Saps frozen

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Last updated on March 6th, 2018 at 12:29 am

Leading arts figures (of whom nobody has ever heard) are angry that the British government is no longer handing them sufficient cash taken from lowly taxpayers:

Leading arts figures reacted with fury yesterday after the government announced a �30m cut in funding in real terms – the first such setback to the arts since the Labour victory in 1997.

John Tusa, managing director of the Barbican, described the decision as a “slap in the face” and a return to “the bad old days”. He said that those involved in the arts had been “namby-pamby” in their dealings with the government, and advised them to get “rough”.

English arts weenies getting �rough�. This I would pay to see. Oh, the slapping!

The Department of Culture, Media and Sport announced that its allocation of funding to Arts Council England would be frozen at its 2005 level of �413m until 2008. Taking into account Treasury inflation estimates, the grant will be worth �10m less in the financial year 2006-07 and �20m less in 2007-08, meaning a total shortfall of �30m in real terms.

They get �413,000,000—four-hundred and thirteen million pounds—every year. And they�re complaining.

The composer Michael Berkeley called for Tessa Jowell, the culture secretary, to “consider her position”.

Consider yours, tax bandit.

The reason Sir Simon Rattle had abandoned Britain for Berlin, he said, was that the conductor could not “face fighting the system year in, year out and talking about money rather than music”.

He added: “This country produces great performers and creators, and these cuts abuse their gifts. What are we – and history – to make of a socialism that freezes the creative sap of an entire generation?”

Frozen saps. That�s your British arts scene summed up in ten letters.

Posted by Tim B. on 12/16/2004 at 05:30 AM
    1. The horror….the horror…

      Posted by Scaramonga on 12/16 at 06:09 AM • permalink


    1. Shakespear must be spinning in his grave.

      Posted by The_Real_JeffS on 12/16 at 06:19 AM • permalink


    1. “The Department of Culture, Media and Sport”?

      You’re kidding, right?

      Posted by Brian Tiemann on 12/16 at 06:31 AM • permalink


    1. Sounds awfully like the “Yes Prime Minister’ episode where Hacker shuts up the whining arts lobby by threatening to sell National Theatre Company building, and make the National Theatre Company a truly “national” institution. “What, only two breadsticks”? Hehehe.

      Posted by Boss Hog on 12/16 at 07:25 AM • permalink


    1. Perhaps the public got tired of what was being produced in the name of art. For example, there was an art exhibit in the UK that had, as one of the exhibits, a room with a ceiling light .. a lone ceiling light with nothing else in the room. I’m no art connoisseur but passing a ceiling light, in an empty room, off as art strikes me as a BIG ripoff if my taxes are paying for it. (I saw the picture in an article in the UK’s Telegraph. Didn’t save the URL.)

      If artists are really dedicated they can get a job to pay the bills and create their art on their off hours. I know people who do this. I’m not anti-art, but I hate to pay for it via my taxes. I imagine people in the UK are tired of paying for what passes as art these days as well.

      Posted by CJosephson on 12/16 at 07:30 AM • permalink


    1. What are we – and history – to make of a socialism that freezes the creative sap of an entire generation?”

      Yes, because we all know how awesome art produced in socialist countries normally is…

      Posted by PW on 12/16 at 07:44 AM • permalink


    1. Ah, it’s the same argument the Democrats use in the US.  If an entitlement is not raised by the expected percentage, it’s a cut, even if no dollars (or pounds) are actually cut.

      Posted by Kevin on 12/16 at 07:55 AM • permalink


    1. The British government needs to shop around for it’s art. I’ll do something for them for around $15.98 US.

      Posted by Wallace-Midland Texas on 12/16 at 07:57 AM • permalink


    1. “..advised them to get ‘rough’.” Handbags at dawn.

      But I don’t blame the Leading Arts Figures. Bare light bulbs hanging over mattresses and the 1,789,638th production of one of WS’s histories set in 30s Europe don’t just make themselves, people.

      Posted by ak on 12/16 at 08:25 AM • permalink


    1. The arts organisations can only look to themselves for blame.  For years, charlatans like Tracy Emin have been getting government and other public funding to display their ‘art’ in the Tate and other galleries.  The arts farts don’t seem to realise that there is not a bottomless pit, and that if complete shite is subsidised then something else is going to lose out.  Making Shakespeare tickets affordable is one thing, giving money to a bunch of witless dicks to indulge their desire to ‘shock’ is another.

      Posted by Craig on 12/16 at 10:03 AM • permalink


    1. ‘ “The Department of Culture, Media and Sport”?

      You’re kidding, right?  ‘

      Oh it’s even scarier than that, when Tessa Jowell was appointed to the post she said that she wanted to be thought of as ‘The Minister for Free Time”. Definately no totalitarian insticts in the Labour party then.

      Posted by Ross on 12/16 at 10:47 AM • permalink


    1. With these funding cuts, how will British artists get their cows cut in half?

      Posted by BruceW on 12/16 at 10:59 AM • permalink


    1. English arts weenies getting �rough�. This I would pay to see. Oh, the slapping!

      Now that’s going too far. As one who studied BA at Uni, majored in Music and English and is now angling for a career in the arts, I have to say that slapping is so passe.

      Nowadays, our preferred method of roughing people up is the Curled Upper Lip, the Superlative Sniff, and the Poked Tongue. Once I Curled my Upper Lip and Sniffed at a prominent member of the Australian arts community, and you should have seen him! I had him in tears, TEARS, I tell you!

