Ken Loach: Tory government 'callous, brutal and disgraceful' and 'must be removed'
Accepting the award for best British film at the Bafta awards in London, the veteran director says politicians speak for corporations – and film-makers must stand with the poor and vulnerable
Ken Loach has launched an uncompromising attack on the UK government at the 70th British Academy Film Awards.
Speaking as he picked up his award for outstanding British film for I, Daniel Blake, which is conceived as a critique of the current state of the benefits system, Loach touched on accusations by some that his film failed to reflect reality.
Loach thanked his cast and crew, the people of Newcastle and the academy for “endorsing the truth of what this film says, which is that hundreds of thousands of people – the vulnerable and the poorest people – are treated by the this government with a callousness and brutality that is disgraceful.”
Loach continued by making reference to the Tory government’s apparent U-turn on its promise to accept thousands of unaccompanied children fleeing danger in Syria and elsewhere.
“It’s a brutality,” he said, “that extends to keeping out refugee children we promised to help.”
“In the real world,” added Loach, “it’s getting darker. And in the struggle that’s coming between the rich and the powerful, the corporations and the politicians that speak for them, and the rest of us on the other side, the film-makers know which side they’re on.”
Speaking at the press conference afterwards, Loach went further, saying that the government “have to be removed”. He hoped that voters would see his film, but there was little point politicians doing so as “the people actually implementing these decisions know what they’re doing. It’s conscious.”
Their welfare policies, he said, harked back to the Victorian workhouse ethos of telling people that poverty was their fault. “They know what they’re doing. We have to change them; they have to be removed.”
His words were echoed by screenwriter Paul Laverty, who sought to draw attention to the UN’s ruling on the UK’s treatment of the disabled. “They found systematic and gross violations,” he said, before saying the Tories had “denied, spun and tried to discredit” the findings.
“They don’t give a toss,” said Laverty, that “scurvy and rickets” had returned to the country, or that “16,000 people were admitted to hospital last year with malnutrition. We have a moral obligation to do one thing, and that’s get rid of them.”
Meanwhile producer Rebecca O’Brien spoke up for those employees of the Ritzy cinema not being paid the living wage. “We think that’s completely wrong in this day and age.”
Dave Johns, who stars in the film, added he felt I, Daniel Blake “gives the working class a voice back. People haven’t listened to them for 40 years.”
The tory's murderous trail of the dead goes on and on
Maximus had cut off ill man's welfare payments before his death
Tory assassins Maximus and the DWP still at the mass murder of the vulnerable
Long term sick man, 56, collapses and dies just MINUTES after being ruled 'fit to work' by Jobcentre officials
(and this from the very RAG controlled by Harmsworth that was smearing the vulnerable as scroungers)
A man died of a heart attack as he left a Jobcentre where he'd been forced to sign on after being ruled fit to work.
Lawrence Bond was looking for a job after his Employment and Support Allowance was stopped last July, despite his ongoing health problems.
The 56-year-old suffered a fatal heart attack on January 12 after leaving the Kentish Town Jobcentre - and his grief-stricken family claim the stress of being forced to work led to his death.
Mr Bond's Employment and Support Allowance was cut following a second work capability assessment, set by the Department for Work and Pensions and carried out by private American firm Maximus in July.
He was awaiting the outcome of a second appeal at the time of his death.
His family said he suffered from difficulty breathing and walking, as a result of weight problems, as well as lifelong anxiety.
Mr Bond's sister Iris Green said her brother also had an underlying heart condition.
She also said he held down regular jobs and had been working since the age of 16 when he trained as a car mechanic.
Mr Bond did computer studies and went to companies fixing computers, photocopiers and cash tills but lost his long-term job two years ago after his weight and unfitness made him unemployable.
His family claim he 'turned up at the Jobcentre in a state of distress and anxiety, was again told that he was 'fit to work' and died of a heart attack just after he left'.
Ms Green told the Camden New Journal newspaper: 'I realise that the reception staff have no clinical knowledge or responsibility for doing it, but the rules need to be changed so that they have the right and discretion when they see a human being turning up in physical distress to flag the situation up and ask for urgent re-assessment.'
