I, Daniel Blake

A new Ken Loach, Palme d’Or winning, film  stars actor Dave Johns who plays Daniel Blake, a 59 year old carpenter who finds himself unable to work in the aftermath of a heart attack.  1984 meets uncaring, capitalist Catch-22

Having suffered a heart attack at work, Daniel has been instructed by doctors to rest. Yet since he is able to walk 50 metres and “raise either arm as if to put something in your top pocket”, he is deemed ineligible for employment and support allowance, scoring a meaningless 12 points rather than the requisite 15.

Constant employment for forty years means nothing as he has to navigate his way through the Kafkaesque impersonal benefits system.

The similarity to a SMP ‘assessment’ is stark.  We don’t want to say Daniel Blake’s plight is exactly synonymous with those with, or applying for, an injury award – whether being reviewed or not.  The juxtaposition is the base medical pension is always there … there are exceptions, but those medically retired from the police usually aren’t users of food banks.

What is the same is the  cruel system that pushes those caught up in its cogs to breaking point.

The real Daniel Blakes …


I, Daniel Blake

One thought on “I, Daniel Blake

  • 2016-10-30 at 12:39 pm

    I can relate very well to poor Daniel’s circumstances. As a direct result of me losing half of my injury on duty pension, several years ago, when I was unlawfully reduced to Band One, I was forced to use credit cards to exist. Of course these needed to be re-paid but the balance kept mounting. We eventually went into bankruptcy and we lost our home. The pressure this has put myself and my wife under is at times unbearable.

    The fact I was injured and suffering the subsequent continual pain was bad enough, but to have suffered the additional financial pressures almost put us over the edge.

Comments are closed.