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Organised State Abandonment: The Meaning of Grenfell 24.09.

2018 20)06

Organised State Abandonment:

The Meaning of Grenfell
by Brenna Bhandar • 21 September 2018
Brenna Bhandar 21 September 2018

Img: Kev Seto

❝ My family were survivors of life, yeah? This is not the only

traumatic thing that’s happened to us that’s been on the news, et
cetera, yeah? And we’re fighters naturally, yeah? So who do you argue
with? Who do I argue with? This has been my stress this year, this has
made me ill… So, honestly, the last bit, all the message – the only
message that I have is for Sir Martin, Theresa May and the rest of the
government, red, green, blue yellow… Sir Martin, you do right by us
all and you will do right by my – my children. Everybody’s else’s,
yeah, but you will do right by my children, because I can’t fight you, I
can’t argue with you and I can’t turn up and knock on Theresa May’s
door, yeah? That’s all I’m saying.

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— Claudia Davis, former partner of Steven Power, who died in the fire,
Commemoration Hearings, Grenfell Public Inquiry, May 25th, 2018

❝ Our clients firmly believe that it is absolutely vital that the terms of
reference are amended so that race, religion and social class are
considered, because whilst there will be – and I accept rightly – focus
on the construction and refurbishment of the tower which led to the
fire, that will not be the full story. That will not explain why it was that
these particular people – these particular people – were the ones that
died and will not explain what led them to their death.

— Imran Khan QC, Opening Statement,

Grenfell Public Inquiry, June 5th, 2018

❝ I have found no evidence so far that there was any understanding by

any member of the design team or construction team, nor by the
approving authority, that the rainscreen cladding system was either
combustible or in breach of the Building Regulations.

— Dr. Barbara Lane, expert report,

Grenfell Public Inquiry, para 2.28.1

On June 14th, 2017 a fire started in a flat on the 4th floor of Grenfell
Tower. It spread to the exterior of the flat, and within 12 minutes, had leapt
up 19 stories, fuelled by combustible cladding and a catastrophic failure of
many other fire safety provisions. The testimony of survivors of the fire,
the bereaved and their families with which the Public Inquiry began was
harrowing. The details of lives lived and lost in an entirely preventable
tragedy, the sense of the horror of knowing how individuals and entire
families succumbed to their deaths, was courageously spoken about by
survivors and the bereaved. The purpose of the commemoration hearings
was to clearly set out what is at stake in the Public Inquiry – simply put, to
hold power to account for this senseless and maddening loss of life.

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In the aftermath of June 2017, the word “Grenfell” has come to represent
much more than a high-rise tower on the Lancaster West Estate in the
Latimer Road area of West London. It has come to signify the worst
aspects of a neo-liberal mode of governance that took hold in Britain from
the 1980s onwards, in which the provision of social goods and services was
disaggregated amongst several different private providers; in which the
border between state authority and private provider, and their
corresponding legal duties have become blurred and difficult to discern.
Grenfell has come to represent the utter failure of the state to provide a
basic minimum of support for victims in the aftermath of a horrendous
tragedy that traumatised an entire community. Grenfell has become an
exemplary instance of the callous disregard for the value of human life, the
calculated indifference towards working class and racialised people that
characterise the actions of the politicians, policy-makers, and corporate
lobbyists who have pursued a de-regulation and privatisation agenda at
any cost.

The meaning of Grenfell lies in the abandonment of the state’s

responsibilities to provide minimum levels of safety and security to its
constituents. Ms. Davis’ frustration with the lack of accountability on the
part of an identifiable state authority is a result of state bodies forsaking
their responsibility to provide social goods to which residents and citizens
are entitled. In its rush to make the provision of social welfare, such as
housing, profitable for business, the state in conjunction with the corporate
sector have subjected some of the most vulnerable populations to lethal
forms of precarity and insecurity. Organised state abandonment in the
context of neo-liberal Britain and Grenfell more specifically relies upon
and has reignited an amalgam of racist ideologies and class spite, a specific
hostility towards more recently arrived immigrants from North Africa and
the Middle East, and economic policies based on profit maximisation and
the extraction of value from any and every possible site, including the
provision of social housing.

