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...has written more leaders (newspaper editorials) than anyone alive or dead, an honour still to be recognised by the Guiness Book of Records or the Nobel judges. I have produced them for the Daily Mirror, Daily Mail, Sunday Mirror, Today, the Sunday People, the Evening Post (Hemel Hempstead), the Caithness Courier and the Student (Edinburgh). My creed is: Have opinions, Will travel.

Wednesday 30 March 2011

Tories take the flame thrower to the arts

In theory, the Tories should be the great defenders of the arts. It would be Labour which saw them as unnecessary fripperies while the Conservatives were the ones who enjoyed the theatre, concerts and art galleries. Their former leader Ted Heath, with his love of classical music, symbolised that.
But today's Tories are heathens. From Heath to heathens in one bound.
The funding cuts to 200 arts groups are cruel, stupid and short-sighted. They impoverish the country because the arts bring something which money alone can't buy.
They can't be done without money, though.  The days of poverty-stricken artists living in garrets and rich benefactors funding brilliant composers and painters are long gone.
State funding of the arts has allowed countless numbers of young people - and the not-so-young - to participate in theatre, particularly, and all sorts of other artisitic activities. It has also made them accessible to audiences who would otherwise have no option but to get their "creative input" from the television.
It won't make any difference to the Tories and their friends.  They can afford to carry on going to the Royal Opera House and other major venues which pull in wealthy audiences at high ticket prices.
It is the small arts organisations around the country that will suffer, wither and die.
Another assault in the Government's scorched earth approach to Britain's future.

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