      Posted by TimT on 12/16 at 11:02 AM • permalink


    1. If it is any consolation the light in the bare room was not funded by the public, it won the Turner Prize, one of the richest and hitherto one of the most prestigious art prizes in the world.

      Posted by Rafe on 12/16 at 12:15 PM • permalink


    1. Sir Nigel Pacifier expanded on Rattle’s remarks, saying ‘It’s degrading, having to talk about money all the time. It should just turn up in our accounts in the dead of night without a word to anyone.’ Sir Reginald Pram agreed, adding, ‘talking about the money takes up valuable time we could be using to spend it.’

      Posted by Paul Zrimsek on 12/16 at 01:10 PM • permalink


    1. “Oh, the slapping!”

      G-d it hurts to spew Pepsi through your nose.

      Posted by Tink on 12/16 at 01:30 PM • permalink


    1. For 413 million quid a year the government could run a premier league soccer team. Oh no we couldn’t do that, the poor people might actually appreciate what their tax pounds were spent on.

      Posted by Pauly on 12/16 at 02:20 PM • permalink



      So after these guys go out from the studio and into the streets, do you think anyone will notice? Or if people do notice, do you think the big question will be why are they being forced to pay 413,000,000 pounds for crap nobody wants to see?

      I don’t know, maybe I’m a dreamer.

      Posted by Vasco on 12/16 at 02:29 PM • permalink


    1. The Government giveth, the Government taketh away.  Blessed be the name of the Government.

      Hey lefty artists, it’s the socialist bed you helped make, how do you like lying in it?

      Heaven forbid that you should persuade-persuade mind you-some wealthy art connoisseur to fork over enough money so you can create something.  That would be SO undignified, wouldn’t it? Much more appropriate to take by force from the middle class and workers the wages they earn.

      Posted by Michael Lonie on 12/16 at 02:49 PM • permalink


    1. Hey! I remember this. It was a skit on Monty Python’s Flying Circus, right!
      John Cleese was the director of the Department of Culture, Media, and Sport and was marching around…, wait…it was the Ministry of Silly Walks.
      Sorry. On with it then…..

      Posted by rinardman on 12/16 at 02:51 PM • permalink


    1. rinardman � You beat me to it.  Wasn’t Sir Simon Rattle a Chapman character?  Or was that Eric Idle?

      Posted by richard mcenroe on 12/16 at 03:43 PM • permalink


    1. I don’t remember, richard.
      But, I’ve got all 45 episodes on DVD. Let me watch them again and I’ll get back to you.

      Posted by rinardman on 12/16 at 04:06 PM • permalink


    1. No, there is a real Sir Simon Rattle:

      Posted by J.M. Heinrichs on 12/16 at 04:16 PM • permalink


    1. Degrading talking about money, whish I could get a hand out for doing zip.

      Posted by raider580 on 12/16 at 04:50 PM • permalink


    1. Rinardman � I’m holding out for Dirty Vucar Sketch � The Movie

      Posted by richard mcenroe on 12/16 at 05:46 PM • permalink


    1. PW: “Yes, because we all know how awesome art produced in socialist countries normally is…”

      Quite so – and a heck of a lot nicer is was than that pretentious crap that the appalling head case Tracey Emin turns out. Give me the awesome Commies over Trace any day.  Tracey’s next piece is entitled “My Three Month Old Used Surfboads After a Particularly Heavy Period”. This is even better than her unmade spewed-on peed-on bed exhibit, which won a major UK art prize.

      Posted by walterplinge on 12/16 at 09:36 PM • permalink


    1. One of the best critics of the debilitating trends in moden art is Jacques Barzun. Especially in his book “The Use and Abuse of Art”

      Posted by Rafe on 12/16 at 09:54 PM • permalink


    1. Please consider-An art grant for a “feminist artist” to send threatening notes(I think it was notes, and Barbie dolls with their scalps removed to several women through the post and with no explanation. The above followed up with a questionnaire to enqiure how the receiver “felt” about it. Only a complaint to police by a very frightened mother of a young child brought this art project to a premature end. The “artist” was not a silly young thing but mature – aged and claimed that she had permission from the Uni (Curtin) to do this- and a grant.

      Posted by crash on 12/17 at 12:24 AM • permalink


    1. Didn’t Monty Python have some skit about some artistic dance that was a commentary on what was pasing for art. I thought I remembered two guys dancing face to face and one was slapping the other in the cheeks with small fish. Is that right? Somehow – when the artists start slapping made me think of that.

      Posted by JEM on 12/17 at 06:35 AM • permalink


    1. Sir Nigel Pacifier!  It fits.Think about it.

      Posted by yojimbo on 12/17 at 08:35 AM • permalink


    1. I’m deeply concerned (where’s my grant?)

      Dont youse know that<I> arts hard??

      Posted by rog on 12/17 at 09:44 PM • permalink


    1. Shakespear must be spinning in his grave.

      Dont know about Shakespeare but I am reliabley informed that Beethoven is decomposing in his.

      Posted by rog on 12/17 at 09:46 PM • permalink


    1. I could be mistaken, but did someone say that they’re giving out cash for Art?

      Posted by ArtVandelay on 12/17 at 10:26 PM • permalink


    1. Mr. Vandelay,

      I’m not personally giving cash for art, but I’m willing to sell Art for cash.

      Are there any takers?

      Posted by TimT on 12/18 at 09:59 AM • permalink


  1. Bids from rich widows will be looked upon favourably…

    Posted by ArtVandelay on 12/18 at 05:33 PM • permalink