The ruling Labour government here in the UK has responded to the ongoing apathy toward the arts in much the same way it responds to most things, they have released a 'pamphlet' (stop giggling at the back)
Actually the pamphlet was released by Demos, a progressive think tank often in step with the government, and speaking at the launch was non other than David Lammy, culture minister and harvester of souls!
John Holden, the author and a man whom no-one as ever heard of and with good reason, states without cause for doubt or reflection that;
"the sector [meaning the arts] had become too focused on fulfilling the objectives of funding bodies at the expense of satisfying audiences and it was crucial that it moved away from a mentality of ticking boxes."
Congratulation Mr. Holden, you have managed to release a document proclaiming what the entire industry has know for about 15 years but thanks for finally catching up with masses.
Lammy then gave a speech where he proclaimed that;
"The BBC and the NHS are both more than the sum of their individual components. They are the embodiment of an enduring set of democratic values. We value them not just for what they do, but also what they stand for, for how they engage us and for how they respond to us.
[Democracy] is the product of people being exposed to the arguments and their informed views taken into account. Yet far too often those bodies that represent the [cultural] sector have failed to take this to heart. And that is why we have so often failed to achieve the settlement we deserve.”
If you scrape away the drivel he is apparently saying that the arts needs to run itself more like the BBC and the NHS (National Health Service).
Heady thinking indeed. It's just a shame that the BBC couldn't push out a decent TV show if the license fee depended on it, which it does but they keep getting it anyway and the NHS is a multi billion pound boondoggle. If the hospital doesn't kill you with germs then the doctors who fall asleep whilst treating you will after they've been at work for 85 hours straight (if they ever get around to letting you see a doctor in the first place).
Personally we think, here in the Lab, that the arts should be run like communist era Russia. The big wigs at the top doing their thing, drinking vodka and wondering why the populace don't like eating potatoes all the time, oblivious to the growing rebellion brewing amongst the masses until it's too late. Next thing you know is they're all fleeing the palace with a pair of candlesticks in their overcoat whilst trying to avoid having their head chopped off by a grumpy looking bloke called Ivan!
Now that would be progress.