Grenfell: Stormzy Takes Theresa to Task

Following Stormzy's rant at the BRITs, our writers discuss whether the government are doing enough to support survivors

Megan Hughes
12th March 2018
Image: Flickr

Wednesday, 14th June 2017. The day that a disastrous fire stopped the nation, and devastated many. 71 people were killed. Hundreds of people were affected then, and are still being affected now.

Have the public and the government simply forgotten about it? It happened less than a year ago, yet the government are so ignorantly engrossed in themselves that they have ignored the issues of the fire’s aftermath.

However, was it Stormzy’s outrageously brilliant rant at the BRITs that brought back the reality of the ongoing effects of the fire? After asking Theresa May, “where’s the money for Grenfell?”, he added: “What you thought we just forgot about Grenfell, you criminals, and you got the cheek to call us savages, you should do some jail time, you should pay some damages, we should burn your house down and see if you can manage this.”

The government are so ignorantly engrossed in themselves

Yes, Theresa May, where is the £58 million that you have promised for the Grenfell survivors? It would seem that it is simply a bottomless proposal. So far, only a miniscule proportion of that amount has gone towards the aftermath of the fire, and the rest has not materialised. What about rehousing within the community? What about health support? What about mental health support? Education support? Children, who are the most vulnerable, have not only suffered with tragedy, but also in their education. Yet the government are not helping them. These children need systems put in place to give them back what they have missed. That is the least that they deserve.

Stormzy reminded us of this harsh reality, shedding light on the utter ignorance is that practiced by the people who run this country. Lives have been torn apart, and yet, our government is not responding by giving the vital support for these people.

Megan Hughes

An unforgiving and deadly fire engulfed Grenfell Tower in West London on June 14th, and journalists were quick to inform the public of how many people were trapped and the brave work of the emergency services team.

Now, when researching the issue eight months later, I am met with the conclusion that a Hot Point fridge freezer is to blame, and that Rita Ora used to play in the neighbourhood. Stormzy asked, whilst under an intense shower of rain, topless, during the BRITs: 'Yo Theresa May where's that money for Grenfell?' The rapper's anger rippled across the O2 and reignited a public conversation exploring how much progression the government and authorities have made in rehoming many desperate people, and helping counsel the survivors whose memories are scarred.

However, as I too endeavoured to research this myself, I was faced with further news that Rita Ora helped carry some bags, Adele cried, Lily Allen offered refuge for those affected, the 'royal trio' contributed to costs, Jeremy Clarkson urged the public to donate clothes, and Jamie Oliver offered free food in a restaurant that day. Since then, Stormzy seems to be one of the few public figures still fundraising and encouraging the generosity of the public.

Stormzy seems to be one of the few public figures still fundraising

As well as lacking contributions, and the rumour of a recorded song by London-born artists to raise money being well and truly stumped, the event no longer troubles the psyches of many that were once concerned. It seems music is beginning to become more of a platform for debate and discussion than ever before, allowing stars to send passionate messages to the many on their political fury and the frustrating passivity of those in power.

Celebrity endorsements dominate headlines, whilst the token interview of a volunteer becomes less impressive and unexciting. If justice prevails, we will hopefully see the incident re-enter our news, with further opportunities to donate and help.

We can assume Stormzy's threat directed at May to 'burn your house down and see if you can manage this' is an empty one, but it seems the country has been made aware of the silence that has befallen the tragic occurence.

We can only hope that Theresa's head is briefly turned away from Europe, and is able to tackle a personal issue much closer to home.

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