Good Point………

Chris Dillow makes a very good point, that the fire at the Grenfill highlights an important point, that politics is actually a life and death, and not a chummy sporting event where civility is prized above all else.
While I disagree that with Mr. Dillow’s hope that this tragedy will lead to a change in politics is viewed by our politicians and pundits, he is right about the reality of politics.

This sh%$ is real:

There’s one aspect of the Grenfell catastrophe that is perhaps under-appreciated – that it should finally kill off what is perhaps the dominant conception of politics in the media.

I’m thinking here of the idea that politics is an Oxford Union-style game. There’s jockeying for position, gossip and backbiting in which (over)-confidence, fluency and a particular conception of “credibility” are prized above all, but the game is mostly among jolly good chaps. And it’s a low-stakes one. The worst crime is to conduct a “car crash” interview, and the losers retire to spend more time with their trust funds and sinecures.

We see this idea of politics in the matey undertow between presenters such as John Pienaar and Andrew Neil and their narrow roster of guests; the idea that politics is something that only happens in Westminster; the ostracism and patronizing of those whose class, gender or ethnicity excludes them from the game, such as John Prescott, Angela Rayner and Diane Abbott; and the popularity of Boris Johnson, the epitome of Oxford Union politics. One reason why John McDonnell is so hated is that he sees that politics is not just a debating game.

This idea of politics is, though, a lie. The truth is that politics has always been a matter of life and death – especially (though not only) for the worst off.

For me, one of the most memorable political exchanges of the 1980s was when a heckler shouted to Neil Kinnock that Thatcher had “showed guts”, to which Kinnock replied: “It’s a pity others had to leave theirs on the ground at Goose Green to prove it.” That retort caused outrage because it reminded the political class of the nasty fact that political decisions, rightly or wrongly, have lethal consequences.


Herein lies my hope. Grenfell might – just might – be a turning point. It shows that politics can no longer be seen as a debating game from which the poor are excluded. It must instead become a serious matter which has life and death consequences, in which the interests and voices of the worst off are finally given full value, and in which there’s no place for childish games.

I hopes that this horrific event will lead the political class, will take politics more seriously as a result.

I despair of this ever happening.

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