I, Daniel Blake 773

More space has been devoted by the mainstream media in the last week to the terrible effects of “austerity” on the vulnerable, than in total since the Westminster election. That is entirely in the context of Ken Loach’s Cannes Palme d’Or winning film I, Daniel Blake. The film itself will now get a much greater cinema distribution than it might otherwise have anticipated. I think it is worth highlighting some excellent points made at the winners’ press conference:

Ken Loach:

We talked about finding a style that was absolutely clear and plain and unadorned…there’s a quotation from Bertolt Brecht…”and I always thought the simplest of words must suffice. When I say what things are like, it will break the hearts of all”. And the thing that we tried to do is to say what things are like, because it not only breaks your heart, but it should make you angry.

It is an issue not just for people in our country, but all across Europe. There is a conscious cruelty in the way we are organising our lives now, where the most vulnerable people are told that their poverty is their own fault. If you have no work, it’s your fault you haven’t got a job. Never mind that… throughout Europe there’s mass unemployment and in Britain there’s two million known unemployed but in reality four million. And the most vulnerable people are caught, disabled people are caught. The increase in suicides… in fact in the places where these assessments take place, some people who work there have been given instructions on how to deal with potential suicides, so they know this is going on… It is deeply shocking that this is happening at the heart of our world… the heart of it is a shocking, shocking policy.

Paul Laverty (scriptwriter):

After travelling the country, in Scotland and all the way down to England, travelling round foodbanks, listening to people’s stories, talking to welfare rights organisations, disabled groups, what was remarkable was how many of the most vulnerable people were the ones who bore the brunt of it. Now in this particular instance Daniel is a very competent man who has had a life of work, who’s got friends, who’s smart, intelligent, he’s had a very, very full life. But what really amazed us was talking to experts… the people who work with mental health, the stories we heard about that would just break your heart.

The people who are disabled, they have suffered six times more from the cuts than anyone else, and there was a remarkable phrase by one of the civil servants we heard who talked about the cuts, who said “low-lying fruit”, in other words the easy targets. So this story could have been much harsher, it could have been somebody with mental health difficulties… we could have told a story from someone who is much more vulnerable, much more heartbreaking.

I think it’s very important to remember too the systematic nature of it….talking to whistleblowers, people who worked inside the Department of Work and Pensions… there are several people we met, and they spoke to us anonymously, and they said they were humiliated how they were forced to treat the public. So there is nothing accidental about it, and it is affecting a huge section of the population.

I have inveighed long and hard against the massive increase in the wealth gap between the rich and poor in the UK and in the West in general. It is great to see popular resistance today in France to the extreme erosion of workers’ rights that has facilitated this.

In an indisputable measure of the growing inequality in society, the life expectancy gap between rich and poor is growing for the first time in 150 years. Let me say that again. The life expectancy gap between rich and poor is growing for the first time in 150 years. Our desperately unequal society now becomes more unequal at an exponential rate. The UK has more than 100 billionaires, and it has foodbanks and children crying from hunger, not developing properly due to malnutrition. I sense a true swelling of popular discontent that has the potential to break through the consent manufactured by a billionaire-owned media and billionaire-owned politicians.

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773 thoughts on “I, Daniel Blake

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  • Ben Monad

    I find it amazing how many persons think their shit is the only shit that don’t stink.

    I find that shit to be the most unpleasant of odors.

    • Ben Monad

      I don’t see my viewpoint as unique amongst Americans, insofar as each of us is unique in some way.

      Many feel as I but express it differently. Sometimes words fail and flailing and raging must ensue in their stead. I am fortunate enough to be able to say what I’m thinking but there are many like me, who will not or cannot.

      Trump is a master manipulator who could conceivably be elected. I say let the chips fall where they may.

      • Ben Monad

        Of course the tragic concomitant to my 1968 election comments, is the Nixon Presidency.

        Many blamed McCarthy for not being enthusiastic for Humphrey, but I believe the dye was cast for Nixon with his lying-ass-lies about ending the War. Fcuk the likes of him. We are not responsible for him.

