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23 Feb, 2019 13:05

Grenfell scapegoats and the invisible Gilets Jaunes (E268)

The incineration of the poorest people in Britain at a location surrounded by some of the richest real estate in Europe was a tale of morality worthy of Charles Dickens himself. The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea was rolling in so much cash, it gave rebates in council tax to some of the world’s richest people. Yet the same borough was the not-so-proud owner of social housing like Grenfell Tower. On June 14, 2017, not even two years ago, 72 people died in a building wrapped in combustible cladding. The smell of the smoke still lingers, along with much anger, and there are signs that a search for a scapegoat may be under way. It won’t be the scapegoat anyone would automatically assume, however. We invited Pat Mason, a councillor in the royal borough and community activist, to tell us more.

It’s true that fog can cut off the continent but in this digital age it is one of the great mysteries that for 14 weeks hundreds of thousands of protesting French people have been rendered virtually invisible in Britain’s free and impartial media. Some might say there was more reporting in London of the French Revolution in 1789 when dispatches took days to arrive via a fast horse. Despite being somewhat obsessed with European matters, however, it appears that a popular uprising among our closest European neighbors is just not interesting the British media. So we invited Vanessa Beeley into the studio, a British journalist who lives in France, and asked her if she could shed light on the invisibility of the high-vis protesters.

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