Grenfell Tower inquiry cartoon
© Steve Bell
Whatever else the Grenfell Tower inquiry reveals, it ought to commend the efforts of the local council to rehouse the survivors; there are 196 families in need of accommodation and already permanent places have been found for two of them. At this rate, they'll get the whole lot sorted in only 24.5 years.

Government Minister Sajid Javid explained: "We mustn't force families into snap decisions; we must work at the pace that suits the needs and circumstances of residents."

This considerate approach must be the reason for the gentle pace of rehousing, because the last thing a family needs after its home has burned down is having to make a snap decision about whether to move into a new home, or stay in a bed and breakfast with nowhere to cook or eat or live. Then they'll have to make more snap decisions such as which cupboard to put their cups and saucers in. They don't need that after all they've been through, so it's heartening that the authorities have been so sensitive.

Theresa May did promise a slightly quicker rate of rehousing, originally promising that all would be "rehoused permanently within three weeks". But she clearly meant the three weeks at the start of March 2041 so we shouldn't be critical.

The council press officer was reported as saying that "numbers of people moved to permanent accommodation is not a metric we are using". This is just as well, because you don't want to confuse how well you're doing in rehousing families by counting the number of families you've rehoused.

It's better to use a more reliable metric, such as how many different breeds of butterfly you can name in a minute.

So the Grenfell Tower residents are mostly dotted around the borough in an assortment of hotels. The local MP, Emma Dent Coad, said they have become especially frustrated because at first they were told to address their requests through the council, then were passed on to a body called Gold Command, then a "Grenfell Response Taskforce".

So I suppose it's only fair to let every group take a turn at not answering the families. Eventually they'll become the responsibility of the Drains and Manholes Coordinating Forum, before they're passed on to the Kensington Water Polo Development Society, who will tell them their problems can now be ignored by an operatic society, and then their forms can be lost by Ladbroke Grove WeightWatchers. Because it's important the whole community gets the opportunity to take no notice of them, so everyone can feel included.

Many families say that, during the council's stint at not dealing with them, they received no reply from phone calls or emails. This is a tender and human touch, as it must make them feel normal despite the traumas they've suffered.

It must be reassuring to know that just because - through no fault of your own - you've suffered a life-threatening upheaval and been left homeless, you'll be treated with the same dismissive contempt by your local council as if you were ringing about an abandoned mattress you want them to take away.

It's these little moments of kindness that can make someone realise life will soon carry on as it did before.

But the issue that seems to anger the families more than any other is the nature of the inquiry that's just begun. They were hoping one of the residents would be on the panel, but this has been dismissed.

According to the chair Sir Martin Moore-Bick, "to appoint someone as an assessor who has had direct involvement in the fire would risk undermining my impartiality in the eyes of others".

Maybe his point is anyone involved in the fire is likely to take a very one-sided anti-fire view, whereas the inquiry needs to keep an open mind and hear the fire's side of the story as well.

It could be argued the inquiry concerns the details of the fire, and the residents aren't likely to be experts in that. For example, last November the Grenfell Action Group issued a statement warning of a potential fire, saying: "We firmly believe only a catastrophic event will expose the ineptitude and incompetence of our landlord."

You can't allow that sort of accurate prediction and articulate analysis into an official inquiry - it would humiliate all the judges who have taken 20 years to compile inquiries made of 3,000 pages of medieval phrases and clumps of Latin, amounting to beautifully indecipherable gibberish.

The Bishop of Kensington was among those who called for a panel that "reflected the diversity of those involved", but this panel will at least manage that. Because the head of the inquiry is a retired judge who went to Cambridge. And he'll be assisted by Richard Millett who, according to his profile, "specialises in banking and financial markets, hedge funds and private equity disputes".

It sounds like he's well placed to understand the day-to-day problems of living on the sixteenth floor of a lethal council tower block, where across the landings you hear nothing but dogs barking and arguments about hedge funds and private equity disputes.

So the panel will indeed include a wide and diverse array of wealthy lawyers. Of the two leading figures, one has been knighted and the other one hasn't - you can't get more diverse than that.

For the same reason, we should be thankful the good people of Kensington Council are in charge of rehousing the families - and not some idiot suggesting that as there are 1,652 second homes left empty in the borough, it might be kinder and more economical to place the homeless families there, rather than in the lobby of a hotel.