 am

The nitty gritty of this story is that so far we have had the LFB attacked, indeed as the story broke you could be almost forgiven for thinking it was they that where responsible for the fire, the deflection of blame is obvious, and to blame a group of workers just doing their job is despicable. Their advice they gave is of course up for debate but that is secondary. We have mow had JRM attacked and indeed his resignation called for such is the mentally weak nature of the precious ones in parliament or of course the cynical political opportunism of those in parliament.
Let’s have the debate on the cladding, who decided it should be applied, who tested its suitability, who decided it was suitable, just how quickly did it cause the fire to progress as against it it not being there.
Let’s have the debate on how many were in the building that shouldn’t have been there, how much ‘stuff’ was in the buildings and stairways, were the fire doors propped open ( as once reported ). The resident of the flat who’s fridge caught fire , did they notify any other residents or set the fire alarm off?
There are a huge raft of questions to be answered yet the whole event is now resting on the shoulders of the LFB and JRM.
It’s pitiful that the bigger picture is not even in the frame .. where are the investigative journalists now ?

Hugh Bryant

6th November 2019 at 8:34 am

One of the downsides of the concerted effort made in our education system over recent years to train people out of thinking for themselves is that it has made us all more passive in every sense – not just politically.

Lord Anubis

6th November 2019 at 10:20 am

Not really Grenfell related. But this is why I like roundabouts. Compared internationally. UK roads are actually pretty safe. While roundabouts are used elsewhere. They are very much a British institution. Roundabouts require drivers to observe, think, and make a decision. Traffic lights, used elsewhere in the world pretty much by default, just require drivers to do as they are told. I am sure that this distinction makes us better drivers overall since we become better at thinking for ourselves.

Mark Bretherton

6th November 2019 at 11:12 am

There’s a town close to where I live where every intersection is a roundabout, there are no traffic lights at all. I can honestly say that in 27 years of driving there I’ve never been caught in a queue or traffic jam, whereas the next town along that has virtually no roundabouts there are always queues.

Marvin Jones

8th November 2019 at 1:38 pm

Roundabouts are useful and safe if one knows where they are going on entering it, and the important thing is to know which lane to keep in. I have been driving since the early 70s, when good manners were in abundance. But alas, due to the changing world and demographic infestation that has turned this country into a rancid third world cesspit of backward uncivilised sorts, driving stinks.

Eric Blair

6th November 2019 at 12:40 pm

Thank God for Eton eh?

Matt Ryan

6th November 2019 at 8:28 am

Be facinating to see how KCTMO come out of the reports.

Richard Bartholomew

6th November 2019 at 8:24 am

This corrective isn’t quite right. Rees-Mogg has clarified that he would have followed the advice of the fire service at the time, but that given what we now know he probably wouldn’t. The advice at the time wasn’t self-evidently absurd: the fire at first appeared localised, and dozens of people rushing down smoke-filled stairwells could have been needlessly hazardous.

The problem is that the opposition and the media interpreted Rees-Mogg’s meaning to be that he would have survived the tragedy due to some sort of superior discernment, and that the residents lacked common sense. I thought that that was his meaning myself before I saw the wider context. However, a complicating factor now is that the Conservative MP Andrew Bridgen has also adopted this interpretation and has actually defended it. Anger and disgust at that is very reasonable.

Jonnie Henly

6th November 2019 at 7:41 am

Bringing up class probably isn’t best idea if you want to defend JRM.

Jerry Owen

6th November 2019 at 8:15 am

Little Jonnie you are back! Can you answer my questions I put to you a while back before you ran away yet again, re BON endorsing certain types of jokes only with some examples to prove your point, and why running two businesses ‘confirms my narrow mindedness’ ? Look forward to your response !

Jonnie Henly

6th November 2019 at 7:41 am

“people are angrier with Jacob Rees-Mogg for saying the Grenfell residents should have fled their burning building than they are with the fire chiefs who told the Grenfell residents not to flee their burning building?”

Nope, nobody holds that view, so stop with the blatant whataboutism.

Jerry Owen

6th November 2019 at 8:16 am

Little Jonnie
‘nobody holds that view’ .
How blind are you ?

Little Black Sambo

6th November 2019 at 11:27 am

“Nobody holds that view.” I hold it, so you are wrong.

A Game

6th November 2019 at 3:38 am

The lesson here for politicians… never deviate from sympathetic platitudes, never genuinely opine or discuss, never make the mistake that you are a person just talking to others, sharing your ideas or impressions.
More tears please.

