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Sticking it to Ken Loach

Comedy might not be Loach’s forte. But there is splendid unintentional humour in this class warrior standing up at a dinner sponsored by large corporations to denounce the Government that pays him so handsomely to keep churning out his Marxist drivel.

Harry Phibbs

32 comments to Sticking it to Ken Loach

  • Sam Duncan

    “… we are with the people.”

    Loach backed Remain in the referendum


    The trouble with you, Loach, is that just because you have succeeded in inducing a handful of half-wits to disfigure the cinema with grim, depressing movies, you think you’re someone. You win pointless awards and you imagine it is the Voice of the People. That is where you make your bloomer. What the Voice of the People is saying is, “Look at that frightful ass Loach, swanning about at the BAFTAs! Did you ever in your puff see such a perfect perisher?”

  • Watchman

    It’s probable that Ken Loach is a good director (I say this because I have never seen his films, but people who seek them out seem to value them, so he is clearly directing them in a way to appeal to his audience). We should probably allow this fact.

    But we should also wherever possible publicise him, as he is not going to win people over to his cause, any more than a Holywood star is going to do so. Because they are making art, and art reflects what is going on, not, despite its pretensions, causes things to happen. Speaking as a historian, I have yet to see any evidence of any art doing anything more revolutionary than causing a riot. And I have never seen a movement caused by a film – I have seen a lot of films aimed at movements though. Whilst I don’t think people dislike directors and actors telling them what to think any more than they dislike taxi drivers, politicians or me (probably less than me – all the others use a lot less parantheses…), I don’t think they are any more effective either. Mind you, the people who like Mr Loach’s films are generally the sort that somehow believe the Sun wins elections, rather than predicts them, so will happily think talking down to people achieves change…

  • NickM

    Ken Loach is a dismal cunt.

  • Laird

    “Look at that frightful ass Loach, swanning about at the BAFTAs! Did you ever in your puff see such a perfect perisher?”

    What a delightful collection of British (or is it Scottish?) colloquialisms!

  • Ken Loach is not completely without sense of humour. I saw him trending on twitter and wrote the following:

    For a brief moment when I saw “Ken Loach” trending, I felt a surge of exhilaration… But sadly it was not what I had hoped 😉

    One person ‘liked’ the tweet. It was Ken Loach 😆

  • Watchman – “I have yet to see any evidence of any art doing anything more revolutionary than causing a riot.”

    I believe “Guernica” and “Napalm Girl” caused definite shifts in public opinion. This might be considered impact, rather than revolutionary, though.

  • Watchman


    Guernica I am not sure about causing an immediate shift in public opinion – it was controversial, and I suspect almost all of those affected by it initially were actually already of an opinion about the Spanish Civil War. Certainly if you look at the early display history (courtsey of Wikipedia) then the groups promoting it were generally supporters of the Republican cause.

    Napalm girl is not art but journalism which can make a difference (albeit with difficulty), but was published at a time when public (and government) opinion was that the US should come out of Vietnam anyway (by 1972 Nixon was heading for his second term, and the war was being wound down), so it might be said to reflect rather than alter the mood.

    Both works might make a proviso to my statement worthwhile though – art can crystalise the views of a movement, so appear to represent changes that are happening (or the aspirations of a group that are unable to make changes – here’s where Mr Loach fits in). I cannot see any cases where a movement started because of a piece of art and caused change. Artists like to think they are important because they create, but forget that they are just producers at the whim of the market (and yes, I suspect there is a market for Ken Loach).

  • RAB

    Sam Duncan was re-writing some lines by the greatest English writer of wit and humour ever, namely PG Wodehouse, originally directed at amateur dictator Roderick Spode and his Fascist organisation, the Black Shorts…

  • The Sanity Inspector

    In his own mind he may think of himself as an inside agent; fomenting revolution from the belly of The Beast. Like so many other such types, he’s not a rebel against the system, but a luxury made possible by it.

  • I’ve never seen a film by Ken Loach, but I am a BIG fan of parentheses 😉

  • Sam Duncan

    Indeed, RAB. I thought the link was a bit of a giveaway. 🙂

  • Laird

    Thanks, RAB. I’m a Wodehouse fan, but haven’t read that one. And Sam, sorry for missing that; I just didn’t associate the link at the beginning of your post (which obviously I didn’t click) with the quote at the end of it. My bad. :mrgreen:

    (And Wh00ps, I join you in your appreciation of parentheses!)

  • RAB

    Yes sorry Sam, I didn’t click on the link either… feeling very red faced here.

  • CaptDMO

    “Comedy might not be Loach’s forte.”
    Oh, that’s nothing!
    In the US we have this guy called Al Frankin……

  • Julie near Chicago

    O/T, but for the record:

    “Napalm Girl” has a very shoddy journalistic history. That American forces dropped the napalm that hit nine-year-old Kim Phúc and her village is balderdash long since exposed. For instance, in Session 11 of the 2004 conference “Examining the Myths of the Vietnam War,” a transcription of reporter Charles Wiley’s remarks on “Culpability of the Media” says:

    “…Another example of changed history is the attack on Kim Phúc, the little girl who was hit with napalm. Time Magazine said that the photo has become the exemplar picture that shows the horror of American air attacks on civilians. And of course, the fact that there was not an American airplane in the sky that day doesn’t seem to deter them at all. There were no American airplanes involved when that girl was wounded….”

    http://www.viet-myths.net/ Click Session 11; Click Transcript. (The .wmv video file seems no longer to play on my system.)


    Or, here are excerpts from the 1999 article “The Fraud behind the Girl in the Photo,” by Ronald Timberlake,

    “Since Veterans Day of 1996, the world has been told of an American who ordered the bombing of the village of Trang Bang, Viet Nam, that resulted in the famous photo of the naked and terrified little girl running toward the Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer.

    It is a heart-wrenching photo, told since 1996 with a heart-wrenching story, but if a picture speaks a thousand words, most of the words now associated with this photo are false or misleading. It is a counterfeit commercial parable to generate maximum donations, and relies not on what actually occurred in 1972, but on dramatic fabrications that appear to have been invented specifically to enhance the impact of the Canadian produced documentary, and increase revenues for certain foundations.

    The photo is an accurate depiction of about 1/500th of a second of the immediate aftermath of an all-Vietnamese accident in an all-Vietnamese fight in June of 1972, and it was originally reported that way.

    Newly manufactured details have changed the perception and altered the reported history of that tragedy. The Canadian documentary crew and the heads of foundations that collect money for themselves created and continue a gross misrepresentation that quickly evolved into a new memory and new history of the event. It is a fraud advanced for profit, and is a lie that continues to be published as late as December of 1998.

    The Girl In The Photo was accidentally burned by her own countrymen, who were fighting her future countrymen.”


    “The recent story woven around [the tragedy of Kim Phúc] has grown to become a myth of major proportions, with many now remembering the attack to have always been reported as an American or American ordered attack. But was it?

    The photo came to prominence within days of the event, and was etched into the memories of people around the world. The little girl was so cute, her agony was so clear, and the tragedy was so shocking. When the photo was taken and first published, the truth was published with it. The event was an all-Vietnamese accident, at a time when American soldiers had been withdrawn almost completely from participation in ground action.

    Peter Arnett, Fox Butterfield, and Christopher Wain were three who independently reported on the incident at the village of Trang Bang, when it happened in 1972. Their news reports showed it to be an accidental bombing by the Vietnamese Air Force, during an all-Vietnamese fight.

    The other reports of the time said the same, and film footage taken that day clearly shows a Vietnamese Air Force Skyraider making a highly photogenic low level run, dropping four canisters of napalm with the journalists and South Vietnamese soldiers standing on the road near the village as spectators. ….”

    At the bottom of the page, there’s information about the author:

    “Major Ron Timberlake won the silver star while serving as a helicopter pilot in Vietnam. He died as a result of injuries suffered in a motorcycle accident on May 5, 1999. See Helivets [link at source] for more details about Ron’s distinguished career.”


    NOTE: The site features memoirs by various Vietnam vets. The home page (delete all after com/) has some interesting articles.


    And lest we remain believers in the Myth, here is the Great Foot its own self:

    “Kim Phúc and her family were residents of the village of Trang Bang, South Vietnam. On June 8, 1972, South Vietnamese planes dropped a napalm bomb on Trang Bang, which had been attacked and occupied by North Vietnamese forces.[2] Kim Phúc joined a group of civilians and South Vietnamese soldiers who were fleeing from the Caodai Temple to the safety of South Vietnamese-held positions. A South Vietnamese Air Force pilot mistook the group for enemy soldiers and diverted to attack.”


    “Less publicized is film shot by British television cameraman Alan Downes for the British ITN news service and his Vietnamese counterpart Le Phuc Dinh who was working for the American television network NBC, which shows the events just before and after the photograph was taken…”

    and see the photos on the right side.


  • Perry de Havilland (London), February 15, 2017 at 5:07 pm: “Ken Loach is not completely without sense of humour. I saw him trending on twitter and wrote the following: ‘For a brief moment when I saw “Ken Loach” trending, I felt a surge of exhilaration… But sadly it was not what I had hoped 😉’ One person ‘liked’ the tweet. It was Ken Loach 😆

    Perry, I would agree with you if I could feel sure that Ken had grasped your meaning when he clicked ‘like’. I will agree with you if you have any evidence that he did. (The egotistical can miss the obvious and instead assume the vain.)

  • Paul Marks

    I wish I could be so cheerful about it as Harry.

    The sickening hypocrisy of Ken Loach and co make me spit blood.

  • Paul Marks

    Correct Julie.

    And very well presented.

    You defend the truth – this makes you the sworn enemy of Ken Loach and all the vermin who applaud him.

  • Julie near Chicago


  • Julie near Chicago

    Captain, when you name celebrities and stupid politicians, please don’t omit half their names. It hurts their feewings.

    That would be Al FrankenSTEIN. An acquaintance I believe of Mrs. Shelley.

    [Just teasing. 😉 ]

  • Julie near Chicago

    Well, don’t blame me. I have no idea. 🙁 If some powerful soul wants to delete one of ’em, my feewings won’t be at all hurt.

  • Confused Old Misfit

    Thank you Julie. Tried that line once at a gathering of our clan. Was massively shouted down. I’m the “black Sheep”, the Uncle reluctantly countenanced. They would not hear anything that ran contrary to their received wisdom. They were unwilling to investigate further. They all have university degrees.

    Having worked (albeit as a technician/manager)for a lifetime(40 yrs and at times it felt like several lifetimes) in “The Arts” my considered opinion is that they don’t matter a tinker’s damn except to those individual rentiers dependent on the largess of a small proportion of the population, some corporate support and many layers of government support. I know, I was one of them. The scales began to fall from my eyes as the flush of youth and enthusiasm diminished. But it took a while.

  • Julie near Chicago

    YVW. I’m still fighting the V-N War, y’see.

    All those polls saying how glad we were when it was Over. The Fall of Saigon. Yeah? I had the feeling that there was a hush of mourning over our land.

    The Fall of Saigon. If ever there was nothing to cheer, it was that.


    Moving on. I’ll see your Confused and raise you two Old Misfits! LOL

  • Cristina

    I agree with Paul, Julie. Handsomely done. 🙂

  • Julie near Chicago

    Thank you, Cristina. :>))

  • Julie, you are correct about napalm girl (and I already knew it). But whatever the objective reality, the picture and the story built around it had impact.

  • Runcie Balspune

    Loach is in good company, I recall ex Arts Council Chair Dame Forgan who complained about arts funding at her £8,000 taxpayer funded “leaving party”.

  • Jacob

    So, ok, the napalm was dropped by South Vietnamese planes rather than by US planes.
    But the SV Air Force was equipped, trained and coordinated by the US.
    And, as far as I could check, the NYTimes always wrote it was the South Vietnamese.
    As an illustration of the horrors of war, the photo was correct, it doesn’t matter very much who exactly dropped the bombs.
    I would say, there are bigger lies out there worth exposing.

  • llamas

    @ Sam Duncan – as one who fancies a bit of parody now and again, fine work, sir, fine work. Nicely done.



  • Julie near Chicago

    Ellen, you are certainly correct that the photo and the subsequently-dreamed-up, and widely publicized, “history” have had great effect. That is why it’s so important to present the truth at every opportunity, even if it isn’t directly “on topic.”
    . . .


    “As an illustration of the horrors of war, the photo was correct….”

    Quite. It’s heartbreaking, in fact, and also frightening in the extreme.

    As to the rest: Every lie involving the actions and reputations of people most of whom are trying to do the right thing is worth exposing and then some. This one is more egregious than some others, because of the existence of honest reporting of the facts at the time.


    Sigh … From Mr. Timberlake’s article, as linked above:

    “The accident on June 8, 1972 was immediately and correctly reported by US and world news organizations. South Vietnamese (ARVN) forces were fighting to push invading Communist soldiers back from portions of a village on the main highway northwest of Saigon. The South Vietnamese Air Force (VNAF) flew sorties in support of their ground forces, and one of the single-seat fighter-bombers of the VNAF 518th Squadron, flown by a South Vietnamese pilot, dropped napalm that missed the clearly marked target. Several ARVN soldiers were killed, along with at least two civilians who were with them, and a cute little Vietnamese girl was horribly burned.


    “In 1972, Americans were acutely aware of the Vietnamization of the war, when more and more of our soldiers came home as their units were withdrawn. That memory has faded over the years of revisionist history, to the point that many people even believe that American forces were fighting in Vietnam as Saigon fell in April of 1975. The truth is that all US combat forces left Vietnam by March of 1973, more than two years before the Communists launched the invasion that gained them the country.”

    Which is an important, and correct, point.

    However, to argue (by implication) that the American forces were ultimately responsible for the event because they had in the past advised and helped to train ARVN forces, is the same as arguing that it’s on the head of the drug company that makes Elavil when a patient (me!) accidentally overdoses on this quite effective drug, which is very good when used per instructions. (Fortunately it wasn’t enough of an overdose to do more than disconnect my brain from my musculature. Fine the next day.)

    Or, ” ‘–it happens.'”

  • Julie near Chicago, February 16, 2017 at 6:54 pm, while I agree that false details should be corrected, there is (sometimes) a false narrative about this incident that is maybe more fundamental. Many men, women, children and babies were burned to death in the firestorm of Hamburg and Dresden, and in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Most were not filmed at the precise moment, though pictures of corpses, and words describing the last moments of those that did not even leave corpses, can be found. There is “I hate war” (e.g. because I’m compassionate) and then there is “I hate this particular war – our side of it at least” (e.g. because I’m a fashionable campus commie). The latter attitude, pretending to be the former, will often expose its true self by its focus on one thing rather than another – and by seeking to alter details (e.g. who exactly dropped that bomb, what was intended versus what was accidental, etc.).

  • Julie near Chicago

    Oh, very true, Niall.

    I try to take every opportunity to present the truth of this particular event — which now includes the further truth of the sort of lying revisionism to which I think you refer — because the truth needs to be stated both in the generalities (“the U.S. is often the target of lying revisionism,” for instance), and then the evidence for it, which lie in the details of a particular battle or other event.

    Conclusion: Agreed. :>)