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From The Socialist newspaper, 2 November 2016

We are all Daniel Blake

No more deaths from benefit cuts

A heart attack forces Daniel Blake onto welfare

A heart attack forces Daniel Blake onto welfare   (Click to enlarge)

Amalia, Socialist Party disabled people and carers' group

Thousands of people have died since the implementation of 'work capability assessments'. This is what the new Ken Loach film 'I, Daniel Blake' is all about.

Iain Duncan Smith, the politician responsible for this system, who lives rent-free in a £2 million mansion, considers the film extreme. Meanwhile, he disingenuously criticises Theresa May's latest round of benefit cuts.

In 2012, then-chancellor George Osborne was booed during the London Paralympics, just a few months after his government's Welfare 'Reform' Act passed.

This brought us - among other things - the 'bedroom tax', 'personal independent payments' to replace 'disability living allowance', and benefit sanctions against sick and disabled 'employment and support allowance' claimants.

Last spring there was another massive outcry against the Tories, who wanted to further cut disability benefits, by £30 a week. Iain Duncan Smith resigned over this, totally hypocritically: £15 billion went from the welfare budget while he was work and pensions secretary.

Cuts have tragic consequences. People lose their homes, their families, their communities, their health - mental and physical - and tragically, all too often, their lives.

But the stories of suffering that have surfaced since 'I, Daniel Blake' premiered are many. Right-wing hack Toby Young denies the wealth of real evidence, saying the story didn't "ring true" - because the characters were not "scroungers"!

Everything in the film "rings true" to those who know that, at any time, they may well become Daniel Blake. Millions of workers don't know if or when we'll become sick or jobless.

The film starts with the absurdity of a work capability assessment. It's a one-size-fits-all, Catch-22 interrogation. It shows a single mother sent from London to Newcastle because of the lack of council homes. It shows someone who hasn't eaten in days opening a can of beans at the food bank and eating it there and then.

People in the cinema were crying. It's a film that can make you very emotional. But getting angry is not enough. We also need to organise.

Enough is enough with the slanders! Enough is enough with this inhumane system! Enough is enough with deaths from benefit cuts!

We are not scroungers. We are people who are entitled to a dignified life.

Scrap the Tories' welfare counter-reforms; abolish work capability assessments; invest in jobs, homes and services for all.

Organise and fight back!

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In The Socialist 2 November 2016:


What we think

Corbyn movement must seize initiative - or face defeat


Socialist Party news and analysis

Fight for decent jobs for all

Fight the 'burning' of our museums and libraries!

Battle of Orgreave: Establishment cover up continues

One third of 2010's new teachers have already quit

We are all Daniel Blake: no more deaths from benefit cuts

LGBT people need militancy, not false 'allies' like David Cameron

What we saw


Refugee solidarity

Solidarity with refugees

Demolition of Calais 'Jungle' camp - eyewitness report

My time in a detention centre


Socialist Party youth and students

Mass student strike rocks Spanish state

Glasgow School of Arts students "let us learn" revolt


International socialist news and analysis

EU-Canada trade deal battle points to Corbyn's Brexit opportunity


Environment and socialism

Heathrow expansion exposes Tory divisions


Socialist Party feature

Will workers on company boards make bosses accountable?


Workplace news and analysis

Sheffield bin workers' action strengthens in numbers and mood

Solid Southern strike continues against Britain's 'worst' train company

Newsquest strike: "It's impossible to do our jobs"

Outsourced ambulance workers strike in Tooting


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Glenfield heart unit closure: Over 1,000 march

Massive demo against A&E closure

Campaigners call on Greenwich council to oppose the Housing Act

Haringey care services face ruthless cuts and privatisation

Teaching assistants stage vigil and rally

"Our problems cannot be solved by capitalist politics"


 

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George Osborne:

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