Danny Kruger, a White City resident and social entrepreneur, offers a powerful message about the Grenfell Tower fire in this week’s Spectator.
Some on the far left have sought to exploit the tragedy to incite class war. But Kruger says the response on the ground has been of the community coming together:
“I live in a council estate not far from Grenfell Tower, and on these hot nights you can hear the hubbub on the walkways. It is taken for granted among my neighbours that ‘they’ want ‘us’ out; that the fire was deliberate at worst and passively allowed at best. Theories circulate not just about the infamous cladding but about how the gas pipes were laid, and the behaviour of the police and fire services.
“Yet there is another story about the Grenfell Tower tragedy. Also on the streets last week, jostling with the Socialist Workers Party, was another familiar London type: the upper-middle-class do-gooder. You could hardly move for vicars, as you would hope and expect. But it was also notable how many of the Notting Hill elite became ordinary people last week, walking down the road and pitching in. One of the first on the scene was Samantha Cameron. Suddenly her husband’s best idea, the Big Society, was happening on her doorstep.
“I know of a pair of private wealth managers who haven’t been to work since last Wednesday. Besides comforting the victims, they have run to the bank to get cash for the homeless. They bought laptops and clothes and toiletries, and hired vans. They contacted the boss of a mobile phone giant, also a local, and got him to send 300 phones then and there. While others were screaming about the evils of the government, they got on and made things better.
“The reason we need the Big Society is that the Big State is no good at this stuff. This is not to say that government can’t do disaster relief — it can and should. Certainly the council needs to tear down the towers and build streets and squares, with first-class homes for everyone. But the equal imperative is to rebuild a community here — and that’s where the middle classes come in.”
The full article is here.