  • Tony_0pmoc

    I have been following the youtube videos of 108Moriss108 for about 5 years..I think he comes from London and is still wondering about his bloodline…and then after Woolwich – where he went to video the evidence immediarely after the event (don’t mention Chris Spivey)..he just disappeared off to Cambodia – maybe he thought it was a bit dangerous here in London – to tell the the truth – as he saw it…he is such a nice guy – that he constructed a home teleprompter – that he fixed to his camera – and said how he did it – he changed his camera – to one that had a brilliant internal microphone…and he published this a few weeks ago – which made me really happy – when I saw it for the first time…

    He is Nearly as old as me – and he just casually mentioned – after coming very close to death a year ago – that he is now a Dad,,

    What a Nice Bloke…I haven’t seen his wife yet (kept that quiet)

    “I had a Baby – Morris”



  • Ben Monad

    I muse quite humorously over the European sense of superiority. I guess they imply ageism for any disrespect for their position. Being old is not enough. It’s important to attach some life experiences with objective insight before you develop any sagacity not borne of mere youth.

    Now if you kvetch over your Leaders being subjected to the usury of other more powerful Nations, you are well positioned for the gang-rape we all experience as pawns in a 3-D chess match amongst peers who are multiple atmospheres above our reach. It’s sad we blame others for our ills like the Nazis blamed the Jews for all their ills. Sad indeed.

    • Old Git

      “I muse quite humorously over the European sense of superiority.”

      ROFL I mean, are you Yanks truly scared of everything? You arrive at JFK and spend the next three hours of your life trying to convince some brain-dead HSO that you aren’t a “Muslim Terrorist” even if you have blue eyes and blond hair and have a British accent. Where are you going to be spending the first night and no you can’t rent a car until the next day; what’s that shit all about?


      Come on, whatever happened to John Wayne? You Yanks are so dumn.

      • Ben Monad

        John Wayne…heh.

        That unfortunate imagery is your yardstick for American behavior? You must be confusing the film star with the man who plays courageous fictional people. Hollywood infects many minds.

  • lysias

    They shut down exit polls for the last Democratic primaries, so there will be no exit polling for California and New Jersey, for example. Can you believe it? Richard Charnin’s Blog: The Democratic Primaries: No more exit polls; Kentucky and Oregon recap:

    The networks cancelled plans for exit polls for the remaining presidential primaries. Forget about the California and New Jersey primaries. Hell, they aren’t important.

    11 of 26 exit polls exceeded the margin of error for Sanders
    The probability is 1 in 76.8 billion = 1- binomdist (10,26,.025,true)
    24 of 26 exit polls shifted to Clinton in the vote
    The probability is 1 in 190,000 = 1- binomdist(23,26,0.5, true)

    The average exit poll margin of error for the 26 primaries was 3.52%. The MoE includes a 30% exit poll cluster factor (0.81) which is added to the theoretical 2.71% MoE. View a statistical comparison of exit poll discrepancies between the stolen 2004 presidential election and the 2016 Democratic Primaries.

    • bevin

      You will have seen the news that the Networks and major media plan to mark election day next week by announcing that Tammany Hill has clinched the nomination-so there is no point in voting or working against her.
      It is a bitter consolation that these DLC types won’t be able to fix the General Election. Nor, I suspect will the media. The turnout is likely to set new records for non-participation if the maker of modern Libya does get the nod and the FBI, as expected, looks the other way.

    • Resident Dissident

      Perhaps you might care to tell us how the overall popular vote is going in the Democratic primaries?

  • Tony_0pmoc

    I can understand our neighbours at the end of our garden – getting slightly pissed off at our solar panel at the end of our garden shining the light – well on our Garden Angel – It’s a Statue – over Our Garden Pond…it cost me over £60 in The UK. I Nearly paid $150 + import duties and delivery charges from the USA..

    Maybe after all the light last year shining probably into their bedroom window…they maybe jumped over the fence I built last year – with my lad – and turned the solar light back in our direction…

    Now it is not working at all..it could of course be a technical fault…it has been raining a lot today – and my wife’s garden patch bit is about to overflow with raspberries,strawberries,grapes – well almost every fruit you can imagine – yes we have the apple and plum and all the other trees too…

    It is entirely possible that the light from the sun is not getting through to the solar panel..

    About 10 -15 years when our new neighbours moved in…

    on the same weekend – when they’d settled in a bit..I went round and introduced myself – we live in that garden to the left of you – when you come outside the back….

    Sometimes – We Have Really Loud Parties after the pub finishes – about 1:00am on Saturday nights – well when there’s not another better band on somewhere else – Sorry for the noise in advance…but don’t complain – but you can if you want – just call round – knock on the door and come in…

    I didn’t used to Dr.Who much or Listen to The Radio…but The Girl who had just moved in was the Spittin’ Image of The Slim Blonde Girl with a Pretty Round Face..and The Other Cnt with Ginger Hair – I forget his name too..They probably still live there – if so he’s lost his hair..

