Gentrification seems to be the new buzz word these days for a very old way of doing things. It’s a great and lovely sounding way of saying ‘’We don’t want your kind round here anymore’’, whether ‘’your kind’’ is the wrong colour, the wrong socio economic status, the wrong demographic; it all means the same thing in the end: that the rich, white people don’t want your low status getting in the way of their high money stakes plans of ‘’regenerating’’ (another popular buzzword) an area. We know these plans aren’t aimed at the same sorts of people because the businesses that replace what was there will be targeting a niche market, and the homes built will not be affordable social housing, but those meant for young, trendy executive types with large disposable incomes.
You will have heard of the tragedy of the Grenfell Tower Block fire of the last week. The absolute horror of so many lives lost; not to mention the lives completely obliterated by losing every single thing they owned and being left without a roof over their head is something that has completely shocked the nation. The residents of this place fought for years to be heard about the safety concerns surrounding the fire hazards of their home, Tories have closed three fire stations in the area, and instead of the landlords spending money on sprinklers for the buildings, the residents have paid the ultimate price.
The Tories are of course knee deep in this, blood covered hands that swept safety reports under the carpet, while they bought flammable cladding for the buildings , to make the view a bit nicer for the posh folk across the way, but sadly, in the event of a fire, a complete death sentence.
After the terrorist attacks of Manchester there was a minute’s silence immediately after, victims were named and the government spoke out, calling for action. There is silence after Grenfell, but only from those in power. There are surely copies of tenancy agreements that would help to find and identify the bodies, but the media and conservative government are doing their very best to conceal the true extent of the devastation. So far there are reports of over 160 deaths in the fire, while the Murdoch controlled media stranglehold has been reporting a mere 17.
The Mail and the Sun, Darth May’s loyal followers, have even gone so far as to print a picture of a man they claim to be the cause of the fire (the crime of being poor and buying a faulty refrigerator apparently). You think, wow, that is the lowest you can go, until you find out that a ‘’journalist’’ (I use the term extremely loosely), posed as a grieving relative to get an interview.
Take a bow gutter press, you have truly outdone yourselves this time.
You’ll be forgiven if the Tory government, and victim blaming in the face of tragic circumstances, are giving you Déjà vu feelings of the Hillsborough disaster of the eighties.
Despite the absolute the outcry, the grief, and the anger raging against the bureaucracy and corruption that was the cause of this, the ordinary people who live in this community have truly done themselves proud. Muslims who were up late breaking their Ramadan fast, were some of the first on the scene; alerting residents and bringing food, clothes and water to the victims. A feast was put out on the street for anyone who needed to eat, and the sheer outpouring of love and concern for those affected were truly inspirational.
As someone who grew up on a council estate, and who is the wrong socio economic background, I am proud of where I came from, and people like this, represent the Britain that I want to be a part of .
Tower Block seems eerily relevant after the events of the last week, as it tells the story of a run down block of flats that are going to be demolished, and the remaining residents are under attack by an unknown sniper.
The casting for this film is excellent, and for an independent, character driven piece such as this, it’s nothing short of essential. Russel Tovey and Sheridan Smith are faultless, as usual, and give Tower Block the little something extra that it needs.
Think Batteries Not Included meets Die Hard with none of the sweetness, and a smidgen of ‘’road man’’ attitude.
It’s a great little gem, that was by no means out of the box, in terms of original plot or brutality; but it’s gritty intensity kept you invested until the end.
Simplistic plot which while sometimes unrealistic, has a great dialogue, claustrophobia and some of our most underrated British talent bringing it on home.
And just so you know; It doesn’t matter where you come from, your colour creed or your background, if you have morality and empathy for others, you are richer than Theresa May.