The death toll at Grenfell Tower in west London has risen to 30 — and it will continue on that trajectory. The Metropolitan Police Service has admitted that it may eventually exceed 100 and many may never be identified.
Those who made it out of the 24-storey tower block alive are either seriously hurt — 74 people have been treated in six hospitals, according to the London Ambulance Service — or have had their livelihoods irrevocably ruined.
First responders are still at the scene. Fire investigators are wading through the blackened building. Undertakers are carrying bodies to the morgue. And Jeremy Corbyn?
The staunch socialist is in full-on campaign mode, championing the cause of wealth redistribution.
The Labour Party leader is calling for the ‘requisitioning’ of private property to house the now homeless Grenfell Tower residents.
“Kensington is a tale of two cities — it is among the wealthiest parts of the country but the ward where this took place is one of the poorest […] Residents must also be re-housed, using requisition of empty properties if necessary, in the community they love,” said Corbyn in an official statement.
His call — which would almost certainly be illegal — has the backing of more moderate Labour MPs, including Harriet Harman and David Lammy.
Corbyn is shamelessly generating political capital from a catastrophe — it’s completely uncalled for. His words, pitting the poor against the rich, amount to nothing more than an unsavoury attempt to sow division in a borough, and a country, that is already deeply divided.
The Grenfell Tower fire goes beyond party politics, far from the reaches of Left vs. Right, and — as Matt Wrack, general secretary of the Fire Brigades Union, told The Guardian, “we learned these lessons 40 years ago” — it’s clear that the fault lies not with one government, but with successive governments and local councils.
Prime Minister Theresa May, who was lambasted for initially not speaking with the survivors (as well as the emergency services) in her first visit to the scene, has announced a public inquiry into the fire.
Scotland Yard is pursuing a criminal investigation.