this report of last night's launch of Artists of the Resistance:
'The cuts are ideological and we need to counter the view that the ‘deficit’ and the ‘debt’ are absolutes and ‘God-Givens’; that jobs, services and the quality of life are to be sacrificed for a problem created by the bankers and not by the people.
A fightback against cuts is an opportunity to reach out to the wider community and create a different and better society.
If the present cuts continue the arts will become more not less exclusive with access limited to those who have the money to pay. The closing of public libraries is the most obvious example. They are where literature, art and culture are available to everyone without charge. Some authorities are selling them off, others offering them to the ‘consumer’ on the principle of ‘if you want them buy them’.
The public are told that the cuts are as inevitable as rain and that their only choice is to prioritise services when we must fight to keep all services and refuse to take part in this ‘choice’. It’s not a matter of libraries or care for the elderly, but libraries and care for the elderly. Indeed more and better libraries and better care for the elderly!
The arts are integrated with the wider economy so that any cuts negatively affects that economy. This was well put by two animators who had learned their skills as a result of receiving the soon to be abolished Educational Maintenance Allowance (EMA). They now work in the animation industry (games and video production) which would now be starved of future talent.'