Theresa May, aloof and clueless, decided not to meet victims of the Grenfell tower fire. Her political rival Jeremy Corbyn and the Queen, however, each managed to fit them in. So May, accustomed as she is to politically transparent changes of heart, decided to meet some victims. It did not go well, and later she was filmed all but running to her car as a crowd taunted her.
Scuffles broke out in the crowd as the Prime Minister's car drove away from the scene of the disaster.
In an interview, the Prime Minister was questioned over whether there was a need for the Government to accept some responsibility for what had happened.
"Something terrible has happened," she answered. ...
Asked if she had misread the public anger, she replied: "What I have done since this incident took place is, first of all, yesterday ensure that the public services had the support they need in order to be able to do the job they were doing in the immediate aftermath."
A decade of punishing "austerity" policies, inflicted by the ruling Conservative party on the poor, ended in May's shock tie at the polls with Corbyn's Labour party in a snap election she was supposed to win in a landslide. And now more than 75 people — a total the authorities have consistently attempted to obfuscate — are missing after the fire, a fire they knew was coming because of the appallingly unsafe conditions in which they lived, a fire accelerated by cheap cosmetic renovations designed to make Grenfell more pleasing to the eye of rich neighbors.
You may get the feeling something's about to give in Britain, but don't count the chickens just yet. The uncanny power of UK tabloid media to steer public discourse, in question after May's defeat at the polls, is already in play: see, for example, the Daily Mail's hit piece about one of the victims, whose fridge might have triggered the blaze. How does it describe his suggestion? As a confession.