Nitro is no longer a funded client of the Arts Council; this has many disadvantages, nearly all of them are to do with financial security. But there are also certain advantages; all of them are to do with freedom: artistic freedom, though I must admit I rarely ever felt restrained when receiving the Government dollar; strategic freedom certainly, we can now plan our own course away from any Arts Council overview or categorisation (I was surprised a few years ago to be told by an Arts Council Officer that we weren’t a theatre company, we were a black arts development organisation) and, most appropriately right now, we have the freedom to say what we like about any current Government Secretary of State for Culture and Rhyming Slang (within the boundaries of liable or slander) without the fear of having our funding cut (you can’t cut us by 100% twice). So, simply put:
JEREMY HUNT MUST RESIGN NOW.
It isn’t just his smugness as his policies decimate the arts world, nor is it that he is among the most disliked/hated Culture Secretaries there have ever been (can you come up with some rivals?) it isn’t even the fact that he’s a Tory (Sir Norman St John Stevas was a grand old Tory but a rather excellent Arts Minister; even David Mellor surprised a few of us leftie sceptics). No, it’s because the whiff of corruption around him is lingering like old cigar smoke in private gentlemen’s clubs, staining and odorising everything around him, with a stench that, no matter how hard you scrub, never really goes away. Making and sharing art is hard enough without having someone like him running the DCMS. It’s a bit like having Gengis Khan as your Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, Charles Manson as your Justice Secretary or Michael Gove in charge of Education….er, wait a minute…..
At the time of writing this The Secretary of State for Culture and Rhyming Slang is clinging on by his worms (worms and snails….nails, keep up) having sacrificed his own assistant and implicated his Permanent Secretary to save his Gregory. Has he been telling porkies? Will he get the Roberta? Only time will tell. Personally I think he’s a bit of a pheasant plucker and a total Casablanca.