Eddie Mair 4pm - 7pm
James O’Brien’s Strong Message For People Turning On Grenfell Survivors.
5 July 2017, 11:31
“What have we become?” James asks as people start to criticise those who escaped Grenfell and are yet to take new accommodation.
Three weeks on from the Grenfell disaster it’s revealed that dozens of people are still in temporary accommodation.
“The most horrible element of the story at the moment, of the aftermath, not of the tragedy itself, is there is the ease with which presumably well meaning and decent members of the British public have somehow been conditioned and persuaded to start hating on the survivors.”
In some cases people have been offered accommodation, but have rejected it for various reasons. This has prompted some to criticise the survivors.
James despairs at what he sees as a callous failure of empathy.
“The people still alive are the lucky ones and they've got nothing.
“Holed up in hotels without even a tooth brush to call their own until the aid and the support system kicks in, and somehow we've created a country, a supposedly Christian country, that looks at these people and thinks that it's appropriate to ask a question about whether or not they should have any choice whatsoever in where they live next.”
James points out that the survivors are being asked to trust the council that failed them so tragically. That people may be asked to live in tower blocks similar to the one they barely escaped with their lives from. That they might be offered accommodation miles from their children’s schools, places of work and their network of friends and family.
“What have we become?” James asks. “What, actually, have we allowed ourselves to become?”