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I: A Failure to Regulate and Regulations that Fail

A fair number of articles have appeared in the media in the aftermath of

the Grenfell Tower fire detailing the changes to fire safety regulation that
began in the 1980s and carried on up until 2013. Most if not all of the
changes to fire safety regulation, like other forms of regulation, were
undertaken in slavish adherence to the mantra of reducing regulation to
make business more efficient and profitable. De-regulation was a
counterpart to the increasing privatisation of state provision of social
goods. If for-profit, private businesses were to be involved in running what
were previously state services, then regulatory regimes would need to be
lean enough to enable the easy and profitable functioning of businesses.

Unfortunately, the drive to de-regulate, which reached a manic peak with

the government of David Cameron, who vowed in 2012 to “kill off the
health and safety culture for good” as it had become “the albatross around
the neck of British businesses” has had lethal consequences for those
whose lives depend on state authorities to set and enforce adequate
standards for building safety. As Michael Mansfield QC remarked upon in
his opening statement to the Grenfell Tower Inquiry:

while Grenfell Tower was still slow-burning, an exclusive, government-

backed group of senior high-profile grandees from the world of politics
and business, has arranged a meeting of experts to discuss the subject
of ‘cladding.’ The group was known as RTI – or the ‘Red Tape
Initiative’. They had convened a few months earlier in April 2017. The
group’s objectives were clear: to dismantle EU regulations that were
considered a hindrance to profit-making… Such was the thinking of the
dominant power brokers, during the dying embers of Grenfell Tower. In
this atmosphere, safety regulation was sneered at as ‘red tape folly’; and
dismissed as ‘expensive’ and ‘burdensome.’

The suite of building and fire safety regulations that are relevant to

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discerning liability and responsibility for catastrophes such as Grenfell, or

the fire at Lakanal House in 2009 that killed 6 people, including three
young children are complex. The list of relevant legislation identified by
Dr. Lane is structured in her expert report in a “hierarchy of guidance”
beginning with Building Act legislation dating back to 1962, codes of
practice ultimately approved by the Secretary of State, British Standards
produced by a governmental process involving consultation with industry
experts, and “other guidance” provided by parties in the construction
industry. (Dr. Lane, expert report, Appendix D, D3)

It is clear that fire safety is provided by a multi-layered approach that

covers building design, construction, adequate testing standards and
methods, fire-fighting policies (such as the much interrogated “Stay Put”
policy) and regulatory oversight, which constitute as a whole a “layered
approach”. As Lane notes in her expert report, “‘defence in depth’ should
achieve a high level of safety throughout the provision of multiple forms of
fire safety measure.” (Dr. Lane, expert report, para 2.8.8.) The implications
of this kind of safety framework are important to consider when we think
about how a tragedy such as Grenfell could have happened:

Individual layers are not necessarily required to be sophisticated or of a

very high reliability. Instead, a high level of safety is achieved through
aggregating each layer. Therefore, in theory, lapses and weaknesses in
one defence layer should not allow a substantial risk to materialize,
since other defences also exist to prevent a catastrophic failure in safety.
(Dr. Lane, expert report, para 2.8.9)

The whole is only as strong as its many parts, and the fire safety regime
must therefore be cognisant of all the layers of safety, how they interrelate,
and must take steps to maintain them. Dr. Lane sets out in forensic detail
how each of these layers failed. That a loss of life on this scale happened
was not simply because the cladding was combustible — although it is an
astounding and egregious fact that a high-rise tower could be clad in

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material as combustible as petrol itself — but the failure of both active and
passive fire safety protection measures across the board. The multi-layered
approach to fire safety becomes a major liability when the management
and provision of social housing is fragmented, spread out between a web of
private, public and quasi-public organisations. The dicing up and
fragmentation of the provision and procurement of the different and
interlinked factors of fire safety has had disastrous consequences; a
materialised analogy to the tranching seen in the world of subprime
mortgages. As Dr. Lane notes, the refurbishment of Grenfell Tower that
took place between 2012–16, which is what rendered the Tower
structurally unsafe, involved no fewer than 6 parties as the major players,
but stretches to twenty when we include the suppliers of the materials
used. However, the large number of corporate and public actors involved
in the refurbishment does not reflect a stronger composite of legal
accountability and ethical behaviour, on the contrary, it has resulted in a
fracturing and dissipation of responsibility, a “merry-go-round of buck-
passing” that leaves those affected by their actions without remedy.

And no party is guiltier of this than the government itself. As the authors of
the report The Paper Trail note in relation to parliamentary debates on
whether sprinklers should be fitted in new high-rise towers and retrofitted
in existing ones, the government did not relent in asserting that this was
the responsibility of building owners. While Eric Pickles, then Secretary for
the Department for communities and Local Government did write to
building owners on the recommendation of the Coroner for the Lakanal
House fire, this remained within the discretion of building owners and was
never mandated as necessary by the government, despite clear evidence
that sprinklers would significantly decrease the potential loss of life in
high-rise fires. As research by Inside Housing notes, “just 18 of 2925
council-owned high-rise blocks in England had sprinklers fitted inside
flats” as of 2015.

Gleaning several ministerial announcements about the repeal of fire safety

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legislation, nowhere are there references to the lives of residents in high-

rise towers who rely on statutory protections for their safety and security.
In an announcement ahead of the repeal in 2013 of various fire safety
regulations, then Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Communities
and Local Government Don Foster announced that changes to the building
regulations regime in England would “save £50 million for business” each
year. Mr. Foster emphasised that the changes demonstrated “the
Government’s ongoing commitment to ensuring that where regulation is
necessary the impact on business is properly considered and the associated
cost minimised.” The glaring absence of any mention of the people whose
lives would be most affected by the changes to fire safety regulation reflect
a way of seeing, one in which particular groups of people — racialised,
migrant, working class, those living with disabilities, single mothers — in
their manifold intersections, are rendered absent, invisible, and worthless
in the minds of those making the decisions.

In the rush to deregulate, to cut costs for business, the statutory provisions
for fire safety became poorly defined and their interpretation uncertain.
Dr. Lane notes that “[t]he suites of National and European reaction to fire
tests is complex and confusing, as I have illustrated in my Appendix F. No
guidance is provided on which regime takes precedence when differing
classifications are obtained for the same material or product. This has
become a critical problem.” (Dr. Lane, expert report, para 2.29.3) She goes
on to note that an absence of clear definitions (of terms such as “external
surface” and “filler” as they apply to rainscreen cladding), coupled with no
clear direction on which regime (European or British) takes precedence
where there is conflict, has led to a situation in which a failure or lapse of
safety standards was practically inevitable. As for those Brexiteers so intent
on taking back control, she notes that “a material can fail to meet all
applicable European performance requirements… but nonetheless be
compliant with the National Class 0… defined by testing to British
Standards.” (Dr. Lane, expert report, para 2.9.11) A failure to adhere to
European standards of fire safety even before the UK leaves the EU does
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not bode well for the future of safety regulation.

While the confusing and complex morass of regulations, in part, a result

itself of the drive to de-regulate have certainly created the conditions for
the regulations themselves to fail to provide adequate safety standards,
there was also a failure to enforce existing regulations. For example, the
failure to ensure that the fire safety doors installed during the
refurbishment met current standards. Dr. Lane found that doors that were
replaced in 2011 did not meet existing regulations for the length of time
they could withstand the heat and smoke produced by fire. An important
layer in the safety framework called compartmentalisation, upon which the
Stay Put policy is based, the doors produced and installed by Manse
Masterdor Corporation for the Kensington and Chelsea Tenant
Management Organisation (KCTMO) were not compliant with regulations.
(Dr. Lane’s expert report, para 2.15.27). Were these doors simply the
cheapest ones to buy? Did the KCTMO not bother to ensure that the doors
to each flat could withstand the spread of fire for at least 30 minutes, if not
60? In this instance, liability is not even particularly confusing. The
“organogram” in Dr. Lane’s report which visually describes the web of
actors involved in each aspect of the refurbishment has only two parties —
Manse Masterdor and KCTMO.

Dr. Lane also finds no evidence to assure her that the stair doors were
compliant, again chipping away at the multi-layered fire safety framework.
The smoke ventilation system, the width of the staircase — the only escape
route for residents — did not meet the statutory guidance. The fire lift
failed. The list of failures goes on and on. One could conclude that the
Council, the KCTMO, and all of the private contractors involved in the
different parts of the refurbishment simply did not have sufficient regard
for the lives of the people living in Grenfell Tower. But this is only the case
because they are operating in a context created by state and private actors
— one characterised by the organised abandonment of state
responsibilities to citizens and residents to provide basic levels of safety

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and security.

