Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: https://secure.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/504/3215

From The Socialist newspaper, 4 October 2007

The Socialist Reviews

It's a free world

a film by Ken Loach

GOING TO the cinema is normally a pleasure but last Thursday was also a privilege as I attended and was asked to speak at the special preview of Ken Loach's new film, It's a free world.

Glenn Kelly, Unison national executive, (personal capacity)

The preview was called in support of the Newham Unison branch secretary Michael Gavin who has been suspended by the council for "showing a lack of loyalty to the council". Addressing the preview Michael said that "his loyalty was to the workers and union members he represented".

In introducing the film and giving his backing to the Unison campaign, Ken Loach launched a scathing attack on the Labour party saying "the Labour party was no longer the party of Labour" and, "it had turned his stomach to see Brown shake hands with Thatcher".

The film is set in Leytonstone, east London, and tells the tale of the exploitation of both 'legal' and 'illegal' migrant workers. Unusually the story is told through the eyes of the exploiter Angie, a victimised worker herself, struggling to care for her child.

She turns to being a small time gangmaster to make a living, lining workers up in a pub car park every morning farming them out like slaves to factories.

This is too much for her own father who challenges her saying: "I thought these days were gone," posing the question: what hope would there be for a decent job for her son when he grows up, when these workers were being paid less than the minimum wage.

The film shows some of the graphic conditions that these workers are forced to live in, in what was effectively a derelict caravan site, more reminiscent of a shantytown.

If this is the plight of the legal workers, for those illegal ones things are even worse. Egged on to make more money Angie is told to use "illegals" as "no passport equals no back chat and no problem workers".

Resistant at first at fear of being caught she is persuaded by being shown an actual case of a gangmaster running thousands of illegal workers who was only given a warning letter as his punishment!

Driven on to make more money, the last elements of humanity are driven out of her. Having helped out an Iranian family living in a freezing shed she later sinks to new depths, calling in the immigration services to deport and clear out the camp site, only so she could then move in a new group of Latvian illegal workers who had paid her 250 for the privilege of being exploited.

Angie's plans come unstuck when the bigger crooks in this chain of abuse fail to pay her 40,000 she's owed.

Not being paid for weeks, the migrant workers demand she help them to feed their families but she refuses to use the money she has.

Denied any legal or organised recourse some of the workers wreak their own revenge on a boss who has ignored their plight.

It is hard to watch this film and remember that it's happening today just streets from where we were sitting and under a Labour government. This film again demonstrates that the government will do little to resolve such exploitation and there is a desperate need for the unions to actively organise these workers and fight for justice.

Donate to the Socialist Party

Coronavirus crisis - Finance appeal

The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

  • The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
  • Our 'fighting coronavirus workers' charter', outlines a programme to combat the virus and protect workers' living conditions.
  • When the health crisis subsides, we must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.
We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to donate to our special coronavirus appeal.

Please donate here.

All payments are made through a secure server.

My donation

 

Your message: 

 


In The Socialist 4 October 2007:

Support postal workers: decisive action can win

"We've had the battle - now this is war!"

Protests make bosses ditch closure plan


War and terrorism

Iraq: end the occupation nightmare

Stop the War Coalition (STWC) national demonstration


Editorial and comment

Tory party fears an autumn election

Banking turmoil continues

Corporate Labour


Socialist Party NHS campaign

Come to the NHS demo!

Swansea meeting


Socialist Party news and analysis

Classroom assistants on strike

Supermarket price-fixing scandal

Success! Double whammy for nursery campaign


Socialist Party features

EU's anti-working class 'reforms'

Fighting nuclear power


Socialist Students

Students want to fight back


Socialist Party feature

Che Guevara - revolutionary fighter


Socialist Party events

Socialism 2007: Ideas for our future

Socialism 2007.net


International socialist news and analysis

Burma: Dictatorship under threat


Socialist Party reviews and comment

QPR buy-out - Reclaim the game!

It's a free world, a film by Ken Loach

Anno 1701 - Dawn of Discovery


Socialist Party workplace news

Local government pay offer: It's time for action

Remploy workers win partial victory

Care workers on strike

National Shop Stewards Network makes plans


 

Home   |   The Socialist 4 October 2007   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate  




Related links:

Ken Loach:

triangleFilm reviews: Sorry We Missed You by Ken Loach

triangleNewham socialists attend 'I, Daniel Blake' film night

triangleFood banks and the real Daniel Blakes

triangleSocialist inbox

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns

5/8/20

NHS

'First you clap us then you slap us'

5/8/20

Young Socialists

Young Socialist day of action

5/8/20

Socialist Party

Campaign stalls on jobs, pay, NHS and racism

5/8/20

Black Lives Matter

North London: Socialist Party speaks at BLM protest

5/8/20

Hull

Engage for Change Hull - trade union youth festival goes online

5/8/20

Socialist Party

Why I joined - Covid changed my outlook

5/8/20

Socialist Party

Socialist Party meetings: Online and in-person

5/8/20

Young Socialists

A-level results day 2020: Fight for our future!

5/8/20

Caerphilly

GE Aviation workers march to save jobs

5/8/20

Trotsky

80 years since the murder of Leon Trotsky rally

5/8/20

BAME

Fighting to end racism and capitalism

5/8/20

Doncaster

Doncaster: Vigil for murdered women

5/8/20

The Socialist

The Socialist summer schedule

5/8/20

Unite

Unite union branch pledges to support socialist candidates who oppose cuts

5/8/20

BT

Oppose BT site closures - national strike ballot needed

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

LATEST POSTS

CONTACT US

Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777

Email: info@socialistparty.org.uk

Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 079 8202 1969

East Mids: 077 3797 8057

London: 075 4018 9052

North East: 078 4114 4890

North West 079 5437 6096

South West: 077 5979 6478

Southern: 078 3368 1910

Wales: 079 3539 1947

West Mids: 024 7655 5620

Yorkshire: 077 0671 0041

ABOUT US

ARCHIVE

Alphabetical listing


August 2020

July 2020

June 2020

May 2020

April 2020

March 2020

February 2020

January 2020

2019

2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999