On Tory arts policies

Monday 22nd February 2010

Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt
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With Pirate Dog gently growling at my feet, I read that Jeremy Hunt, the shadow culture secretary, has once again has embarked on a charm offensive. Sadly, if typically, everyone always starts discussions about his ideas by saying what a nice bloke he is. That’s the charm bit of the charm offensive. The offensive bit is actually his ideas: apparently, the main boost in funding that we can expect when the Tories win the next general election is in philanthropic giving to the arts! Great! What a laugh, eh, this Hunt really is such a comedian. In the worst recession since the second world war, he expects the rich and powerful to not only keep giving but to give more. Sounds very likely. But, wait a minute, here is the catch: “I am under no illusion that this is a 20-year project.” So that’s alright then. If anyone loses their job, or if any arts organisation closes down, it will be a great consolation that all you have to do is wait a mere 20 years — what a relief. I was beginning to think that the Tories were bad news for the arts!

© Aleks Sierz

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