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Media 109: Ken Loach’s latest hard-hitter denied the oxygen of MSM publicity

 Is Loach’s latest film about working in the ‘gig economy’ hitting home once too often? Either state media has just not been mentioning it or the Google search engine has been tampered with.

For the first time yesterday I saw a brief review of Sorry we missed you, the latest Ken Loach film and today, in an email message from Pat Conaty (co-author of a report on the ‘precariat’) came the words:

“The Ken Loach film, Sorry we missed you has been so marginalised”.

An online search then revealed that there had been extensive coverage in social media and regional newspapers but just one excellent article/review in the i-news on the first page with the subtitle:

We need to wake up to the reality that, in this instance, “flexibility” is just another word for exploitation”

On the second page of the search engine George Osborne’s Standard offers a briefly mocking review: “a man makes a pact with the devil and a corporation turns humans into robots. Not literally” – but has the grace to present a video in which Loach (right) and the scriptwriter Paul Laverty (left) discuss the film.

The third page‘s only MSM review was the Financial Times’ sympathetic and straightforward article, opening with a summary:

“An unhappy Newcastle family is being trampled in the vineyards of the gig economy. Ricky (Kris Hitchen) is a parcel delivery driver coping, or trying to cope, with brutal schedules and inhuman work-protocols. Wife Abbie (Debbie Honeywood) is an overburdened NHS carer. Son Seb is a cellphone junkie hanging out with a graffiti gang and dipping his toe in petty crime. Daughter Lisa, 11, hardly knows what’s going on, yet seems at times the wisest head in the house”.

On pager 5, the Times was dismissive – ending by implying that Loach was living off past glories – valued only for his 1969 hit, Kes.

Pat Conaty, who is working with others on a Union Co-op manifesto to be released this spring, ends: (Ken Loach’s latest film is) just as powerful as Kathy Come Home, but unlike the latter in that everyone saw it on the BBC over 50 years ago and talked about it. Hardly anybody has seen Ken’s latest film. So getting this counter movement underway is going to be a harder task. But we hope the manifesto will kickstart more aligned action and some coming together of solidarity economy action”.

 

 

 

 

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Green protestors tell us inconvenient truths

 

When Janice Turner (Times 20.04.19) reported from the campsite on Oxford Circus, a young woman told her she’s gone on “baby strike”. With oceans warming, Greenland melting, coral reefs dead, why would she bring a child into the world? Others are coming to the same conclusion. We summarise her message:

If there’s one thing to make Middle England care about the planet, it’s being denied their grandchildren.

Oxford Street will be returned to a choking hell-scape and these protesters will multiply and muster in the most inconvenient places. The government will have to decide whether to use extreme force creating martyrs and a mass movement — or listen . . .

A change generation

This is a change generation not seen since the 1960s. The chosen cause then was civil rights; now it is ecological disaster.

Today’s young are the first denied a sure route to stakeholder adulthood by student debt, gig economy contracts and unaffordable homes. Many twentysomethings, expecting their lives to be shorter and poorer than their parents’, are willing to lie on Waterloo Bridge to be decanted into a police van.

Climate warriors rev up our wrath faster than other campaigners – perhaps because hopeless, apocalyptic forecasts scare us. We don’t want to believe the facts, even if voiced by David Attenborough.

They demand we reform our behaviour in tiresome ways. “Look, I’ve bought a hybrid car, what more do you want,” . . . Yet change we can and must. Change never comes from politicians. It is generated by civil society, protests, discussions and campaigns pushing the status quo towards what was unthinkable a decade before.

More than ever our political system seems unresponsive – even broken

Extinction is unaffiliated to any party, not even the Greens, nor an established charity such as Greenpeace. It is fluid, fresh, leaderless, and growing . . .

Some of its aims, such as abandoning fossil fuels by 2025, may be— but why not try harder? . . .

There is a political movement here.

Why fight it?

Why not, for once, be open to new ideas, to make Britain a world-leader in opposing climate change.

God knows we need something to be proud of right now.

 

 

 

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