Is­sue of class dom­i­nated the Gren­fell in­quiry

The Guardian Weekly - - Opinion -

I was im­pressed by the elo­quence and sen­si­tiv­ity of Tim Adams’s re­port on the Gren­fell in­quiry (14 De­cem­ber). It seems to me that be­hind this elo­quence is one word: class.

As with most of the in­quiries ref­er­enced, the vic­tims were lower class, the judges, lawyers and man­agers, up­per class. The tra­di­tional ten­dency of the up­per class is to be deaf to the feel­ings of the lower classes and to close ranks when called to ac­count.

Adams high­lights the soft­en­ing of the judge’s at­ti­tude af­ter hear­ing of the trauma and grief of the sur­vivors and also the in­flu­ence of Bishop James Jones’s re­port on the Hills­bor­ough in­quiry, which he called “the pa­tro­n­is­ing dis­po­si­tion of un­ac­count­able power”.

Could these be signs, al­most a thou­sand years af­ter the Norman con­quest, that the Bri­tish class sys­tem is with­er­ing? Ed­ward But­ter­worth Vic­to­ria, Bri­tish Columbia, Canada

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