David Thompson


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May 29, 2012



'A better world'… from a Marxist hypocrite Jew-hater.



“‘A better world’… from a Marxist hypocrite Jew-hater.”

Ah, but at least Mr Loach isn’t egotistical. He just wants taxpayers to subsidise his films, which aren’t very popular, and then subsidise a nationwide chain of cinemas in which his films can be shown, even to empty seats.

Ted S., Catskill Mtns., NY, USA

Those of us who work in television and film have a role to be critical, to be challenging, to be rude, to be disturbing, not to be part of the establishment.

The cartonnists at Jyllands-Posten were critical, challenging, rude, disturbing, and not part of the establishment. What did that get them? Specifically, what did it get them from the arts "community" types who preach the need to be critical et al.?


I prefer beggar's to brigands and brigands to political looters and moochers.

A beggar, unlike a brigand, at least displays some measure of respect for the property and rights of others by asking for what they desire, and a brigand, unlike the political looters and moochers, at least is willing to risk their own skin in the act of committing theft. The likes of Loach seem all-too-happily oblivious to the narcissism and moral cowardice it takes to demand that proxies should commit your desired extortion and "appropriation" while you sit at home safe and warm.


I’ve just checked the local listings and Loach’s latest film is being screened at the main art-house cinema and both the massive multiplexes. He’s hardly being parted from any potential audience. Anyone who wants to see it can - easily. It’s just that a lot more people would rather see something else.

As Julia once pointed out, Loach’s intimations that his films are being unfairly marginalised or suppressed might be less comical if illegal copies were being downloaded in vast numbers from online file-sharing sites. So far as I can make out amid the porn and blockbusters, there isn’t a huge and desperate audience even for free Ken Loach films.

Sam Duncan

So, he wants to establish a national establishment for establishing cinemas that will, once and for all, establish which films are most worthy. But he's anti-establishment, okay?

Jonathan Apps

It's worthy of note that Googling "Ken Loach" gets you nothing but sympathetic and positive references. I'm led to wonder on the basis of this who is the "establishment" and who isn't. I wonder if Ken would do quite so well if he didn't cite himself as being "anti-establishment". The irony is so rich you could drown in it.

Page 4 of the Google search yields "Noam Chomsky answers questions from Ken Loach". Bet that's an absolute riot.


Thanks David, an excellent dissection of Loach's views, which frankly are abhorrent. Funny how people who go on about racism, tend so be so bigoted.

"Noam Chomsky answers questions from Ken Loach". Bet that's an absolute riot.

Sounds more like an emetic to me.


We shouldn’t take no for an answer.

Just like the nice chaps from HM Revenue and Customs, or in my country the Canada Revenue Agency (just sounds so innocuous, doesn't it?): they don't take no (or non) for answer, either.


And so, what cinemas show should be determined by people who care,

"Because I CARE SO VERY DEEPLY (and therefore am indisputably virtuous), I get to set the rules," is what they tell themselves, to make their tyrannical inclinations palatable, nay, imperative.

Amazing how often you run into that. Last year, Hugh Hewitt was interviewing a woman (a potter from central California) who agitated to shut off the pumps to the California central valley. He kept asking if she'd met any of the farmers whose land was now barren, whose workers they had to dismiss. She almost didn't understand the question, and finding herself in a rhetorical corner, began to emphasize how passionate she was about Saving The Delta Smelt from being pureed in the pump blades. She honestly seemed to believe that her passion was Sufficient Cause to follow through, regardless of the consequences.

Likewise an argument on the radio between Pamela Geller and a pro-Palestinian woman. Geller kept asking why Israel should sit down across the table from someone whose charter called for the destruction of Israel, and after many misdirections and non-sequiturs, the woman cried out, "BUT I CARE SO DEEPLY ABOUT THE PALESTINIAN PEOPLE and Israelis too" and Geller pointed out that her positions don't exactly benefit those she claims to care about.

It all comes down to that, doesn't it? "I CARE MORE THAN YOU DO, ergo I should win."

How we ended up with so many narcissists is truly astounding. And after the astonishment wears off, terrifying.


The term “people who care about films” is used frequently by Loach yet is never quite defined, though one doesn’t have to reach far to find the implication. Clearly, he isn’t talking about thee or me, no matter how many times we may excitedly visit a cinema.

No, we just pay to watch films with our own money. Because we're such philistines.


We need to keep our independence!

Our films should be funded by government money!

Cinema should be anti establishment!

Me and my chums ought to be in charge of a publically owned and funded cinema network!

Well at least his message is consistent...


“No, we just pay to watch films with our own money. Because we’re such philistines.”

Ah, but as we’ve been told so many times, commercial transactions are degrading and dirty, while shafting the taxpayer is virtuous and clean.

Jason Bontrager

Loach et al need to follow the example of art (since they doubtless consider themselves "artistes"). If it doesn't sell, double the price. Appeal to the snob factor outright and charge $/£500 or so per ticket. They'll find that their like-minded brethren will *flock* to see their output.

Heck, claim that they're raising money for some kind of politically correct "awareness" campaign and they could probably charge twice that price and get sold-out shows!


The Guardian has deleted a comment criticising Ken Loach's defense of anti-semitism but has not deleted the reply from a Guardianista suggesting that Ken Loach is merely batting 'for the underdog' by supporting anti-semitism:


The likes of Loach don't always think that 'another world is possible'. In the case of Afghanistan their view has always been that the best anyone can hope for is the Taliban with all that that implies. In the case of Iraq their view was that Saddam should remain for the foreseeable future. And in the case of Libya their view was that Gaddafi should be left to do what he liked to his people. In short the likes of Loach often take the view that another world is not possible.

sackcloth and ashes

Loach is like Le Carre. Once upon a time he was actually quite a good artist (film director, in his case).

sackcloth and ashes

Some good quotes in response to Loach's CIF rant:

Leopold1904, 15 October 2010 7:12PM

''Film has the potential to be a most beautiful art, but it has been debased by US cinema, and by television'

Your opinion Mr Loach - I for one think LA Confidential is a much more beautiful and more meaningful film than Kes - my opinion. And American TV has given us Mad Men, the Sopranos, the Wire, the Simpsons etc etc. What has British telly done for us lately - Lip Sevice?'

Slackbladder, 15 October 2010 7:13PM

'Oh get over yourself luvvie.

I go to the cinema for entertainment. Your cinema as theatre plan would just be creating loss-making white elephants supported by the tax payer'.

Anax, 15 October 2010 7:20PM

''Those of us who work in television and film have a role to be critical, to be challenging, to be rude, to be disturbing, not to be part of the establishment'.

"Challenging" is the establishment. British films are disproportionately slanted towards grimy, horrible, poverty porn'.

I'd rather have escapism and fantasy, thanks'.

norgate, 15 October 2010 7:21PM

''How can we change this? We could start by treating cinemas like we treat theatres. They could be owned, as they are in many cases, by the municipalities, and programmed by people who care about film'

In other words, people like Ken Loach'.

Bangorstu, 15 October 2010 7:36PM

'Why don't people watch British films?

Because by and large the British makes worthy, political boring crap rather than something which is entertaining.

Consider the fuss we all made about U-571, where Hollywood took a story of British derring-do and made it featuring the US Navy.

Awful, on many levels.

But why hadn't British cinema made that film? If the Americans can make blockbusters, why don't we?

All we make is left-wing dross a la Loach or costume dramas - with the occasional honourable exception'.

maxsceptic1, 15 October 2010 7:43PM

'Sanctimonious claptrap.

Nobody forces me to watch crap Hollywood movies.

The very thought that my taxes subsidise your cinematic output and 'artistic sensitivities' makes me retch.

Your - and everybody else's - 'art' should stand or fall on its own two feet without suckling on the public teat'.

peterNW1, 15 October 2010 7:52PM

'Ken Loach writes ...

"Just imagine, if you went into the library and the bookshelves were stacked with 63% to 80% American fiction, 15% to 30% half-American, half-British fiction, and then all the other writers in the whole world just 3%. Imagine that in the art galleries, in terms of pictures; imagine it in the theatres. You can't, it is inconceivable – and yet this is what we do to the cinema, which we think is a most beautiful art."

This is anti-American nonsense. Ken Loach knows very well that there are lots of non-Americans working in Hollywood and that the studios have always attracted talented writers, directors and cinematographers from the rest of the world. Laughton, Hitchcock, Lean, Ridley Scott? If Loach is proposing some sort of nationalistic protectionist Eady Levy to prop up the British film industry, he's 50 years too late'.

Clunie, 15 October 2010 8:00PM

'Casablanca, The Godfather I and II, Network, Twelve Angry Men, To Kill A Mockingbird, It's A Wonderful Life, All About Eve, Blade Runner, Raging Bull, Crash, Schindler's List, On the Waterfront, A Clockwork Orange, The Philadelphia Story, Malcolm X, Duck Soup, Brokeback Mountain, West Side Story, All Quiet on the Western Front, The Crying Game, Terminator, American History X, Being There, Key Largo, East of Eden, The Third Man, The Manchurian Candidate, Cabaret, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Brazil, Cool Hand Luke, Now Voyager, Blazing Saddles, Young Frankenstein, The Jerk, The French Connection, From Here to Eternity, Alien, Ben Hur, Scarface, Breakfast at Tiffany's, Hitchcock's entire oeuvre and a few thousand others....

But apart from that, what's Hollywood ever done for us, eh?

I'm all for high quality films, TV, etc and far more of them from everywhere - which would require more reliance on good writers and less on visual effects, but the idea that Hollywood produces formulaic dross while the rest of the world's knocking out an endless series of criminally neglected masterpieces is and always was snobbish rubbish'.

David Gillies

The Internet is the most powerful disintermediating force the world has ever seen. I would suggest that the obstacles to actualising one's artistic vision have never been smaller. Ken Loach is not being stymied in his film-making through lack of resources. He can make all the movies he wants. But what he seems to be proposing is the equivalent of your neighbours making you look at their holiday snaps, and charging you for it.

sackcloth and ashes

'But what he seems to be proposing is the equivalent of your neighbours making you look at their holiday snaps, and charging you for it'.

Spot on. Loach sneers at US TV shows, but I thought 'The Wire' offered more incisive and sophisticated social commentary than any of his cinematic potboilers.

Michael H Anderson

That first article provided me with some creative inspiration of my own - to take a running swing at Ken Loach's head with a cricket bat. Looking forward to "Prometheus" myself - you know, those ghastly popular appetites and all...

sackcloth and ashes

Every time Loach squeals about independent cinema, and how hard it is for up-and-coming film directors to break the Hollywood stranglehold, I remember that he threw a strop back in 2009 when the Edinburgh Film Festival invited Tali Shalom Ezer to showcase his film. He threatened to boycott the event, so that Ezer was barred from attending.


Off topic, yet then again- not.

Is there some natural process in biology (besides plain old death) in which the host can kill off or purge away its parasites?

I know that the veterinary treatment for dogs with heartworm is to literally poison the animal half-to-death; the worms die and with sufficient care the dog recovers to a normal life.

It seems to me that Western society has become infested with "cultural parasites" which need to be eradicated before our "body politic" can recover to normal health and productivity.

I rather wonder if the coming crash (& there is NO WAY to avoid the fiscal fallout of over-leveraging trillions of dollars/ pounds/ Euros when some big bank's debt is finally called - the dominoes will fall and nothing can stop them) may serve as the "poison" which reduces the parasite class to a sustainable level again.

It's a testament to the robustness of Western Civ that we've managed to prosper so long while the parasites have multiplied without hindrance -- but we can't keep supporting more and ever more "takers" and still survive. It's got to stop.

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