It would appear that the beleaguered Labour Party has got itself into another shit storm this week involving yet another group of its natural allies. To me this proves what I've been feeling for some time; that, in a desperate rush to steal Tory votes, Ed Miliband is actually turning his back on his natural supporters. He's done it with the party faithful (his handling of the Emily Thornberry case was tragic) and now he's focussing on the Arts community, tweeting:
"Page 44 of Tory dossier says Labour will cancel cuts to the arts budget. We won't."
Well, at least my community now knows where it stands, and none of us will need to feel at all guilty about not voting Labour this time round. The Twittersphere has unsurprisingly gone mad, and a series of witty, pithy, droll, dry and damn right rude tweets have been sent back to the labour press office, my favourite of which was;
"That really is deserving of the slowest handclap I can muster, you clueless crypto-Tory claque of cuntfuttocks."
But whilst Miliband whinges like a petulant schoolboy about the NHS from the fortress-like safety of the Palace of Westminster, the rest of Europe is on the streets, waving pencils and notebooks, defending our freedom of speech; the very ground-rock of western political ideology.
It turns out that the brave people putting their lives at risk to defend our values isn't the western politicians after all. No! They just do what they can to stay in power. The true heroes right now are the artists; the cartoonists, the photographers, the film-makers, the actors, the directors, and the writers who regularly put themselves in the gravest of danger to question the insanity of the world. When an artist speaks, the world listens...
Politicians know this. And when it suits them, they jump on the bandwagon, attending big concerts, backing artist-led movements which they realise have become too wildly popular with the general population to ignore, and yet at the first opportunity, they cut our funding. And the first art to die is always the thought-provoking non-profit making stuff which cannot exist without subsidy.
As a coda to this piece, I feel compelled to say that we saw the cynical Miliband at his worst when we got married last March. There he was, in an arts film, wishing us all the best for our life together, knowing that a million people would see him doing so. Did he privately write to any of the other gay couples who got married that day? I very much doubt it. I didn't want him in the film. The only Westminster politician who genuinely stuck her neck on the line to help gay people was our constituency MP, Lynne Featherstone, who instigated the bill. Miliband's inclusion in the film got in the way of a perfectly good song which I would much rather have had viewers hear. But that's politicians for you isn't it? Standing in the way of art as and when it suits them.
This blog is therefore dedicated with gratitude and love to the cartoonists who were killed yesterday and all the other brave artists around the world who will be killed fighting for our liberty.