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Ed Miliband attempts to build bridges with the arts world, but where will the money come from?

23 February 2015

5:36 PM

23 February 2015

5:36 PM

After Labour confirmed that they would not reverse Tory art cuts, the luvvies turned on Ed. During a spending plans onslaught from the Tories earlier in the year, the party spin machine proudly boasted:

Leading to a thorough pasting from all sorts of media darlings:

Shadow arts minister Chris Bryant added further misery to Labour’s cultural woes after being resoundingly slapped down by James Blunt. Now Miliband is trying to patch up the damage. In a speech at the Battersea Arts Centre tonight, the Labour leader will claim:

‘I come here with an offer: to put policy for arts and culture and creativity at the heart of the next Labour government’s mission. Arts is an area where Britain still leads the world.’

Picking up Bryant’s theme that the arts world is too elitist, Miliband has softened the language, but picks up the torch:

‘I am committed to opening up access to the arts and culture because it can’t be right that all of these advantages are the privilege of a few, rather than the right of the many.

That is why the next Labour government’s mission is to guarantee every young person, from whatever background, access to the arts and culture: a universal entitlement to a creative education for every child.’

It is not immediately clear how Miliband is planning to pay for this expensive sounding promise without reversing the arts cut his spin team so proudly claim they will continue to slash. There is only vague talk of ‘guaranteeing that our national galleries and museums will continue to have free admission’ and ‘encouraging after-school clubs’. Has he cleared this with the teaching unions, who will inevitably want to be paid overtime?

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