Articles, Blog

Grenfell fire victims lacked common sense, Jacob Rees-Mogg suggests


There have been suggestions
that, in part, the tragedy was caused by either racism or
policies of class. Are these suggestions correct? – I don’t think so. I think the tragedy came about
because of the cladding, leading to the fire racing up
the building and then was compounded by
the stay put policy. It seems to me that that
is the tragedy of it, that the more one’s read
over the weekend about the report and about
the chances of people surviving, if you just ignore what you’re told
and leave, you are so much safer. And I think if either of us were
in a fire, whatever the fire brigade said, we would leave the burning building. It just seems the common sense
thing to do and it is such a tragedy that that didn’t happen
but I don’t think it’s anything to do with race or class.

100
Comments
  • If he meant that in the future you should leave a burning building.whatever firemen say, he would have said so and he would not have apologised. He felt that only stupid people stay in a burning buildingj. Tory arrogance.

  • Why apologise for using common sense. Saying sorry is not required. Too many people are seeking to become a victim of too many situations, the only people criticised were the emergency services, so why are others claiming to be hurt, perhaps they should even support his comment.

    Some of these complaints are so petty and becoming very tedious, soon people will feel scared to give any opinions at all.

  • 99% about life is common sense only about 1% is about Knowledge…it’s common sense that keep us alive…
    Rees-Mogg got my vote…

  • Jacob doesn't once say that the residents of Grenfell didn't have common sense.
    He said it's common sense to leave a burning building. I think we can all agree on that.
    He also says it's a tragedy that they were told by the fire services to stay put. Again we can agree.
    And he also says that after reading the report it's clear that ignoring the advise would have been the correct things to do, and again he calls it a tragedy that that didn't happen.
    Unfortunately he's worded it in a way that those who wish to make their own interpretations for their own political agendas are free to do so.
    It's sad that people do this. The Guardian should be ashamed.

  • Wow some of the comments on here about what they would do ,you werent there .how dare any of you make light of this situation ,

  • Yes it's a highly sensitive subject where one wrong word or slip of the tongue will be jumped on by the " other side" calling for heads to roll and looking to make political capital. Should JRM resign?, No imo, his apology and keeping a lower profile for a few days is more than sufficient. . Will votes be lost on the back of this? Very unlikely, people are well entrenched (along brexit lines) and it will take a lot more than that to change voting decisions.

  • Mogg is spot on!!Right,I'm going to hold a poll here,every reply to my post I don't want comments,I want an answer to a simple question.
    If you and your family are stuck in a burning building,is your first instinct to a)Escape as soon as possible,or b)Listen to someone telling you to stay in the fire,then stick some marshmallows on the end of a stick and enjoy your last few minutes?Just answer a or b please.

  • "Staying put" in a burning building makes no sense whatsoever. Whoever made that call is the person who should be in the spotlight. So therefore would it not be commonsense to get out of a burning building if there is the opportunity to do so? Yes it's a human tragedy. JRM has apologised and we move on.

  • I’m sorry but he’s right, the fire brigade messed up and the common sense thing to do was get the hell out. Sadly this was overridden by the fire brigade who did not asses the magnitude of the situation and that was what he is trying to say.
    If you watch the media coverage the building is seriously enveloped in fire and they are still being told to stay put.
    Crazy bad judgement.

  • He never once says "the residents didn't use common sense" he states that if a fire is raging as that one did, regardless of the stay put policy, it would seem common sense to leave, he is criticising the "stay put" thinking, Not once does he imply it was through the stupidity of the residents ? … Just more fuel for Tory / Rees Mogg haters and the media in my opinion.

  • Quite rich coming from a 5 million property owner – …. yes do come and teach commonsense to us 'ordinary people' –
    Ah well – how about using commonsense to understand the basics of a country's economy and use commonsense not to waste our country's money on pointless brexit campaigns' and ruining years and years on the name of 'brexit' —

  • so after how many years of the fire service telling us get out and stay out suddenly that doesnt apply anymore or didnt that night?

  • Nothing Mogg said is incorrect it is just cold hard logic more people would have lived if they had tried to get out and not stayed put. I personally would have tried to do . Tragic night and a bad call by London fire Brigades NOT the fire fighters at the scene their leaders.

  • Grenfell inquiry has cost 100 times amount saved on cladding ► https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2019/nov/01/grenfell-inquiry-costs-exceed-hundred-times-price-of-cladding

  • He's right commonj sense would say to leave, but that would have been the wrong thing to do in a fire, why don't people understand that?

  • people always think they know what they would do, but sometimes its a hard decision. if you look down a burning stairwell and its all hot and full of smoke you have to decide whether or not to trust the fire brigade's abilities to put it out or not. going down 20 floors is not the same as going down 2 or 3. I dont know what I would do if im honest. After grenfell i'd probably leg it but thats because of what heppened there. cant blame the people for gambling and being unlucky

  • Many people ignored the fire brigade's advice , they got out and they survived.  
    Can anyone tell me what that says about the people who got out alive ?