In any regime of organised abandonment there will be dissenting voices.

And indeed, in this case too, there have been a wide range of organisations
and individuals drawing attention to the perils of weakened and
inadequate standards for fire safety in high-rise towers. From
Parliamentary Committees, to individual fire safety experts, to residents’
associations, individuals and organisations concerned with the potential
loss of life due to poor regulations have repeatedly voiced their views. In
the immediate aftermath of the fire, for instance, George Monbiot refers to
a House of Commons Select Committee on the Environment, Transport
and Regional Affairs Report from 2000, which explicitly states that
Witnesses to their Inquiry warned of the inadequate provisions for external
cladding of high-rise towers in Approved Document B (including the use of
“desk-stop” studies rather than full “live” testing of combustibility). They
specifically recommended that all external cladding be entirely non-
combustible; they make other recommendations which were clearly
ignored by both Labour and Tory governments. More specifically, the
multitude of warnings and pleas from the Grenfell Action Group regarding
the lack of fire safety in the building was ignored by RBKC and KCTMO.

Over a period of decades, the government and the local council had
embraced a mode of governing that prioritised the efficient running of
businesses whose sole task, in turn, was profit maximisation. This mode of
governing and the site for profit-making was the provision of social goods
and entitlements. This could only unfold if, underlying this mode of
governance and organisation, there was a pre-existing and profound
disregard for the lives of those living in social housing. And of course, this
profound lack of care for the value of human life could only manifest in the
way that it did, because it intersected with a complex of racism, class
hierarchy, xenophobia, and able-ism each with their own specific histories
that are difficult to map yet crucial to understand. Understanding the
meaning of Grenfell requires an intersectional analysis of the socio-

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economic and political forces, state policy and private corporate

involvement in the provision of social housing, building and construction
regulation, real estate development, immigration policies, and health and
social welfare provision.

II: Organised State Abandonment: A Concept for

Our Time

In the 1990s, management guru Peter Drucker used the term “organised
abandonment” in his book Post-Capitalist Society to describe what
organisations in the new “knowledge economy” needed to do in order to
effectively manage and plan for change. Given the emergence of an
economy based on the production, marketisation and application of
knowledge (rather than land or factory labour) which by its very nature,
would be continually evolving, organisations would have to learn to change
quickly and adapt to new circumstances. The concept of organised
abandonment denotes the purposeful jettisoning of any mode of
management, any aspect of organisational structure or way of doing things
that will no longer serve the interests of the organisation. “[The
organization] must be organized for systematic abandonment of the
established, the customary, the familiar, the comfortable, whether
products, services and processes, human and social relationships, skills or
organizations themselves.”

Drucker extended this mantra of organized abandonment to the operation

of governments. Governments, for instance, needed to abandon the “belief
that the Fiscal State can effectively redistribute income and thereby reform
society through taxation and subsidies”. While organised abandonment
will “constantly upset, disorganize, destabilize the community,” Drucker
sees this as an inevitable challenge, one that must be overcome and
transcended by the single-minded pursuit of the organization’s objective. It
does not matter what the social cost is, how many jobs may be lost,
workers rendered “redundant”; changes in technology or knowledge are to

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be the sovereign drivers of organisations. The values of the organisation

are to be determined by one thing and one thing only: its primary objective
or “task”. For instance, if the Home Office as an organisation has as its
primary task over a given period of time the reduction of numbers of
immigrants, the social cost of its policies (a hostile environment that leads
to a spike in attacks on people of colour, for instance) should not matter.

In The Limits to Capital, Marxist geographer David Harvey used the term
“organised abandonment” to explain how, in the context of the built
environment, the hegemonic function of interest-bearing money capital
requires special institutional arrangements to deal with the “production,
use, transformation and abandonment of particular elements within the
built environment…”. The global credit system and the dominance of
fictitious capital determine the parameters within which “landowners,
developers, builders, the state” and residents can operate within and use
specific places. Tellingly, he uses red-lining as an example of organized
abandonment — a scenario in which financial institutions, in combination
with state and regional urban development and regeneration policies have
to engage in “organized abandonment” to accommodate public and private
investment in real estate. Relying on and reinforcing racial regimes of
ownership, red-lining becomes the mechanism through which people of
colour are excluded from homeownership in particular areas; racial
segregation is reinforced in the drive to accumulate profit through real
estate speculation and development. The managed decline of housing
estates in parts of London constitute a form of organised state
abandonment — the state relinquishing their duty to provide safe, secure
tenure for people on low incomes, in order to achieve the objective of
stimulating economic growth through real estate development. (See Anna
Minton, p. 10)

