And still they bang on about lessons to be learned


I wrote about this phrase four years ago:  Lessons to be learned in the wake of the Baby P case.  “Lessons will be learned“.

And yet here we are, with a different situation four years later but still hearing the same phrase being trotted out.    I am sick of it.

How many more people have to die before these bloody lessons are learned?

Once again I wake up to see news has broken over night of another horrific event.  This time the fire at Grenfell Tower.  At 6am it was still being classed as a “Dynamic Event” ie still happening.  Still unfolding, with people still being rescued, many still trapped.  Here we are 24 hours later and scores are still missing, many are in hospital and will be for days.

Yet if that tragedy wasn’t enough to take in, within hours we were hearing of a shameful catalogue of errors that had seemingly lead to this catastrophe.   If you haven’t already read this blog I recommend you do:  Grenfell Tower Residents Association    Make a cup of tea and then read through every single link on that front page.  It is disgusting quite frankly.    For years those residents have been concerned about rubbish left in doorways blocking access, there only being on stairwell, road access for emergency vehicles, the lack of fire alarms.   The list goes on.

It all fell on deaf ears.

Nobody listened.

Nobody.  Not one person listened to those residents who lived in that tower.

Who have perished in that fire.

But that’s okay now isn’t because Teresa May is saying “If any lessons can be learned”    Oh do shut up.   Shut up with those words.   If ever a phrase was a sodding cop out it is that one.

Why should lessons need to be learned?  Why can’t we listen to people?  So many times these people tried to make their voices heard.  Even as far back as 2009 when another fire in a block of flats resulted in 6 people dying, why weren’t “lessons learned” then and acted upon?  Ministers who have passed the proverbial buck with statements like “…increasing fire safety regulations to include sprinklers  could discourage house building”.

Excuse me?!

The sodding ex housing minister is not ensuring the safety of people in their own homes?!     Not ensuring that everything is done to protect people in their own homes?  Why?

London, and Manchester, has been rocked recently by terrorist attacks killing people out having a good time.   This somehow feels worse.   Not that it can get any worse really, but you know what I mean.  These are people in their own homes.   People who died because they couldn’t get out of their own front door to safety.   Parents and grandparents who couldn’t save their loved ones.   I cannot imagine the terror of that situation.

Lessons don’t need to be learned, people need to be locked up.   Every single person who ignored the concerns of those residents, needs to be dragged into court and held to account.   And jailed for those deaths.  Seventeen at the time of writing.   But you know it is going to rise.

And for that there is no excuse, no buck to pass.   The only lesson to be learned is the one that stops people dying in their own homes.

Right now.


Image courtesy of Shutterstock

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  • In agreement 1005.
    How does one start a private prosecution of the landlord and/or owner of the tower – a lot of things appear to have been wrong.
    A charge of Manslaughter would seem appropriate.
    (We are world leaders in holding public inquiries, inquests, Royal Commission inquiries “ad nauseam” but suggestions/recommendations/requirements seem to fall underfoot)
    Anyone else?

  • This situation makes me so sad for all of the families torn apart. But more than sadness there is anger. Anger that these residents’ concerned went unnoticed. Anger that, as you rightly said, lessons are going to be learned when the situation should have been avoided in the first place. Such a terrible loss of so many lives.