Mrs May should have just stayed away…

Theresa May made her regal way,

To the ravaged Tower Grenfell,

But the PM spoke to not a single survivor,

Because ordinary people make her feel quite ill

After the horrendous inferno that engulfed Grenfell Tower, burning upwards, trapping god knows how many in upper floors who phoned or texted desperate messages knowing they were going to die, horribly, the lame duck prime minister arrives on the disaster scene. And by all reports spoke to not a single survivor. Survivors who are enraged because it looks very much like a report sat upon for years by the government into fire safety, and a later parliamentary bill to improve the standards and safety of rented housing that was defeated by the conservatives (many of those who voted against are landlords themselves, a clear and shameless conflict of interest), have paid a part in this awful calamity. And she doesn’t speak to a single survivor, for “security reasons”.

So security, not fear, not cowardice, not outright callous disregard for the simple human compassion any decent person should show another in such circumstances? Meantime those same ordinary people she ignored have donated so many items – clothes, kid’s toys, toiletries and more – to entire families in their community who have lost everything bar the pyjamas they had on their back as they fled (and those were the fortunate ones) that the local community centres and churches organising help have said they have enough. Local families offered food, drink and a place to rest for their suffering neighbours, people of every age and ethnic stripe. People of Kenginston rising to show strength, compassion and dignity while our feeble excuse for a government (and by all accounts the local council there are no better), flail hopelessly, and a prime minister who can’t even speak to the people involved when she visits. Utterly craven, shameful behaviour on her behalf and a clear signal that the same authorities who allowed a situation to evolve that could create this disaster still do not care one jot.

fire juggling

Now that the clocks have gone back to GMT its fully dark by the time I leave work. Coming home one evening when it was unusually mild (and dry!) I decided on a whim to take a different route and walk up the Royal Mile, digging my camera out of my bag thinking I may get a couple of street night shots; in a slice of pure lucky chance I happened on a fire juggler on the cobbled pedestrianised section of street outside the Fringe office. Obviously I’ve seen and taken plenty of pics of jugglers chucking around all sorts of things from knives to firesticks around this spot during the Festival, but not usually this late in the year and at night; certainly made the use of fire look far more dramatic being dark!
fire on the streets

Of course as I was walking home from work I didn’t have the tripod with me, so I had to make do; to be honest I think half the many night shots I have on my Flickr are improvised, spur of the moment affairs rather than done when I’ve gone out deliberately with the tripod to do some night work. One of the advantages of digital is you are willing to take chances improving a shot since you’re not wasting money and film if it doesn’t work. And in this case since he was moving around and the fiery ropes he was holding were also swirling around I doubt a tripod would have made much difference here, he and they would still be streaked and blurred, but even so its worth taking the shot for the subject even if the pic isn’t as sharp as I’d normally try for; as Lee Harvey Oswald once said, sometimes you just have to take the shot. And its fun when the city offers up a little surprise like this; if I had gone home my normal route I’d never have seen this, it was just a sudden whim to go this way.
fire on the streets 2