Left wing arts luvvies have taken to HuffPost (where else?) to bemoan the British governments ‘cuts’ to arts funding, with former Star Trek actor Patrick Stewart declaring, “Some of us have to tighten our belts, some of us don’t need to.”
While the Arts Council England had its budget reduced by nearly 30 per cent in 2010, this only represented a drop of £100m in their government grant: from £449m to £349m to the year 2014. Other government departments have had to reduce their expenditure by £billions.
Nonetheless, Stewart and the slightly less eloquent Adrian Scarborough slammed the Conservative Party for asking the predominantly liberal arts in the United Kingdom to share the burden of the rest of the country.
Stewart, a long-standing Labour Party supporter, said: “Some of us have to tighten our belts, some of us don’t need to. And so this whole talk… I am glad to see our prime minister has shut it up now, the whole thing of One Nation was such codswallop. The Conservative Party has never believed in One Nation.”
This, despite the entire idea of One Nation politics coming from Conservative Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli, circa 1868.
He added: “The Labour Party are in complete disarray. How to return to a world where we can say, first and foremost, we believe in fairness because that has been absent from British politics for quite a long time.”
But Stewart and Scarborough don’t necessarily speak for the entire industry.
Earlier this year, critic Douglas McPherson wrote for the Telegraph in a piece entitled, “A critic’s plea: stop all arts funding now”.
He said: “Arts funding, on the other hand, creates a culture of long term state dependency where companies are more focused on securing healthy salaries through grants than on producing work the public might actually want to see… The public will pay for great art, but better we do so by choice at the box office than involuntarily through taxation. That way, artists have to produce art worth seeing.”