By Stephen Pollard
May 31, 2007
I have a Notebook in The Times today, which you can read here. I've written about two topics: Arts Council England's refusal to give £174,000 towards subsidising some concerts celebrating the 150th anniversary of Elgar's birth; and speeding police:
[A]rts subsidy is not about making possible performances that the public want to hear. It is, in reality, a conspiracy to take money from us through our taxes and to spend it on the tastes of a tiny clique.
And Elgar, with his mass popularity and his unforgivable sin of patriotism, is anathema to the cultural commissars who run the arts subsidy racket.
So while £174,000 for Elgar is a no-no, “commissioning 50 new, specially made ring tones, for all the telephones on the Arts Council system, [which] celebrates the relocation of the south west regional office to Southernhay in Exeter” is a yes-yes.
Motoring organisations are in a huff that only 354 of the 90,000 policemen and women caught on camera speeding or jumping red lights have been punished. Only 0.5 per cent of police have been fined or given points, compared with 84 per cent of the rest of us.
...Paul Smith of Safespeed argues that: “It’s one rule for them and another for the rest of us.”
Hello? Of course it’s a different rule for them. They are the police. Can you imagine the outcry if they trundled along at 30mph rather than chasing after criminals? Isn’t the real complaint that they don’t get to crime scenes quickly enough?