I, Daniel Blake screenwriter stunned by wall of notes left by movie-goers

Paul Laverty at the Cameo Cinema in Edinburgh in front of the wall of messages [Image: Daily Record].

Paul Laverty at the Cameo Cinema in Edinburgh in front of the wall of messages [Image: Daily Record].

This is the film that Work and Pensions Secretary Damian Green describes as “monstrously unfair”. Clearly, the people of Edinburgh disagree – strongly.

Told by a panel of MSPs at Holyrood that the Work Capability Assessment “is sending people to go and commit suicide”, Mr Green said: “There is no evidence, and I think bringing people who committed suicide into political debate is always unfortunate.”

Here’s some evidence – read the story on the right:

Confront Damian Green with that and he’d probably try to tell you that person was making it up.

That’s the problem with his kind.

Like Nazis, they think if they repeat a lie often enough, people will believe it.

The depth of feeling evoked by I, Daniel Blake, is perhaps best summed up by an amazing collection of notes pinned to the wall of an Edinburgh cinema.

The display at the Cameo, penned by people who have suffered similar experiences to the movie’s main character, left screenwriter Paul Laverty stunned.

He said: “I had no idea of the impact. Staff at the Cameo had been stunned by the reaction – it was an example of beautiful empathy.” One message in the foyer reads: “I am less afraid of dying than of a WCA.”

Paul added: “To be more scared of an assessment than dying? I suppose dying you just have to accept. But the humiliation of going through this test – there is something so cruel about it.

“The Government have changed their rhetoric but have not budged one inch and last week they announced the new benefit cap.”

Source: I, Daniel Blake screenwriter stunned by wall of notes left by movie-goers at Edinburgh cinema : Daily Record. – DWPExamination.

Join the Vox Political Facebook page.

If you have appreciated this article, don’t forget to share it using the buttons at the bottom of this page. Politics is about everybody – so let’s try to get everybody involved!

Vox Political needs your help!
If you want to support this site
but don’t want to give your money to advertisers)
you can make a one-off donation here:

Donate Button with Credit Cards

Buy Vox Political books so we can continue
fighting for the facts.

The Livingstone Presumption is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

Health Warning: Government! is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

The first collection, Strong Words and Hard Times,
is still available in either print or eBook format here:


19 thoughts on “I, Daniel Blake screenwriter stunned by wall of notes left by movie-goers

  1. Christine Cullen

    Damian Green is a worthy successor to IDS. If anything he is even more callous, if that’s possible.

    1. Joan Edington

      I don’t know about that. The Cameo in Edinburgh isn’t your average EMI cinema, more an arts one. I expect this wall was set up specially, which I doubt the average cinemas will bother about. They only care about the profits from the showings, not the subject matter.

  2. mili68

    The saying springs to mind of Govt ‘ (they) protest too much’ ensuring they’re as guilty as hell for all of this and more. . .

  3. Dez

    Like the Hillsborough issue the plan of campaign is to delay, lie and cheat long enough to make sure there is ample distance and time between the issue and finally being bought to account and found to be the lying useless lowlifes that the Cons and the storm troopers they employ are finally bought to justice. How many others must die on the way to getting these toe rags and the Con party to realise and fully understand exactly what they are doing out there. This feels like a nazi party who do not wish to know and turn a blind eye to their nasty party antics. .

  4. Florence

    The reason a WCA is feared more than dying is that after a WCA finds you fit to work, and you are actually unable, there are months of appeals to MR (Mandatory reconsideration) that must be got through before any hope of Tribunal, and for that entire time you are left without a penny to survive on. That is the fate worse than death. Dying slowly of distress, malnutrition, cold, worry, depression, and the stigma of being told by the DWP and society that you are a fraudulent liar and worthless piece of sub-humanity is more than we can bear. Which indeed is the intention of the WCA. A quick death is actually preferable. (I don’t know anyone with chronic pain or serious degenerative illness who hasn’t thought deeply about their own death. Many make peace with it, as inevitable, and want only to have their final years or months to be left in peace.)

  5. shaunt

    I’m going to use a phrase I never thought I would.’ It’s common sense’ that if you cut the amount of money people live off (and JSA is only around £80 and ESA £110) after putting them through a tests procedure, which even its architect noted was flawed; several charities and Labour’s Ms Abbot have said is not fit for purpose; and cross-party committees have been highly critical of, then it will drive significant numbers to commit suicide. Indeed, a coroner in 2012 (?) warned the DWP of this fact and its risk.
    There’s so much else wrong with the Tory’s welfare system, that a brilliant film could not cover, for example, you can not get a mobility car if you can walk 20 metres or more, now that’s not common sense is it; or is it there’s something wrong with my version of common sense. Linking to the Telegraph and Daily hate, and current bun news rags: fair is foul, and foul is fair: hover through their fog of miss-truths and filthy lies. For when propaganda is all that informs public discourse, societies are apt to make, ill-conceived choices. Those ill-conceived choices may torture the disabled (though, to what extent the public is aware of the detail and consequences of its choices, is the point here) or the nation as in the BREXIT vote, and as such destroy our value system and economy. Good information is the life-blood of democracy and without it the body (politic or social) will go rank, putrefy and self-destruct. This is the link between BREXIT and the election of Donald Trump, a link so frighteningly relevant for Britain and the USA, not the trite comments of Mr. Farage.

  6. L.Wright

    My daughter returned home in a very debilitated state after major surgery for a rare form of cancer, to be greeted by a letter telling her they had cut her benefits and demanding that she supply a whole dossier of documentary evidence in order for them to be reinstated.

  7. Barry Davies

    This has been going on ever since austerity was introduced as the governent’s position appears to be we are in fiscal difficulties because the sick the incapacitated and the disabled are not working hard enough, this has lead to the cutting of hospital services, after all providing these services clearly incites people to be sick or injured, underfunding GP’s, and bringing in unqualified people with idiot sheets to decide that you can work, no matter what your condition.

  8. Wamda Lozinska

    WELFARE ADVISOR’S response to I, Daniel Blake

    “I, Joanne Ritson am a welfare rights advisor. I help all the Daniel (& Daniella) Blakes caught up in what Ken Loach has called this Government’s conscious cruelty.

    *Conscious cruelty that finds women fit for work for the “crime” of missing Jobcentre appointments whilst in hospital. Women in diabetic comas or with near fatal doses of pneumonia.

    *Conscious cruelty that tells frightened pensioners to cancel their home insurance to pay back pension credit over payments (due to DWP error) or they will be sent to prison.

    *Conscious cruelty that finds a young man fit for work after “recovering from hospital treatment”. (He’d had his leg amputated six weeks earlier).

    *Conscious cruelty which (on the 1st anniversary of her husband’s death) takes away a 60 year old woman’s bereavement allowance, makes her go & sign on to look for work and charges her bedroom tax.

    *Conscious cruelty which leaves vulnerable people with nothing with which to pay their bills or feed themselves or their families for weeks or months on end.

    *Conscious cruelty that wrongly denies old men with terminal lung cancer industrial injuries disablement benefit because removing old, decaying asbestos insulation isn’t classed as “asbestos insulation work” so they “don’t qualify”.

    *Conscious cruelty that “loses” paperwork, or delays decision making for so long that people die before they get the money that should rightly have been theirs.

    *Conscious cruelty that forces these & many many more of my clients through degrading assessments, pointless mandatory reconsiderations and appeal hearings in the hope that they will give up – which they often do.

    What Ken Loach calls conscious cruelty, the Tories call “making work pay”

    I, Joanne Ritson am a welfare rights advisor.”

    Please feel free to copy & share.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      I think we’ve already had this article copied in its entirety into another comment column.
      I would appreciate it if this is the last time it gets copied in here.

  9. Mary anne foot

    Another way of making money out of the poor it don’t help those that are suffering I don’t need to be reminded I live it every day.

  10. Darren

    I was under the impression that at least one coroner had drawn a direct link between suicide and the welfare reforms, if not the WCA in particular?

    If not, then I have to advise that I’ve written to the DWP (and actually had a response!), telling them that any further attempts by them to interfere with the benefits upon which I am reliant will lead me to take action to end my own life. It’s not a threat – I don’t “do” those. I do, however, make promises that I keep religiously. With regard to my retained right to take the action mentioned, I have to say that emotion is something that I went past a long time ago. Now I look at the situation, if not with cold logic, then certainly dispassionately. For me it would not be surrender; it would merely be an enforced transition away from an intolerable situation.

    My WCA reassessment was due in August of this year. I haven’t heard a single peep from the DWP’s hatchet-men yet. Maybe more of us who are being victimised should be telling the DWP that when they have made life totally unliveable, then the obvious solution will be to stop living it and how we would go about that. How many would mean it, how many would be bluffing, and how would the DWP work out the difference? Get the people who declare their intentions thusly to add their names to a directory and then release it to – say – the Daily Mirror, and the world’s press would pick up on it through syndication. The Embarrassment Factor alone might bring this government down. Words have power. We’ve seen that in the way they were used by Osborne and Cameron.

    Anyway, if there are now any suicides as a result of this evil government’s policies, by people who have notified the DWP of their likelihood in the event of pernicious policy changes, it will only be able to be said that those suicides have been procured by the DWP and its ministers and staff. Procurement of a suicide is an offence under the Suicide Act of 1961, carrying a maximum term of 14 years in jail upon conviction. The point would eventually arrive where the police would have to acknowledge individual ministers’ breach of the law and take action to stop it.

    I’ve ticked the box to be notified of comments. Please don’t waste my time with “No, don’t do it!” stuff. Whatever I choose to do or not do with my own life is my inalienable sovereign right and I will act according to whatever circumstances are manufactured by Liar Green and his minions.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      Have you left documentary evidence with a friend or family member that any ending of your own life will be entirely due to the actions of the DWP?
      That would be useful evidence for them to provide at the inevitable inquest, as proof that you were pushed into any such action by the government department, and acting as full refutation of any claims to the contrary.
      The DWP lives in fear of such proof and I would appreciate it if you would keep in touch to let This Blog and its readers know what reaction you get.
      I have been suggesting that an honest threat of suicide might be the best “last resort” course of action since earlier this year.

  11. lesley Munro

    I have tick-borne encephalitis, as described on one of the notes, and have lived a half-life since my late 20’s, struggling to stay in employment about half the time. But I am lucky; I have reached pensionable age before these diabolical and uncivilised reforms to benefit began to hit.

Comments are closed.