We failed to learn lessons that could have prevented the Grenfell Tower fire

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Tuesday 20 June 2017 08:42
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At least 58 people died, or are missing, presumed dead, in the Grenfell Tower tragedy
At least 58 people died, or are missing, presumed dead, in the Grenfell Tower tragedy

So, a government and their agencies failing to act on warnings of danger to the public. Health and safety put to be side for financial savings. A person in charge delaying visiting the site for 36 hours due to personal reasons. Huge loss of life, totally unnecessarily, due to poor communication and negligence. Grenfell 2017? Actually, no. Aberfan 1966. Good job we always learn the lessons.

Maurice Raphael
Lincoln

Despite the very creditable minute’s silence observed, nothing could illustrate more clearly the division that still plagues Britain than the juxtaposition of the fire at Grenfell Tower and Trooping the Colour.

Here we have a tragedy where the valid concerns of disenfranchised residents were repeatedly ignored. On the other hand we have money pouring in for an exhibition of military prowess in support of an institutional monarchy, with not a note, step or hair out of place. Not a thing could be allowed to go wrong with such an event, and heads would no doubt roll if it did.

We do need our ceremonials but it is important to think upon this.

Hugh Jenkins
Goodwick

Did anyone think of asking the Disaster Emergencies Committee to assist with the Grenfell Tower fire? That organisation, of many NGOs, has managed far bigger catastrophes: tsunamis, famines and worse. DEC assistance in Kensington and Chelsea would be a great image.

Robin Le Mare
Cumbria

Is Theresa May personally to blame?

I do not believe that any one person should have to take the pressure that the PM is under at the moment. She may have gotten things badly wrong over the election, and must still be in a kind of shock over it. To then have two terrorist attacks to contend with and then the Grenfell Tower block fire, let alone Brexit, would send a normal human being over the edge.

Let us all have a bit more patience with Theresa May. She may not be getting everything right, but at least let's not blame her for everything that goes wrong.

Clive Applewhite
Newark

I'm utterly speechless at how Theresa May can still carry on in her job. The arrogance, contempt or just sheer bloody lunacy of cowardly hiding from the public is just astonishing. The people deserve so much more.

David Murphy
Address supplied

I was sickened today to hear right-wing commentators suggesting the people of Kensington had no right to protest after the Grenfell Tower disaster, and others suggesting that Theresa May should not be criticised, not to mention the suggestion that it is all a leftist plot led by Jeremy Corbyn. What many have been and are going through is a direct result of various Tory governments’ local and national policies towards the less well-off and powerless in our society.

The scrimping on expenditure to provide fireproof cladding is a disgrace – especially from a council with a reported £300m surplus, one that is so wealthy that all taxpayers not in receipt of benefits received a £100 rebate.

The fact that the residents’ complaints were met with the comment from one Tory councillor to the effect that they were being ungrateful after the council had spent £8.6m “improving” their accommodation is indicative of the Tory attitude to the poor in society – and why the one person who epitomises that view deserves all the criticism she is getting.

Geoff Forward
​Stirling

Britain needs its own Macron

Jeremy Corbyn is enjoying a period in which he can do no wrong. But let us not forget that prior to the election campaign he could do no right, and was a dismal Leader of the Opposition. His predecessor was no better. Labour has let the country down by failing to hold governments to account for the past seven years.

The Conservatives (not specifically Theresa May) have got us into the current mess. The party is riven with ideological disputes. They have no interest in governing the country for the benefit of all.

The Liberal Democrats have shown that they are a party uninterested in government. They just want to snipe from the sidelines without taking any responsibility.

It is a complete shambles. Does the answer lie across the Channel? The French government has been equally shambolic for years. Now we see a young charismatic leader start his own party and, in a little over 12 months, he has convincingly won a presidential election and his party is on the verge of taking a substantial majority of parliamentary seats. He talks of investing in infrastructure and training people for future needs. He is encouraging new companies in new industries. It could all go horribly wrong but it is offering hope to the French people. Where is our Macron?

Bernard Cudd
Morpeth

Another angle on tourism in Cuba

After reading Simon Calder’s article on Cuba, I thought I should add this. When I flew to Cuba, some years ago, I combined it with a visit to Toronto. Apart from the joys of seeing my daughter, I apparently had a more pleasant journey than those who joined the group having flown via European airports. Perhaps Trump will just persuade more to go via Canada than the US.

Joanna Pallister
Address supplied

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