An August 8th candidates forum at the London Fringe Festival saw almost all attending incumbents and hopefuls exhibiting a reflex assenting response to the Creative Cities stimulus-prod of the event's artistic community sponsors and committing themselves to the facile proposition that the taxpayers should do more to fund arts and culture in London whether they use them or not — in the course of a campaign, meaning that they are in effect committing themselves to a commitment to commit themselves, etc., to platitudinous politics and the endorsement of another special interest lobby group to co-junket with bureaucrats and politicians at city hall and exchange political support for funds. It's culture! Nothing sordid or self-serving here!
I shudder… not because I know what she is talking about but because it sounds expensive. Of course, people generally do not put all their resources into "bricks and mortar and roads and basic services" — the basket of services, commodities and luxuries to which they subscribe is otherwise known as the market. Let arts and culture "reach out across the community" without the politically-motivated mediation of a handful of politicians and bureaucrats — reciprocal interest will be met with proportionate support. Whatever "it" is, if government is not going to do "it" alone, it's going to do it with the same taxes that directly subtract from the individual citizen's opportunity to fund the arts and culture that add to his own enjoyment of civic life. As high-minded [sic] as DeCicco's ambitions for Londoners sound, her political ambition to acculturate Londoners is a costly mono-politico-lithic centralization of arts and culture to an elitist bureaucratized vision.
"We can't be a city where bricks and mortar and roads and basic services are all we put our resources into," Mayor Anne Marie DeCicco-Best said. "When it comes to arts and culture, we need to reach out across the community — individuals, groups and organizations in partnership. Government alone is not going to do it."
As Arthur Majoor, candidate for mayor in the upcoming November election, puts it:
See also his response to a questionnaire from a selectively "interested voter" on the subject of the arts in London:
While her Worship the Mayor was quick to differentiate between a “Bricks and Mortar” campaign and what she characterized as “Quality of Life”, she failed to address two important points. Bricks and Mortar are indeed the job of civic government, but quality of life is something which you, the reader and voter, achieve by your own efforts.
2. [W]ill you create a cultural staff position at City Hall?