Anger rises against Tories as Bolton fire shows that lives are still at risk

Student flats on fire in Bolton and the Grenfell Tower
Afroze Fatima Zaidi

A fire that engulfed a student housing block in Bolton has shocked people up and down the country. While there’s, thankfully, been no recorded loss of life, traumatised students have lost their belongings and their homes. The Fire Brigades Union (FBU) has condemned the incident because two years after the Grenfell tower tragedy, the government has failed to take meaningful action to save lives.

“A shocking indictment of the government’s shameful inaction after Grenfell”

Firefighters have condemned the incident as “a complete failure of the UK’s fire safety system”. In a press release, the FBU said:

It’s deeply troubling to see fire spread rapidly up a building’s exterior again – a shocking indictment of the government’s shameful inaction after Grenfell. This is not how any building should react to a fire in the 21st century, let alone a building in which people live. We need to end the deregulation agenda and the disastrous cuts to our fire and rescue service.

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It’s time for a complete overhaul of UK fire safety before it’s too late

Les Skarratts, FBU North West executive council member, said:

Firefighters on the ground have worked tirelessly to contain the fire and rescue residents. There will clearly be some hard lessons to learn as the circumstances become clearer in the coming days.

Greater Manchester has lost more than 600 firefighters since 2010 alone and, alarmingly, Andy Burnham is trying to cut another six fire engines, including one in Bolton.

We need to stop the senseless cuts to our fire and rescue service before we see another awful incident like this.

Shock, trauma and devastation

Students affected by the fire immediately shared video footage and described their experiences:

Many people shared anger that this fire appears to have been entirely avoidable:

No lessons learnt from Grenfell

People are shocked by this Conservative government’s inaction with regard to fire safety regulations. After the catastrophic loss of life and displacement caused by the Grenfell Tower fire, avoiding a tragedy like this still isn’t on the government’s agenda:

The Conservative government’s disdain for the people who are at risk in buildings across the UK seems clear:

Moreover, mainstream media has been complicit in failing to hold the government to account:

People are rightly angry at the fact that the Conservative government seems to have unlimited funds for its own agenda, but not for issues that affect ordinary people:

It’s become painfully clear that not only was the fire in Bolton avoidable, but that the Tories cannot be relied on to ensure a tragedy like this never happens again. It seems obvious that the best way to get an issue as important as fire safety finally addressed is to vote the Tories out on 12 December.

Featured image via Elise Millward/ Loz Pycock

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  • Show Comments
    1. Lots of funds for Brexit to bring a sense of the kind of unity they desire but have done nothing to replace the cladding they know isn’t fireproof.
      It makes one think the Tories can’t be responsible for anything too practical.
      The owners of these buildings may react differently if this kind of thing was viewed now as conscious manslaughter.
      Must be a class war going on here its so quiet by the press about this socially criminal behavior.
      Maybe we’ll be able to watch this reality in a script of English drama. It’s where all the real topics seemed to be aired

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