Sunday, October 3, 2010

UK artists oppose government cuts - surprise!

Across the pond, several high-profile British artists, including Damien Hurst, Steve McQueen, Anish Kapoor, and others I don't know much about but I assume are respectable people, have signed an open letter to Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt opposing the proposed cuts to the British government's revenue stream to the arts community.

This is actually just one of a long line of groups that are actively coming out against the Conservative-Lib Dem cuts scheme over the past couple of months, with police, unions, general people and leaked documents all swirling together to oppose what are really not too bad a series of spending restrictions.

In general it seems that most Britons support the cuts, though there is significant opposition. The problem is whether or not the Conservative-Lib Dem coalition can hold together, given that some Lib Dems are grumbling about the size and scope of the cuts, largely directed by Conservative ministers. Most likely this will lead to some big divisions in the Lib Dem caucus, if they haven't already, threatening the Coalition's stability itself. With some gentle prodding by Ed Milliband and Labour, not to mention the very vocal Scottish and Welsh Nationalists, the UK could see an election sooner, rather than later.

Over in this country, the same issue is sure to spring up, and would certainly lead to the Harper government losing the confidence of the House, especially if Jim Flaherty's recent rants are any indication. The Liberals, along with the Bloc and the NDP, are most likely not going to be too pleased with any first draft of spending cuts proposed by the so-very-austere Finance Minister. And given this government's non-existent ability to compromise for the betterment of Canadian political culture and governance, we'll see some sparks fly, and probably a showdown.

All in all, what happens in jolly old England is most likely the next step for us here.

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