Word has just reached me that the Dutch Parliament has approved a government proposal to cut 60 percent from the subsidy received by the excellent Reisopera touring company.
This decision is not just bad for arts. It is bad government.
Why cut 60 percent? If the rightwing coalition wants to get rid of the company, it should abolish the subsidy altogether. If not, it should make the reduction manageable.
A 60 percent cut is chicken government – a bunch of politicians who are too scrawny and scared to take responsibility for the consequences of their decisions. Reisopera will probably have to shut down as a result of the deep cut. The politicians will then say ‘our hands did not shed this blood.’
Well, they did – and with a cowardice akin to Brutus and his friends. It is a shameful decision, a stain on Dutch democracy.