Should Politicians Be Held Responsible When Their Mistakes Result in Death?

in politics •  last year

Grenfell Tower

The Grenfell Tower Fire brings up questions of government culpability. (Source: The Guardian)


Introduction


The recent Grenfell Tower disaster has raised the question of who is to blame when buildings are built or (as in this case) modified in an unsafe manner.

In the case of Grenfell it appears that a fire which would have been contained by the original design was able to spread out of control due to later modifications made to the building (specifically the addition of a flammable cladding on the exterior).

These modifications were made to help insulate the 1970s built structure and also to make it look more visually acceptable to the wealthy housing which surrounded it.

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One of the reasons for cladding Grenfell was to make it more acceptable to those living in the luxury housing nearby.

In recent days it has come to light that the actual material used is not fire safe and was actually illegal to use in this kind of application.

As a result of these findings there have been tests that have found similar material used in at least 120 other high rise buildings around the country.

There are also fears that many other buildings (including hospitals) may also incorporate similarly hazardous cladding.

If the use of this material was an accident or oversight then it would be bad enough, but the fact that this material has been used in many buildings around the UK seems to suggest something more.

Specifically that local and national government have neglected their responsibility when it comes to enforcing fire safety.

This has got me thinking about an issue that has concerned me for some time - that of the culpability and willingness of politicians to accept responsibility for their actions or lack of them.


Who is to Blame?


One of the points that has been suggested as a cause in this case is a lack of enforcement of building regulations.

Most councils are having difficulty managing.

Inspecting buildings to make sure fire regulations are met is expensive and time consuming.

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A lack of enforcement of building regulations?

With all the cuts due to the recent years of austerity councils may have reduced their scrutiny in this area.

The cuts have also meant that most fire services have lost significant numbers of firefighters and other resources, so when a disaster does occur they are less well equipped to deal with it.

As a result we may have ended up in a situation where we have a lot more buildings which are susceptible to serious fires but local fire departments are simultaneously more poorly equipped to deal with them.

I think most of us would agree that if someone uses improper building materials which could result in death or injury they should face some kind of punishment, including prison.

What about the other people who may have contributed to the situation?

They may have not put the material there themselves but they may have created the circumstances which allowed an unscrupulous or negligent builder to get away with it.

Further they may have brought about the circumstances which mean that any fire that does occur is more likely to be serious with greater risk of injury and loss of life.

If an ordinary person is an accomplice to a crime then they don't normally get a free pass on that - they usually have to face some kind of punishment or sanction as well.


Does Government Bear Some Responsibility?


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Does the Government have some responsibility?

So the question is: Should local and national government also be held accountable?

After all part of why we pay them taxes and grant them certain powers is in exchange for them taking care of these things.

They are supposed to keep us safe.

If they have neglected their duties and that has resulted in deaths should they not be punished the same way as any other person would?

I think it certainly makes sense on both an emotional and rational level but I think it may not be quite that simple.


Governments and Politicians Rarely Get Punished When Their Actions Cause Death


One of the things that is quite noticeable in our society is that when a regular person does something wrong - even if it is not deliberate they can end up getting punished very harshly.

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Politicians are great at deflecting responsibility.

If your actions result in the death of someone (even accidentally) you can end up going to jail for manslaughter.

It seems these same rules don't apply when it comes to politicians. At least they haven't as long as I have been around.

For example, let's say you are a minister who cuts back on the fire provision in a particular region and that results in 1000 more deaths than the previous year.

Should you be held accountable (at least partially) for those deaths?

After all, if you hadn't made those cuts those people may still be alive:


There Are Different Sides To The Argument


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There are arguments for and against.

It is a difficult question to answer.

One side of the argument might be that in order for politicians to work more effectively and efficiently they can't worry about being prosecuted for their actions.

I suppose this might be a more appropriate argument when it comes to decisions in wartime (a special case).

I'm not sure it is as applicable in peacetime where there isn't the same time pressure.

A further argument might be that it can also be difficult to prove that a certain specific person's actions directly caused the deaths.

How do you assess the degree of culpability or blame?

It is pretty clear that the builder who used the incorrect cladding bears most of the responsibility, how much responsibility does the councillor who cancelled building inspections bear?

I think we run into a fundamental issue of quantifying blame and culpability.

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Ministers often come back repeatedly after being sacked.

