Ever since the release of Ken Loach’s blockbuster masterpiece-I, Daniel Blake the Tories and mainstream media have treated it as if it’s purely a work of fiction-one that bears no resemblance to the suffering of millions of people at the hands of the government’s cruel “welfare reforms”.
Former DWP secretary Ian Duncan Smith said the film wasn’t an accurate portrayal of the benefits system because
“The film takes the very worst of anything that can ever happen to anybody, lumps it all together, and then says: this is life absolutely as it is lived by people”
Speaking recently on the BBC’s Question Time Business Secretary Greg Clark said
“it is a fictional film. And people seeing it should not think these are the ways people are behaving.”
Today though at PMQs Jeremy Corbyn proved that I, Daniel Blake is anything but a work of fiction. And he demanded to know what Theresa May is going to do about it.
After grilling May over cuts to Universal Credit that will leave 3 million families over £1000 a year poorer. He went on to attack her regarding the insane rise in the demand for food banks that has happened under the Tories. Stating that a recent Oxford Study showed a direct link between the rise in sanctions, and the use of food banks. He said that 1 in 5 people who had been sanctioned had become homeless as a result of this-including many families with children.
Corbyn ramped up the attack
“Can I recommend you support British cinema and take yourself along to the cinema to see a Palme d’Or winning film – I, Daniel Blake?”
“And while you’re doing so, perhaps you could take (Work and Pensions Secretary Damian Green) with you, because he described the film as monstrously unfair – and then went on to admit he’d never seen it. So he’s obviously got a very fair sense of judgment on this. But I’ll tell you what’s monstrously unfair -ex-servicemen like David Clapson dying without food in his home due to the Government’s sanctions regime. It is time that we ended this institutionalised barbarity against often very vulnerable people.“
May responded by defending the government’s institutionalised barbarity claiming that the system is simply operating in a manner of fairness for those that pay into it.
“That is why we need to have work capability assessments, it’s why we need to have sanctions in our system. Now, you have a view that there should be no assessments, no sanctions and unlimited welfare. I have to say to you that the Labour Party is drifting away from the views of Labour voters. It’s this party that understands working-class people.”
The evidence is clear-the Tories have created a country where 1 million food bank parcels were handed out last year-1000’s of people have died after being declared fit for work. And where cuts to Universal Credit will create even more poverty for 3 Million families who’ll be £1000 worse off.
And Theresa May has made it clear she plans to do absolutely nothing about it.
This is the kind of country that the Tories want-one where the sick are terminated-and millions are starved through sanctions.
The shocking and sickening case of ex service man David Clapson illustrates this perfectly-a proud man who worked for our country-starved to death because of a sanction. May shows absolutely no care, nor remorse for people like him. This is how the Tories represent working class people? By starving them to death.
Sanctions last for a minimum of four weeks up on the first “offence” going up to three years for the Third. Reasons for being sanctioned can be as a minor as being one minute late for an appointment at the Job Center. Some of the reasons given for sanctions are absolutely insane. One man claiming ESA (disability benefit) with a heart condition had a heart attack during a work capability assessment. Because he failed to complete the assessment he was sanctioned. Over 1 million sanctions were handed out by the DWP last year.
There is no evidence to suggest that using sanctions gets people into work, as is often claimed by the government. And in fact the opposite is true-it drives homelessness up-people resort to crime-families break up as result, and of course some people die.
Once again Corbyn passionately highlights why we need a government who isn’t slaughtering the poor, and vulnerable. And how he is representing the working class. Once again May has no answers and doesn’t care-especially about the working class.
The Tories would have us believe that there are no real Daniel Blakes. Corbyn has shown that, in fact because of them there are far too many.