Friday, 8 April 2011

So, why do they need it then?

The thing about public spending cuts is that everyone will agree that cuts need to be made, (unless you're Mark Serwotka, in which case you just demand that the Treasury go down to the garden centre and buy another magic money tree), but of course the cuts can't possibly come in the area which concerns you. It is economic nimbyism on an epic scale.

Hence this:

Sir Patrick Stewart leads actor protest over arts cuts.

Oh god, here we go. Now, I like Patrick Stewart, your favourite canis canis is a bit of a geeky Star Trek fan, and as soon as Patrick Stewart comes on TV and give me tips on how to be a cracking good actor, I'm all ears. When it comes to governance of the public purse, I'm not going to be quite so receptive to what he has to say.

Some of the UK's leading actors have gathered in London to protest against the recent round of Arts cuts.

Sir Patrick Stewart, Penelope Wilton and Samuel West are among the stars who have signed and delivered a petition to Downing Street calling for a "coherent" arts policy.

How's this for coherence? We don't even have the money to run an effective navy, so we certainly don't have money to spend on the arts. Is that clear enough?

Sir Patrick told the BBC he felt the cuts were "unnecessary".

Well, he would say that, wouldn't he?

The petition asks the government for an "arts summit" involving funding bodies and artists to give the industry a clear direction.

Bums on seats, darling. Bums on seats, that's what it is all about. This is why London's West End is the most profitable theatre district in the world. If people put shows on that other people want to see, the people go and the tills start ringing. If people put shows on that other people want don't to see, you may as well rip the set up and put in a really large scalextric track because the people will stay at home and the tills will sit there collecting cobwebs.

Some 695 groups will get funding for 2012 to 2015 - down from 849 - while 110 new groups have been successful.

Funding for what? If this is some sort of troupe of lesbian amputee trans-gender Peruvian alpaca herders doing a season of Brecht on stilts, in Swahili, then why are they getting money? Where is the benefit to society here?

Yes, I understand that the arts are an important part of our heritage, but times change, and we are not living in a museum. If people don't want to see it, you're wasting your time. Demanding public money is akin to shouting 'I don't care if you want to come and see our show or not, you're still going to be paying for a ticket'. Longbows are an important part of our heritage, but the MoD doesn't retain a regiment of archers for old time's sake. It just isn't feasible.

Samuel West is also in on this, but perhaps he should stick to the script rather doing improv;

West said the arts industry was the "second most profitable sector in Britain"

Then why does it need money? If you're making a profit. . .

Oh, hang on. You're not counting the profit against the money thrown at you, are you? I could be profitable at selling second hand condoms if the government agreed to cover my losses.

I'm no businessman, but even I understand that profit = sales in - (money out + debts repaid). What you're talking about is the sum left when you count sales in - money out, then + cash handed to you by the government.

I think the word you're looking for is largesse. 

Commander Data, lay in a course for facepalm.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Patrick is an lovey arsehole.

He should fuck off back to his beachfront property in Malibu with his trophy byoung bride, and do what any decent thespian does, drink himself to death.