An old 1990’s BBC drama called House of Cards features a storyline that bears a startling similarity to the Grenfell Tower fire that left hundreds of people dead.
In the show, which was originally aired in 1993, a gas explosion occurs in a poor run-down tower block in London, killing 70 people.
At one point in the episode, a newspaper headline reads: “Government policy blamed as 70 die in tower block disaster.”
Mirror.co.uk reports: Another scene involves a character called Chloe Carmichael, who says this when discussing the victims of the fictitious blaze: “These are people that have been left to rot, the people who couldn’t afford to buy their council flats, people who couldn’t afford to buy the gas bill.”
Carmichael even describes the building as “…a disaster waiting to happen.” This mirrors the real-life blog posts by a local residents group, which continually tried to see a higher standard of living for those in Grenfell Tower.
Another moment in the BBC drama shows the show’s Prime Minster accused of “[looking] on unmoved”. This is eerily reflective of Theresa May’s handling of the aftermath of the disaster.
We must say that at no point would we wish to trivialise the real fire at Grenfell Tower, which has shattered an entire community, and broken lives.
Al-Jazz also underlines this point – but by posting the video, he is echoing a powerful message and hopes to underline the problems people face in social housing: “I am simply struck by how a 25-year old show can so closely resemble today’s reality, with seemingly so few of the issues having been addressed in the interim.”
He further explains in his Vimeo post: “The points are made in general, but I found the arguments around social injustice, and the nature of the cause of the tragedy – a gas explosion in a run-down tower block – particularly chilling.
“Especially uncanny are the details of the degraded state of public housing, and even the specific points that a small fire on the fourth floor began the blaze, and the death toll being 72 (an estimated figure of around 70 from the fire service yesterday was given in relation to Grenfell).
“I have absolutely zero intent to offend the victims, their families or the survivors of this dreadful and shocking event, nor to trivialise the nature of this disaster in comparing real world events to fictional television shows, and I wholly apologise if that is how this is judged. Neither do I wish to make a further comment on either the real event or opinions voiced in the fictional dialogue.
“What I will say though is that Urquhart’s reaction in the BBC interview is chilling, and I hope not at all prescient. Beyond that, I am simply struck by how a 25-year old show can so closely resemble today’s reality, with seemingly so few of the issues having been addressed in the interim.”