That said this is exactly the kind of thing that the courts and the legal system are designed to figure out so it is not something that doesn't already happen and couldn't be done.

It also doesn't seem right that a politician who acts recklessly and ignores safety advice should escape from any kind of punishment (besides being demoted or sacked).

Losing your ministerial position or place in the council does not seem to be a proportionate punishment for being responsible for people dying.

These sackings are rarely permanent anyway - you tend to see the same people being recycled in government even after big mistakes and it seems that when they come back all previous mistakes are forgotten.

We need to have a situation where people take their responsibilities to public safety seriously.

At least part of that is making sure that the punishments are commensurate with the results of failure particularly when it could mean people dying or being seriously injured.

Without that we will continue to see the same kind of irresponsible actions happening over and over again.

Perhaps some kind of life ban on taking any kind of political office when something like this happens would at least help?

That way they couldn't come back and behave similarly recklessly again.


Conclusion


It seems that as a result of the Grenfell fire, there is going to be a "major national investigation" (the words of the Prime Minister) in to the use of cladding on buildings across the country.

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Politicians will probably not accept any responsibility.

We will have to wait and see if it results in any prosecutions.

Whatever happens I doubt we will see any responsibility being accepted by local or national politicians.

Sadly as a result of that I think we will have similar situations occurring again.

Perhaps in relation to other areas of public safety, but the cost could potentially be just as high.

It is just another one of the long list of issues which makes people increasingly mistrustful of politicians.

What do you think?


Thank you for reading


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think they responsible for every decision that they've made. At least they should be banned to be a politician for life

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That would disqualify a helluva lot of politicians. :) They are an incompetent lot.

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At least the next one would learn so he wont lose his position. 😁

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Maybe. Not a sure thing!

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Yes that would at least be something.

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At least 😁

I was listening on bbc1 that several places failed to pass the fire tests....

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Yes. It seems to be endemic.

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We need much more control and honesty.

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Yes but I doubt we will get it.

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u did a great thing.. going out Europe. You have so much shit to care about that you can't be controlled by Europe too.

I wish Italy will follow UK and will leave Europe and will become the powerful country we were before 2002. At part this I wish May will actually do everything she said in TV about us (foreigners). Lets build up a better world!

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I think the future of the EU is limited - globalism basically means it doesn't really give any advantage anyway.

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agreed 100%

I think they definitely should be held accountable. If they can not make the right decision they should not be leading us.

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Yes. Thing is they get sacked which means they basically take a rest for a few months and then come back in the next reshuffle.

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yeah the problem is the profit for the rich is more important than the lives of the working class. As long as somebody does it, they are expendable.

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Sadly I think you are right. Money is often more important than lives (especially of the poor).

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if only there was a system where everybody is equal and free.......

oh wait.....

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Yep. And they get a generous pension out of it.

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That and kushy jobs on company boards where they get hundreds of thousands for a few hours work every year.

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Yep. It's a joke. And we are the butt of the joke.

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They could care less about us.

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I agree They definitely should be held responsible for putting lives in danger just for money, its disgusting. there was one lady from the Council who tried to stand up for the people/ change the cladding , she almost lost her job.

Politicians should be held responsible legally for these kind of fatal screwups. But since politicians would need to write new laws to make this happen--and because politicians are adept at self-dealing--this will never happen.

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I fear you are right.

"For example, let's say you are a minister who cuts back on the fire provision in a particular region and that results in 1000 more deaths than the previous year.

Should you be held accountable (at least partially) for those deaths?"

Absolutely yes, always asking me, how people (especially politicians) responsible for major mistakes can sleep well.
Just think about this: if a non politician would've made that decision everyone would sue him for everything he posseses+more..

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Great point. When lives are on the line you better be damn thorough when it comes to your job... politicians seem to be the opposite of thorough though.

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Yes you are right.

Lets be honest local politicians and councilors don't really know much about there chosen field, as a whole people who work in or for the council are there through nepotism this is my experience here in Bristol... How many times have you ever met anyone who works or knows somone who works for the council that you think wow thats a clever person or they really know what there talking about??? again my own experience here is minimal... So its hard to blame these people as they are more than likley being taken for a ride by some cowboy firm wanting to make a quick buck... Id say lets go after whoever supplied and fitted that cladding as they should have known!!

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It's possible but if they cut back on people that did know about such things then they are responsible.

