No one does the blame game better than the British. There is no tragedy so grim, no disaster so unremitting, that we cannot further darken the mood by naming both those responsible and the defective parts.

This is called accountability. Inquiries are intended to draw a line under whichever calamity it was, providing victims and their families with “closure” and the relevant authority or department the chance to aver that “lessons have been learned”. Typically, there will be at least one top-level resignation. Invariably, the government will promise “urgent action” to ensure that such a thing can never occur again. Then, with justice done, all that remains is for compensation to be awarded while the rest of us get on with our lives.

And perhaps there is no other way if we are to get to the truth and adopt a more sensible course in future.

In the case of the fire at London’s Grenfell Tower in which 72 residents died and 70 more were injured, the defective part was identified almost before the blaze was properly extinguished. It was the aluminium cladding fixed to the block’s exterior to make it look more modern and less “Seventies,” but which turned out to be highly combustible, that transformed an otherwise typical inner-city structure into a funeral pyre.