Many of the families rendered homeless by the Grenfell Tower fire spent the festive season in what is called temporary accommodation: bed and breakfast houses, nearby hotels, and if they were lucky, somewhere actually designed as housing. Many of them therefore had no cooking facilities, and so the cost to them of putting meals in front of their families increased dramatically. This change was covered by compensation payments.
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In addition, the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea committed a small sum to cover anticipated higher costs at Christmas: each person still without their own place to call home would receive £140. Few have begrudged the survivors these payments: they were, after all, burnt out of house and home in the most traumatic circumstances imaginable.
But one pundit out there on the right was desperate and bigoted enough to tell her devoted followers that these were non-white people getting something for which honest decent hard-working Brits (make that white Brits) were paying. To no surprise at all, that pundit was pro-am motormouth Katie Hopkins. The lies and smears began immediately.
“A Grenfell family’s cash for ONE week in December: £300 per week per adult. £150 per child per week £140 special Christmas payment All hotel accom / bills paid. Family of 5: cash in hand for one week £1750 (plus expenses covered). Surely I have got this wrong?” she ventured, and yes, she has (it’s £1,050, or £1,190 with the Christmas payment).
But that was enough for the false equivalence to kick in. “Do families / victims of Manchester, Rochdale Groomers, Westminster, London Bridge receive similar compensation for their loss?”. Did they get burned out of their homes? Ah, but this misses the point: in Katie’s world, the Scary Muslims (tm) are getting favourable treatment.
From that point, the smears were ratcheted up. First came the inference of not only favourable treatment, but undeserved payments. “Reality TV idea @channel5_tv: STRIFE SWAP - Grenfellers do work of honest Brits. Honest Brits live like Grenfellers”. People from Grenfell Tower were not “honest”, as opposed to “not white and Christian”.
Then came the clear suggestion that those who lost their homes in the fire were involved in some kind of ongoing illegal activity: “WIN 2 yrs free accommodation. Make like a Grenfeller, import your ‘cousins’ & live rent free till July 2019. Text FIRE to ‘0800 free shit’”. Six months’ compensation becomes two years in the retelling. And it gets worse.
So convinced has Hatey Katie become that those who lived in Grenfell Tower were not in the UK legally that she has now come out and said so, not that she can pony up any evidence to back up her smears. “CHRISTMAS BONUS: British pensioners / war widows £10 … Illegal migrants of Grenfell £130 per head”. Yes Katie, and if they really were “illegal migrants”, they wouldn’t be getting anything. Because you can’t if you’re here illegally.
This is hate speech, pure and simple. But to far too many out there, Katie Hopkins is just “telling it like it is”, another example like the propaganda of the Trump Gang in the USA - everyone else is lying, and the only bastion against Fake News is Katie News.
Except that she’s the one lying, and a racist bigot to boot. So no change there, then.