Analysis: ‘Creative Scotland have been fighting a losing battle’
IT is difficult to recall a time when artists have not been waging war against funding bodies, bureaucrats and politicians in post-devolution Scotland.
The Scotsman’s archives are littered with disputes and dust-ups from long before Creative Scotland came into being.
It is nine years since then First Minister Jack McConnell made a St Andrew’s Day speech pledging to put arts and culture at the centre of his adminisration’s policies. Yet rather than trigger a revolution it led to years of cultural navel-gazing, letter-writing protests, a procession of culture ministers and expensive blueprints.
It is incredible that Creative Scotland, first proposed in 2005, took another five years to get going. With a new culture minister, Fiona Hyslop, and high-flying chief executive, Andrew Dixon, seemingly working well all appeared rosy in the artistic garden. Right now it is difficult to imagine both of them surviving the current crisis.
Ever since details emerged of funding cuts to nearly 50 groups, while a Creative Scotland delegation was at the Cannes Film Festival, they appear to have been fighting a losing battle. Although Mr Dixon is the main one in the firing line, Ms Hyslop is being slowly dragged into the abyss, hamstrung by the infamous “arms-length” principle.
Former culture minister Patricia Ferguson was right to identify the artists’ letter as “a vote of no confidence”. She endured enough crises to know when she sees one.
Search for a job
Search for a car
Search for a house
Weather for Edinburgh
Wednesday 22 May 2013
Temperature: 3 C to 15 C
Wind Speed: 22 mph
Wind direction: West
Temperature: 5 C to 10 C
Wind Speed: 24 mph
Wind direction: North