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I, Daniel Blake #1063793
5th Jan 2019 8:31pm
5th Jan 2019 8:31pm
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Mr1470 Offline OP
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Film: I Daniel Blake
Jo Siedlecka Jan 5th, 2019

This evening, Saturday 5 January, Ken Loach's award-winning film I, Daniel Blake will shown on BBC Two at 9.45pm. The film will be later be available on iplayer. First screened in cinemas in 2016, this movie is a searing indictment of the impact of recent UK government policy on real lives. It charts the story of two people caught in the nightmare of the benefits system. (The bureaucracy has become even more complicated since this film was made).

Set in Newcastle, upon Tyne, the film follows 59-year-old carpenter Daniel Blake (Dave Johns) who is forced to apply for benefits for the first time in his life after suffering a severe heart attack. To get financial support he first needs to go through a 'work capability test'.

His application for Employment Support Allowance (ESA) is rejected because he can walk a short distance and raise two hands above his head. The 'health care advisor' refuses to look at his medical notes, sticks to her script; refuses to acknowledge the impact of his certified medical condition. "Can I ask you a question?" Daniel asks, "Are you medically qualified?"

In April 2018, the Mirror reported that 68% of people who appealed against an assessment decision had it overturned by a tribunal. In order to appeal, Daniel is told that he must apply online. Having worked as a carpenter all his life, Daniel has never used a computer.

Meanwhile, he's placed on Jobseeker's Allowance. To receive this, Daniel must actively look for work, although his doctor has advised him he can't work until he's well enough. And so the spiral begins.

Daniel meets Katie Morgan (Hayley Squires), a single mother of two at the Jobcentre. She has been sanctioned because she signed on late, so Daniel steps in to offer moral support. After two years in temporary accommodation in London, Kate has just been moved 300 miles away to Newcastle - far from her family and friends.

On one level, the film narrates the beautiful friendship that develops between Katie and Daniel as they battle to survive. On another, it's a stark and brutal testimony documenting the reality of life on benefits under the Conservative government.

Loach and Scottish writer Paul Laverty, who've worked together for 20 years, researched meticulously for six months before making the film. They visited foodbanks and jobcentres and spoke with countless people living under the same conditions as Daniel and Katie. As Loach said: "We met so many people who had been humiliated and destroyed and lost all sense of being able to hold their own in the world."

The issues covered this film haven't gone away. In November 2018, Philip Alston, UN special rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, concluded an investigation into the impact of austerity and rising levels of poverty in the UK.

The report states: "14 million people, a fifth of the population, live in poverty. Four million of these are more than 50% below the poverty line, and 1.5 million are destitute, unable to afford basic essentials. The widely respected Institute for Fiscal Studies predicts a 7% rise in child poverty between 2015 and 2022, and various sources predict child poverty rates of as high as 40%."

Left with no income, Katie - like too many parents in 2019 - struggles to feed her children. Daniel goes with her to a foodbank. This scene was filmed in the same church where Newcastle's real West End Foodbank helped more than 46,000 people in 2018 alone - a year when foodbank use in the UK rose by 13%.

Between April 2017 and March 2018, Trussell Trust foodbanks distributed over a million (1,332,952) three-day emergency food packages. And as the charity says: "484,026 of these went to children." A further 801 independent food banks around the country also distributed food. Many food bank clients of have jobs - but 'low pay' oftener on 'zero hours contracts' is so low and rents so high - wages aren't enough to live on.

Of all film directors, Ken Loach, now 80, is the one who has received the most awards from Catholic and Ecumenical juries around the world, including this film. Invited to Cannes in 2004 to receive a lifetime award from the churches, he attended, gave a speech of appreciation, saying that he grew up with an image the Catholic Church as a monolith but, over the years that has changed, especially because of his long collaboration with Paul Laverty, who spent a number of years at the Scots seminary in Rome, and writes all Loach's screenplays.

