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Toby Young
Thursday 17th January 2013

Arts supremo Liz Forgan attacks "Tory cuts" to the arts at her lavish, £8,000, taxpayer-funded leaving do


You've got to hand it to Dame Liz Forgan. The outgoing Chair of the Arts Council – appointed by Gordon Brown – launched a blistering attack on the government on Tuesday for cutting spending on the arts while sipping champagne at a lavish farewell party at the British Museum funded by the taxpayer. "Don't cut the arts budget," she told guests, before lambasting Michael Gove for not including any arts subjects in the Ebacc. (Straw man: The Ebacc is only six GCSEs so school children can do GCSEs in Art, Music and Drama as well as the Ebacc subjects.)

It's not just Forgan who's been attacking the government for cutting spending on the arts. Last November, Danny Boyle used an awards ceremony to upbraid the Department for Culture, Media and Sport. (Remember, this is the man handed £27m by DCMS to devise a three-hour party political broadcast for the Labour Party the Olympics opening ceremony.) "For a modern economy that doesn’t make cars any more, we’ve got to understand where our growth comes from," he said. "Our success is in culture. Anything that gets in the way of that should be fought against." Actually, Danny, we do still make cars in this country – over a million a year at last count. But don't let the facts get in the way of a good story. (To read more, click here.)

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