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good point but cutbacks usually come from the top, and people are under pressure at local level to spend what they can however they can

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@tfx96 i agree, the burden of responsibility should lie mostly with the 'professional' contractor, builder etc, who ought to know better.

I remember watching the news and thinking why went the fire fighters doing more to get the people out, it was very bizarre to see that people were screening out their windows and there was no effort to get them out somehow, they were clearly ill equipted and had little knowledge of how to deal with high rise building fires.

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There is no getting them out of that situation, unfortunately. Some inventor needs to invent a parachute that works at such a low height. Not easy to do, as no one has invented it yet.

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Yes I think the firefighters were shocked themselves and didn't know what to do.

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If the building was constructed properly, the fire would not have spread how it did, the firefighters were presented with a sutuation which should never occur, and for which they therefore have not trained.

We have different religion, different culture, different skin tones, languages but all the politicians are the same around the globe.

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So true. Parasites.

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Yet we are left with no other option than trusting them.
May another Mr. Nakamoto comes up with a theory of decentralized social system.

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I think creating a lot of competing interests is the way to go so that politicians don't run wild. It worked well until FDR came along and created an inbalance.

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Perhaps we are using it right now.

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We definitely can not deny the power of social networking but a socio political restructure is becoming necessary for the better future

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The thing is that with the way societies are structured, being a politician is one of the ugliest jobs you can have.

That's why almost no sincere and honest person would choose it. But I'm an optimist and think that there must be some who are like that...

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It's good to be an optimist Rumen! But a theory which says "whoever visits hell becomes a devil."

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Well that may be so, or maybe if you invest yourself enough you can change hell to heaven(I'm not into religion haha).

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Nice thought but technically this can denied if we go by the laws (+)+(-)=- :P

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hmm
(+)-(-) = (+) ? ;)

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Btw... Even I'm not into religion... Rather a self proclaimed atheist

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Lol it would seem so.

What happens is that the vast majority of politicians only seek their own interests and always evade their own responsibilities to the detriment of the population

YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES

however I don"t think it will ever happen

Your post raises more questions than it answers and I think that is a great thing. In cases of deaths, there should be criminal negligence trials that should determine possible punishments.

I agree that people holding public office should not constantly be worrying about getting sued, because they will do as little as they can, so this would stifle progress. But if there are deaths, there should be inquiry into the reasons and if there is some form of illegal behavior including negligence and lax regulation enforcement, everybody responsible should bear some responsibility. Even if there isn't any jail time, maybe they should at least be barred from holding public office.

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Thanks for such a well reasoned response. I think eventually there will be some kind of public enquiry to find responsibility.

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I hope so. It is interesting how this will be handled and who will get the blame and/or accept responsibility. What usually tends to happen is that blame tends to be put at least a few levels too low down the chain of command for obvious reasons.

Politicians Need to be Hunged ! and public must be Gather to see .

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I don't agree with that.

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@thecryptofiend Politicans don't do killing by mistake ...

The Government and Citizens both have a role to play.

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The contractors will be taken to task. The regulators will get off scot-free.

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It depends on the Engineering codes of conduct in that particular Country, In Nigeria, if the fire outbreak was caused due to the carelessness of the local residence, it has nothing to do with the contractors but if the building fails due to quackery then the contractors and Engineers will be held responsible by COREN which is the appropriate body.

Great post! Very nicely done. Thanks for the support btw! Upped and following :D

φ

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Very good question.
On the one hand, we must question intent. In other words, was it the intent of the politician to harm people. In most Western societies that would not be the case. Most decisions are not maliciously made with the intent to harm others.

But yes, that is on the one hand.

On the other hand, you need to look at common sense. Most politicians are highly educated. They will know that cutting budgets on something important like building material could lead to harm.

So, for me, there might not be intent to harm, but there should be consequences if an educated person like a politician makes these judgement calls.

I completely agree with the thrust of your argument. Unfortunately, politicians are uncannily skilled at writing themselves exceptions from legislation. In the US, they write themselves exceptions to most things they pass, like the healthcare laws, and now one of them is pushing a bill that would give all legislators the same status as federal law enforcers (carry a gun anywhere, etc.)

Given they are the only ones who could begin removing their immunity, I can't say I'm holding my breath.

"Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?"
(Who watches the watchers?)

