Five arrested in UK after burning Grenfell Tower model on bonfire


The thing that seemed even more shocking from this side of the pond wasn’t just the fact that the renovation turned it into a firetrap. (using flammable panels that had only been tested and were only recommended for low rise structures) It was the fact that the as originally designed it only had one stairwell. That would NEVER have been approved in the US.



The BBC plainly had the same thought:



Pedant - Pedant Alert! The behavior of building materials in a fire is neither always obvious, nor the behavior of combinations of materials obvious, i.e. charcoal and lighter fluid. In practice people who choose materials for buildings do not test them themselves, but rather rely on a well established system of testing and rating.

The point being I am not trying to absolve or blame anybody specific as you suggest, so if you want to blame the builders or the regulators, or the building owners, knock yourself out. But rather my point is that the original assertion that the people died because the building was poorly maintained had nothing to do with the tragedy.



Aha! A major cultural difference! :wink:

In the UK, we don’t have an absolute, unlimited right of free speech, irrespective of offence to others. And I’m really, really pleased about that.

Same with ‘free speech’ - there needs to be socially-defined limits and, perhaps sadly, rules.

What with free speech absolutists, firearms and healthcare, I’m glad I don’t live in the USA. :wink:



For me it’s that they have arrested people for burning an effigy and for defrauding people by claiming to be a victim but no one was arrested over the negligence and deaths.



That’s not how hate speech works.

Also, friendly reminder that there’s a thread specifically for free speech arguments:



Fair play.


No matter the country, there is only ever one knife murder per knife murder victim.

1 Like


Well, that’s news to me, and I live here. It’s much more likely to be some local urban thing, the greater majority of people will only know ninjas as stealthy Japanese assassins. I can see where it might come from, as ninjas are commonly shown all in loose black clothes with just their eyes showing.



Whoa whoa whoa. We have free speech absolutists and firearms, sure, but healthcare? We’re not socialists!



It amazes me how consistently defenders of free speech confuse laws, arrests and sentences. It also amazes me how consistently they equate all offences with offences that carry life sentences.

None of us are are alarmed by “this sentence” because there has been no sentence and so “this sentence” is a nonsense phrase. Britain will not be a scary place “with rulings like this” because, again, there has been no ruling,

(Not that this in any way detracts from arguments in favour of free speech, but it always gives me the impression that somehow free speech absolutism is a kind of fear-based religion rather than a rational position. A rational person would be more afraid of being taken away by a government that imprisons 0.65% of its populace than by a government that imprisons 0.14% of it’s populace.)



A problem with this, as with all legislation that infringes free speech, is the inevitability of selective enforcement. They go after some people having a bonfire in their backyard, but Mary a peep about the public July 12th bonfires in Belfast.

1 Like


The UK government is really very shit and inept, but there are no actual white supremacists in it, as far as I’m aware. And the police lack a a bit of accountability, especially the England & Wales ones (Scotland is rather better, I think), but they don’t go around killing ethnic minorities with impunity. And the electoral system is flawed, and arguably not fit for purpose, but it’s not utterly nakedly corrupt.

But yeah, at least you’ll be able to freely speak your mind when you’re being herded into cattle trucks by your brown-shirted fellow citizens.



I admit I have not actually watched the video, but the impression of it that I get from the comments is very different from what I get from the article (and others like it on other sites). Had I not read the comments, I’d have thought the effigy-burners were protesting the circumstances that lead to the fire, while the comments make it clear that they seemed to be celebrating them – or more accurately, their outcome.

Whatever the case, I wish the people in power in the UK felt that the original fire was as “totally unacceptable” as Theresa May seems to find this one.



Pretty sure it wasn’t because of the bonfire itself.



So your concern isn’t that people are being assholes, it’s that they could be assholes and you wouldn’t know about it? Because I’m sorry to tell you, people say nasty bigoted things all the time behind closed doors now, and I’m afraid neither the establishment at large nor the public is aware of it.

There are lots of reasons why one might or might not want acts such as these to be protected speech. But the argument that “they’ll go underground” IMHO is farcical on its face (unless you simultaneously advocate for an authoritarian regime where all speech is recorded and analyzed, that is).



It’s sometimes used as a replacement for “The N-Word”:

Edited to add the word “sometimes”.



That’s kind of what I was imagining. But I’ve never personally encountered that,



As well-known hate behaviors become less acceptable, sneaky assholes create new ones :ok_hand:

1 Like


The July 12th bonfires aren’t about the bonfires themselves either.

1 Like


Exactly. The hell with May. Her policies helped lead to that disaster, and so far as I know, she’s done nothing to address it. Her outrage falls a little short.