WHO'S SHAFTING WHO?
Not The Arts Council today welcomed the announcement of our lord and master, Viceroy Hain, that local funding for the arts will be moved across to the new Super Councils. Cynics may have spotted that the Super Councils wont come into being until 2009. If all goes according to Not The Arts Council's 5 year plan, funding to the regions will disappear well ahead of the emergence of Super Councils. The first phase of this plan has already been implemented in the recent ASOP round with the axeing of support for regional theatres. Thanks to our marvellous PR department, this move went virtually unnoticed in the aftermath of the closing of the OBG!
By 2008, all regional funding will have ceased in order to ease any difficult mathematical calculations DCAL needs to make. In other words, when Super Councils pass over their bank details to DCAL, Not The Arts Council can issue the cheque for the full amount - £0.00 - which will then be handed over to the Councils to squander on redundancy notices for anybody foolish enough to still be attempting to make a living from the arts in the regions.
Thanks for this masterstroke goes to our Chief Strategic thinker, Rick Livingdead.
Of course, there are some who may be disappointed at Not The Government's decision to retain Not The Arts Council (not least those members of staff who were quite looking forward to the generous redundancy package) but we would like to reassure everybody that we will continue to champion the arts in Northern Ireland and vigourously oppose any cuts imposed on the arts in just the same way we always have done. Or, to put it another way, don't worry Mr Hain, we'll keep schtumm.
We, at Not The Arts Council, are thrilled that the latest announcement will lead to a huge saving in bureaucracy and personnel by duplicating services across 7 Super Councils and one Quango. We welcome this unprecedented move to increase the number of people concerned with administrating the arts to help ensure that more money goes into administrators and less goes into such frivolities as providing artistic product.