  • wow! So having "insight", like a monday morning quarterback…and essentially saying the people that died, lacked common sense – with the benefit of hindsight –  right ok. For those that are defending Rees-Mogg, the reason why people are reacting to this strongly is because its so insensitive to the victims and their families.  Essentially, he could be saying they are stupid and its their own fault… very easy to have that attitude, after the event and when you're not there yourself. Typical arrogance and 'superiority'.

  • The Guardian….. AKA Radical Far Left Activist Comic…… what are you talking about?…… Jacob never said the lies you claim!

  • I don’t think Jacob -Rees means any thing bad he said it because he think the fire crew said the wrong thing I worked in a place where there are people 24/7 and if there a fire we should vacate the building immediately he apologises

  • Media luvvies making out that something has been said that has upset the Grenfell survivors. When actually
    Rees Mogg said its common sense that you should leave a burning building, anyone disagree with that no I thought not, at no point does he suggest that the victims were less intelligent than he is, this is invented by the media. I have just listened to Vine on BBC2 he should be sacked for inventing things that are not there.

  • There were no victims. Grenfell Tower was empty at the time of the fire. Theresa May knows that. Not sure if Rees-Moggs does.

  • I agree with him and although I sympathise and empathise with the families and victims having had a fire myself in which I lost everything, I have been wondering why they chose to follow advice and stay in the building, especially if they had children?

  • Victim blaming, intellectual elitism, you love to see it. Imagine if a politician had criticised the 96 in a similar way – eg, they shouldn’t have entered such a small place with so many others. If all fires could be evaded via a little bit of common sense, I’m sure we wouldn’t need the fire service. Rather than fire alarms, we should install Eton boys in our ceilings and they can tell us, in their plummy voices, to just use ‘common sense.’ Eton boy, there’s smoke all around and I can’t see, I don’t know where the fire is or if it’s serious or not, if I go downstairs against orders I might encounter the source of the fire, or pass out from smoke inhalation on my way. What do I do?’
    Rees Mogg ceiling fire advisor: ‘Common sense.’

  • If a trained fireman came into a building which was burning you was in and said “stay put do not move you’ll be okay and it’s not safe” obviously people will do as they say!

  • "THE MORE ONE'S READ OVER THE WEEKEND" (Meaning the report on the fire that came out) I think that if either of us were in 'A' fire (now) (not THE fire) whatever the fire brigade said, we 'WOULD' leave the burning building (not would have left.) It just seems the common sense thing to do (considering what was in the report) These two men were discussing the report that has just come out concerning the Grenfell fire (sorry to repeat myself but it just seems so necessary) In no way did Jacob Rees Mogg infer that the victims had no common sense, he was referring to what the report had said and saying what he would do in the light of what the report had said. He wasn't talking about what he would have done if he had been there on the night. This is so clear and evident from what he says, why can't anyone else see it, or is it that they don't want to see it?

  • If one person suggests that a large and diverse population all lacks common sense when they have never shown any previous indication of this tendency: I can only assume that this person has received a revelation that other mortals have been denied, or is an enormously arrogant twit.

  • Why should Jacob rees-mogg apologise. I listened to radio 2 today and there was a survivor from the 21st floor. His family was the only survivors above the 4th floor. how did this family survive unless they refused to listen to the emergency services advice. The fact that they survived living on the 21st floor would mean that they refused to listen to the emergency services and took the same advice that Jacob rees-mogg said. This is the only reason they are alive today. I am getting sick of walkover politicians.

  • Obviously some of you on this thread, are too privileged to have lived in a block of flats.
    You have no idea what is going on above or below you…if you are told to stay, chances are you'd stay… because you can't see the big picture.
    As usual we have a privately educated, privileged, snob telling the working class how to live, when they have no idea how to use a hammer. The UK is riddled in class, and that is the reason Grenfell sadly burnt…the haves and have nots

  • He didn't say that the Grenville victims should have used their common sense. He said "If either of us were in a burning building we would leave the building – it seems like the common sense thing to do". The point he was making is that the stay put policy makes no sense not that the people had no sense.

  • What did he say that was wrong? Trust the services sure, but when they have bad advice? He speaks of tragedy. No apology needed,

  • I dont agree with Jacob Rees-Mogg on some political issues but the man said nothing wrong, the only thing he did wrong was apologize

  • The boy stood on the burning deck,

    Whence all but he had fled;

    The flame that lit the battle’s wreck,

    Shone round him o’er the dead.

    Yet beautiful and bright he stood,

    As born to rule the storm;

    A creature of heroic blood,

    A proud, though childlike form.

    The flames rolled on – he would not go,

    Without his father’s word;

    That father, faint in death below,

    His voice no longer heard.

    He called aloud – ‘Say, father, say

    If yet my task is done?’

    He knew not that the chieftain lay

    Unconscious of his son.

    ‘Speak, father!’ once again he cried,

    ‘If I may yet be gone!’

    – And but the booming shots replied,

    And fast the flames rolled on.

    Upon his brow he felt their breath

    And in his waving hair;

    And look’d from that lone post of death,

    In still yet brave despair.

    And shouted but once more aloud,

    ‘My father! must I stay?’

    While o’er him fast, through sail and shroud,

    The wreathing fires made way.

