Film director Ken Loach, who made “I, Daniel Blake” (2016) to expose the brutalities of the benefits system, has given his support to Joy Dove, mum of Jodey Whiting.
Ken Loach said on Twitter: “The DWP is still failing people – it may be worse now than it was when we made I, Daniel Blake.”
In 2016, Ken Loach invited bereaved relatives and disability campaigners to hold a vigil on the red carpet at the Leicester Square premiere of I, Daniel Blake. This was also supported by Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell MP (who has opposed the Work Capability Assessment since 2006).
Ken Loach has supported other bereaved relatives and protests. In January 2017, he spoke at the vigil we co-organised in memory of Lawrence Bond outside Kentish Town Jobcentre, where Lawrence Bond’s sister Iris Green and friends spoke out. He also spoke out on TV against benefit sanctions, taking on economist Matthew Oakley who claimed that benefit sanctions are essential to make the benefit system function, and “only” affect a minority.
On 8 April, the government issued a dismissive response to the Justice for Jodey petition which calls for a public inquiry into benefit deaths. Read their response here.
Disability News Service interviewed Joy Dove and has pointed out how the government response has not addressed the issues, click below:
Mum brands DWP’s petition response ‘a joke’
WinVisible is also quoted on why we support the petition:
“because the way Whiting had had her benefits “cut off” and had not been believed about her illness was “horrific”.
“This callousness is now standard. Every day we work with women with visible and invisible disabilities, distressed and suicidal because they are forced to go through the brutal benefit test system.
“We help them to win benefits on paper evidence, using the info on WinVisible’s blog.
“We can’t bear it that disabled mothers who deserve benefits and support services, are penalised as fit for work by reason of caring for children.
“In benefit cuts, disabled single mother families are doubly hit by the hostility against single mothers and against disabled people, losing up to £11,000 a year.”
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