A social campaigner for most of his career, Loach believes the current criteria for claiming benefits in the UK are "a Kafka-esque, Catch 22 situation designed to frustrate and humiliate the claimant to such an extent that they drop out of the system and stop pursuing their right to ask for support if necessary."

His earlier films include Poor Cow, (1967) which looks at poverty, Cathy Come Home, (1966) a study on homelessness and Riff-Raff, (1991) and The Navigators, (2001) that deal with employment.

Loach's film Kes (1969) was voted the seventh greatest British film of the 20th century in a poll by the British Film Institute. Two of his films, The Wind That Shakes the Barley (2006) and this one - I, Daniel Blake (2016) received the Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival, making him the ninth filmmaker to win the award twice.

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Re: I, Daniel Blake [Re: Mr1470] #1063809
6th Jan 2019 1:57pm
6th Jan 2019 1:57pm
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I watched this film last night and am not ashamed to admit that tears were shed, at the same time feeling helpless to do anything for people in such circumstances. Attitudes need to change and fast. Our culture is not up to the demands placed by society.

Re: I, Daniel Blake [Re: Mr1470] #1063811
6th Jan 2019 6:07pm
6th Jan 2019 6:07pm
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Eventually it will be realised that politics is only about keeping the peasants as peasants.

We are in an age where we should need to work only 10 hours a week or so, look at all the industries that used to employ thousands, many of them only have a skeleton staff now. Look at the businesses that employ people to spend most of their working time entering data on forms, its really not necessary, its a job creation to keep the peasants working most of their valuable life.


In a time of universal deceit - telling the truth is a revolutionary act. George Orwell

We should judge our economy by the absence of poverty, not the number of billionaires - Jeremy Corbyn
Re: I, Daniel Blake [Re: Mr1470] #1063813
6th Jan 2019 10:02pm
6th Jan 2019 10:02pm
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Its also about keeping the peasants available to fight wars when necessary. I used to have a reasonably well paid job (enough to allow my wife to be a mum at home) then we went through a two years of both earning good money, then circumstances brought us to be only earning a much lesser wage but with all the high overheads of mortgage etc. Only thing keeping us above water was a small inheritance from late parents topping up current low income. Feel so sorry for the people caught up in the benefit system struggling day to day. Things need to change drastically in this country...but will Labour have the answers that will do that (seems the cons dont)

Re: I, Daniel Blake [Re: Mr1470] #1063815
6th Jan 2019 11:31pm
6th Jan 2019 11:31pm
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But even wars are a way the Governments justify taking money off people.

I doubt there are enough benevolent people in the Labour hierarchy to allow huge sweeping changes but there should be some impact. Other countries will also ensure we don't step out of line too much - look at Brexit, despite the fractional state of the EU they have pretty much closed closed ranks against us.


In a time of universal deceit - telling the truth is a revolutionary act. George Orwell

We should judge our economy by the absence of poverty, not the number of billionaires - Jeremy Corbyn
Re: I, Daniel Blake [Re: Mr1470] #1063816
6th Jan 2019 11:33pm
6th Jan 2019 11:33pm
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The whole blinking lot is wrong and back to front.

Polish are driving delivery vehicles....... our kids can't afford to take driving lessons , let alone run a car or pay insurance.

They are looking for more care workers to visit people in the home............. same applies

They intend to provide education and better health care within the community so we (the oldies) don't end up in a bad way.........Utilities too expensive: 1) the only way to keep warm is to stay in bed a lot longer, resulting in all sorts of health problems. 2) having a bath to get warmed up , too expensive to waste so much hot water.

Internet ; Oldies can't always afford it, or know how to use it. (that will change in years to come) in the meantime,

Mental health ; 1) Depression from constantly being short of cash and nowhere to go nothing to do .

Unhealthy diets; 1) due to bloody expensive food.

