“WTF is ‘great’ about millions in dire straits?” Filmmaker David Nicholas Wilkinson gives voice to shared anger

The (dis)United Kingdom is the fifth largest country globally in terms of nominal GDP (gross domestic product), according to Wikipedia*. 216 countries are recorded on Wikipedia in terms of their GDP.

One of my daughters is in Morocco (rated the 60th ‘richest’ country), and yesterday she and her friend were eating in a mother-and-son’s small cafe when a Senegalese woman (whose country is the 105th ‘richest’) with a little baby strapped to her back entered and asked for some free food. Mother and son cooked her a meal … for free.

I have never witnessed anything like that anywhere.

Between 1 April 2020 and 31 March 2021, food banks in the Trussell Trust’s UK-wide network distributed 2.5 million emergency food parcels to people in crisis – a 33 per cent increase on the previous year. 980,000 of these went to children.

Working people are forced to go to food banks. That’s people who are working for others and being paid.

There but for the grace of God go I. I have made almost eight documentary films in the last 10 years. I have not taken a salary or fee on any of them. With four of them I have used my own money. The company who was selling two of them internationally went bankrupt and even though they sold these self-financed films to many broadcasters, I never received a penny. If it were not for my wife working on a very high-profile TV series, I would be a user of food banks. 

‘“We’re terrified at what we’re seeing”: food banks tell of soaring demand’ was the headline of one newspaper in February 2022. In February 2021, there were already over 1,300 Trussell Trust food banks in the UK, and over 900 independent food banks.

Great Britain … my a**e. What the f**k is ‘great’ about the fact that millions are in dire straits?

Actually, thinking about it, the only people who could claim to be ‘great’ in this country are those working, mostly as volunteers, at these food banks, and those who are donating the food.

In the next year, millions more, and I do mean millions, will have to rely on handouts of food just to live.

I will say it again: Great Britain … my a**e.

©David Nicholas Wilkinson.

[*sixth according to the World Population Review 2022 and 24th on the basis of GDP per capita. Ed]