Wednesday, 26 October 2016

Long's Two Short Planks

Camilla Long is the film critic of the Sunday Times.

Yet, or perhaps therefore, she sincerely believes that until she panned it behind a paywall, no one had ever heard of the winner of this year's Palme d'Or, the superlative I, Daniel Blake.

Does she know what the Palme d'Or is? Until this week, had she ever heard of Ken Loach? I do not ask these questions rhetorically.

Still, I am not aware of any suggestion that Long was admitted to Oxford only after her father had telephoned the place to insist.

She, after all, is a proper toff whose admission was strictly by hereditary right. The spawn of a mere Fabian grandee was, and is, Toby Young.

There is all the difference in the world between "You'd get in if your Daddy asked specifically" and "You'll get in because you were born to get in."

Both Young and Long see it as self-evident that because they do not know any people like the characters in I, Daniel Blake, then such people cannot possibly exist in real life.

Both Young and Long see it as self-evident that because Britain is a very rich country overall, then it cannot contain any abjectly poor people, not even those who have been sanctioned for the purpose in pursuit of a target.

And both Young and Long see it as self-evident that because I, Daniel Blake does not resemble the execrable Benefits Street, then it cannot be an accurate portrayal of even such relative poverty as they might be prepared to concede, very grudgingly indeed, might exist "Up North".

Young is clearly fishing for a spot on the Question Time panel next to Loach tomorrow. He must not get one. Nor ought he to be allowed to settle for The Agenda with Loach next week.

And for all the sheer comedy value of hearing Long's political opinions, that temptation, too, must be resisted.

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