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 Post subject: New UK Minister of Culture
PostPosted: Thu Jun 28, 2007 6:25 am 
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Joined: Wed Jun 06, 2001 11:01 pm
Posts: 1742
Location: London UK
Yesterday's change of government (sort of) has resulted in a Cabinet shake-up including a brand new Minister of Culture, one James Purnell MP who succeeds the less-than-impressive Tessa Jowell.

I know nothing about the youthful Mr Purnell at all, though it claims in his biography (below) that he likes music and theatre without specifying what kind, though he doesn't look from his picture like the sort of bloke that listens to heavy metal.

No mention of an interest in dance I'm afraid, but I suppose that really would be expecting too much.

http://jp.webbdesignstudio.net/biography.asp


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 28, 2007 10:53 am 
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Joined: Wed Apr 11, 2001 11:01 pm
Posts: 6883
Location: El Granada, CA, USA
Keep us up to date on how the shake up shakes out. We don't always get good coverage of British politics over here in the colonies.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 29, 2007 4:02 am 
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Location: London UK
Arts and politics are very intertwined in the UK as the subsidies received by a number of arts organizations are paid for by the British taxpayer.

Mr Purnell is a crafty operator it seems as Ms Jowell hasn't been booted out after all but has been given the responsibility of the 2012 Olympics, the most poisonous of chalices imaginable. The Olympics are hugely unpopular amongst the majority of Londoners as we are forced to pay for them through our Council Taxes (for non-Brits the Council Tax is a much hated form of local taxation that doesn't take into account a person's ability to pay).

The costs of the Olympics are already spiralling out of control and a raid is being made on National Lottery funds meaning a potentially smaller amount of lottery money will be available for the arts.

This BBC report gives a good account of the current situation:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/6252418.stm


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 29, 2007 10:41 am 
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Joined: Wed Apr 11, 2001 11:01 pm
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Location: El Granada, CA, USA
Hmmm, seems like a shrewd politician.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 29, 2007 6:28 pm 
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Joined: Mon Nov 27, 2000 12:01 am
Posts: 3394
Location: Canada
Greetings

One should clarify that this refers to arts in England and Wales. The Scottish arts budget is separate - and a whole different mess - as arts is a devolved matter - we may get a bit of funding from down south, but the vast majority comes from our own tax money.

Council tax is an evil necessity. People constantly complain about high rates, but then complain that they aren't getting decent services from the council. Good services don't come cheaply. At least here in Scotland, council taxes are basically the equivalent of property tax in the US, as it's based on the value of your house/flat, but like in the U.S., the whole system of valuation if a big mystery. Also in Scotland, full time students and job-seekers (i.e. people who have filed for unemployment) are exempt from council tax.

Kate


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