Search

Labour peer Melvyn Bragg: ‘The Tories have done some terrific things for the arts’

10:00 13 June 2014

Labour peer Lord Melvyn Bragg:

Labour peer Lord Melvyn Bragg: 'Its very odd that philistine governments do terrific things for the arts'. Picture: Nigel Sutton

© Nigel Sutton email pictures@nigelsuttonphotography.com

Strange tides were afoot this week as Labour peer Lord Melvyn Bragg praised ‘philistine’ Tory governments for innovation in the arts and shadow culture secretary Harriet Harman conceded Labour’s legacy was wanting.

Shadow culture secretary Harriet Harman admitted Labour's legacy on the arts had fallen short during a talk at the Roundhouse in Camden. Picture: PA/Nick AnsellShadow culture secretary Harriet Harman admitted Labour's legacy on the arts had fallen short during a talk at the Roundhouse in Camden. Picture: PA/Nick Ansell

During a rousing defence of the arts as a social leveller, the deputy leader of the Labour Party admitted her former government had not done enough to open up the sector to all.

“We did not embed and entrench the sense that every young person has a right to the arts and this is a universal entitlement, irrespective of a child’s family background or where they live,” she said, talking at the Paul Hamlyn Roundhouse studios in Chalk Farm on Monday.

“We didn’t very publicly make, and win, the case for public subsidy for the arts underpinning this.

“We should have done more to banish the notion that the arts is seen by the public as mostly for the privileged few.”

"Margaret Thatcher’s government put Channel 4 in place. John Major created the Lottery for the arts, which has had a massive effect on culture."

Lord Melvyn Bragg

She said governments must do more to convince the public of the benefits of arts subsidy, as she launched a major consultation on Young People and the Arts which will shape Labour policy.

Also in reflective mood was veteran Hampstead broadcaster Lord Bragg who, when asked by the Radio Times magazine whether the coalition was a particularly philistine government, replied: “Looking back on the last 25 to 30 years, it’s par for the course. It’s very odd that philistine governments do terrific things.

“For instance, Margaret Thatcher’s government put Channel 4 in place.

‘‘John Major created the Lottery for the arts, which has had a massive effect on culture.”

But the peer, who was born into a working class family in Cumbria and joined the BBC as a graduate trainee in 1961, said the arts industry was now being dominated by public school alumni like Dominic West, Damian Lewis, Benedict Cumberbatch and Mumford And Sons.

“It’s because there’s respectability in these professions now, and money,” he said.

Latest Hampstead & Highgate News Stories

16:39
Masjid Al-risaalah mosque and Islington Islamic Centre. (Picture: Google Maps).

A Kentish Town man has been charged with attempted murder after a stabbing outside a mosque last week.

Architect Chris Roche has sketched original designs for a housing development in the car park to the rear of Muswell Hill libary

A renowned architect has unveiled original new designs to keep Muswell Hill Library in its current building, home to a library since 1931.

Yesterday, 12:20
The inquest into the death of Dmitrijs Makejevs heard that he had tried to stop using drugs but fellt a sense of

The drug-related death of a young, homeless man was at first thought to be suspicious – but an inquest heard that marks on his face were probably caused by rats.

Friday, August 26, 2016
Ikram Farah

Police are appealing for the public’s help to find two sixteen-year-old girls who have gone missing from Camden.

Friday, August 26, 2016
Mary Langan with her 23-year-old son, James

Carers of adults with demential and disabilities are demanding change after a report revealed there is a “breakdown of trust” on the Haringey boards designed to represent them.

Thursday, August 25, 2016
Nina Martynchyk with her foster mother, Nina B

A young woman who overcame anorexia is organising a conference with the Royal Free Hospital to draw attention to how the condition affects children and teenagers

Thursday, August 25, 2016
Highgate School

Students and staff at Highgate school were reflecting on a very impressive set of GCSE results today, with 88.2 percent of exams receiving a grade of A* or A.

Thursday, August 25, 2016
Hampstead School is in Westbere Road (Pic credit: Google streetview)

The Hampstead School has once again seen its GCSE results improve today, with nearly a quarter of all grades receiving an A* or A grade.

PROMOTED CONTENT

The showroom is located in Hayes

After 25 years as a trade-only business, family-run door manufacturers Composite Door Master are set to open their first public showroom in Hayes this weekend.

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Most read Hampstead & Highgate news

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Property Newsletter Sign-up

Get the latest North London property news and features straight to your inbox with our regular newsletter

I am also happy to receive other emails...
Fields marked with a * are mandatory
Email Marketing by e-shot

Competitions

You could win £15,000 to spend on either their mortgage or a deposit towards the home of their dreams

Wouldn’t it be lovely to have a period of time when you simply don’t have to worry about finding the money each month to pay your mortgage? When you don’t have to put money aside from your monthly income, or worry about having to afford other essential outgoings?

Which book character do you share cleaning habits with?

Whether you have more in common with put-upon Cinderella, emotionally turbulent Jane Eyre, or easily distracted Mole, you’re sure to appreciate that one lucky winner will receive four sessions of free cleaning. Enter our quiz for your chance to win. All runners up will get £10 off their first clean when making a repeat booking.

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Hampstead & Highgate Express
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now