Monday, 22 November 2010


"On the 3rd of December 2010, Aberdeen City Council will meet to discuss proposals which will see music tuition in Aberdeen either privatised or terminated. Both options would be hugely damaging to music education in the city. Pupils who have Council instruments will be forced to return them and those wishing to carry on learning an instrument will have to pay for private tuition and the costs of purchasing their own instrument – an option not available to many. In addition the bands and orchestras run in schools and by the Council Music Centre will cease to exist."

And so it begins. The truly scary part is the philistines at Aberdeen City Council are not alone. They're not the first local authority to view the arts as a soft target nor will they be the last. Neither are the cuts to the arts restricted to tuition in schools (despite the fact that my guess is that while these cuts might save a ridiculously paltry amount of money in the short term, long term they'll cost - unemployed teachers, the widening gap in educational attainment between those from different economic backgrounds and all that comes along with it for starters), these come on top of the cuts to culture in general. Yup, let's ignore the fact the cultural industries are of enormous value to the economy and play a vital role in regenerating communities, while wholeheartedly rejecting the importance of culture in a civilised society.

I sketched my wee boy the other day as he drew a complex picture 'game' of pirates, complete with treasure map - totally lost in concentration as he added details of palm trees, sharks, treasure chests, erupting volcanoes and men overboard. His imagination is amazing and I'd like to think that's a positive talent his school would love to be able to recognise, nurture and encourage. But depressingly it appears we're now living in a society that not only doesn't value creativity and the arts, but in fact actively sabotages them and/or is intent on retaining culture only for the elite, so perhaps not. As someone fabulously said - the arts add colour to our lives. It really is that black and white and that's why these cuts are so totally, utterly tragic.

But enough with the enforced drabness, leave me a comment with your views, sign the petition or protest any other way you see fit.
And purely as an exercise in adding colour I'll be putting all posters' names in a hat and giving away a mounted Echo the Bat print come the festivities/revolution.


Primula Monkey said...

I wouldn’t make the economic argument myself cos playing bean counters at their own game tends not to work. And there’s always the jobsworth (or as they’d most likely claim pragmatic) local authority view of well what should we cut instead then, eh? Home helps? Except, the simple fact is we shouldn’t have to choose not least especially given the actual causes of the current situation; we deserve colour in our lives that derives from something other than platforms for selling mass-marketed dreck.

And you did add colour, admirably so.

Veronica said...

Why thank you.

And I wouldn't dream of it - I imagine figures can be made to say pretty much whatever it is you want them to say based on whatever nonsense it is we're supposed to believe at any given time (I could point you in the direction of a fabulous blog post giving a fabulous example of this, but I won't because it is just far, far too sweary). And nope, I wouldn't cut home helps either. What I would guess though is the offspring of the actual causes of the current situation are not being forced to lay down their violins come 3rd December.

Still, colour may be coming your way in bat form - your name is in the hat, and a chic and stylish hat it is too!

Primula Monkey said...

Chic maybe, but do you rock it I wonder?

Yup, am agreeing allova again - no as things stand the kids of the great and the good that caused this mess won't miss out on anything; daddy's (still) got a porsche cos he's a "wealth creator".

Please now consider me fully eligible for the fab competition you've set up.

Veronica said...

Update, 03/12/10: "Woolly hats off to all those who wrapped up, tuned up and turned out for Tuesday’s Peaceful Protest against proposed cuts to Aberdeen’s music service. A 200-strong throng of young musicians and supporters all played, sang and braved an encroaching ice age to defend the city’s music service – arguably the best of its kind in Scotland." yay, safe for now.