Behind the relative calm of the Inquiry proceedings, a lot of largely unseen activity is taking place, some of it near-frantic, with various people trying to cover their backs, suppress the truth and, no doubt, encourage the finger of blame to point at the more obvious targets, like those who were directly involved in fighting the fire.
The Grenfell Fire Forum has had some strange interactions recently with people we know well, some of whom have been helping our efforts to reveal the truth. At least, that's what they said they were doing. Why strange? Well, let's just suppose that there is a network of people with vested interests that work counter to public safety that might just get exposed through the Inquiry. Let's just suppose that the Grenfell Fire Forum has put a lot of information together that shows these links. Because when you know where to look you find the same names cropping up time and again, on the various associations for fire safety, for standards-making, on related trade associations, government advisory groups, etc.
Let's also suppose that the Grenfell Fire Forum has contacts with good people who do not want to be named but who do want to provide information that further connects the same names to the same activities. Let's suppose also that the same names know that we know about them.
Well, these are clever people in some ways; at least, where making a buck or two is concerned. But they often underestimate those who may not be as high-ranking but don't have greed fuelled by panic at being exposed governing their thinking. Hence, we notice when someone decides to cut all ties with us a few hours after we've been talking to someone else they have links with but don't know that we know that.
We also notice for example how the Department for Business has just possibly lied in a press release announcing that there is no need for a recall of the fridge-freezer type that started the Grenfell fire. We know where to find the same names once again behind this issue, and how there is mutual back-covering going on. We also see the bottom line: that the same BEIS officials who are protecting themselves where the failing furniture regulations are concerned are prepared to wave through the risk that another fridge-freezer will cause another Grenfell Tower fire to the same end.
So, yes, there may well have been mistakes made by front-line firefighters. But they don't make the policies such as 'stay put'. Those same names are involved in that process and their reasons are not always to do with public safety.
One of those names has been telling people that I approached him recently and said, "I know where you live." Apart from the fact I don't know where he lives, I have never threatened anyone with anything but the truth. What I actually did was to remind him of the fact that back in 2014 he had agreed with the government that the current match test fails and the new one would work. But that he and others of those same names had then talked our Minister into endorsing an unnecessary 12 months further work with British Standards, following which the match test would be implemented in April 2016. But they never undertook the work. I questioned them publicly at the end of 2017 about why they had done nothing in the past 4 years about a test they agreed does not work and therefore is pumping everyone full of more flame retardants than necessary, including their own firefighters. He said now that they didn't tell the Minister that 12 months more work was needed, and I said I have you on record. And I do.