The critical concept of “organised abandonment” as a way to understand

how a range of institutions and organisations, both public and private,
operate to further the objective of private profit at great cost to particular

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populations is developed more fully in the work of Ruth Wilson Gilmore,

who emphasises its crucial connection with crisis, and significantly for our
purposes here, with the idea of the “anti-state state”. To oversimplify for
the sake of brevity, states manufacture crises in order to impose new
modes of governing on populations, in order to deal with an underlying
crisis of capitalist accumulation. A quick example to make the point:
Reagan’s “war on drugs” and corresponding intensification of the
criminalisation of racialised and poor communities was used to bolster the
rise of the prison industrial complex, which was, as Wilson Gilmore shows
in Golden Gulag: Prisons, Surplus, Crisis and Opposition in Globalizing
California, a response to particular economic conditions in urban and
rural California in the 1980s.

Wilson Gilmore links the idea of organised abandonment to the anti-state

state, to show how governments that purport to ideologically support the
shrinking or withdrawal of the state in fact end up increasing state
expenditure to achieve their aims. As Robin Blackburn notes in a recent
article, in the United Kingdom, the explosion of Public-Private Finance
Initiatives (PFIs) has meant the handover of hundreds of billions of
taxpayer funds to private corporations providing goods and services once
provided by the state, who then “’invest’ it back into public
projects.” Austerity policies have been heralded as a necessity to remedy a
financial crisis occasioned by the bursting of a bubble created by a financial
sector that was the beneficiary of massive amounts of public funding from
Thatcher onwards. Social housing is one such site where PFIs have
wreaked havoc.

This concept helps us do the work of understanding how the state and
capitalist interests devise means to subordinate and render particular
groups of people vulnerable to precarity, injury and premature death
across multiple scales, connecting decisions taken at the level of the local
estate to global financial interests in the real estate market; from decisions
taken by the Home Office regarding the deportation of individuals to a

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nationalist ideology that has always defined the true British subject as
white, male and propertied, revived by May’s hostile environment policy
and given new life by the Brexiteers. Avery F. Gordon uses the formulation
“organised socio-economic abandonment” to denote precisely this
combination of forces that operate to confine and capture the lives of the
worker, the enemy, the criminal, the migrant, the resident alien.

Despite their divergent meanings, these uses of the term “organised

abandonment” point to the way in which organisations, state and
otherwise, manage their activities in such a way so as to render groups of
people irrelevant in their calculations, or alternatively with a purposeful
intention to extract value from the lives of marginalised people who are
deemed unworthy of the socio-economic security and political equality that
are conducive to human flourishing or even just basic safety. In both cases,
this whole mode of management relies on a profound devaluation of
human lives, the lives of those without social-cultural and economic

The absolute absence of concern (in the first instance) for the lives of
marginalised people has a particular resonance, historically speaking, in
the British domestic and colonial contexts. For instance, peruse any
legislation relating to the enclosure or appropriation of land, and you will
be hard-pressed to find references to those whose land was being enclosed
or stolen. Whether this was about commons lands being enclosed or
indigenous lands being appropriated by colonial authorities, those being
dispossessed never appear in the text, as if they did not exist at all. This is
not to say that the British colonial state did not legislate to govern these
populations, but that there is a clear erasure or absenting of particular
groups of people in the text of legislation pertaining to matters of property
and ownership.

What is of key significance here is the absence of any explicit intention to

produce harm. Where there is a prima facie disregard for the lives of

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particular groups of people, an intention to harm is not a necessary

precondition for rendering them vulnerable to premature death. It is
simply the status quo. And it is this fact of history, and it is this history of
our present in the UK that renders the search for individual intention
rather beside the point. Andrew O’Hagan’s near obsession with proving a
lack of intent on the part of Tory Councillors Paget-Brown and Fielding-
Mellon to commit homicide, in his widely criticised article in the LRB, “The
Tower” is irrelevant, and seems to reveal more about the political
investments of the individual author than anything else.