And the lesson for Mogg – lose your succinct manner of speaking, your habit of verbal economy. It leaves way too much room for the insincere to run amok… as can be seen. People want verbose, patently.
Its so awful that they want to politicise this tragedy in all the wrong directions. How do you build a country with this sabotage always lurking? How does “right” and “fair” ever get a chance to see the light of day?

Hersch Schneider

6th November 2019 at 2:03 pm

100% agree.

Keith Lloyd

5th November 2019 at 9:42 pm

Well said, Brendon.

jessica christon

5th November 2019 at 9:01 pm

Looks like I’m being modded by the free speech bots again but anyway…

David Lammy was on the radio the day the report cane out, speaking about his friend who died in the fire. He said that she could hear firemen on her floor, outside her door, had already seen the fire running up the walls outside but stayed put because of the advice. I’m sorry but if that isn’t a tragic failure of common sense then I don’t know what is. When I heard that story I just wished that I’d been there with her to say F the advice, let’s go!

Jerry Owen

6th November 2019 at 9:09 am

Jessica Christon
I am being modded a lot of late.
I am puzzled as to how Lammy knew that his friend had heard the firemen at her door, and heard their advice and heeded it if she died in the fire.
Or did she die later I hospital ?
I find that I trust very little that Lammy claims including the fact that Henry the VII succeeded Henry VIII to the throne !

jessica christon

6th November 2019 at 2:47 pm

Jerry, I asked myself this question when I heard the interview – do you think she might have called him, or maybe a friend/relative/survivor while she was waiting for help, and that person later relayed the story back to Lammy?

Either way regardless of the fact that JRM has been forced to backtrack, I disagree completely with this idea that always gets pranced around everywhere that because someone was a victim in tragic circumstances, their own actions are out of bounds for critical discussion.

And then we wonder why our politicians and people in public life are mostly bland interchangeable careerists.

Jerry Owen

6th November 2019 at 5:16 pm

Jessica Christon
If I were in a burning building I doubt I would be ‘calling a friend’, maybe a loved one .. but this is Lammy we are talking about here! I know it would be against current orthodoxy but I would be escaping that building ASAP rather as JRM sensibly suggested !
The story stinks and Lammy’s continued usage of it over the years for political gain is quite frankly rather ugly to behold.

jessica christon

6th November 2019 at 8:05 pm

Re your last sentence about Lammy, as soon as I heard his voice I knew he was going to bring up that poor young lady – and yes it is ugly. I still think that JRM was right with what he said the first time, and he shouldn’t have tried to style it out because it was the truth.

Graham Woodford

5th November 2019 at 8:37 pm

Quite a few people have been kind enough to respond to my posts so I thought I would return a kindness and repost the link the first person to comment posted

https://www.insidehousing.co.uk/insight/where-did-the-stay-put-policy-come-from-and-where-do-we-go-now-63957

If any of you can be bothered to read it, I think you might appreciate why ‘stay put’ policy is in place, that the government has supported it, how it has been in successful (though not without criticism), the context of what went wrong with it in the context of Grenfell, and what changes might be made to improve fire control and rescue in yes – flatted buildings. You might read therein how in 57,000 fires between 2011 and 2017 in buildings with flats, only 216 (0.4%) resulted in the evacuation of more than 5 people. It is really rather strange to suggest the fire services, local government and others responsible for fire safety are more concerned with insurances or that such an approach is not based on experience of dealing with such incidents; or that ‘Health and Safety’ culture has killed people.

I think it’s also – well, I can only say wrong – to say I am ‘twisting’ words when I suggest a poster is blaming the tragedy on the EU when the poster has literally written ‘the fire and resulting deaths were the result of EU specified cladding’ (and so on as it happens), and the writer not being able to see any contradiction. I know we live in interesting times and words can mean what you want them ro mean, and Rees Mogg didn’t actually say what he did (even when the sayer has ‘profoundly’ apologised). But then people replying to me have accused me of hyperbole when there is none, despite me explaining exactly what the word means with reference to Mr O’Brien’s article, and his frankly ridiculous claim of a greater furore over this than criticisms in the media on the reception of the report.He really is the arsonist of the straw man. That’s more a metaphor I think.

I strongly urge people to read that link as it’s very informative. That’s if you want to be informed about it.

Jerry Owen

5th November 2019 at 9:00 pm

This the second time you have referred to Mr O’Neil as Mr O’Brien at least have the courtesy of addressing the author by his correct name !

