To the Residents of Kensington Row ‘concerned’ about Grenfell Residents being rehoused in their development.
Beware of people who have nothing left to lose. Beware of those who have lost their homes their families their possessions’ everything. They have no reason to respect your property rights. They have no reason to respect a society which has taken everything from them. Why should they obey rules designed only to protect you? You fear the thought that soon they will be living amongst you.
But there is a reason that they have nothing and you are part of it. Your retreat from public schools, from state hospitals, from public transport has left these services poorer. If you used these services you might have advocated for their upkeep; instead of shrugging as they crumbled. You have demonised the poor and inoculated yourself from contact with them. You have turned them into the feared “other”.
You can keep retreating into your gated community and sneering down on them from on high. But a society that perpetuates a system where poor, brown and migrant people are burned to death for want of proper cladding is devoid of humanity. A society which makes of itself merely a playground for the global super rich cannot claim to be inclusive. The excluded will eventually take if you will not willingly give.
You want to feel safe in your featherbeds? The price is to give a little of what you have to those who have none. The price is to provide shelter for the homeless, (whether by fire or poverty). The price is to ensure that in the richest borough, in the richest city in one of the richest countries in the world, people are not incinerated in their beds.