Well, I bloody do! And here’s why:
I asked one of the new residents, 45-year-old Salah, a British Somalian who lived in Grenfell with his four children, why there were still so many vacant flats and houses.
Salah said that some of the townhouses did not have enough windows and that had put some people off: ‘There is one here, near to me, that no one will ever take because of the way it is designed without light.’
How’s your blood pressure, reader? Because there’s more!
I spoke to an elegant South American woman in her 30s who told me that she and her four children escaped the fire at 3.30 am. She did not want to be named but explained that most people wanted to be rehoused somewhere nearer to the tower.
‘They want to stay near Grenfell, an area they know, and where they have friends and family,’ she said.
When you live off the taxpayer, in a foreign country at that, you’ll go where the taxpayer can afford to send you…
An Italian, Antonio Roncolato, told BBC2’s Newsnight recently that he preferred to stay with his 26-year-old son Chris in the four-star Copthorne Hotel in Kensington rather than take up the council’s initial offer of a permanent apartment in Westminster, four-and-a-half miles from Grenfell, or one in Earl’s Court, two-and-a-half miles away.
Mr Roncolato, who works as a barman in a hotel in the South Kensington area and had lived on the tenth floor of Grenfell Tower since 1990, said: ‘I declined the Westminster one because it was not in my borough. The second one was a basement flat in Earl’s Court near a very busy road. That also was not suiting my needs.’
When asked what would be acceptable, he said: ‘Acceptable would be a two-bedroom flat on the second, third, fourth, fifth floor, with a lift. I want it in an area possibly where I work, near where my relatives are.’
He has explained: ‘It might sound like people are getting a bit fussy, but they have been through so much and if you’re moving house, you want it to be to somewhere you will stay for a lifetime.’
Then pay for it yourself! FFS!
Then there is Randa, 25, who is living in a hotel in Gloucester Road, West London, with her husband, who has been in Britain for nearly two decades, and their two children aged six and three. A few days after fleeing their flat, they moved into the hotel and have been there ever since.
Randa’s mother, here on a month-long visit from the Yemen, is staying in a block of £100-a-night tourist apartments near her hotel. The council arranged her trip here on compassionate grounds, although it is unclear whether the borough is paying towards it.
Would anyone be surprised if it was?
…an Australian girl who was living on the tenth floor of Grenfell Tower, but escaped alive, was said to be sub-letting from a ‘landlord’ she had never met who is thought to have been a council tenant.
A friend of the girl, who has since returned to Australia, asked: ‘Will these so-called “landlords” claim all the financial help being offered, and start letting their council flats again in new properties?
‘How can this be prevented? I would hate to think he could benefit from being given a new property and all the financial aid.’
But they almost certainly will.
News that the Human Rights Commission will be looking at this incident, with a view to determining ‘the extent to which the state has “a duty to protect its citizens”…’ shouldn’t bring any comfort either.
The ‘citizens’ they will be focusing on won’t be the poor bloody UK taxpayer who is being forced to cough up to house the world’s waifs and strays, will they?