Jerry Owen

5th November 2019 at 9:03 pm

I’m not interested in logging in or registering to read the article.
Articulate it yourself in your own words please.

Lord Anubis

5th November 2019 at 9:41 pm

Indeed, It seems a bit unreasonable to suggest that people are somehow at fault on the grounds that they “cannot be bothered” to read an inaccessible/paywalled link. :/

Graham Woodford

5th November 2019 at 10:35 pm

It’s a longish article and would be a long summary. Not interested in informing yourself. I understand.

Jerry Owen

6th November 2019 at 8:19 am

Graham Woodford
If you have an argument to put forward you should have the intellect to articulate it
Clearly you are unable to do so.

Jerry Owen

7th November 2019 at 8:05 am

Graham Woodford
I’m sure we can manage a long article from you to read your pearls of wisdom !

jessica christon

5th November 2019 at 8:36 pm

David Lammy was on the radio the day the report cane out, speaking about his friend who died in the fire. He said that she could hear firemen on her floor, outside her door, had already seen the fire running up the walls outside but stayed put because of the advice. I’m sorry but that isn’t a tragic failure of common sense then I don’t know what is. When I heard that story I just wished that I’d been there with her to say fuck the advice, let’s go!

jessica christon

5th November 2019 at 8:59 pm

… but *if* that isn’t a tragic failure…

Virginia Hume

5th November 2019 at 7:14 pm

I’ve just watched the interview and JRM doesn’t say anything remotely offensive. He certainly doesn’t cast aspersions on the common sense of the people at Grenfell. But the news keeps repeating the lie that he did! Unbelievable! They are causing grief to the survivors in the guise of being outraged on their behalf. A new low for the BBC (and probably the others too, but it was the BBC news that I saw).

James Hillier

5th November 2019 at 8:20 pm

A tactless way to phrase his point perhaps. But yes, the level of outrage is entirely for political ends. So much for an independent press.

Jerry Owen

5th November 2019 at 7:13 pm

‘It just seems the common sense thing to do and it’s a tragedy that didn’t happen’.
Quote from Spiked,
They should have used ‘common sense’ says Jacob Rees Mogg.
Quote from BBC news ( ha ) at six.
A classic example of taking speech out of context .. BBC style is by omittance more often than not of course these days.
Fake news ?
Perhaps I should go on the BBC’s fact checker site !!

James Knight

5th November 2019 at 6:10 pm

If all the critics of Mogg want to “stay put” in a fire, that is their choice.

For the rest of us it is a lesson that you can never put too much faith in “experts”.

George Orwell

5th November 2019 at 5:56 pm

He was saying that the Fire Brigade instructions lacked common sense not that the residents lacked it.
Those instructions, understandably, overrode the common sense of the residents.
The criticism of Mogg is wholly unreasonable, unfair and likely to be politically motivated.

john larkin

6th November 2019 at 5:02 am

The Fire Authorities are doubling down on their bad “stay put” policy, because to recant will reveal their advice as wrong; they would rather jeopardise more lives than admit this in today’s recriminatory climate. Decades ago, the police encouraged “have-a-go” bystander action, but when they could see this resulted in serious injury to the public who tackled armed criminals, they did their duty rather than worry about their pride, and applied “common sense”, completely reversing the advice.

Robert Spowart

6th November 2019 at 12:37 pm

Haven’t Lammy & his party milked enough political advantage from Grenfell by now?
Even before the flames were dampened down he & Labour were jumping on the “it’s all the Tory’s fault” bandwagon, ignoring the mistakes made by his own party that led to the tragedy.

Jerry Owen

6th November 2019 at 1:14 pm

Robert Spowart
Sadly not !

Winston Stanley

5th November 2019 at 5:27 pm

I would have been straight down those stairs and out that door, likely banging doors with a saucepan and screaming “get out, get out” as I went. The idea that ppl would “say put” in a burning building seems especially bonkers.

Graham Woodford

5th November 2019 at 6:02 pm

Not really. I think you’ll find there have been countless fires in flatted buildings where ‘stay put’ has saved lives. In fires where there is proper fire compartmentalisation and flammable materials have not been used (where it has been further compromised it appears by damaging the integrity of existing firebreaks) fires have been contained in the units they have started in and lives have been saved by organised evacuation.