Everything is internet based now.... even the appointments for our GP's. If you phone and manage to hang on through all the gobbledegook, eventually... " We don't have any appointments for 2 weeks Mr Smith" ! So Mr Smith toddles off the A & E. or Walk in Centre, where he's got to wait 4 hours with chronic breathing problems. Just for them to tell him he can't get anti-biotics, but he can buy some paracetamol. Come back in 10 days if there's no improvement. Back to the beginning... Utilities too expensive: 1) the only way to keep warm is to stay in bed a lot longer, resulting in all sorts of health problems. 2) having a bath to get warmed up , too expensive to waste so much hot water.

Then of course, no money left in the bank accounts means burials on the state.. When the funerals cost an average of £3-4,000 and rising , they might be happy to keep the old buggers going for as long as possible.

Rented properties means no inheritance for kids or grandkids to help them pay their way through tough times , a deposit on a house or towards education. So eventually, no one will have any savings and all will be reliant on the state for just about everything, which means that Jo Bloggs and Betty Jones will be paying more taxes to cover the cost of massive benefits which will be paid out and everyone shall live happily ever after, with nothing.

The End .


Humankind has not woven the web of life. We are but one thread within it. Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves. All things are bound together. All things connect.
~Chief Seattle
Re: I, Daniel Blake [Re: fish5133] #1063817
6th Jan 2019 11:42pm
6th Jan 2019 11:42pm
Joined: Oct 2018
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Mr1470 Offline OP
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Originally Posted by fish5133
Its also about keeping the peasants available to fight wars when necessary.


Yes! Working Class Cannon Fodder to fight their wars, not ours.Have you seen the latest army recruitment adverts Fish?

Last edited by Mr1470; 6th Jan 2019 11:43pm.
Re: I, Daniel Blake [Re: granny] #1063819
6th Jan 2019 11:56pm
6th Jan 2019 11:56pm
Joined: Jul 2008
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Birkenhead
diggingdeeper Offline

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Originally Posted by granny
Then of course, no money left in the bank accounts means burials on the state.. When the funerals cost an average of £3-4,000 and rising , they might be happy to keep the old buggers going for as long as possible.


You'd be surprised how few paupers funerals (Public Health Funeral) there are, anyone close to the deceased can be leaned on for the funeral costs, even the good neighbour who popped in most days to check on them. Outside immediate relatives the executor can be the first target unless that is a solicitor.

In my mind all basic cremations should be free and paid out the public purse, its a public health issue and unnecessary rules and regulations bump the price up.

Of course the church has latched onto creating false morality as a good money maker.


In a time of universal deceit - telling the truth is a revolutionary act. George Orwell

We should judge our economy by the absence of poverty, not the number of billionaires - Jeremy Corbyn
Re: I, Daniel Blake [Re: Mr1470] #1063820
7th Jan 2019 12:11am
7th Jan 2019 12:11am
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granny Offline
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To be honest DD, as far as I know, the church does very few funerals now. There are virtually no more burial plots in church yards,(closed for business) and fewer plots now for cremation caskets. Most are rejecting the faiths and have humanitarian burials.

So, are you saying that we should all choose the banks as our executers and they would pay ? (joking) .


Humankind has not woven the web of life. We are but one thread within it. Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves. All things are bound together. All things connect.
~Chief Seattle
Re: I, Daniel Blake [Re: Mr1470] #1063823
7th Jan 2019 1:45am
7th Jan 2019 1:45am
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diggingdeeper Offline

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There are plenty of burials at Landican and other cemeteries, almost invariably a priest of some sort takes the service and they don't come cheap averaging around £150 which is a tad more than minimum wage!


In a time of universal deceit - telling the truth is a revolutionary act. George Orwell

We should judge our economy by the absence of poverty, not the number of billionaires - Jeremy Corbyn
Re: I, Daniel Blake [Re: diggingdeeper] #1063825
7th Jan 2019 6:13am
7th Jan 2019 6:13am
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granny Offline
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Originally Posted by diggingdeeper
There are plenty of burials at Landican and other cemeteries, almost invariably a priest of some sort takes the service and they don't come cheap averaging around £150 which is a tad more than minimum wage!


