Category Archives: Complaints

Oliver Dowden – lay down smoke and show a clean pair of heels

There was an article in the Guardian on the 12th June 2021,  “Oliver Dowden – The paymaster who is calling the tune in the culture wars”. The article highlighted what a wonderful smokescreen culture wars are for the inadequacy of the Secretary of State for Culture and the DCMS. They serve to reinforce the findings […]

Yorkshire Bitter

Yorkshire Bitter The other day I noticed an article in the Guardian, “Yorkshire Symphony Orchestra brought back to life after 66 years”.  The Yorkshire Symphony Orchestra has been revived seventy-four years after it was first formed.  The Yorkshire Symphony Orchestra has been revived to support musicians in northern England hit by the pandemic. A few idle thoughts […]

Objection to planned developments at Hastings Road and Manor Road in West Ealing

Ealing Council has adopted a policy where it would seem that the taller the development the better as if West Ealing is trying to become the New York of the “Great Wen”. Here are two documents the first is a guide to objecting to planning developments and the second is my objection to planned developments […]

A Response to Let’s Create the Arts Council England’s Strategy 2020-2030

The Arts Council has launched a new ten year strategy which they say is not dreamed up by a bunch of bureaucrats sitting in a room on their own – well tough as this is what it reads like out of touch and given the resources probably unachievable. Musicians, dancer, painters, poets, writer, singers have […]

Response to the 2019 General Election Review

I filled in a questionnaire on the review of the Labour Parties performance at the last general election. The questionnaire did not allow me to fully represent my views. I have therefore set my views and findings down in the attached document. I make no apologies for what is a frank and candid appraisal of […]

Ministers have come to the rescue. Artists must seize this chance – up to a point Lord Copper

The leader article, “Ministers have come to the rescue. Artists must seize this chance” in the Guardian on the 2nd June (https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/jul/06/the-guardian-view-on-15bn-for-the-arts-the-shows-will-go-on) sounds reasonable till you analyse the Arts Council’s 10 year strategy “Lets Create”. “Let’s Create” reads as if written by people remote from the practical issues  which the arts face every day and […]

Congratulations to Oliver Dowden on the £1.5 billion rescue package for the arts and culture

Congratulation to Oliver Dowden Secretary of State Culture, Media and Sport on listening and delivering a £1.5 billion rescue package for the arts. However there are caveats; where and how will the money be spent, who will deliver the money to beleaguered organisations and musicians? Will under-represented musics find a place in the sun?

Stress Testing

I recently appeared in a podcast with Nicoleta Porojanu a psychologist and therapist from London. It was an interesting interview where the topic of stress was discussed. Stress is explored and what is causing stress in our modern world and the terrible impact it has on our mental activity, emotional life and physical body. Music […]

Dowden does not want to let anyone down – cue laughter

There was an article in the Guardian on the 18th June 2020, “Act to save industry, leading lights of stage urge government” https://www.theguardian.com/stage/2020/jun/17/cultural-catastrophe-uk-theatre-faces-ruin-amid-coronavirus-crisis . Dowden was quoted as saying  “he does not want to let anyone down”. Well his insouciance to date has let a whole raft of jazz musicians and volunteer jazz promoters down and […]

After the war the arts came back stronger?

Charlotte Higgins in her article, “After the war the arts came back stronger” had a self-prophesying ring about it. (Please see https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/may/18/war-arts-stronger-covid-19-devastated-theatres-museums-imagination) Ms Higgins erroneously says that the war was the last time cultural organisations ground to a halt. The Arts Council developed from the Council for the Encouragement of Music and the Arts (CEMA) […]