But anyway. O’Neil is barking up his usual trees of hyperbole, posture and preposterous claim. He’s defending Rees Mogg when Rees Mogg himself had apologised. Why has he apologised –
because his remarks can be described as best as insensitive, rather as yours are. And I think if they had only so outraged the left of centre middle clsss on O’Neils marvellously precise outragometer, I think RM might have been quietly pleased. Not only is it an entirely specious claim to suggest the response to RM is on a level of the response to phase one of the report (blimey – even on C4!), but as the Grenfell Residents have been highly critical, maybe RM has thought more about his observations. That is, unless the Grenfell lot are not left of centre middle class themselves, and not members of the brexit voting masses that Mr O’Neil and his ex revolutionary chums find so heroic. And, I might say, a pretty middle class bunch they were, and are, themselves.

As if this matter isn’t political. RM is in the middle of an election campaign. He’s saying things in that campaign. He’s talking about an event which to a lot of people tragically underlined the divisions in our society in the richest borough in the country, much of it related to the way people who live in council housing have been treated. In the land of the shill everything is defensible though, and you do it through attack.

James Knight

5th November 2019 at 6:17 pm

If you want to stay put in a burning tower block, that is your choice.

Don’t forget the cladding was put on to reduce CO2 – supposedly to save us all from burning to death. Some irony that.

Winston Stanley

5th November 2019 at 6:31 pm

Oh right, b/c the “silly plebs” are not capable of making their way down stairs “in an orderly fashion”, they are much safer waiting to burn to death in a towering inferno, in case they twist an ankle on the step without someone in a uniform to direct them. That really is insulting.

K Tojo

5th November 2019 at 6:46 pm

You are a pretty determined ranter yourself.

Anyway, could you tell us the reason for your assertion that you think we will “find there have been countless fires in flatted buildings where ‘stay put’ has saved lives”. I would very much like to know if there is any truth in this as I live in a “flatted” building. Do you have genuine information in that regard or were you just making a casual assertion brought on by your annoyance at O’Neil’s defence of Jacob Rees Mogg who (as any stalwart Lefty knows) is Tory scum and therefore totally indefensible?

I recall another famously fatal fire where the victims were those who stayed calm and stayed put. That was the Manchester airport fire of 1985. An aircraft caught fire on the ground prior to take off. The passengers who survived were those who panicked and just rushed to get out of the plane as quickly as possible. If “stay put” was an official policy in that instance it would have been just as useless as in Grenfell. Obviously, the rescue services would prefer to carry out an orderly evacuation but this can only happen if they are in command of the situation.

Jerry Owen

5th November 2019 at 6:49 pm

Graham Woodford
You clearly know what hyperbole and posture are don’t you, your post is laden with it !

Lord Anubis

5th November 2019 at 9:54 pm

@K Tojo As I recall, the passengers at Manchester didn’t “Panic”, some of them, at least, had actually been on an aircraft fire before and made the perfectly reasoned decision to “Sod this for a game of Soldiers” when told to stay put.

Jim Lawrie

5th November 2019 at 5:26 pm

Stay put is the child of risk avoidance and management trying to look decisive.
They’d be better calling it do nothing.

The worst part is firemen can lose their jobs for taking risks in defiance of management.

If Jacob Rees Mogg said ½bn of new equipment for The Fire Brigade and doubling their numbers, he would be accused of closing the stable door after the horse had bolted.
I much prefer his voice to the pseudo-everyman, glottal stops and dropped tees of the stuck up urban elite, who think themselves so tongue in cheek clever for dumbing down to our level. Tony Benn never insulted us like that.

Graham Woodford

5th November 2019 at 6:15 pm

I think you and anyone else commenting without real knowledge of the origins and operation of this policy, and what happened at (which we only have a report on part of so far and will never have the full context) should do yourself a favour and read the excellent link supplied by the chap who first replied in comments.

It’s written by people who know what they’re talking about, i.e. not journalists and politicians who know nothing about this complex matter but nevertheless are happy to provide us with their views.

Jim Lawrie

5th November 2019 at 6:55 pm

Escape stairways are made of concrete and metal. Mobile adults can descend at 20 seconds per storey. That’s 7 mins for 21 storeys.
Stay put cost lives in 9/11.

Stay put has one eye on property preservation, as do insurance companies. Try thinking.

A Game

6th November 2019 at 3:23 am

J Lawrie:
Exactly. The World Trade Centre did the same thing, telling people to stay put. Some followed that advice, some didn’t. Its the onus of those giving directions, they must always know what they are looking at. The lines of communication must always be open and fast flowing. Those in charge showed a lack of understanding of their own system, and the inability to change course when the call had to be made to do so. Its sad that those who had faith in the system, or weren’t able to flee, and thought there would be time to be rescued, were the people who died. That’s the betrayal, always will be. Moggy lamenting that more people didn’t question the bad advice they were being given can never outweigh that they were given bad advice, advice that never changed, even as conditions changed.

