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Monday, August 29, 2011

Ken Loach: The ruling classes are cracking the whip

I’ve always found that the people with the most to brag about are the least big-headed. Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the World Wide Web, was one example. The late Ian Carmichael was another. And so too is the brilliant film director Ken Loach. I met Ken when we were both speakers on an anti-war platform - a more modest and unassuming man you couldn’t possibly meet.

There's a wonderful interview with Ken in today's Guardian by Kira Cochrane. There's some great stuff all the way through, but particularly powerful was this passage on the enormous damage of thirty-odd years of neoliberalism.

It seems to me any economic structure that could give young people a future has been destroyed. Traditionally young people would be drawn into the world of work, and into groups of adults who would send the boys for a lefthanded screwdriver, or a pot of elbow grease, and so they'd be sent up in that way, but they would also learn about responsibilities, and learn a trade, and be defined by their skills. Well, they destroyed that. Thatcher destroyed that. She consciously destroyed the workforces in places like the railways, for example, and the mines, and the steelworks … so that transition from adolescence to adulthood was destroyed, consciously, and knowingly.

Ken Loach is a fantastic film director. But I can't help but feel that he would have made an even better Prime Minister.


Anonymous said...

One of the interesting things about modern conservatism is the way that people on the Right complain about the decline of youth culture but do nothing in the economic sphere to try to rectify the problems that plague young people.

Conservatives are right to complain about things like family breakdown and trash culture but refuse to see how unemployment, lousy wages and longer working hours all help to create an anti-family society.

Of course, the New Left is not much better than the New Right on these issues. New Lefties often praise cultural decline as “liberation” while downplaying economics in favor of things like identity politics.

Neil Clark said...

Hi John, great comment & totally agreed.

DBC Reed said...

There was a recent programme about PG Wodehouse on the telly.It would have never occurred to Wodehouse that the government of the country might be entrusted in an economic crisis to Bertie Wooster ,Gussie Fink-Nottle and Bingo Little but we have ended up with the Bullingdon Club ,which even arch-snob Evelyn Waugh drew the line at.
The ruling class has re-emerged as the enemy within.Abolish the public schools now and institute an swingeing Land Value Tax!