All change ahead at the top of British arts

All change ahead at the top of British arts


norman lebrecht

March 05, 2015

Whichever party holds power after the election, the mandarinate of Whitehall has decided that the Department of Culture, Media and Sport ought to be abolished. We happen to agree, although for different reasons.

The DCMS has been a disaster for the arts. Its abolition might bring a restoration of independent thought. Read here.




  • Tim Benjamin says:

    It’s interesting that as far as I know, the only party to have the abolition of DCMS as officially-stated policy is UKIP. Can we therefore invent a Slippedisc-esque headline and say that “Lebrecht comes out as UKIP supporter”? 🙂

  • Paul Kelly says:

    Norman, thank you for this. It is a succinct and useful history with some added spicy anecdote. Its polemic (and I use that word in a positive way) will be very useful for my students as a contrast to prevailing dogma.

    The allied piece of dogma is the thorny problem of ‘The Creative Industries’. This has been a convenience in bringing to Government attention the economic impact of arts and culture (at a time when Government obsesses with economic outcomes). But the term is also an unhelpful construct, comprising a cluster of sectors with entirely different functions, values and business models. Just so long as abolition does not lead to disintegration, this may be a chapter now worth closing.