Tony Hall

The chief executive of the Royal Opera House writes….well, don\’t bother to read it, I\’ll give you a precis.

We\’re special, the arts, so we deserve more tax money.

That\’s pretty much it. No mention of the way in which the entire State arts budget is simply a subsidy from the non-metropolitan poor to the metropolitan upper middle classes, providing large amounts of indoor work with no heavy lifting to anyone who can package a grant proposal together.

My solution? Abolish the Arts Council altogether and have no public subsidy at all. If you want to watch a fat bird sing or a thin bird dance then come up with dosh yourself.

12 comments on “Tony Hall

  1. anyone remember the old Alas Smith And Jones sketch called “After Closing Time”, a parody of “After Dark”.

    For some reason I remember Chris Langham being in it and saying
    “Well, of course, opera’s terribly elitist. Tickets really ought to cost two hundred pounds each”
    “They do”
    “Really? That’s terrible, they should be subsidised”

  2. I chanced upon the episode of “Yes, Prime Minister” the other evening when Jim Hacker, under pressure to increase the Arts Council subsidy, successfully turns the tables by threatening to sell the National Theatre, saving millions in maintenance each year which can then be spent on plays.

    Wonderful comedy with a satisfying edge.

  3. The use of the figure of how much money the creative industries bring in is entirely unrelated to arts subsidies.

    Our creative industries that make money are advertising, video games (2nd or 3rd largeest producer in the world) and popular music. You don’t need subsidies to get the next Amy Winehouse.

  4. Well the non-metropolitan poor end up subsidising a hell of a lot of things they may not want, from absurd authoritarian database systems to contributing £70 billion to the American nuclear deterrent by way of upgrading Trident. I guess they could vote for a party that didn’t want to do any of those things, or expend public money on the arts. Evidently they don’t care as much about it as you do Tim.

  5. If you want to watch opera, you should pay the full price. Other kinds of musicals aren’t subsidised – why should opera be any different?

  6. Tell them: “You’re not in ‘The Arts’, dahling – you’re in Show Business!
    With emphasis on business.”

  7. Then again, the road system and the postal system, not to mention the entire farming subsidy infrastructure, are transfers from metropolitans to non-metropolitans.

  8. “contributing £70 billion to the American nuclear deterrent by way of upgrading Trident”

    Yes, but (apart from the absurd exaggeration of the cost), at least we are getting some nukes for our money. With the arts council, all we get is LGBT versions of what Shakespeare would have written had he been a pretentious Guardian-reading twat.

  9. Yes, but (apart from the absurd exaggeration of the cost)

    Yes, of course. And I suppose you think that ID Cards can be implemented for a mere £5 billion? If it is a project implemented by government it will cost more than any of liars in Parliament say it will cost. It is not like they have any incentive to tell the fucking truth, is there?

    at least we are getting some nukes for our money. With the arts council, all we get is LGBT versions of what Shakespeare would have written had he been a pretentious Guardian-reading twat

    No one ever asked me if I wanted a nuke for my money. Since it’s mine, do you think I’d be allowed to see it once in a while?

  10. Indeed. We’d be far better off with no nukes and some pretentious plays (given that, when you analyse the scenarios, there are absolutely no circumstances when it would be in the UK’s interest to use nuclear weapons: either we’ll be covered by the US deterrent, or we won’t be able to use them anyway).

Leave a Reply

Name and email are required. Your email address will not be published.