A spokeswoman for the London Ambulance Service said an ambulance crew, three single responders in cars and an advanced paramedic were sent to the scene in under seven minutes.
'Sadly, despite the best efforts of our crews, a patient died at the scene,' the service added.
An 'ANONYMOUS' spokesman for the Department for Work and Pensions said: 'The local Jobcentre had been supporting Mr Bond and our sympathies are with his family at this difficult time.
'ESA decisions are made following a thorough assessment and after considering all of the evidence, including that provided by a claimant's doctor or other medical professionals.
'Anyone who disagrees with a decision can ask for it to be reconsidered, and if they still disagree they can appeal.'
The tory's assassins the DWP interfered with a sick man's doctors reports that led to his death
Dad DIES 10 months after Job Centre bosses told his doctor not to write any more sick notes.
The DWP wrote to James Harrison's doctor behind his back and declared him fit for work 10 months before he died
A seriously ill dad died just 10 months after Department for Work and Pensions bosses advised his GP not to write any more sick notes for him.
James Harrison had been declared “fit for work” and should not get medical certificates, the letter said.
But 10 months after the DWP contacted his doctor without telling him, James was dead at 55, the Daily Record reported.
His daughter Abbie, 23, said: “It’s a disgrace that managers at the Job Centre, who know nothing about medicine, should interfere in any way in the relationship between a doctor and a patient.
“They have no place at all telling a doctor what they should or shouldn’t give a patient. It has nothing to do with them.
“When the Job Centre starts to get involved in telling doctors about the health of their patients, that’s a really slippery slope.”
Abbie said James had worked since leaving school at a community centre near his home. But his already poor health went downhill after the centre was shut down by austerity cuts.
He had a serious lung condition and a hernia before the centre closed, and developed depression and anxiety afterwards.
Abbie said: “He’d worked all his life. He wasn’t the kind of guy who knew anything about benefits.
“But as his health deteriorated, there wasn’t any chance he could do a job. He applied for employment and support allowance.”
James got ESA but only at the low rate of £70 a week, the same as jobseekers’ allowance. He was then sent for one of the DWP’s hated “Work Capability Assessments” – and declared fit for work.
Despite that decision, Abbie said James remained in constant need of medical help and had to go to his doctor regularly.
But the GP repeatedly refused to give him a sick note, and James began to suspect the Jobcentre were to blame.
Abbie said: “He really needed a note. He was too ill to go to the constant appointments at the Jobcentre and he didn’t want to be sanctioned.
“He became convinced the DWP had been talking to his doctor behind his back.”
Abbie didn’t believe James’s theory at the time and thought he was just confused.
But when she asked to see her dad’s medical records, she found a letter in his file from Julia Savage (A RARE occasion when one of these gangsters is identified), a manager at Birkenhead Benefit Centre in James’s home city of Liverpool.
The letter was addressed to James’s GP. It said: “We have decided your patient is capable of work from and including January 10, 2016.
"This means you do not have to give your patient more medical certificates for employment and support allowance purposes unless they appeal against this decision.
“You may need to again if their condition worsens significantly, or they have a new medical condition.”
PhD student Abbie is furious that James had to waste time at his short doctor’s appointments pleading for a sick line he wasn’t going to get.
And she is sickened by the way the system treated her father at every turn.
She said: “I’d love to interrogate these DWP people the way they interrogated dad – ask them to explain the things they put him through.
“Dad wasn’t well. Who knows, maybe he could have improved if he’d been given some support, rather than subjected to suspicion and scepticism at every turn.”
Asked about the letter, a DWP spokeswoman said: “The GP would have been notified so they know the outcome of the assessment.
“And as the letter says, there’s no longer any requirement to provide a fit note unless the claimant appeals the decision, or their medical condition worsens or they have a new medical condition.”
