Grenfell 2021: 4th year with no justice. That structural corruption making lives unsafe

London, 16 June 2021 – It’s still a shock today nobody has been taken to account for the Grenfell Tower fire. The hurt and rage of relatives and survivors it’s a stab to the heart.  The Grenfell fire is not an incident, it’s the consequence of a chain of corruption linking a sick construction industry to national and local power. 

The silent march through North Kensington organised by Grenfell United and joined by thousands, made yet again clear that the hell that has seen millions of people around the world got stuck in front of tv screens for hours four years ago, changed perception and reputation of a country which always loved to praise itself as corruption-free and with an impeccable mechanism of justice. 

That country does not exist anymore. We have to acknowledge this  “new normal” of a widespread corruption induced on the one hand by the exploitation of the housing crisis by the private real estate and construction markets and, on the other, by the exchange of political consensus with concessions and licences, both at national and local governments levels.

The result is the precarisation of lives and constant exposure of people to danger right inside their own premises. Thousands of buildings are still at risk while the inquiry on the manufacturers has just started, four years on. Given Acronic and Kingspan are multinationals, the range of the corruptive system is even broader.  

Relatives and survivors called yesterday for the ‘total shut down’ of these companies fully responsible for the illegally installed faulty cladding causing the fire. 

But, even if that happened, wouldn’t work out the problem of the present and future risks of fire, or other kind of safety issues, as the upcoming wide construction plans aimed to face housing crisis, especially in London, will lead local and national authorities to overlook safety measures and quality standards of materials in order to keep prices low and, broadly speaking, council  housing affordable.

Very serious structural issues emerged with the Grenfell ‘tragedy’ or as survivors and relatives of the victims call it, the Grenfell “mass killing”.

The structural issue is not just the material one, but the systemic corruption which makes the word ‘affordable’ a danger to the society especially to those, the majority, who cannot afford to buy or even to rent a house. One of the most serious ​and concerning developments of this risk is reported by the Guardian:  Property developers gave Tories £891,000 in first quarter of 2021.