I don't think all politicians are bad, I mean look at Donald Trump
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@thecryptofiend Very well done post! Really gets me thinking. The lopsided power exchange has to end. I believe it ends when we, individual citizens, choose to longer hand over our power and sovereignty. To start asking why we give our power over if it suits those were giving it to more than ourselves. I've been asking why do we give our power over to these government folks when they are not able to keep us safe or any happier! 'The way it's always been' or 'that's the way it works and we can talk change it' is no excuse. We have just as much power! One must give power for another to recive it. Love seeing small acts of sovereignty adding up. There seem to be more people now days asking these deeper questions. The shift is happening! It's why #cryptocurrency and the #VIVAconomy get me super excited!!! We have a beautiful runway to gaining our sovereignty back as individuals and groups. :). Thank you for speaking out about this and asking these important questions!

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YES! People need to take their power back. I was trying to reply something like this but my response was far clumsier. : )

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Thank you:)

I can no more agree.

Cuts had to be made to save some money and improve the budget of the state. Strangely enough, education, health and basic services like police of firemen are always to first ones to be hit. And this always comes from a decision made by a (small) bunch of people.

We are here in the case of a major issue and the people who made the cut decision in the past are naturally responsible. They should now take their responsibilities and be punished. That's the only way if we want politicians to think twice the next time... Otherwise, I am afraid that history will just be repetition, as often...

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Yes. There is going to be an inquiry so we will what happens.

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If anything happens. That is the crucial question we would like to know the answer. Future will tell!

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Great write up again. I haven't been following along with the Grenfell fire. It's just a crime that those materials were used for aesthetics. It reminds me of the Flint water crisis. They have finally charged a dozen or so people with crimes in this case. Most are state employees. Now are those charged the exact ones to blame for the deaths? I believe that the people of Flint need justice but I worry that these people may be just scapegoats in a long chain of command taking the fall for the top officials. Regardless the outcome in either flint or in grenfell, lives have been lost and destroyed. Seems like the little guy always seems to lose in the end.

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Yes it is the usual way!

Right decisions are made by the right people , if the decision is not right , then the leaders not either

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Not sure what you mean.

I think this is going to be another long fight for the families similar to the one faced by the Hillsborough families.
And Yes any MP's and Councillors involved should face the consequences. But I suspect some middle management scapegoat will be found and vilified.

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Yes I think so too. I'm sure they will find some low level person to pin the blame on.

I remember a scene from a famous Tamil movie where the hero argues vehemently that even a small accident like electrification can be tied to a dozen government bodies not doing their work or corrupt officials behind each of them.

Sadly, with more crowd we see less control and poor regulation. No country is safe from this phenomena.

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Yes I think you are right.

Yep! But more so the puppet masters behind the strings that no one seems to be aware of................

Yes, whatever position you hold in society if you are in any way a part of the cause knowingly then you should be held to account.

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All those responsible should pay, especially those whose job is to supervise and enforce regulations. However, establishing who's to blame is difficult when there's no political will to do so. Politicians know only to well all they have to do is wait until the uproar dies down, media, social media, Steemians move on to other topics and then it's business as usual.
In Romania, a few years ago there was a horrendous tragedy with newborns that burnt to death in a maternity ward. Who paid for that unspeakable horror? Why, the nurse who was on duty! Not the politicians that had ordered massive layoffs so there was not enough personnel on the ward. Up to this day, hospitals are still understaffed.

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That is very sad but it sounds typical of the kind of thing that happens. It is usually some low level person who pays the price and is scapegoated.

Absolutely, I think the government should be to blame. Because they put the rules, and they SHOULD be making sure the rules are respected. Corruption happens everywhere tho, they receive the bribe and look elsewhere.
Not nice at all since there are lives at risk on matters like these.

Great read @thecryptofiend !
Thanks for sharing

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Thank you:)

To some degree, absolutely

Complicated question. All depends on whether there was clear negligence. Sometimes bad things happen to good people. Easy to say "throw the government representative in jail!" But -- what does that make other government employees do? Refuse to pass all but the strictest materials? Does that mean that other buildings get torn down? No more new buildings built? How much suffering does that entail? Does that mean more people on the roads who have to commute? Do you trade auto deaths for fire deaths then and feel good because you don't actually see the link?

Root cause analysis would help. Far as I know we don't have that answer yet.