III: Full Spectrum Liability for Full Spectrum


This brings me to the second significant insight we can derive from the
concept of organised abandonment, and this is the way in which a range of
state and capitalist forces can operate without public accountability. For
the mode of organised state abandonment in today’s world relies heavily
on deregulation and privatisation. Doing away with regulations and modes
of inspection that no longer suit the imperatives of state authorities that
have eschewed the aspiration to provide safe, secure social housing for
those in need of it, and instead, have adopted a mode of managing social
housing that relies heavily on private providers has produced a public-
private nexus of social provisioning that has muddied the waters of legal
accountability. But this admittedly complex legal situation is mired in
something even worse: a political ethos of neoliberalism premised on the
abandonment of responsibility as central to the governing ideals of
organisational action. Whatever sector we look at, the culture of buck
passing in which nobody seems to have responsibility for anything has
become as ubiquitous as the air we breathe. It is telling that Richard Millet
QC for the Public Inquiry, warned against this precise tendency already
making itself apparent in the proceedings, and in spite of his warning, this
is precisely what the Council and corporate actors went on to do in their
opening statements.
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This is not to assert some naïve vision of a British state that

unproblematically provided social goods equally to all of its constituents
prior to the intensification of neo-liberal modes of governing. Race
discrimination in the provision of social housing is well documented, and it
sits within the larger context of housing being one of the key sites of racist
discrimination that persists into the present moment. In fact, the 1968
Race Relations Act provided a very large exception to racial discrimination
in the private rental sector. While the provision of social housing was
covered by the provisions for anti-discrimination, residential
accommodation was not, something which would not be remedied legally
until 1976. It is this generalised history of race discrimination in the
context of housing that is reconfigured in the neo-liberal moment. The
suspicion that migrants or people of colour, or those without socio-
economic capital are trying to commit a fraud on the system, or the sense
that we do not properly belong in Britain at all permeate the workings of
the state in their allocation of social housing, rendering these communities
ever more vulnerable to premature death when their shelter, safety and
security are dependent on profit-seeking corporations.

I want to suggest that Claudia Davis, along with all other bereaved families
and survivors of the fire should have the right to argue with and confront
— and then demand compensation — from each and every actor involved
in the refurbishment and maintenance of Grenfell Tower. The legal
complexity of our privatised state functions, coupled with the culture of
impunity produced by the moral, ethical and political failure to take
responsibility could be turned on its head by making it clear from the
outset that anyone and everyone involved in the provision of state services
and goods is responsible for any and all failings that result in harm, injury
or death. As a corrective to our current culture of indifference we need
overlapping spheres of responsibility whereby the distinction between
state and corporate actor matters as little as it does when it comes to
providing social goods and to those profiting from privatisation. What
would this look like? Quite simply, RBKC, the KTMO, Rydon, and all the
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other corporate organisations involved in the refurbishment of the Tower

would all be held responsible for the 72 deaths, the trauma of the fire’s
aftermath, and for re-housing residents because they were all part of the
network of public-private provision in relation to the Lancaster West
Estate. They could be held proportionately liable according to the value of
their interests in the buildings and refurbishment, beginning with the
major stakeholder, the landlord. Think of this as a form of strict liability for
our neo-liberal times; we could call it full spectrum liability, a new form of
social insurance in an age of austerity.

There is a kind of primitivism that lies at the heart of the New Labour and
Tory profiteering that caused these deaths — a sacrificial logic that puts the
lives of social housing tenants at risk of death by fire while keeping the
consciences of neoliberalism’s key architects unscathed and pure. Surely,
the human right to shelter and equality law have a place in the legal
proceedings unfolding in the Public Inquiry, as does the ongoing criminal
law investigation. However, whether the legal inquiry proceeds in the
sphere of public, private or criminal law this situation requires a sea
change in the legal structures of accountability to catch up with what we all
know to be true — that responsibility for this state of affairs must be spread
as liberally as opportunities for profit that have seeped into all facets of
what remains of our embattled social welfare state.

Brenna Bhandar is Senior Lecturer at SOAS, School of Law. She is author

of Colonial Lives of Property: Law, Land and Racial Regimes of
Ownership (DUP: 2018) and co-editor of Plastic Materialities: Politics,
Legality and Metamorphosis in the work of Catherine Malabou (DUP:

Originally posted on The Sociological Review.

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