    They didn’t invite me in – but at least I said hello..and welcome
    – knock and come in..

    Its only a Party

    “Beastie Boys – (You Gotta) Fight For Your Right (To Party) ”


    u no who


  • Tony_0pmoc

    i just do not understand people – who do not put their children first.

    they are the fruit of your love.

    tony & wife xx

  • Doug Scorgie

    Surprise surprise; Patrick Rock gets a slap on the wrist:

    The Judge said: “I have not lost sight of the obvious reality that right-thinking people will quite properly consider that those who did what you did should be punished for it.

    “You should be. And you have been… It is a punishment which you brought on yourself, but is nonetheless a very real one.”
    Judge Alistair McCreath said Rock’s punishment was “the loss of your reputation and your very public humiliation”.

    In other words he got caught and that is punishment enough!

    No jail; no fine and no community service.


  • Macky

    Norman Finkelstein leaves a comment in support if the Palestinian schoolgirl censored from a ironically named “Speak Out Challenge!”

    “I find this episode appalling. What’s going on across the pond? Have the Brits lost all their marbles? If a Jewish girl memorialized her family who perished in the Nazi holocaust, would she be disqualified on the ground that her presentation wasn’t uplifting or might have offended a Teutonic nationalist? My goodness, not even a diminutive Winston Churchill would have passed muster with these judges. I once appeared on UK’s Hard Talk to debate the Israel-Palestine topic. The presenter wouldn’t let me speak. One viewer called the program “Hard to Talk.” Maybe this competition should be rechristened, Speak Out–At Your Peril!”
    Norman Finkelstein, Brooklyn, NY”


    • michael norton

      Germany passed a resolution on Thursday recognising the massacre of Armenians by Ottoman forces as genocide,
      prompting an angry Turkey to recall its ambassador to Berlin.

      Only one MP voted against and another abstained, as parliament approved overwhelmingly by a show of hands the resolution entitled, “Remembrance and commemoration of the genocide of Armenians and other Christian minorities in 1915 and 1916”.

      Turkey is getting too big for its jackboots

        • michael norton

          The Tory who stopped Nigel Farage winning in Thanet South has failed to block police extending the time available for their investigation of his election expenses spending. Why did the Tories try to block the police from investigating this seat – unlike in the twenty or so other seats where similar allegations have been made? Guido believes that this will prove to be the biggest overspend by any political party in any individual seat ever. Guido understands the Tories spent over £200,000 to stop Nigel Farage winning the seat…

      • Ben Monad

        Genocide? Diplomats who excel at salesmanship will parse that felonious crime into a misdemeanor. The sentence will be time served with probation because we have the ICC watching so very closely the legal wording. They don’t want to overreach.

        • Ben Monad

          I do hope we have some NGO’s with UN contracts who will find the need to defend their employer.

  • Ben Monad

    Hey! That last comment was the 777th. Divine perfection isn’t what it’s cracked up to be.

    Perfection merely means the object is perfect in-and-of itself. IOW’s it could be perfect fertilizer..lol.

  • michael norton

    There is no arcane historical legal argument but an embarrassing political case, in which three named Armenians – who are full US citizens – will assert their rights to land under the Incirlik Nato base in Turkey
    Incirlik is America’s forward air base in Turkey, take-off point for the US air battle against Isis. But in less than two months, a group of Armenians, all descendants of the 1915 genocide of one-and-a-half-million Christians massacred by Ottoman Turkey, will claim in a US court that the land on which America’s jets take off to bomb Syrian and Iraqi targets belongs to them, and must be returned to their families.

    As an increasing number of European nations acknowledge the most appalling crime against humanity of the First World War as a genocide, which the US Government still refuses to accept for fear of upsetting Turkey, the ghosts of the dead, it seems, are returning to haunt even America’s latest Middle East war.

    I doubt this will please their president/caliph

    • michael norton

      Eleven GERMAN M.P.s under police protection in TURKISH genocide row

      The 11 MPs of Turkish origin who voted for the resolution have faced a backlash of negative opinion from the Turkish government and from within Germany’s sizable Turkish community.

      Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan castigated them, saying: “What sort of Turks are they?”

      Honest ones?

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