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Friday, January 06, 2006

Politicising the arts

Having failed to abolish the Arts Council of Wales and merge it with the Welsh Assembly Government because of a small obstacle called a royal charter, the Government has effectively taken it over by stealth instead.

From this year they will be directly funding Wales’s six biggest arts companies, including the Welsh National Opera, and they have now forced out the current chair. Many view these actions as politicisation of the arts, they are not wrong.

Labour Arts Minister, Alun Pugh, may soon regret this move when he comes under political pressure to censor productions such as Jerry Springer: The Opera and is not able to let an arms-length body take all the heat.
1) Why should GTD be automatically reappointed?

2) Isn't the whole point that contentious political decisions should be taken by accountable politicians, not anonymous crachach?

3) Nice to see the Lib Dem censorship machine still firing on all cylinders in spite of recent turmoil ...
Nobody is arguing that the present chair should be automatocally reappointed. The point is that the criteria for reappointment have been designed to ensure that he does not get the job but that some Labour placeperson does instead.

I am not trying to censor anything, that seems to be the role of Alun Pugh in this scenario. Although I believe accountability is important it comes with a price and I was merely pointing out that price. In this case too it comes with a cost - the dumbing down of the Arts.
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