Sutton Fire, Racism and Right-Wing Media (28.12.2021) 

Two-weeks on from the deadly fire that took the lives of four brothers aged between 3 and 4 years-old – the official story is that the cause of the fire is still unknown despite the tragedy occurring in a terraced-house on Collingwood Road, Sutton, on December 16th, 2021. Initially, much of the media demonised the mother implying and inferring ‘neglect’ – a trend which heightened when it was announced that Deveca Rose (27) had been arrested on suspicion of ‘child neglect.’ Despite being released on police bail, the media focused its attention on the father – Dalton Hoath (28) – and his career at AFC Wimbledon – an amateur football team. Whereas he was quick to sell his story to the racist ‘Sun’ newspaper – Deveca Rose was just as quick to sell her story to the equally racist (but far more up-market) ‘Times’ newspaper! An ‘unofficial’ cause of the fire has been speculated as being Xmas fairy lights hanging on the front-door (whether inside or outside is unclear) which are believed to have melted the PVC covering of the door and started a fire that quickly swept upwards into the bedrooms above. As these houses are woodened-framed and wooden-floored – the fire swept quickly through the structure and it is a testament to the skill of the Fire Brigade that the fire was prevented from spreading to the terraced-houses situated either-side.  

In the meantime, a ‘neighbour’ who asked to remain ‘anonymous’ informed the press that the ‘video’ he took of the fire ‘has been used by a number of news outlets’ – meaning, of course, that as well as the two parents receiving money for exclusive interviews – he also financially benefitted from the tragedy (hence the need for ‘anonymity’). As an after-thought, this same neighbour added that ‘there was no noise’ from the house as he filmed the video of the flames, presumably in an attempt to divert any criticism of him not attempting to save the victims which were still inside. The numerous videos of the four rescued children lying on the road and ‘waiting’ for a local hospital to take them when they were still alive have been ‘suppressed’ – as have the equally numerous videos of the deceased bodies still lying on the side of the road as the attending Emergency Services battled with local NHS bureaucracy to have the bodies moved to a proper and respectful location. Delays in issuing this permission has been blamed on government-sanctioned Covid-19 legislation which currently grants the ‘closure’ of all but the barest medical services and the right of NHS hospitals to ‘refuse’ to take, treat or process a sick, injured or deceased person.  

The instinct of the British media was to ‘exclude’ the Black side of the family and focus upon the White side – that is upon the ‘White’ father who did not live with his children. Despite this lack of support for the mother or hands-on care for his children – the media focused on his employment at AFC Wimbledon with even the management of the football team deciding to get in on the act – issuing messages of support to one of its employees who took no direct part in the lives of the four children he had sired! In this topsy-turvy would of cash-strapped Tory Britain, the fact that a single woman was trying desperately to raise four children whilst holding down a job as an ‘NHS Carer’ was completely ignored (this job title probably indicates that Deveca Rose worked in a privatised retirement home that is still allowed to trade using the NHS logo whilst employing poorly qualified staff at low rates of pay – yet another example of the hellish life created by the Tory government and its ongoing privatisation of the NHS)! The racist element of the media found it very easy to demonise the Black mother and exclude her (Black) side of the family, whilst simultaneously eulogising the life of a man who lives his own life in Wimbledon ‘free’ of any direct care for the four children he had sired – this is the ‘misogynistic’ element of this story with the media emphasising the ‘absent male’ over the ‘present female.’ My family lived in a house similar to this in Malden Road for a year (between 2005-2006) and they are well-built but lightweight wooden framed and wooden-foundational houses. Despite being two-down and two-up – these houses have been described to me as ‘worker’s cottages’ similar to those built by Thomas Wall who lived in Sutton during the late 1800s. Although his original houses are centred around Lind Road (some 1.6 miles East of Collingwood Road), I am not sure if these two sets of very similar houses are related – including those in Malden Road! Although innovative at the time, obviously these are fire hazards today. 

The reporting of the local and national media has been both racist and misogynistic. A working single mother struggling to bring-up four young children on her own has suffered a terrible tragedy with the loss of all four in a terrible accident! Deveca Rose is a victim of circumstance but the media is behaving as if she actively ‘murdered’ her own children! She did not. Her estranged partner, on the other hand, is encouraging publicity of the worst kind, and has received all the public sympathy! It could be that the Tory government does not want attention drawn to the fact the four children might have survived if the local NHS hospital had given permission to treat them (instead of enacting the Tory-derived Covid-19 legislation), or to the fact that the NHS would not take the bodies once deceased. Indeed, it could be that Deveca Rose could well sue the NHS (and government) for millions once the media storm has subsided! This could be followed by a separate prosecution against the local and national media for liable and deformation of character! Of course, the Tory government could rush a fixed trial and get her in prison and out of the way before any of this could take place – but this would be an ‘unsafe’ prosecution which could be easily overturned and open yet another case for compensation! It might be harder than people think to prove neglect in this instance.  

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