Ken Loach attacks Prime Minister for thanking health workers while slashing public services to the bone
“HYPOCRITE” David Cameron should face up to his responsibility for causing homelessness and terrorism, legendary filmmaker Ken Loach said yesterday as the privileged premier peddled platitudes to the poor in a cringing Christmas message.
Christians and trade unionists joined forces to slam the Prime Minister for paying tribute to those working over Christmas while cutting public services and pay to the bone.
Mr Cameron said: “Millions of families are spending this winter in refugee camps or makeshift shelters across Syria and the Middle East, driven from their homes by Daesh [Isis] and Assad.
“Throughout the United Kingdom, some will spend the festive period ill, homeless or alone.
“We must pay tribute to the thousands of doctors, nurses, carers and volunteers who give up their Christmas to help the vulnerable — and to [members of the armed forces] who are spending this season even further from home.”
But Mr Loach, whose films have been credited with bringing numerous social justice campaigns to the fore, blasted: “This man is a hypocrite.
“He talks of coming together with his loved ones in safety and security.
“Does he think of the poor he punishes with cruel sanctions and delayed benefits? Or the thousands of families his government has condemned to homelessness, temporary accommodation or hostels, while new tower blocks are built for rich speculators?
“How can he speak of security when he knows work is often temporary or casual with an income that will not support a family or provide a home?
“He speaks of Syria — how many civilians will die from the bombs he’s authorised, how many more will turn to terrorism in revenge?”
And public-sector union Unison said Mr Cameron should show his gratitude by “paying nurses and other health workers a decent wage.”
“This government is to blame for NHS staff feeling taken for granted and disrespected, in spite of their dedication,” the union’s head of health Christina McAnea said.
“Indeed, morale has plummeted to such an extent that many workers are looking to leave the health service altogether.
“The Prime Minister’s praise is hollow and meaningless unless his government actually starts funding the NHS properly.”
Meanwhile Archbishop of Wales Barry Morgan will use his sermon tomorrow to say that British intervention in the Middle East was “certainly in part responsible” for the “crisis” of people fleeing persecution.
He will call for Britain to take far more refugees from the region.
“Jordan and Lebanon have four million people in refugee camps and we quibble about 20,000,” he will note. “Is not that a failure of imagination on our part?”
Christian campaigner Symon Hill stormed: “Jesus sided with the poor, called on the world to change its ways and was executed by political powers with the collusion of religious leaders.
“If the Tories had been around at the time, they would have labelled him a dangerous extremist and Daily Mail editorials would have demanded his crucifixion.
“More people are hungry, more people are lonely, as a direct result of Cameron and Osborne’s policies.
“My prayer at Christmas is that we will throw off our subservience to the rich and powerful and follow Jesus’s example of resisting them.”
Mr Loach added: “Cameron is the smooth face of a ruthless ruling class. His message reminds us how urgent it is to support Jeremy Corbyn in his project to transform the Labour Party.”