Last night Stasia and I went to see the Ken Loach film, "I Daniel Blake", we both found it the most powerful and moving film we had seen. We left the cinema traumatised, not because we didn't know the facts and all the statistics of the system before hand. In my case I felt that I wasn't watching a film, I was looking through a window at the real life of real people. Real, honest decent people, being slowly destroyed through an inhuman bureaucratic system designed to attempt to fit people, through a confusing and humiliating process, into non-existent jobs, fit for work or not. A system of slowly breaking down the self respect of the individual. A system callously set up by faceless bureaucrats, devoid of human empathy, knowing that it would fail in its stated aims. If anybody sees this film, and leaves the cinema without a gut wrenching desire to pull down and destroy this vicious inhumane system, they have lost their empathy with humanity.
Some of the figures to back up the film. In this extremely rich country of approximately 65 million, 13.5 million live in poverty. This breaks down as 7.9 million working age adults, 3.9 million children, and 1.6 million pensioners. There are over 1 million individuals in work in the low paid industries who live in poverty. This breaks down as, residential care workers, 130,00, accommodation and catering workers, 360,000, and in that back bone of the consumer society, the retail trade, 460,000 of these workers live in poverty.
There were 2,380 individuals who died shortly after their Employment Support Allowance was stopped. Between December 2011 and February 2014, a staggering 50,850 individuals claiming ESA died, of those 7,200 had been judged, by this bureaucratic killing machine, as fit and able to return to work.
This is the traumatic reality that crushes so many honest decent people, who through no fault of their own, find themselves, entangled in the vicious claws of this inhuman, callous and destructive bureaucracy, operated by robotic rule obeying, automatons. A system designed to silence them through frustration, humiliation and the destruction of their self worth, and at the same time save money by getting rid of social spending.
As one commentator said, "I Daniel Blake" is a rallying call for the dispossessed, I wouldn't be surprised if you wake up one morning and find your local job Centre with large graffiti saying, "I Daniel Blake". "I'm Spartacus", solidarity is the weapon to defeat this festering nightmare of injustice and inequality called capitalism.www.radicalglasgow.me.uk