I do agree that government usually gets a pass and shouldn't. "Always failing upward" as I call it, because their excuse for failing is usually that they don't have enough power and authority.

The US Army Corps of Engineers really caused the Katrina flooding in New Orleans by building a big channel called the Mississippi River Gulf Outlet (MRGO) through the middle of delta that otherwise suppresses and ameliorates storm surge. But what did they get for their failure? Billions of dollars to build giant gates in front of the MRGO. Can't make this crap up....

One question:

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-06-20/firefighters-hold-back-tears-at-grenfell-tower-fire-memorial/8633348

That's a giant flaming torch there.

Why didn't that building collapse into its own footprint like the twin towers and building 7 :-0 ?

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Great points. As for the Twin Towers collapse I wouldn't be surprised if they weren't built to spec and so didn't function as they should.

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Well, that is the story. Just strange.

These collapse:

And this one, building 7, across the street from the twin towers, the reddish building seen in this picture to the left and slightly behind the left hand twin tower:

Hit only by glancing debris from planes that struck other buildings far above, collapses from these fires:

And yet, this one doesn't collapse:

Despite fire that clearly raged throughout every inch of the building:

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/video/2017/jun/19/police-release-first-footage-from-inside-grenfell-tower-video

So one thing's for sure: World Trade Center complex was CLEARLY not built to code. Just waiting for a puff of smoke to bring them all down. And yet, despite over 2700 deaths -- not a single citation for shoddy construction or improper design. Guess they were too busy chopping up that steel and sending it to China to get recycled to do a proper analysis and figure out who screwed the pooch....

Supports your assertion about government escaping blame for sure, right?

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I don't think we will ever get the answers to that to be honest. All the evidence has been eliminated or at least put beyond reach of scrutiny.

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Yup, I agree. As they say -- It's good to be king!

Well as you said improper building materials which might be the #1 case here. It was truly horrifying event, hopefully victims overcomes this soon. Local governance should step up and help them with a helping hand.
On this note: What really happened with fire alarm? Was that working?

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I'm not sure but people knew of the fire, but based on the previous safety regulations they were told NOT to evacuate and wait for the fire to be put out. If the cladding had been in place that might have been the right thing to do but obviously in this case it was the worst possible course of action.

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Of course it was dumb, because it's like okay you guys wait and watch your property burning. Sadistic!

How do you get 250+ people to view your stuff??? I got 850+ followers and 27 views WTF??? Are my stories that bad lol???

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It's actually down on how many views I used to get. Seems to vary over time.

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27 out of over 850 followers??? I must be doing something wrong. That's what I don't get. Last week I was getting over 100 views, now 27?

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Not sure why.

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Nobody loves me anymore BooHoo!!!

I absolutely agree that political office holders should be held accountable for their actions or inactions. That would be more effective in developed countries where the rule of law is respected. In developing countries, politicians flouts the law with impunity. Corruption has made it so easy for people to get away with criminal acts. And the common man ends up being the one to pay the price, sometimes, the ultimate price! So sad. Until we begin to engage our politicians and make them realize that the power to make or mar them is in our hands, things may not change for the better. Some of us sit back and don't get involved in political processes. If you decide not to vote, because you hate politics, then don't complain when that 'bad guy' gets into power because others voted him in! Thanks @thecryptofiend for this thought-provoking discourse.

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Great answer!

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Thanks

yes, its called Respondeat Superior. "Let the master answer"... for their crimes...

In this case I doubt it was a builder who specified the cladding, more likely an architect who relied on a special materials consultant, who looked at building regulations for guidance. From what I saw there were at least three places in the regulations where you could look for this type of info, they all gave different guidance and all were open to interpretation.
Government is responsible for regulations, and government owns the buildings in question. It's curious that immediately after the disaster, the government has managed to quickly test all the buildings to a higher safety standard; that this was so quickly and easily achieved, and a better standard used is suggestive that the regulations themselves were not properly managed, and this lead directly to the disaster occurring.
Being in charge means you are being paid to be responsible, the buck stops at the top. The question is was this criminal negligence, whichever minister is responsible for housing, when was the last time they had a safety review, both of regulations and of housing stock? Not asking about safety and assuming everything is OK is not acceptable and this should result in prosecution. If the minister did request a review and the results were incorrect, then that's not criminal in my view, but failing to manage a proper review process should result in them losing their position.
However from what I saw on the news one building reviewed since the disaster had no fire doors at the entrance to each flat, this is pure negligence and it's time for the buck to stop.