Jerry Owen

6th November 2019 at 9:40 am

A Game
The tragic irony is that the only people who really know what the fire is doing are those in it on the inside. I would suggest that individual self assessment would be the best option. As a poster above astutely said , we are being taught not to think for ourselves and rely on others for direction.
‘Big brother’ and the ‘nanny state’ are phrases that come to mind.

Jim Lawrie

6th November 2019 at 10:20 am

A Game in the first tower hit on 9/11 an emergency UPS system kicked in via a generator on the fifth floor. The diesel was stored in the basement and pumped up. When the fuel line was severed, the basement pump kept on going because it had been set up that way.
Once again, a fire fed by all sorts of stuff that should not have been stored in the building. Especially in the void above the ceiling tiles.

UPS – Uninterrupted Power Supply. Mandatory for banks with dealing rooms in the wake of previous terrorist attacks. The diesel option was cheaper than batteries.

A Game

7th November 2019 at 10:09 am

J Owen:
I agree with you, but I have found myself guilty of being “too reasonable” at times, reasonable to a fault. Those who stayed and obeyed, possibly thought they were being good citizens, not panicking. We’re all encouraged to be cool cucumbers, right? So whilst, yes, the fire got to a point where people would have to see that the compartmentalisation wasn’t working, perhaps their realisation that they needed to flee came too late. (And there were elderly people, right, who weren’t in a position to flee, had to wait for rescue? I’m sure I read that somewhere. Lesson here? The frail, the handicapped etc do not get put above third storeys of these towers.)
It always comes back to the instructions given.

J Lawrie:
Fancy that, the world’s biggest towers and they decide cheap is best and pump flammable fuel throughout this massive tower. If they are going to build them this big… like the people on the rooftops couldn’t be rescued… if you’re going to build them that tall… you’ve got to have some solutions, ready to roll.
I have always wondered if there was an engineer somewhere, in the US or elsewhere, perhaps those familiar with the Tower itself (maintenance, etc) who tried desperately to be heard, or did manage to be heard and were ignored, that the very nature of those towers meant the extreme heat would be its undoing. And that once the first tower collapsed, why no one thought the second tower was going to suffer the same fate. And the diesel issue… the same. Was someone, somewhere, trying to be heard and failed or was ignored?

Jerry Owen

5th November 2019 at 5:13 pm

The fire and resulting deaths were the result of EU specified cladding which I understand would not have been sanctioned by our own British Standards.
The EU is missing from all of this, but again I understand there is another report to come out which might delve in a little deeper into the cladding materials used aspect of the fire.. (why not now ) or will that report be buried in other news, perhaps the eve of the GE ?
I pass GT occasionally on the flyover, it really needs to come down because all I see is a political icon for the left, and also it is a somewhat morbid sight. But then again when did the left ever miss a tragedy to exploit in attacking ‘tory scum’? And quite frankly if I were in a burning building I couldn’t in a million years see how staying in it would be of any benefit to me whatsoever. JRM is right in his opinion.

Lord Anubis

5th November 2019 at 6:03 pm

The only reason why the cladding was put on the building in the first place was (Along with the installation of Gas ) to meet the green agenda on CO2 emission reduction. But for the installation of the cladding and gas supplies, the building would have been safe for any normal fire and the “Stay Put” advise appropriate.

Graham Woodford

5th November 2019 at 6:03 pm

It all the fault of the EU but there’s no tragedy ‘the left’ won’t exploit 🙄

Jerry Owen

5th November 2019 at 6:45 pm

I see no contradi contradiction in my post. The left have exploited the tragedy , and I believe the EU is culpable to some degree hence I await the second report.. I did not say it was all the fault of the EU, don’t twist what others say.

Pedro Dias

5th November 2019 at 10:52 pm

lol Now it’s EU fault… JO you definitely need help from a professional or move from UK to another country outside Europe. I’m sorry to say that as much as you won’t like, UK is and will always be a European country…

Jerry Owen

6th November 2019 at 8:22 am

Pedro Dias .
I said the EU is culpable to a degree, re the cladding.
And FYI I consider myself English first and European second .

