Mudcat Café message #4017414 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #166861   Message #4017414
Posted By: DMcG
06-Nov-19 - 02:25 AM
Thread Name: BS: UK General election December 12 2019
Subject: RE: BS: UK General election December 12 2019
I posted a comment on the Brexit thread about Andrew Bridgen's attempted defence of Jacob Rees-Mogg's comments on the Grenfell fire.

Here are Rees-Mogg's remarks:

if either of us were in a fire, whatever the fire brigade said, we would leave the burning building. It just seems the common sense thing to do.

And Nigel's response to me:
RE: BS: Brexit #3: A futile gesture?
From: Nigel Parsons - PM
Date: 05 Nov 19 - 02:43 PM

It's all very well to portray it as guidance from patricians, but the thought process at the time would have been:
"I'm in a burning building, should I follow my instincts, and get out, or follow the advice of the fire brigade and stay put?"

While the fire brigade were giving what they believed (at the time) to be the best advice, it has since transpired that "I'm in a burning building, I need to get out" would have been the best response for most of the victims.
JRM may not have phrased that well, and it may be that there is no way to phrase it without risking offending someone. But, generally speaking, his comments were truthful.

And what has this to do with Brexit anyway?

I have several problems with that, Nigel. Firstly, we live life forwards, not retrospectively. Agreed, on this occasion the advice was tragically flawed. But no one knew that at the time: they just had to go on the situation as it was. Even now, we can't be absolutely certain that there would have been less lives lost if people had not followed the advice.

The second problem is that we are talking about a tower block full of people. If you are on the thirteenth floor, you have very little understanding of the situation on, say, the fourth floor. So you may well be walking *into* the fire in an attempt to walk away from it. You are certainly reducing the number of fire doors between you and the fire *if it is from the inside of the building, not the outside.*
Then you could well find yourself in a crush on the stairs with lots of other residents, some of whom may be in a state of panic. That risks 'Hillsborough' effects.

Thirdly, the fire brigade did not conjure this advice out of the air for the fun of it. It is based on much experience, and it is foolhardy, not common sense, to just ignore it.

But all of this is just background to what was really offensive in RM's remarks - that it was in some way the fault of the victims because they failed to use common sense.