Saturday, 11 July 2009

Question to Mike Russell

Question to Mike Russell MSP, Minister for Culture, External Affairs and the Constitution:
  • Creative Scotland is a confusing and self-contradictory set of proposals which smack of Orwellian newspeak.
  • So we want to ask you about your language, and the real meaning of your cultural policy.
  • We’re told government takes UNESCO legal instruments seriously, yet you also say Creative Scotland is to be “an entrepreneurial organisation” – ignoring the spirit of the UNESCO convention that culture should not be treated like commerce.
  • You say that you want dialogue, but that the time for talking is over.
  • You say that artists should be at the centre of Creative Scotland, but the bill overwhelmingly makes artists instruments of government policy – in the words of the bill, artists are to “support the government’s overarching purpose.”
  • You say you want Creative Scotland to support sustainable economic growth, but the organisation is being nursed into being by bankers and businessmen who have set back the cause of genuinely sustainable growth.
  • You say you care about producers, but you want to introduce loans to indebt us even more – a mechanism which has failed elsewhere.
  • You have even brought into play the old-fashioned and inadequate idea of “art for art’s sake” as a fudged safeguard against your own “overarching” policy.
  • Our key question is: what is to happen to individuals and organisations who do not want to support the corporate-friendly culture you are trying to engineer under the guise of Cultural Nationalism?

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