ZELLA COMPTON: Profit before safety caused the Grenfell Tower tragedy

Grenfell Tower has shocked every one of us.

Wednesday, 21st June 2017, 7:00 am
Updated Wednesday, 21st June 2017, 7:37 am
Smoke billows from Grenfell Tower Picture PA

The images of flames devouring the building are seared into our minds.

There are images through history which do that – the naked girl running from the bombs in Vietnam, the man in front of the tanks in Tiananmen Square, the planes into the Twin Towers.

Given the number of experts who’ve been wheeled out in the national media time after time, I think we’re all fairly sure the direction in which the fault is heading, where the blame will be laid.

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For is it not already accepted that less than fire resistance cladding materials were used?

And with that comes the uglier thought that it appears to have been chosen because it was cheaper and because the rules and regulations had been relaxed.

None of us knows when we will hear the results of the inquiry, when the real blaming will start, as various parties will try to excuse their involvement.

‘I was doing what I was told’. ‘I was following regulations, the minimum requirement is...’

All those strategies we use for excuses and stories which we tell ourselves day after day as we create narratives in our lives to excuse our poor behaviour will be wheeled out.

The underlying cause is our country’s insistence on business and profit being at the core of everything.

For example, listen to any government minister talk about education.

Students are discussed for their worth to the economy. Their GCSEs are about the economy, never about creating interested and interesting, curious people.

Brexit is about the economy, it’s all about money and how business will function. And while we need to keep an eye on money, we must really focus on people, who we are, and how we are.

The safety of our lives is being dictated by the bottom line, profit.

The next time you hear someone talk about ‘health and safety gone mad’, and red tape, consider that it means the health and safety of people.

Cutting regulations will hurt you, and your family, as those poor, desperate people of Grenfell Tower have witnessed.


Oh Glastonbury, how I hear your call through the years.

I absolutely adored that festival in the days I used to go.

This was before the fences (well, the first time), when I had to save up a whopping £48 for my ticket, and then believed that all festivals came with guaranteed sunshine.

It was a city in fields, and my first ever festival experience.

Nothing else has ever come close.

I would so love to go again, but with its scarcity of tickets, the cost, and the – well, let’s be honest – effort, I doubt I’ll ever make it.

Instead, I’ll have to content myself with media coverage and a comfy bed, safe in the knowledge that at least my bathroom toilet is clean.


I spent Saturday doing a spot of home brewing – at someone else’s home.

Craft beer-making appears to be sweeping the nation, as every Tom, Dick and Harry has a silver pot on the bubble, posting pictures galore on social media.

What’s the fascination for men? I say men as I know no women who do this.

I think it’s the combination of boyhood passions – fire, and silver pots, levers, gauges and chemistry. There’s lots of weighing and temperatures.

And then there is the end result – the beer.

It’s an outdoor hobby (well, it happens in my tutor’s garden) and takes forever, with lots of checking, sitting, checking, sitting and so on.

Plus, it’s all a bit Breaking Bad.

What’s not to love? Except, the beer. I’m a wine girl.