London’s political leaders today began evacuating four residential towers because of safety problems with their external cladding. Although residents pleaded with Council Chiefs for years about the potential for disaster at Grenfell Tower, nothing was done. It went off like a Roman Candle, leaving scores of people dead and many more seriously injured. Others considered themselves lucky to be only homeless.
The renovation of the old building’s exterior included attractive cladding backed by an insulation that was woefully flammable. Despite the materials not meeting the city’s building safety codes, inspectors and their superiors apparently weren’t too bothered.
To make things worse, while most of the spruce up costs went to cosmetic improvements, little or none went to updating the nearly non-existent fire prevention system. That, too, got a pass.
This fiasco is not flattering to the people in London’s halls of government. It is par for the course, though. It’s not unlike other governments around the globe. The primary goal of politicians is protecting their power, not protecting their citizens.
People in government are not very good at thinking pro-actively. For too many of them, there are risks worth taking to keep today’s machine of government appear to be running smoothly.
Acting in advance typically seems expensive to them and is considered a hard sell to their constituents. Politically risky moves are anathema to them. Platitudes work so much better come re-election time.
This predilection is not just limited to building codes and street repairs. It permeates every corner of the halls of government. One is particularly egregious.
You may have noticed that, after every terror attack, authorities deploy hundreds of paramilitary types to protect citizens and defend potential targets, bracing to thwart the next attack and appear strong in protecting the people. Then, after a few days, they disappear.
After the most recent terror attack on the streets of London, their mayor, Sadiq Khan, said that terrorism is “part and parcel of living in a big city”.
So why isn’t living in an unsafe building part and parcel of living in a major city? Because there are ways to make buildings safer, that’s why.
Although dozens had to die in a fire trap of a building before authorities decided to act, now they are realizing that building safety codes must be enforced.
They’re doing it because now it has become a political issue. People are demanding action. And, perhaps only to protect their own jobs, they are embarking on a high-profile campaign to fix the problems.
But terror is not contained by fire safety codes. The statement by Mayor Sadiq Khan that terrorism is “part and parcel” of living in his city is a simple admission that he knows there is no way to fix the problem of terror cells within the UK. It’s just something to be expected and accepted.
London can evacuate residents from housing towers, but they can’t evacuate the terrorists they allowed to swarm into their country. It’s too late now. The elected government screwed up and they just can’t admit there’s no fix for the problem they created.
So Londoners bring flowers, light candles and claim unity and resolve. It appears that terrorism is a fire that can’t be extinguished. Just as with Grenfell Tower, the government allowed this to happen for convenient political purposes.
And more victims are viewed by the political class as the “price to be paid” for being welcoming to all, and proving to voters just how much they care. This is known as pandering.