Grenfell Tower: a TRC

According to Anne Perkins the inquiry into the Grenfell Tower disaster is not a truth and reconciliation commission (TRC), and she implies that it shouldn’t be (The Grenfell inquiry has to put cold facts before emotions, 7 July). Surely that is exactly what it should be. The desirable outcome is that the survivors should feel better, for which they require three main things: to be heard, to be rehoused and have their losses made good as far as possible, and to know that action will be taken to prevent similar tragedies elsewhere. A tribunal is inevitably seen as allocating blame for wrongdoing, which puts those responsible on the defensive and gives them an incentive to conceal or minimise their actions; a TRC (in this context, unlike those in South Africa and elsewhere) implies that the harm was caused by mistakes, with an incentive to learn from them, put them right, and apologise. It should be led by a professional facilitator, whose focus would be humane, not legalistic, assisted by assessors to deal with technical recommendations about action to be taken.
Martin Wright