Why do these survivors need help anyway?

June 26, 2017

Independent columnist Mark Steel considers Tory Party objections to the proposal by Labour's left-wing leader Jeremy Corbyn after the catastrophic Grenfell Tower fire.

SOMETIMES, THE terms used in politics, such as Marxism and capitalism, can be confusing. So it was helpful for Tory MPs such as Andrew Bridgen to offer a simple explanation this week. He suggested the proposal of Jeremy Corbyn, that survivors of the Grenfell Tower fire should be housed in properties left empty by speculators, "fits in with his hard Marxist views."

It's always welcome when someone explains complex ideas in a way we can all understand. Now, when someone asks "What is a crazy Marxist?" all you have to say is, "It's someone silly enough to believe that if someone's house has burned down, they should be allowed to stay in an empty house."

Thankfully, we live in a fair capitalist society, so if a Russian oligarch has gone to all the trouble of buying a flat in Kensington and leaving it empty, we won't let some sod enjoy that wealth when they've done nothing to earn it except run screaming in terror from a raging inferno.

It's the same with those irresponsible Marxists who went down with blankets and food, the communist bastards. They should have set up a pop-up bedding and hot chocolate store to tap into extensive market opportunities.

Jeremy Corbyn with residents of West London after the Grenfell Tower fire
Jeremy Corbyn with residents of West London after the Grenfell Tower fire (David Mirzoeff | Press Association)

If the Conservatives had seen the community in Manchester after the bomb, giving lifts home to strangers and looking for relatives, putting people up and looking after them, they'd have said, "Oh my God, the place is overrun with communism, it's like North Korea."

So we should hand the rights to Costa Coffee to be first at a major incident--that way they can make money out of selling drinks rather than give in to the socialist menace of giving them away.

Here's a captive clientele, who probably won't know how much they're spending as they're in a state of deep trauma, and we're restricting business opportunities by handing the operation to volunteers who have no idea how to generate wealth.

Someone should go on Dragon's Den to set up a company to help people out after catastrophes, charging 70 pounds to contact panicking relatives and provide a choice of light snacks to calm you down after an explosion, in a van with "We get there faster when there's a disaster" on the side.

Confusingly, 40 percent of Conservative voters are in favor of Jeremy Corbyn's proposal to requisition empty properties, which means we've reached an alarming state, in which almost half of Conservatives are Marxists.

Conservative garden parties in Surrey will soon raise funds by getting Iain Duncan-Smith to auction a signed photo of Fidel Castro, then they'll have a vote on whether to hand over the lawn to the peasants.

THE COMMENTS about Marxism may have another cause, which is that the Conservatives have no idea what's just happened. For 35 years, the consensus has been that nothing can work unless it's run by the rules of big business, and no one will vote for anyone who tries to restrict the laws of the free market.

That law is broken now, so they scream all the old insults against Corbyn, and it no longer has an effect. Now the Tories suddenly look helpless, unable to sort out an arrangement with 10 people in the Democratic Unionist Party, who they agree with on most things. Luckily, Brexit will be with 27 countries, half of which hate us, governing minor issues like what everything costs and where everyone lives, so that should be much easier for them.

Theresa May now looks so bewildered that this weekend, the Queen will probably announce, "For God's sake, I'm asking him with the beard to take over. And he wants me abolished."

The Royal Family already appears to have held a meeting in which they've decided, "I don't want to be head of the place if this lot's still in."

But some people are sticking to the old values. The Guardian interviewed residents at the modern block in Kensington Row, where some survivors will be housed. One of the property owners, Nick, said: "I'm very sad that people have lost their homes, but there are a lot of people here who have bought flats and will now see the values drop. It will degrade things. And it opens up a can of worms in the housing market."

That's the spirit, Nick. There's a proper Conservative, not like these fairweather Tories who abandon their free market principles just because people were scorched in an entirely predictable and avoidable inferno.

First published at the Independent.

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