The horrific fire at Grenfell Tower in London, which has killed so many working-class people, demonstrates the terrible reality of housing in Britain today. In the wealthiest area in Britain, and one of the most desirable property markets in the world, scores of working-class people in social housing have died, and many more have been made homeless, in the deadliest fire in Britain since accurate records began at the start of the 20th century.
The disaster, and the government’s response to it, show the complete disregard for working class lives held by the ruling class of Britain, and reveals how the concessions and quality of life afforded to workers in imperialist nations are no longer sustainable within the deepening global crisis of capitalism. The cause of the fire, and what enabled it to spread so quickly, is inherently tied to policies pursued and laws passed in the interests of the bourgeoisie.
There have been inquests and reports at home and abroad at least since 1988 which have shown the danger of using cladding such as that used on Grenfell Tower on any building higher than a fireman’s ladder can reach. There is absolutely no doubt that social murder has been perpetrated upon the residents of Grenfell Tower, but it is highly unlikely that the true culprits will ever be required to answer for it.
This is not a tale of ‘conspiracy’, nor is it a tale of ‘evil’ Tories versus ‘good’ Labour party; it is an account of the inexorable economic forces that drive capitalism in its current, final, decadent stage of imperialism and world monopolies. Individual owners of capital may rise and fall, but the ever-increasing concentration of wealth in the hands of fewer and fewer people and the ever-increasing impoverishment of the majority of the world’s population is well documented – Oxfam publishes the figures annually.
This is a tale of class against class. The economic forces are those inherent in imperialism itself. Contrary to what the bourgeois media and other spokespersons for the system of imperialism would have us believe, this situation is not inevitable; there is an alternative.
To achieve that alternative, the workers must take control of their lives by taking control of their work places, homes, schools, health and environment. They can only do this by smashing the state power of the imperialists, and substituting the state power of the working class; by using that power to take over ownership of the means of production, distribution and exchange, and then organising production and all services for need, not for profit.
Learn more about the crime of Grenfell tower: