Ricky and Lisa from film
Ricky and Lisa from film

A small band of Labour Party members braved a cold wet night on Wednesday for a pre-release viewing of Ken Loach’s latest hard hitting film “Sorry We Missed You”. If you want to understand what an unregulated, non unionised ‘ERG’ United Kingdom will look and feel like, this is a must see film. It is the story of a collision between the brutality of ‘self employment’ in the gig economy and the humanity of family life.  Ricky (dad) gets it in his head that the way out of the cycle of debt he and his family find themselves, is to become a self employed white van driver for a parcel delivery company, vying for business in the world of internet shopping. He very soon realises that this is no solution as debts quickly mount. The impact on Abby (mum), who is already struggling with low pay and long hours as a care worker, and the two children Seb and Lisa, left without their parents, is huge, devastating – and very real.

The film comes with a health warning, the spiral into despair is relentless. For the audience the tension of believing things can’t get worse while knowing they will, turns your knuckles white and your muscles tight. There is however, unlike in ‘I, Daniel Blake’, just a hint of light at the end of the tunnel – at least I think there is, this is something that can be debated!. The characters are totally believable. The look on Lisa’s face when she realises her desperate bid to try and rescue the situation has backfired is heart wrenching and will stay with me for a long time. This is Ken Loach at his best as well as his bleakest. We so need that Labour Government!

The film is released on the 4th November.

Duncan Siret

Cheltenham Labour

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