What the evils of sanctioning has on Britain's vulnerable VIDEO
Ken Loach: life in austerity Britain is 'consciously cruel' VIDEO
Unbelievable that the tory version of Mugabe Kwasi Kwarteng attacks Ken Loach
who exposes the scum and filth attacks on the poorest and most vulnerable sections
of British society. More on this tory bum
Hundreds of Brits dying from malnutrition or hunger VIDEO
Disability campaigner and Conservative MP discuss cuts VIDEO
Tory henchwoman Nicky Morgan tries to justify attacks on the poorest VIDEO
Tory's murderous rottweiller IDS finally quits over vile welfare cuts to the most vulnerable
Iain Duncan Smith resigns - BBC Newsnight
But only after thousands of innocents have died from them
We have been exposing for many years the utter hypocrisy of a tory government responsible for thousands of vulnerable citizens
of the UK being psychologically tortured to the point of death thanks to the evil Eton gangsters Cameron and Osborne using
their whipping boy Iain Duncan Smith and state assassins the DWP, ATOS and now Maximus to crucify the poorest, most disabled and
many with severe mental illness using sanctions that remove in an instant the paltry sum they had been given
to survive on.
NEVER since the Nazi regime has a group been so vilified by the utter scum and filth who claim to be a political
party using the total power of the state to murder with impunity. Thatcher's vile spirit is alive and well
in the hallowed walls of 10 Downing Street when a compliant media holds these evil bastards up as some sort of moral
guardians looking down on the peasants as if they are something to erase from the bottom of their well heeled boots.
Scumbag Osborne used IDS to push through his toxic cuts that has ensured vast swathes of the population have suffered
enormous harm to the point that many felt suicide was a better option. Finally this odious scumbag has quit and left
the rest of the Eton mobsters to justify the enormous pain and suffering of those who faced a brutal regime only to
happy to use cuts to finish off those who they view as USELESS eaters.
Tory scum aim to extend murderous sanction system to those who are working
ATOS, Maximus and the DWP are state sponsored assassins for an evil tory regime using a psychological
sanctioning system that triggers suicide in those who lose their only source of income.
THE TORY government been attacked over plans to extend controversial benefit sanctions to claimants with jobs, with critics warning introducing the "shockingly harsh" penalties risks plunging workers into poverty.
A number of pilot schemes are currently being carried out in the UK – including in Inverness – to assess a new scheme which the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) says is aimed at helping workers on low earnings take on more hours and increase their income.
Benefits can be stopped if claimants fail to meet requirements outlined by the DWP – such as missing Jobcentre appointments or failing to show evidence of looking for more work for a certain number of hours a week, on top of their usual job.
The in-work regime, which is expected to eventually apply to around one million people, is being trialled as part of Universal Credit, the new type of benefit which is being rolled out across the country.
The DWP says its aim is “redefining the contract between claimants and the welfare state” and helping work to pay. The radical scheme - one of the first of its kind in the world - means for the first time those in part-time employment will have to meet certain conditions or risk losing support from the state.
But in a series of submissions to the House of Commons Select Committee on Work and Pensions, which is carrying out an inquiry into the "in-work progression" scheme, charities, researchers and campaigners have warned the use of harsh punitive measures risks plunging workers into financial difficulties.
Researchers have uncovered worrying examples of in-work claimants being sanctioned include a man who was 'fined' £70 after missing a JobCentre appointment because he had been called into work by his employer.
Another case involved a woman who was struggling with debt after being given multiple sanctions as she tried to juggle Jobcentre appointments with working part-time and caring responsibilities. She ended up being threatened with eviction from her home.
Dr Sharon Wright, senior lecturer in public policy in urban studies at Glasgow University, is lead researcher of a team at six universities across the UK which is carrying out a five-year study funded by the Economic and Social Research Council into welfare conditionality.
She said the sanctions system being implemented was “quite shockingly harsh” and pointed to examples of cases of in-work claimants being penalised uncovered during their research.
She said: “We had one interviewee who had an appointment at the Jobcentre, but got called into work. He phoned up the JobCentre to rearrange his appointment, they told him it couldn’t be rearranged and then he was sanctioned because he didn’t go.
“So he was actually working and they took £70 off him because he wasn’t there. The idea behind the system is that it is meant to encourage people to work, but it is actually penalising people who are in work, so it is counter-productive – that is partly because of the rigidity of the system.”
Wright pointed out it was also now common for workers to have variable hours, or zero hour contracts that were unpredictable – yet people were being issued with “inflexible” appointments by the JobCentre.
