Tuesday, 12 September 2017

[Film] Austerity Britain: Part Four

In the aftermath of the Grenfell fire, the borough of Kensington and Chelsea held a council meeting to discuss their response to the disaster. With the public gallery filling up with local residents and survivors poised to demand answers, a Tory councillor - unaware of being filmed - appears to be reaching the end of his tether.

Except, in that moment, Councillor Matthew Palmer was not angry at the string of failures that led to the fire. Nor was he fuming at the lacklustre response of his colleagues.

Cllr Palmer's frustration was in fact directed at a group of local residents banging on a locked door, desperate to enter and be heard. “Don’t let them in” he mouths, “don’t let them in”.

And that, in all its four-word simplicity, sums up the attitude of the ruling class towards the rest of us. It’s under the duress of exactly this attitude that austerity has been allowed to fester and why now - looming over West London, casting its shadows of shame - austerity has an emblem.

The 4th part of my series of films Austerity Britain looks at the ways in which the 'culture of cuts' played a part in one of the most horrific accidents in recent history.

All four parts can be viewed here.