There was an interesting interview with the Conservatives shadow Arts minister on Radio 4 the other day. He was trying to assure the listeners of Radio 4’s arts program Front Row, that everything would be ok under the Conservatives (as if he’d say anything else!).
I can’t say he came across very convincing. They would certainly cut back funding and I wasn’t at all persuaded by his commitment to “arms length funding”, the last thing we want is a return to Thatcherite censorship of the arts, but I fear we may be heading down that road again should the conservatives get in.
On a positive note, at least they are addressing the issue of arts funding, I never tend to believe what politicians say before and election, so we’ll have to see what their plans really are, but I fear a swathe of cuts will occur. The arts are crucial to society and in the UK one of the few things we are still exporting and have a good reputation for worldwide.
As the other parties release their manifestos, it’ll be interesting to see their commitment to the Arts.