Sunday, May 21, 2006


The DCMS held a meeting of the Chairs of most of the Arts and Sports organisations in the UK last week - it was marginally more useful than most of these occasions, although its main purpose was to give us the opportunity of being spoken to by the Secretary of State, the Minister for the Arts and, highlight of the day, a "Treasury spokesman".
The morning began with Sebastian Coe, who was both eloquent and effective. But the billing wasn't accidental; it is clear that the Olympics are top of the DCMS agenda, and that there is a real danger that the 2012 Games will suck all the oxygen out of the system, to the detriment of the funding of the arts. We've been well treated during the last 10 years; it will be a waste of that investment if we have to suffer because of 2012.
I came away with a strong feeling that we were being softened up for some lean years, and that we in the arts need to start arguing the case collectively and individually with the Chancellor, or cx as the Treasury spokesman affectionately called him, now.


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