Stupidest comment so far on Arts Council cuts

Stupidest comment so far on Arts Council cuts


norman lebrecht

March 30, 2011

Not all of my analysis during this hectic day has been pinpoint accurate, and I have had to adjust some of the earlier posts according to information that has rushed in later. Such are the risk one takes when reporting at the speed of light.

The overall picture, however, is as I described it: the ACE has performed a paper-pushing exercise in which bureaucratic convenience took precedence over artistic merit and need. Much of its work could have been done by a robot.
But what’s this from the BBC’s arts editor, Will Gompertz? Read it, blink, and then ask yourself what planet Will Gompertz inhabits:
It didn’t need to be like this. Arts Council Englandcould have chosen to apply a 15% cut across the board and thereby avoid the inevitable hullabaloo of those who have had all their funding taken away questioning the decision.

Will Gompertz

Gompz, who had previously written a puff piece on the ACE’s lacklustre chief executive Alan Davey, does not seem to understand that the ACE exists to make choices. If it made no choices, as he recommends, it would have no function whatsoever and his ‘heroic’ Davey no desk to sit behind.

Gompz has not lost the plot. He never got it in the first place.


  • What an absurd statement! Later in his ‘blog’, Gompz refers to arts managers sitting by their phones waiting to hear. This is rubbish – no one was sitting by the phone we were all sitting by our PCs as we were all notified by email.
    Secondly, he refers to Shared Experience being returned as an RFO in three years time. This seems highly unlikely seeing as there will be no RFOs. The new term is NPO (National Portfolio Organisations)!