Scottish uprising:
I said in my recent conference report that a mood for “art for art’s sake” was growing. A few days later the DCMS discussion paper on the subject was launched. I’ve also highlighted here the dismal nature of the recent Scottish cultural review. Now the Scottish arts establishment are up in arms because they see a clear link between the two issues, according to a report sent to me by a reader of a Scottish Sunday newspaper…

LEADING lights of the Scottish arts world last night launched an unprecedented attack on Jack McConnell’s cultural strategy, accusing the First Minister of allowing the nation’s creative spirit to “wither”.

Fifty-five of Scotland’s best-known musicians, authors and artists have signed an open letter to McConnell in which they argue that “a void” has opened up where an arts strategy should exist. The letter represents an unprecedented revolt against government arts policy.

The signatories are demanding McConnell and McAveety prove they are committed to excellence in the arts. Leading figures in the arts world complain that ministers are putting undue pressure on arts companies to spend more on education and “outreach” – going into schools and doing community work – leaving them with less time and money to devote to achieving excellence.

The group ask: “Are we really to expect that future generations are entitled only to the mediocre and that investment will only come if an agenda set by politicians is met?”