    They wrapped the ship in splendour wild,

    They caught the flag on high,

    And streamed above the gallant child,

    Like banners in the sky.

    There came a burst of thunder sound –

    The boy – oh! where was he?

    Ask of the winds that far around

    With fragments strewed the sea!

    With mast, and helm, and pennon fair,

    That well had borne their part,

    But the noblest thing which perished there,

    Was that young faithful heart.

    He should have used his common sense.

  • He didin't say anything wrong. Typical liberals taking everything out of context. I'll also say it; THE COMMON SENSE thing to do is run for your life.

  • I live in a 3 storey terrace and on a fireman's word, after he installed my smoke alarms, he told me if I was upstairs and there was a fire downstairs I should close all doors and head upstairs and stay put until rescue arrives. We trust in these professionals. And it is interesting Mogg is keen to lay the victims as responsible as opposed to pointing out that it was under his government that no sprinklers were installed. It is a far reaching tragedy and he should have had more compassion and common sense himself.

  • If you're offended by someone saying they'd leave a burning building, it might be time to consider maybe it's you who has the problem

  • Yes, I'm sure JRM would have left the building – in a screaming panic, without a thought for the safety of other tenants ; and pushing people out of the way in the process.

  • Amazing … a politician blaming the people for listening to the authorities. Once again the eternal truth .. a posh British accent doesn’t make a gentleman.

  • He didn’t say anything wrong… what’s the fuss about? He said it was a tragedy, he said this is form 2020 hindsight. People love to get outraged over nothing!

  • He did NOT say the victims 'lacked common sense.' Those were not his words. He said it would have been the common sense thing to have ignored the stay put policy.

  • Forgive me, but isn't the point he is making that a 'stay put' policy goes against common sense? That the policy was stupid – not the victims. Im open to being corrected.

  • He's quite a well informed, intelligent man. Therefore very surprising that he said something so i'll considered. Perhaps it was born out of arrogance. Potentially career ending stuff from the silver spooner.

  • Listen to all of what JRM says, and he says nothing wrong – but the media – and more importantly the opposition parties – are spreading the story that he said the people of Grenfell died because they lacked common sense. He clearly did NOT say that. I'm not much of a JRM fan, I will not be voting Tory, but I think the way LibDem and especially Labour are using the Grenfell tragedy to try and score political points is utterly DISGUSTING.

  • Isn't he just saying that the policy defies common sense?
    He never said the Grenfell residents didn't have any common sense.
    This is what shots me about the media.

  • I think this comes down to whether you interpret his use of the words "common sense" to mean "to not be stupid" or "gut instinct". I think it's hard to watch the interview and come away thinking he's sneering at the victims. Unless of course that's what you really wanted to see because it fits your preferred narrative

  • His words (having just mentioned himself and the interviewer. NOT the Grenfell inhabitants) were "it just seems the common sense thing to do" … he didn't suggest anything about the Grenfell inhabitants. The "woke and willing to be outraged", along with the disgraceful willingness of the media to distort for their sake, grotesquely attack what was a thoroughly sensible and respectful set of comments from Mogg.

  • Free speech is being corroded, he is clearly stating the fire service policy to stay put in a burning building is not common sense, and how can one disagree, he is not stating the victims lacked

  • When the going gets tough, the tough get going. Recoup and come out swinging Mr. Rees Mogg. You are a man of character, courage, and convictions. These are bullies hiding behind dead bodies that you didn`t kill. Common sense is not a class issue, its instinct You said it seemed the sensible thing to do. If people could and didn`t leave, they listened to a firefighter that was wrong. Grief is tough, but does not give a license to attack. You apologized for people`s overeactions to the spin on your statement, that is enough.

  • If every one had ignored the fire brigade's advice and left the building, there might have been a stampede and even more deaths. Who knows? I say stay put Dani Cotton and Jacob Rees-Mogg resign and don't talk about things you know nothing about.

  • Ah, the liberals and the opposition in England behave in the same way as our ilk here in the US. They twist words and mis-represent comments to shape an unholy narrative. Trying to reason with these people is like trying to convince a starving Bengal tiger to ignore the cheeseburger on your lap. Except the liberal opposition is more vicious than that tiger.

  • If I was in a burning building my focus would be on "Getting the hell out" no matter what advise anyone gave me. I don't see anything wrong with what he said.

  • Of course anyone in their right mind will recognise the tragedy of GRENFELL, but I get what Jacob Rees Mogg saying, I would have got out of a burning building no matter what the fire brigade told me, i wouldnt stay put, i would have prefered to have died escaping that sit and roast to death! I dont see anything critisizing the Manufacturers of the dryer being held culpable in any way. The insulation and those who gave the go ahead too are culpable, but its all down to the wrong people making the wrong choices, this cladding was always recognised as dangerous by the occupants It shows the people resident should have all been consulted before it was clad, they obviously have their own safety in mind, pity the authorities didnt!!!

  • White Liberals offended on behalf of ethnic minorities. What puzzles me about this is why apparently dirt poor immigrants can live in one of the most expensive parts of the UK while the natives are struggling to afford to live in their own home town.

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