I Daniel Blake
A sixty year old man with a weak heart who can’t use a computer has a problem with the benefits system. A single mother with two children by different fathers has been moved from London to Newcastle also has a benefit problem.
All benefit systems are abused and a major difference between the political parties is by how much. A benefit system designed to help the needy has become a way of life for those who prefer not to work, there is a consensus that this had to change. We now have a benefit system increasingly designed to weed out the scroungers and get shirkers back to work which some say has a problem in believing any body. Nevertheless when they brought in tests three years ago one million immediately went off sickness benefit.
This is the story of the movie, I Daniel Blake, Ken Loach’s most recent attack on what a lousy job the state does in administering, caring and accommodating those at the bottom. Certainly the unfeeling and inflexible bureaucracy of the benefits system takes your breath away. And one says a little prayer of thanks that one never has had to rely on the benefit system. Life has been kinder to me than to those millions who queue for benefits and food banks.
The system needs changing, And it does change. Maybe for better maybe for worse. It can never be perfect,those on the borderline will always get a bad deal. The film shows that the system is efficient but unfair. A system that is not efficient no longer deserves the support of taxpayers. A system that is unfair and unfeeling is not worthy of humanity, which is Ken Loach’s point. All around humanity tries to fight back.
Ken Loach is a member of the Trotskyite Socialist Workers Party. He believes in socialist revolution liberating humanity from the shackles of the capitalist system. A system which on the one hand has enriched more and more, some outrageously, while at the same time impoverished an increasing number.
The problem with a socialist revolution is that it impoverishes more a more(see Cuba, Venezuela, North Korea etc),cannot be democratic and opens up concentration camps for those who dont agree. A sometimes uncaring benefit system is preferable. And does a working man who can’t handle a computer or a single mother with two children bear no responsibility for their fates? Its easy for me to say.