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Great response. Thanks for giving your perspective. Yes the building design was almost perfect in this case to make the fire worse.

This topic is genius bud. I'll keep an eye for more of this I'm getting tons of ideas from this post alone.

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Long time no see brother @thecryptofiend :) Excellent article, upvoted. In my humble opinion, politicians should not exist at all, and I also don't believe in concept of blame, cause on deeper level all in existence is connected and results one from another. If there was anyone to blame it's us for letting them exist at all. But that's another story :) Much Love!

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Thank you:)

I don't usually think that punishment is the solution, but in the case of people with so much power no responsibility or liability of any kind wont make them more effective or efficient. Far from it, that will only make them think that they are immune to any repercussions. Some people may say that they have many responsibilities and it isn't easy, but that's the case for many more occupations yet those don't have that immunity.

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it's an interesting thought.

a Doctor is not responsible if they make a mistake. It's just "we couldn't save him."

But an Airline Pilot. Or a Bus Driver...

Imagine making a mistake in one of those positions...

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a Doctor is not responsible if they make a mistake. It's just "we couldn't save him."

Not true at all. A doctor can go to jail if negligence results in death.

In the fire case the Government should be held responsible, and should pay some sort of cash to the families of the victims. The cladding of the other buildings that is vulnerable to such a disaster should be all be changed. There should also be stricter fire prevention guidelines and precautions in all high rises. The concerned politicians should take full responsibilty and start making necessary changes. Thanks for sharing

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They may end up doing that. A small emergency fund has been created but I suspect there will have to be some kind of compensation deal.

Yes they should , period .

They should be held accountable but they won't. This is just another Gov't/media sideshow to distract the masses while the real action continues to be played out behind closed doors.

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Yes it is quite likely.

YES if they knew information at the time which could have prevented the death or could have taken actions which directly prevented the deaths.

NO if the decisions they made were consistent with the information that was available to them at the time or there were no actions known at the time which could directly prevent the deaths.

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Yes I agree. You can only be responsible if you knew about it and did nothing or allowed it to happen.

Is that a trick question?

The person responsible for writing the building codes that allow for this and the person who approved it are responsible for the deaths. The people who directly signed off.

I don't think the fire was an accident.

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What is your evidence for making such an assertion?

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Just some videos some friends from England shared of local people talking as well as gematria videos talking about it.

Regarding the fire
The issue was brought up in 1984
Apparently they knew that the building might get on fire easily
The problem is that many people died because of not listening and trusting rubbish materials
Is very sad

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Yes and I'm sure it will happen again. Perhaps if the people in power got punished then it would be less likely.

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Apparently they are asking all other residents to move from the existing tower 🗼 in that area for inspection and probably replacing the shit materials used previously

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Yes. It is happening in a lot of similar buildings.

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Are you from London?

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No but I have a lot of family there.

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Oh OK, anyway great work done on your posts
I ll keep following you

Yes, definately!

Interesting article, there seems to be a lot of moral doubt in this matter. My question would be - who exactly should be responsible and blame for? Is it one person who made the decision, a group of people, a whole chain of people involved in the decision making? What would the punishment be? A fine to pay, jail, end of carreer?

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That is the big question. I think the point of an official enquiry is to figure that out.

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I can imagine the real culprit would escape the responsibility easily, passing it to the less powerful ones...

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That generally seems to be the pattern in these sorts of cases.

Politicians have indeed become the perpetrators of many atrocities across the world. However, i think the professionals involved the rehabilitation of the building, safety checks etc, all have a bigger share of the blame.

For example, i am an accountant and i worked in government organisations and highly political environments for many years. There were times when politicians or political appointees would come in and try to influence my work, for one political reason or another, but the onus was on me, to tell them it was impossible to do things that way, as it went against every accounting principle in the book. Once or twice they initially kicked up a storm, but i would stand my ground and over time they learned to respect my professional opinion.

In the event a politician cuts costs, the professionals owed it to their conscience and the people to speak up, by refusing to do the job with items that were dangerous for inhabitants of the building.

Many politicians can't tell the difference between a Mercedes and a BMW, talk less of expecting them to know what fire-resistant cladding is. That is too technical. If we have more professionals sticking with the rules or guidelines of their knowledge and profession, some of such disasters can be prevented in the future.

