Viewing Trump through Loach’s Lens.

Timely perhaps that on the day following the US election I should see Ken Loach’s remarkable film, “I, Daniel Blake”. I won’t pretend to understand American politics at all (although could I have done any worse than the pundits?) Nevertheless it’s very hard, after walking out of Daniel Blake, to see the world in the easy terms of smart people voting one way, and the deplorably ignorant another. A huge economic experiment has taken place over the last thirty or so years, and for all its upsides (a massive reduction in poverty levels in India and China, for example) there is now more than a generation  of entrenched deprivation where for three decades before sustained improvement in living standards had been the norm, and a far smaller number had suffered the hurt and humiliation of economic exclusion. And just as Ken Loach has once again captured the humanity of that accumulating loss, surely the rise internationally of anti-establishment sentiment speaks in part to the political face of the same slow-unfolding tragedy. Yes, there is much to be dismayed by yesterday’s result, and perhaps much to fear, but so too there is plenty of blame to share around. We’ve had an awfully long time to fix this, and yet somehow have contrived to look the other way.

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