Mind games: Marr misspeaks anti-Tory film title to take heat off killer Tories

#IDanielBlake – not #IDanielCraig

Did you hear it?

Andrew Marr, interviewing Theresa May on his Sunday morning political chat show, referred to the film I, Daniel Blake – which is highly critical of the Department for Work and Pensions as it is run by the Conservatives; it shows a man with a serious heart condition being repeatedly denied benefits, forced to attend ridiculous training events, sanctioned out of his money for weeks at a time on specious grounds, and put through the enormous stress of a semi-judicial hearing to establish whether he should have benefits after all.

A female character is denied benefits because she arrives at a Job Centre a few minutes late for her appointment, starves herself so her children can eat, and ends up being tempted toward prostitution.

All these are accurate depictions of situations that have faced real benefit claimants, which is why damn-fool Tory vice-chairman James Cleverly tried to play it down by tweeting:

In response, he was inundated with news reports of real-life examples of the nightmare treatment dished out by the DWP in the film.

In fact, Twitter was full of such stories while – and after – the film was screened.

So, when Mr Marr mentioned the film to Theresa May, he said – well, hear it for yourself:

I disagree with Yannis Gourtsoyannis; this is not an example of TV presenters being unable to remember the names properly.

By confusing the film’s protagonist with a major movie star (and current James Bond), it seems likely Mr Marr hoped to divert attention away from the cacophony of fury that it had stirred up.

Sure enough, a new hashtag appeared on Twitter, ‘#IDanielCraig“.

It wasn’t entirely successful – some of the tweets were satirical, and highly critical of the government. But the connection with a major movie franchise provided distractions, as you can see if you click the link.

Lauren Gavaghan had it right: “Not mere accidents. Not about being so removed as not to remember either, in my view. Look how Daniel Craig has jumped to trending now.”

She tweeted:

I wonder how Daniel Craig feels about being used by the Tories in this way?

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9 thoughts on “Mind games: Marr misspeaks anti-Tory film title to take heat off killer Tories

  1. 4foxandhare

    David and I watched the film “I Daniel Blake”, in our local cinema, last autumn. It was a heart-breakingly accurate account of the cruelty that is currently inflicted upon vulnerable people in our United Kingdom.

    The actors Dave Johns in the title role and Hayley Squires as a single mother, were brilliantly convincing in their roles. I cried all the way home, but whether it was anger or sorrow that prompted those tears, I really couldn’t say.

  2. Michael McNulty

    Andrew Marr must know if he’d been an ordinary worker that stroke a few years ago which left him partially paralysed would have left him at the mercy of Tory welfare?

    If he had to face Work Capability Assessments and possible sanction he wouldn’t fawn over Theresa May. It’s not just a lack empathy for others, but in this case a lack of empathy for himself had things been different.

    1. Pauline Appleton

      Your exactly right. Following major cancer surgery and discharged from hospital 8-10-18, I applied for PIP and UC. I can’t get any and am out of savings. Can anyone give me a job please ? My left shoulder arm and hand are now paralysed and swollen like a ballooon. My teeth are gone and I am left with a speech impediment..I lost my sense of taste and remain soft diet only. When I freeze and starve to death, where would people like to find me ? In my freezing cold home or on the street ? Thank you for reading me.

  3. Jo Tonkinson

    I was told that because I refused an appointment the same time and date of my husband’s funeral that my claim for benefit was rejected

  4. John Costello

    Those who have worked in the field of abuse will know that abuse is most likely to occur when people working for organisations where they are given discretionary powers and are in regular and continuing contact with those who are relatively powerless (often the most vulnerable members of society).

    Iain Duncan Smith, with his welfare reforms, created an environment within the Department for Work and Pensions where abuse could flourish, and it has continued to thrive.

    Over the course of the past year I have become increasingly concerned about the effects that the welfare reforms are having on benefit claimants, and in particular, their mental health.

    I am reminded of the work of Dr Martin E Seligman whose experiments on canines in the 1960s led to the theory of ‘learned helplessness’, (source: Failure to escape traumatic shock ​by Martin E Seligman and Steven F Maier, Journal of Experimental Psychology, May 1967).

    People who perceive events as outside their control show a variety of symptoms that threaten their mental and physical well-being. They experience stress, they often show disruption of emotions demonstrating passivity or aggression, and they can also have difficulty performing cognitive tasks such as problem-solving. They are less likely to change unhealthy patterns of behaviour, causing them, for example, to neglect diet, exercise, and medical treatment.

    Benefit claimants are kept in a continual state of unease and fear with the ever-present threat of being awarded a benefit sanction.

    In attempting to help benefit claimants I have been struck by the fact that they are extremely passive and often reluctant to take action, even when a course of action is indicated (such as submitting a complaint or appealing against the awarding of a benefit sanction).

    If the underlying assumption is that making the experience of claiming benefits as unpleasant as possible will act as a motivator for people to find work, then the evidence shows that this assumption is wholly incorrect – in fact it is a demotivating factor. Coupled with this, if the only work available is low-paid, insecure and of poor quality, then this provides little incentive to find work.

    Amber Rudd was recently quoted as saying she thinks that Universal Credit is a ‘force for good’ – at the present time I can only see the harm that it is causing.

    John Costello
    Activist for ‘We Are Shadows’

  5. Carol Fraser

    Not exactly pertinent to this article, but relating to health matters please note that May lied again today. The NHS is ranked 19 in world ratings and the Tories deducted £85 million the day MPs went off on their jollies for Xmas

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