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Home arrow Anti-Semitism arrow The Smearing of Ken Loach & Jeremy Corbyn
The Smearing of Ken Loach & Jeremy Corbyn PDF Print E-mail
Apr 14, 2020 at 12:00 AM

The vilification campaigns against the two men — both passionate defenders of Palestinian rights and champions of unabashed class struggle — is the face of our new toxic politics.

Ken Loach, one of Britain’s most acclaimed film directors, has spent more than a half a century dramatizing the plight of the poor and the vulnerable. His films have often depicted the casual indifference or active hostility of the state as it exercises unaccountable power over ordinary people.

Last month Loach found himself plunged into the heart of a pitiless drama that could have come straight from one of his own films. This veteran chronicler of society’s ills was forced to stand down as a judge in a school anti-racism competition, falsely accused of racism himself and with no means of redress.

Voice of the Powerless

There should be little doubt about Loach’s credentials both as an anti-racist and a trenchant supporter of the powerless and the maligned.

In his films he has turned his unflinching gaze on some of the ugliest episodes of British state repression and brutality in Ireland, as well as historical struggles against fascism in other parts of the globe, from Spain to Nicaragua.

But his critical attention has concentrated chiefly on Britain’s shameful treatment of its own poor, its minorities and its refugees. In his recent film “I, Daniel Blake” he examined the callousness of state bureaucracies in implementing austerity policies, while this year’s release “Sorry We Missed You” focused on the precarious lives of a zero-hours workforce compelled to choose between the need to work and responsibility to family.

Inevitably, these scathing studies of British social and political dysfunction – exposed even more starkly by the current coronavirus pandemic – mean Loach is much less feted at home than he is in the rest of the world, where his films are regularly honored with awards.

Which may explain why the extraordinary accusations against him of racism – or more specifically anti-Semitism – have not been more widely denounced as malicious.

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