The Grenwell Tower fire could have been prevented and strongly limited by better government regulation and oversight, infers Jamie Doward of the Guardian. Damning is the fact that several entities, most notably the Grenfell Action Group, warned the tenant management organization in charge of the building about fire hazards, only to be ignored. Particularly worrying was the building’s exterior cladding, which is believed to have contributed to the severity of the fire. Some estimate that extra costs of as little as £5,000 ($6,403) could have made the cladding fireproof. Ill-advised cost-cutting worsened the fire’s impact.
Blaming government policy, which needs to address issues on a macro level, doesn’t see the full picture in what remains a rare and isolated event, suggests Megan McArdle of Bloomberg. Some have blamed government decision-making for the lack of sprinklers being installed in Grenwell Tower. The costs that were saved here, while in retrospect incredibly regrettable, could have contributed to the saving of lives in hospitals and improved quality of life elsewhere. Some responsibility also lies with the taxpayer, who has shown governments that higher taxes lead to less votes. It is too easy to blame complicated government policy for this tragedy.