Yesterday, the BBC broadcast a documentary about the Grenfell Tower fire. The documentary can be viewed in the UK at BBC iPlayer: ‘Grenfell’.
Earlier in the day, Theresa May’s PR team carefully coordinated a press release from her in which she claimed to express “regret” about the fact that immediately after the fire she chose not to speak to victims. Fellow Tory George Osborne published the entire press release: May on Grenfell.
The timing of her comments seemed non-coincidental
- Why was her statement released and given a big push to the media on the same day as the BBC’s documentary?
- Why did it take a year for her to realise that her behaviour had been abjectly inadequate?
The timing was deliberate, for two reasons.
1) May and her team knew that, after the airing of the documentary, her coldness and indifference throughout the last twelve months would be discussed and criticised. Her statement was an attempt to lessen and deflect such criticism.
2) The timing of her statement was also blatant opportunism. May and her team knew the BBC documentary would receive a lot of public and media attention. They wanted her to be able to cling onto the media coverage to promote herself.
Yesterday’s statement was May’s attempt to absolve herself and to extricate herself. Her opportunism and blatant insincerity are more punches of contempt from her aimed at the victims of the Grenfell fire. The Tory government’s responses and reactions to a dreadful, fatal and avoidable tragedy have been the clearest demonstration of their wilful detachment from people and their utter disdain.
In her statement, May repeats lies about what the Tory government has done and intends to do to help the victims. The government’s response has been woefully inadequate and close to mockery. Another restatement of these lies is further contempt.
Related blog: History repeats: Hillsborough, Grenfell