13 questions about the death toll


Any one of a huge number of people online: “I demand to know exactly how many people died in the Grenfell Tower! It’s my right to know as soon as possible!”

Someone level-headed: “Err…did you live in the tower?”


SL-H: “Did you have any family members there?”


SL-H: “Friends?”


SL-H: “Do you know anyone who’s missing?”


SL-H: “Are you a reporter?”


SL-H: “Do you work for one of the emergency services?”


SL-H: “Are you employed by the council to concern yourself with such things?”


SL-H: “Are you a coroner?”


SL-H: “Do you even live in the area?”


SL-H: “So…what’s this pressing, prurient and rather macabre interest all about then? Isn’t it enough to know that lots of people died?”

AOOAHNOPL: “N…well, I saw a report on Press TV with someone who claimed to be a local resident (but didn’t want to give her full name, and (perhaps because she was clearly emotionally distraught) obviously hadn’t considered the difference between people having died and having been confirmed dead), and then the same interview was used on Russia Today, and someone posted a blog on Facebook which said that the Government had banned the media from broadcasting the death toll, and although that turned out to be absolutely unsubstantiated, entirely baseless, the same blog the following day printed a link to a tweet from a random person which linked back to the same story on Press TV, so…”

SL-H: “Right. Have you seen this story from Metro?”

AOOAHNOPL: “But Metro is MSM!…er, no. What does it say?”

SL-H: “It says that as of February this year Conservative ministers were boasting about having slashed fire regulations.”

AOOAHNOPL: “Oh. Er, that’s bad, is it?”

SL-H: “Yes. It goes a long way towards explaining the conditions that allowed the disaster to happen. What are you going to do about it?”

AOOAHNOPL: “Er…I dunno. It’s scary. I think I’m going to spend the morning reading Wikileaks and Infowars. I find it kind of comforting to think that the world’s run in secret and there’s nothing we can do about it except spread David Icke-style gossip all day on social media.”

SL-H: “Right. Are you at all interested in reading this?”

AOOAHNOPL: (glances briefly) “Er…no.”

2 thoughts on “13 questions about the death toll

  1. Oh come on! Most people are focusing far more on the conditions that led to the fire than on the numbers who died. It’s not either/or! This is a caricature of the many quite ordinary non conspiracy chasing people who think the figures don’t make sense. We know from history and later released official secrets act papers that all governments engage in cover ups and the management of negative information. There were already concerns about possible riots this summer. A friend of mine who writes lots of political stuff at an academic level has claimed to have her posts disappear and I didn’t believe her at first, but several people I k ow and myself have had posts vanish relating to the number of deaths in Grenfell. I’ve never had that happen before and the ones reposted to other pages disappeared too. I loathe conspiracy theorising as it tends to end up with anti-semitism, but I don’t think this government has much attachment to the truth.


    1. Fair enough, although I still think people speculating are (or were by this point) missing the point a bit (at what point does one stop searching for the truth and start trying to do something about it?) but I agree with you about conspiracy theorising per se. I actually think this Government wouldn’t have the competence or the authority to pull off such a plot. At the same time it’s understandable that so many refuse to trust anything they say.


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