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28 February 2018

Stormzy is right to slam Tories for Grenfell

For an independent working class inquiry

Marvin Hay, Waltham Forest Socialist Party

2018 has got off to a great start for young, black, working class artists. Daniel Kaluuya of Get Out and Marvel's Black Panther scooped the Bafta for best newcomer, and grime artist Stormzy scooped not one but two Brits.

Stormzy could have been any one of the 71 killed at Grenfell Tower. When he took the stage, he correctly called out Theresa May and put the blame at the door of the government and the austerity agenda.

The prime minister replied by saying "Grenfell was an unimaginable tragedy." But it wasn't "unimaginable." A residents' group at the tower had been warning of the fire risk for years.

And the Daily Mail, in response, expounded that Stormzy had "happily benefited from the healthcare, housing and education opportunities the government, whether Tory or Labour, has provided."

It asked if he could "show a scintilla of gratitude to the country that offered his mother and him so much? Instead of trashing it."

This shows the contempt in which the establishment holds the working class. We are not allowed to pass judgment on the system that bloats the bosses on our labour.

The Mail's further implication is that immigrants and their descendants are somehow under some sort of contract of uncritical gratitude that renders them impotent in the face of the establishment's continued attacks on pay, housing and access to education.

In calling out Theresa May, Stormzy correctly made the issue one of politics. The Socialist Party demands justice for all the lost souls of Grenfell.

We fight for safe, genuinely affordable housing for all, with an end to cuts and privatisation.

The trade unions have the resources and authority needed to launch an independent inquiry, led by surviving residents, that shifts the focus from defending the establishment to getting the real answers and justice for all those who perished.

Stormzy reminded the world that what happened wasn't just a freak accident or simple tragedy. It was a predicted consequence of underfunding, overpricing and rampant profiteering.

It was a result of capitalism, and Stormzy was right to use this platform to help ensure the world never forgets.

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