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I agree but if the politicians have cut back on the professionals who do understand or ignored their warnings then they must bear part of the responsibility.

As I see it "We The People" have given too much power to the government to the point that we expect them to protect us from acts of God. At some point we as individuals have to take responsibility for our own safety.

You can try prosecuting politicians but they usually defer most regulations and duties to unelected bureaucrats.

I think it can be a tricky question. We're essentially being asked to look at a chain of events and say that the decision a politician made caused 1000 deaths. But how far back can we take the chain then? If that politician ran a campaign on cutting government spending shouldn't the voters who elected them have a measure of culpability then?

Since lives are going to be lost within the tenure of a government administration in a myriad of ways, do we have to do some kind of "net mortality" calculation? If cuts were made to fire inspection but a budget increase was granted to infectious disease research that resulted in saving 50,000 lives would the politician get a pass?

It's a tricky and touchy question. I do think that when there is evidence of gross negligence or outright abuse(kickbacks for construction contracts, etc.) absolutely yes... prosecute. We're actually seeing this happen here in the US where officials in charge of the Flint Michigan water supply are facing manslaughter charges for their actions.

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Very well put. I think that is true it is definitely a difficult subject to come to a final conclusion on. Your hypothetical example is a good one.

Mmmm this is a tragedy for sure. Who is to blame? There are I think 10 years of government to blame. ANY one of them over the last decade could have picked this up and done something but none did. Therefore i would say the whole political system is to blame!

No one is able to look out and protect vulnerable people anymore. It's all about the money.. business as usual attitude.

Let me fast forward it a bit. Nothing is going to happen because ...politics. Engineers go to jail when these things happen but politicians get to throw the ball to the next guy.

Nonetheless, the system reflects the citizens' moral. We chose this.

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I would say it is more a case that we tolerate it rather than choosing it but in some ways it is the same thing.

@ thecryptofiend In Romania we had a terrible tragedy at the Colectiv nightclub on 30 October 2015, when a fire was ignited by the band's pyrotechnics resulting in 64 deaths and 147 injured people. This tragedy happened because the authorities allowed this club to function even though it had only 1 emergency exit, so yes i definitely believe that politicians should be held responsible.

If they are held responsible maybe they will care more and make sure that the laws are respected and reinforced properly.

Very good point @thecryptofiend!

How is it fair that the politicians do not take responsibilities of their mistakes while they always hold us (taxpayers and citizens) responsible for obeying them and paying our taxes?

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Politicians are scum (excuse me)!
A politician here in the US poisoned the whole town of Flint Michigan, with unhealthy, TOXIC, brown drinking and bathing water -- completely criminal.., and should be treated that way.

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Yes I heard about the Flint thing. It is disgusting.

For the sake of argument... I'm wondering whether personal responsibility of the inhabitants of a building are ever called into question. One article suggested that the hallways of this building were rife with trash and mattresses. It seems to me that there is much blame to go around when it comes to who caused the deaths here. The government can only provide so much for people as it must take from other people (in the form of taxes to do so) everything has a cost. This time not spending money had a very human horrible cost. I think the inhabitants of similar buildings need to do everything they can to provide for their and their dependents safety. It's your role as an adult. Sorry to the people who have lost their lives of course. It's a terrible thing. I'm not trying to victim blame but would like people to have more power, also the power to use their judgement and not follow the rules (stay in your apartment if there is a fire) and get out alive.

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That argument falls down though since multiple people live in that building. You might keep your area tidy but it doesn't help if other people don't do the same.

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So true. This is why living in an apartment or any crowded place is so dangerous. The actions of other people directly impact you constantly. I choose the country/rural life whole wholeheartedly! Thanks for your reply!

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You're welcome!

Yes theyI should be held responsible ... where the money go for restoration of the building ??? A lot questions must be asked

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It will come from taxes no doubt.

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It's super sad 😑all thos lives

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Yes they should. Airline and ship captains are held responsible when their decisions cost lives so why shouldn't politicians? We are supposed to be able to trust them in their positions of responsibility.

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gotcha bro ; o) followed you

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Thanks mate. I'm still navigating it.

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all good mate you will get there...just don't vote to much or resteem to much go my blog page and click on the people following ME and follow them all