Almost invariably, if the deceased was not religious, they won't have a vicar/priest/or lay preacher or anyone else from a church, but even if they do it does involve visiting the bereaved family on a few occasions ,and giving support afterwards ..... and if they run a car, petrol doesn't come cheap these days. 2 funerals a week would take a bit of doing !

Anyone can conduct a funeral, including you or another family member or friend. As long as you have a plan for the order of service and are comfortable speaking in front of a crowd, you should be able to lead the service.

How much does council take for digging the plot ? We also know what lych gates were used for, but we don't carry our dead to the church or crematorium any longer, so a hearse is pretty important.
Add a headstone ranging from £400 to anything.

One-off maintenance fees may also be applicable in order to manage the land. The average cost of a cemetery burial plot is between £750 and £950; while the average cost of a ash plot is £450 the average cost of hiring a funeral director is £1,515.

https://funeralcostshelp.co.uk/


Humankind has not woven the web of life. We are but one thread within it. Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves. All things are bound together. All things connect.
~Chief Seattle
Re: I, Daniel Blake [Re: Mr1470] #1063831
7th Jan 2019 12:15pm
7th Jan 2019 12:15pm
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I've never been to a funeral (burial or cremation) where the church hasn't edged in despite none of the deceased being church goers.

I totally hate the monetisation of funerals from all aspects, I would prefer to be dumped in a wheelie bin and sent away to rot or burn.

Fuel isn't that expensive £150 will get you from John o' Groats to Lands Ends and further.

There is nothing wrong with transporting the body yourself, you are allowed to box the body, take it to the crematorium, pay the fee and walk away, can be done for less than £1000 including certificates and fees.


In a time of universal deceit - telling the truth is a revolutionary act. George Orwell

We should judge our economy by the absence of poverty, not the number of billionaires - Jeremy Corbyn
Re: I, Daniel Blake [Re: Mr1470] #1063856
7th Jan 2019 8:26pm
7th Jan 2019 8:26pm
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granny Offline
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You haven't attended enough funerals then. I became a professional funeral goer, a few years back ! The church only get involved if they are asked to .


Ok, DD Vicars, Priests, Lay Preachers etc. They must all be under worked and overpaid and should work for nothing.. unlike the grave diggers paid for by the council tax. You too can have a career in Grave Digging.

Cemetery Operative - Grave Digger - new
John O'Conner GM Limited
St Albans
£18,750 a year



Like to see you carry a coffin from Birkenhead to Landican with everyone falling in behind..


Last edited by granny; 7th Jan 2019 8:30pm.

Humankind has not woven the web of life. We are but one thread within it. Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves. All things are bound together. All things connect.
~Chief Seattle
Re: I, Daniel Blake [Re: Mr1470] #1063862
8th Jan 2019 3:46am
8th Jan 2019 3:46am
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diggingdeeper Offline

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They've taken all the fun out of grave digging these days, they use mini-jcb thingies.

I generally avoid funerals (especially my own).


In a time of universal deceit - telling the truth is a revolutionary act. George Orwell

We should judge our economy by the absence of poverty, not the number of billionaires - Jeremy Corbyn
Re: I, Daniel Blake [Re: Mr1470] #1063872
8th Jan 2019 2:07pm
8th Jan 2019 2:07pm
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Nearly all the funerals I go to these days are secular ones, but I went to an RC one in Liverpool in which all the bells and whistles were present. The deceased had been an active and well-regarded member of the congregation so I guess all the stops were pulled out. As an atheist, I have to say I thought the show they put on was a lot better than that put out by the secular ones. Rather than merely going to heaven, she was - spiritually - sent there by a multi stage prayer-powered rocket!

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