“We interviewed another woman who had been given multiple sanctions – in her case she had caring responsibilities which were unpredictable and she had work that had variable hours,” she said.
“She ended up missing appointments because she was either caring or working and because the sanctions ramp up, she ended up in arrears with her rent and having bailiffs coming to the door and being threatened with eviction.
“That is someone who from her point of view is trying to do all the right things – she is trying to meet her family obligations by doing informal care, she is trying to meet work obligations by going out to work and yet she is finding this rigid system is not taking that into account.”
Wright acknowledged one beneficial aspect of the new system was that workers on lower hours would now be entitled to claim support, which they could not do under the new system - but questioned whether enough was in place to help support claimants to find more hours or better paid jobs.
“There is no system to help people gain confidence or train them or improve their situation in terms of pay or in terms of career progression,” she said. “What is means is heavy pressure on relatively powerless workers – who are part-time workers or low paid workers – to find more work.”
John Dickie, director of Child Poverty Action Group Scotland, said parents on low incomes would usually take on extra hours whenever they could.
He said: "All the evidence is that given the opportunity and when parents can juggle childcare they take on extra hours, they want to increase their hours at work.
"But there are real structural barriers in terms of the nature of the kinds of jobs that people are in - which mean limited opportunities to increase hours and increase earnings in work - as well as real issues that families face still both with the costs and availability of childcare."
Dickie said there was plenty of evidence of the "devastating" impact sanctions could have on out-of-work benefit claimants, including reducing their chances of getting back into work by removing vital financial support and forcing families to turn to food banks.
He added: "The evidence would suggest [sanctions for in-work claimants] would be completely counter-productive, and there is a very real risk that families – including families with children – will be pushed into even greater financial hardship than they already are."
Other submissions to the Work and Pension Select Committee inquiry include a response from Oxfam, which said financial sanctions should not be included as it was "too blunt an instrument" for dealing with hugely differing circumstances.
Boycott Workfare, which campaigns against sanctions, said extending sanctions to those who are in work will "punish people on the receiving end of the UK's low-pay, no-pay precarious labour market".
Rob Gowans, policy officer at Citizens Advice Scotland, also raised concerns around the use of sanctions, saying many out-of-work benefit claimants had experienced problems as a result of the impact of sanctions.
He said: “We are concerned that introducing this for people who are in work, or in part-time work, won’t really help them find a job and just push them further into hardship.
“We would like to see a full independent fundamental review of the current sanctions regime to see what effect it has and whether it is fulfilling its purpose."
A response submitted by University of Glasgow’s Medical Research Council/Chief Scientist Office Social and Public Health Sciences Unit, also noted that details of the trials being carried out by the DWP "remain scarce".
Dr Marcia Gibson, research associate at the Unit, said it was standard practice to publish protocols for trials ahead of them taking place.
She said: “If this is not done there is a risk of cherry picking - you are supposed to specify in advance which groups you are going to be interested in and which analyses you are going to run.
“Otherwise you could run many analyses after the fact and pick the findings which suited your particular take.
“If any researcher only publishes the trial findings after the fact and don’t publish their methodology in full, there is no way of knowing if they stuck to their plans or how they recruited people, for example – all kinds of really important aspects of trial design that can influence the findings need to be known in advance.”
did not respond to questions from the Sunday Herald asking how long the pilots would last or if the evaluation of the scheme would be made public.
In a statement, it said workers taking on more hours is being made possible by more generous childcare support under Universal Credit and that certain groups, such as the long-term disabled or recent victims of domestic violence, were being excluded from the trial.
The DWP also said it would support 'hardworking families' but benefit claimants working part-time who could work more have a “responsibility to themselves and the state to take on more hours.”
A spokesman for the DWP (The murderers are never quoted by name and remain anonymous for the crimes against their victims) said: “We make no apology for helping people to progress in their jobs and earn more money.
“This is something the benefits system has never done before, and this kind of criticism completely misses the point of Universal Credit.”
TIME TO END THE ANONYMITY THE STATE MASS MURDERERS ARE GETTING WHO NEED TO BE OUTED FOR THEIR CRIMES