On February 10th the great and the good and ACE will gather somewhere in London, of course, to hold the 'State of the Arts' conference.

Now your immediate response to a question about the "state of the arts" would probably range from "FUBARED" to "FUBARED with knobs on" if you have any sense but we digress.

Naturally with this type of thing trouble makers like us are not invited, we might get something on the carpet, but TheImp has crafted a speech anyway. Read it aloud and raise your voice to thunderous levels as and when you feel it's appropriate!

My Lords, Ladies and Gentlemen, honoured guests, assembled artists, the slightly dated cheese on the buffet table, Arts Council England, small furry animals, the dust on the window sill over there and of course, Alistair Spalding..... welcome.

I only have a few minutes before I'm hauled off to an un-disclosed location in Eastern Europe for questioning so I shall be brief.

We gather at a time of great upheaval. The waters are rising, both metaphorical and real, and our cultural ship is sinking. It's so full of holes you might as well package it up and sell it in Sainsburys as a colander.

I might be crazy and a little bit drunk but I know this much! The situation is dire.

Our political leaders, as we have seen over these past months, have shown themselves to be nothing more than feckless thugs. Cultural vandals wreaking havoc across the land. A land that will, if they get their way, become bereft of progressive thinking, bereft of anything hopeful or virtuous, a land of nothing more than meaningless, pragmatic function, if that.

In times gone by we could look upon our political leaders and heap scorn upon them for their brazen corruption and their ineptitude. Of course, we can still do that. Let's face it, they're giving us plenty of material. These people can't think, they can't count and they can only act in their own idealogical self interest. We know this to be true. It is self-evident. [pause for golf clap as the smarter attendees realise the tenuous connection to the Declaration of Independence]

Today however we must look inward. We must look at those gathered in this room and the arts leaders across the country. For you are the ones, I am sad to say, that have abdicated your responsibility. [dramatic pause for golf clap]

You have abdicated your responsibility to your profession. You have abdicated your responsibility to your peers, to yourselves, to young artists and to all that you have achieved over so many years. Ladies and Gentleman, you have abdicated your responsibility to speak in the face of what is nothing less than tyranny.

The arts has taken a seat at the far end of the table and quietly said "Please sir! Please don't hurt us!"

Of course you did this after they had already hurt you. Not only did they run you over with a tractor, they stopped, turned around and came back for one more pass to finish the job.

And still, all you can say is "Please sir! Please don't hurt us!"

Arts Council England (stop laughing at the back), has managed, almost single handedly, to replicate the horrific metaphor that is the government/banking system. Millions of pounds to the few, massive salaries and huge bonuses for the unworthy, bail outs for the incompetent, bloated organisations that are too big to fail.

As tens of thousands of people look forward to slashed budgets and the complete destruction of cultural activity, ACE, with a pervasive mendacity that would make any politician proud, is furnishing those with plenty with even more golden trinkets, all in the name of "research".

ACE's fundamental lack of ability to understand that the lions share of arts investment needs to made at the individual, small and mid-scale levels, because that's where the real work gets done, is intellectually criminal.

"We're searching for a new way to fund the arts!" they cry as their moisturised, pampered collective little fist thumps on their designer desk. Crocodile tears from those with a monthly pay cheque I say.

And still, all you can say is "Please sir! Please don't hurt us!"

I say that you should hang your heads in shame.

Take a few moments to reflect, but only for a few moments because it's time to get of your damn knees and stop saying please!

But, I hear you cry, what can words do? What can we possibly say?

My response? You're adult human beings for crying out loud, try very hard to think of something.

Martin Luther King [pause for golf clap] changed an entire nation with nothing more than words and he had an honest to goodness battle to fight. A battle covered in the very real blood or some very real people. Fighting for the cultural future of a nation should be easy by comparison.

Words are only the beginning, so let's here what you have to say.

And if you have nothing to say? Then let us all fear for the future and for future generations. Should you choose to remain silent then I guarantee history will not be kind to you, if history even bothers to remember you at all.

'State of the Arts' takes place sometime next month and will be forgotten about five seconds after it's over, if not before.

In a statement ACE denied being completely useless, or at least they would if we asked them beause who would admit to such a thing?