I, Daniel Blake: what you can do next

jmi-web-13

by Jess Miles

As I walked away from watching I, Daniel Blake I saw the world in a different way.

Maybe that homeless man on the bridge was in employment six months ago, before a health issue stopped him working? Things that I’d been fretting about earlier in the day suddenly seemed deeply insignificant. I was partly crying because I’m grateful for what I do have.

Even today, the onslaught against the most vulnerable in our society continues, with the rolling out of a new benefits cap that will affect those for whom life is already a struggle.

Overcome by the fact that I, Daniel Blake represents only two lives when 100,000s of people are experiencing this and worse every day, I most keenly feel a sense of paralysis: what do I do with this anger towards our broken system now?

Hoping that it might help others feeling similar, we have made the conclusion of Kayleigh Garthwaite’s Hunger Pains – ‘Is foodbank Britain here to stay?’ free to download. Click here for the pdf.

Here’s why…

 

Being far-removed

At Policy Press we think about social injustice every day. Our books and journals are published because we want to make a difference and have an impact towards improving lives for vulnerable people.

Even then, we are far-removed from the lives of people like Daniel and Katie. For me, the film was an important reminder of the significance of what we’re trying to do each day in our cosy, happy office.

Panic at the scale of the problem

hunger-pains-fc-4webOver the last year, I have been privileged to work on Kayleigh Garthwaite’s book, Hunger Pains.

Like the film, it tells the heartbreaking stories of people suffering at the dark end of our social security system.

Watching, I Daniel Blake bought the stories in the book to life for me, leaving me with an acute awareness of the scale of the problem and a sense of panic that nothing’s going to change.

But perhaps that doesn’t have to be the case.

 

 

What to do next and what needs to change

In the afterword to Hunger Pains, Linda Tirado gives some excellent advice to anyone wondering, ‘what can I do?’:

 

“Here is what you can do: be kind. Really, honestly, unselfishly kind. Smile at a homeless person and say “Sorry, mate, I don’t carry cash”, instead of ignoring the human who is hoping for a few quid. Recognise the humanity of people who have it hard. It’s not your job to solve all of human misery – just not to cause any if you can help it.”

 

In the book, Kayleigh addresses the question ‘what needs to change?’. She identifies government intervention, stopping stigmatising people living in poverty and listening to people using foodbanks, as Ken Loach has done.
In the spirit of making a difference we have made this part of the Hunger Pains free to download here, hoping reading more will help you to think about practical ways in which you can channel your own anger to change things.
Whether it be kindness, listening, donating, volunteering, voting, protesting… we don’t have to let the overwhelming sense of injustice paralyse us into no action at all.

 

#WeAreAllDanielBlake

#hungerpainsbook

 

hunger-pains-fc-4webHunger pains by Kayleigh Garthwaite can be purchased here for £11.99

Remember that Policy Press newsletter subscribers receive a 35% discount – sign up here. 

The views and opinions expressed on this blog site are solely those of the original blogpost authors and other contributors. These views and opinions do not necessarily represent those of the Policy Press and/or any/all contributors to this site. 

3 Responses to “I, Daniel Blake: what you can do next”


  1. 1 Kate Adams November 7, 2016 at 11:15 pm

    Stop, talk, listen to people, intervene. Don’t walk by. Organise and fight the cuts

  2. 2 essaycrestwritingtips.splashthat.com November 23, 2016 at 1:00 am

    Valuable info. Lucky me I found your web site by accident, and I am
    shocked why this accident didn’t happened earlier!
    I bookmarked it.


  1. 1 I, DANIEL BLAKE – The Inflectionist Trackback on November 22, 2016 at 10:01 pm

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s




Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Twitter Updates

Archives


Helen Kara

Writing and research

Peter Beresford's Blog

Musings on a Mad World

Paul Cairney: Politics & Public Policy

Professor of Politics and Public Policy, University of Stirling

Path to the Possible

Democracy toward the Horizon

The GOVERNANCE blog

Governance: An international journal of policy, administration and institutions

Shot by both sides

The blog of Kerry McCarthy, Labour MP

Paul Collins's Running Blog

Running and London Marathon 2013 Training

Bristol Civic Leadership Project

A collaborative project on change in local governance

Stuck on Social Work

And what a great place to be

Points: The Blog of the Alcohol & Drugs History Society

short and insightful writing about a long and complex history

Urban policy and practice

Publishing with a purpose

TessaCoombes

Policy Politics Place

Blog

Publishing with a purpose

Public Administration Review

Public Administration Review is a professional journal dedicated to advancing theory and practice in public administration.

EUROPP

European Politics and Policy

%d bloggers like this: