Friday, February 02, 2007

Oh For A Muse Of Conservatism

Fresh ideas for the arts

The Tories have just appointed John Tusa to lead their taskforce on the arts. Ex-BBC Tusa has been running the Barbican centre in London:

"The Conservative culture spokesman, Hugo Swire, said he did not know if Sir John was a Conservative: "I rather assumed he wasn't and that's part of what we want. I don't want it to be parochial and partisan, I want fresh ideas and I don't just want the old arguments rehearsed."

Now just a cotton-pickin' minute, there, Hugo. Some of us conservatives are rather attached to those old arguments.

Just why should taxpayers subsidise the arts? Yes, yes, we all know the fairy-tale about how opera civilises Jade Goody, and how conceptual artists reform criminals and boost the economy by hundreds of billions every single year... but come on. You've only got to attend one ippr seminar and listen to the yak boots and arts black to realise what laughable self-serving wibble all that is (see this blog and this for more detail).

Tusa will tell us how we should reshuffle our half billion arts bung towards his favourites rather than Tess's. But sfw?

What we need is a five year plan to eliminate direct state subsidies and make the arts stand on their own feet.

As free market Will said:

"O! for a Muse of conservatism, that would ascend The brightest heaven of invention; A kingdom for a stage, paying punters to bum the seats and corporate sponsorship to boonie the swelling purse."

Now that's what I call art.

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