A Game

6th November 2019 at 3:31 am

J Owen:
You are right to bring up where such a disaster of an idea for cladding a tower came from. One of the whole arguments of Remain is that the EU are the bestest at looking after the little people. They have standards in the world no sovereign country could touch, they outthink any independent thinker, they have their eye on the ball, and will never, ever drop it. Its so big and safe and strong.
That in order to meet one ridiculous, virtue signalling target, they consigned people to their deaths… very relevant, especially at election time, when Brexit is a key aspect of said election.
People’s total faith that the EU is a benevolent, wise parent… well… look at what ideas they have for people who live in towers. And no issued warning to go with it, so when one of them ends up on fire, no one knows how the cladding will react and will undermine compartmentalisation.

Extremely relevant that British Standards would have possibly squinted a suspicious eye at this design and nulled it as dangerous.

In Negative

5th November 2019 at 5:05 pm

Fine, review the stay put policy. Good plan. Let’s do that.

Once we’re done grilling the fire-services though (pardon the pun) can we get around to wondering why fire services no longer sign off the safety of buildings? Also – should we find the time – could we get around to asking if its a social good housing poor people in badly constructed fire traps? I mean, I knoww, the fire services are dicks. Stick it to them, they prolly deserve it. But I kinda feel like there might be something more to this story… Like sometimes, something about the relentless focus on this part of the narrative feels a bit distasteful, like it might be political or something. I dunno – I just have these funny dreams where a political ideology and a way of viewing social life might have more to do with this fire than the mistakes of fire services. I know JRM will have had nothing like this in mind. Why would he? Maybe someone should write to him – explain to him how it might look.

Worth mentioning too that Stay Put is government policy. This seems relevant too. Dunno – as ever I just feel like there might be other things going on here…
https://www.insidehousing.co.uk/insight/where-did-the-stay-put-policy-come-from-and-where-do-we-go-now-63957

In Negative

5th November 2019 at 5:27 pm

Additional – the stay put policy came about along with an assumption that tower blocks would behave in predictable ways when they went on fire. Like, the policy expects the buildings to meet some kind of fire prevention standards. Dumb assumption, I know, but you know what the fire services are like…

Jim Lawrie

5th November 2019 at 7:00 pm

The common and drying areas of those building are chock full of cheap furniture, plastic decorations and toys, and such like. It breaches tenancy conditions, but no-one now enforces that.

Lord Anubis

5th November 2019 at 9:45 pm

Actually, LA’s/landlords often DO try to keep the hallways and staircases clear. But they usually end up on the wrong side of the media outrage over “Jobsworths” when tenants moan to the DM etc about how unfair it is that they cant leave flammable crap all over the public areas. 🙁

In Negative

5th November 2019 at 10:41 pm

I know, right? It’s like they wanna go on fire! I can only hope that the second report gives the residents a good drubbing too. I suppose we can wait a little longer for all that stuff about fire traps, unpredictable conflagrations and council safety inspections.

Jim Lawrie

6th November 2019 at 12:08 am

In Negative “it’s like they wanna go on fire”. Are you in any way imputing that statement to me?
Residents have to be told wit no pussyfooting around.

Postmen see and can tell how the common areas of these blocks are festooned and furnished They can also tell you the worst offenders by ethnicity. If you know any, ask them.

Drying areas crammed with plastic furniture with big, permanently open vents. A column of them 20 stories high. Ditto the former verandahs. Bloody marvellous. But the residents have gone omertà on that.

Jim Lawrie

6th November 2019 at 12:25 am

Lord Anubis I do not doubt that where they have the money they try. But a shrine or altar or other such mumbo jumbo, in the midst of all the jumble, will be defended with cries of religious and racial discrimination. Can you point me to where the DM (Daily Mail?) defends such stupidity?

Jerry Owen

6th November 2019 at 1:20 pm

Jim Lawrie
I have argued similarly to you above but my post like many is modded to the point that when it is published it’s too late.
Briefly..
I mentioned that we don’t know the circumstances around the fridge that caught fire, did the flat dweller set off the fire alarm or notify his neighbours, how many illegals were there, were the hallways crammed with ‘stuff’ were the fire doors chocked open as I have read ? At the moment the blame rests solely with the LFB and JRM.
And of course where is the ‘EU’ or ‘British Standards’ in all of this ?

jessica christon

7th November 2019 at 9:44 pm

In negative: “I can only hope that the second report gives the residents a good drubbing too.”

I doubt any criticism of the residents will see the light of day!

Leave a comment

You must be logged in to comment. Log in or Register now.