Jacob Rees-Mogg has caused outrage by proclaiming that the victims of the Grenfell Tower tragedy lacked “common sense” for not ignoring firefighters advice and fleeing the building.
Speaking on LBC radio, the Leader of the House of Commons showed a spectacular level of contempt for the 72 fatalities and the many more injured as he victim blamed them for their own deaths.
“If you just ignore what you’re told and leave you are so much safer. And I think if either of us were in a fire, whatever the fire brigade said, we would leave the burning building. It just seems the common sense thing to do.”Jacob Rees-Mogg
The comments are shockingly revealing as to the true feelings of Rees-Mogg and his Conservative cohorts when it comes to the ordinary people of this country, showing a pathological disconnect from any kind of empathy with the victims and a willingness to blame anyone else but the government for the fire, even the dead.
The sense that Rees-Mogg and the Tories hold the ordinary people of this country in utter contempt is inescapable.
Andrew Bridgen, the Tory MP for North West Leicestershire, backed Rees-Mogg and not only implied that Rees-Mogg believes himself more intelligent than the deceased, but that those who died were unintelligent.
The comments come hot on the heels of the “whitewash” official report into the 2017 disaster that laid the blame for the tragedy at the feet of London Fire Brigade. The report has been criticised as overly critical of the fire brigade while ignoring the role of the government, local authorities and that of big business, particularly in reference to the cladding attached to Grenfell Tower and authorities ignoring the concerns of residents.
During his time as Mayor of London, Prime Minister Boris Johnson was responsible for shutting 10 fire stations, sacking 500 firefighters and getting rid of 30 engines. This was despite promising that there would be no cuts to the fire service before his reelection to office in 2012.
The reaction to Jacob Rees-Mogg’s comments has been one of fury amongst commentators and political opponents, with calls for him to resign.
The comments by Rees-Mogg were played down by the BBC correspondent Laura Kuenssberg as little more than a “terrible gaff”
Kuenssberg’s comments themselves drew the ire of commentators.
The comments by Jacob Rees-Mogg must not be played down as a “gaffe.” They expose the true lack of empathy for the suffering and disadvantaged that Rees-Mogg and the Conservative government feel for the ordinary people of Great Britain, a “wasn’t me” attitude that would rather blame those that died in the most hideous circumstances for their own deaths rather than take one iota of responsibility. The arrogance and cruelty on display may come as an immediate shock, yet it is illustrative of nine years of the heartless and soulless rule of a party who regards ordinary people as little more than serfs.
Voting Labour this December has never been more important.