I despair of the Cameron government, I absolutely give up on them as a creative force.
Its cultural policy is in the hands of a pearly pair known as Lazy Hunt-Vaizey who, eager to spend longer weekends in the country, simply dump unsolved problems work on existing organisations, efficient or otherwise, and tell them to get on with it.
The most dispiriting part of the National Music Plan, announced today, is the decision to make Arts Council England responsible for ‘music education hubs’ around the country. These are meant to ensure that every child between 5 and 18 has access to singing or instrumental lessons.
But why the Arts Council? It’s a funding body with no track record whatsoever in education. It does accountancy, not calculus, and with a vision that ran out before Margaret Thatcher became PM.
However, its Whitehall-trained chief executive Alan Davey is very good at saying Yes Minister. He strikes Lazy Hunt-Vaizey as as safe pair of hands and, since he’s keen to save jobs among his own officials, the fix works nicely for both sides.
Lazy Hunt-Vaizey swans off to the shires and Dozy A Davey can claim a bonus that will take his pay above £200,000 next year.