If ‘Cathy Come Home’ was to be made today I doubt it would have the same impact

Cathy Come HomeLast week I had the great privilege to hear Ken Loach at the Homes for Britain rally in Westminster.  By co-incidence, I have been discussing Cathy Come Home with colleagues, and my daughter gave me a box set of Loach’s films for my recent 29th birthday (actually the 26th anniversary of the same).

I mentioned Ken Loach on twitter and in a blog post.  This is a response I received from some one I know and trust.  Names and local authority details have been omitted:

“I wonder if they would want to know about the day we and I would expect many advice services across England have had today. Our local council told a suicidal 18 year old girl to come back tomorrow as they were too busy to take a homeless application today.  We got involved and requested that a homeless application be taken now. 

“The local authority agree but then refused to place her in temporary accommodation (TA) whilst making enquiries. We politely asked that they provide TA if they were going to make enquiries but were told that they wouldn’t.  We said we might need to consider lodging a judicial review.  In response to this, the local authority told us that the decision would be made today.

“We asked that they wait until client has chance to go to see her GP because the local authority does not believe that she has attempted suicide recently or even in the past.  The local authority said they would not wait. I am amazed that they would even consider taking such a risk. At 4.30pm w were able to get proof of suicide attempts, current self harm and suicidal ideation.  At 4.55pm the local authority agree to place her in TA.  

“That’s just one of many battles we have fought today.”

At the Homes for Britain rally Ken Loach called for a new Cathy Come Home moment.  The question was asked if Cathy Come Home was to be made today whether it would have the same impact.  I don’t know whether it would.


4 thoughts on “If ‘Cathy Come Home’ was to be made today I doubt it would have the same impact

  1. Kids in school now need to know the dangers of themselves creating the homeless of the future and the need to think that far ahead when having children.

    And the Optimum Population Trust needs a bigger voice. As ‘progress’ makes human labour increasingly redundant so ‘surplus humanity’ faces an ever more parlous future in this land of plenty.

  2. I attended HFB rally too and have just blogged about it. I have to say the part when Ken Loach spoke resonated the most with me, much more than the politicians words. I was not familiar with Cathy come home but now I know about it (I still have to watch it though). Perhaps if it was today the movie wouldn’t have the same effect but if there were many more similar movies perhaps the penny would drop??

  3. Unfortunately I suspect that Cathy’s plight would have little impact on government policy or sadly public opinion. When “Cathy come home” hit the screens in the sixties there was still a feeling of”together we stand” left over from the war years,, this had been encouraged by our leaders during the war and in the years of rebuilding following the war. The 80’s saw a reversal of this ethos and ushered in the beginnings of the “No such thing as society” mind set which saw the Demonization of many groups like the unemployed,single mothers and many more. With the backing of the popular press we also saw the re invention of the Victorian idea of the deserving poor and the undeserving poor . Sadly Cathy would be told she is a member of the undeserving poor and it would not be fair for the “TAX PAYER” to fund her life style choices . We need more story tellers like Loach, .

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