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By Pete Moore On July 6th, 2020

Britain’s beleaguered arts and heritage sectors have been promised £1.57bn of help in a long-awaited rescue package described by the government as the biggest one-off investment in UK culture.

After weeks of desperate warnings that the UK was facing an irreversible cultural catastrophe without targeted support, ministers announced a package that it said would protect the future of the country’s museums, galleries, theatres and music venues.

“The arts” have always been, definitionally, those which people haven’t been willing to pay much for. Hence “the arts” has always been little more than a club of well spoken welfare crack addicts. And here they are yet again, holding out their soft hands while demanding that the philistine working classes bail them out.

Which the stupid Conservatives have done, because they are bailing out their cultural enemies.

It’s one thing to provide support to businesses & industries through a lockdown. It’s another to do it indefinitely just because consumers don’t want to use them or they are uneconomic for the whole time the virus is around.


  1. //“The arts” have always been, definitionally, those which people haven’t been willing to pay much for.//

    Stuff and nonsense. St. Peter’s Basilica cost over 150 million grams of gold and thus the equivalent of 50 bn Quid.

    //It’s another to do it indefinitely just because consumers don’t want to use them or they are uneconomic //

    “And Guidobaldo, when he made
    That grammar school of courtesies
    Where wit and beauty learned their trade
    Upon Urbino’s windy hill,
    Had sent no runners to and fro
    That he might learn the shepherds’ will.”

  2. Bottom feeding brutes always complain about money to the Arts
    they are secretly envious of the pretty middle and upper fish who swim with grace and beauty
    shame! but that’s the way they like it .. the flesh and the spirit are always in enmity .

  3. Look on the bright side Pete. Bailing out the arts is going to cost a hell of a lot less than bailing out the banks. And the banks still haven’t paid us back.

  4. The nineteenth century carried to extravagant lengths the criterion of what one can call for short “the financial results,” as a test of the advisability of any course of action sponsored by private or by collective action. The whole conduct of life was made into a sort of parody of an accountant’s nightmare.

    Instead of using their vastly increased material and technical resources to build a wonder city, the men of the nineteenth century built slums; and they thought it right and advisable to build slums because slums, on the test of private enterprise, “paid,” whereas the wonder city would, they thought, have been an act of foolish extravagance, which would, in the imbecile idiom of the financial fashion, have “mortgaged the future”–though how the construction to-day of great and glorious works can impoverish the future, no man can see until his mind is beset by false analogies from an irrelevant accountancy.

  5. Petr

    It might be helpful to say where the quote is from.

  6. Colm — I’m enigmatic (and sloppy!).

    John Maynard Keynes.

  7. Thank Petr. I know I could have googled the quote, so that makes me lazy 🙂

  8. This is not going to some lefty art installations gofundme it is going (I hope) to the likes of places like the Albert Hall which are on the brink. What should happen to it instead? Should it be let go the wall so it can be turned into a McDonalds or a Wetherspoons? This industry is perfectly economic in normal times.

    Related, I see the Ayn Rand institute has received a PPP loan of between $350K and $1 million. It would take a heart of stone not to laugh. https://twitter.com/stephaniekelton/status/1280250536357441540?s=21

  9. When most individuals or institutions attack “nanny State” or “Big Government” they really just mean “Can i have some of the pie too ?” or “Can you promote the things I want promoting ?”