FROM THE FORGOTTEN SECTOR
Yesterday, amongst much public outcry and outrage, The Finance Chancellor, Rishi Sunak made a public statement announcing that struggling musicians and others in the arts industry should look at retraining and find themselves other jobs as a result of the Corona Virus pandemic.
The Chancellor made these comments following on from research revealing that a third of musicians would have to reconsider their vocation due to financial losses, hinting that such losses would not be subsided by the Government as it has been in literally every other job sector in the country.
When questioned by ITV News, Sunak commented:
I can’t pretend that everyone can do exactly the same job that they were doing at the beginning of this crisis. …
That’s why we’ve put a lot of resource into trying to create new opportunities. …..
The Chancellor went onto state that whilst employment may still be available for some within the creative industries that,
“everyone is having to find ways to adapt and adjust to the new reality”…
So, just what does this new reality mean? A world without music and arts, a world without song and dance, a world without creative freedom and expression. A truly unthinkable world for most.
Once again, the creative sector of the industry has been left to feel that they are invaluable and unworthy of any support from this Government. The same Government that wishes to limits gatherings to no more than 6 people, unless you’re from the ‘old boy network’ shooting grouse on the moors; or one that has said that all night spots have to close by 10pm unless you’re talking about the bars in the Houses of Parliament of course!
In response to these assertions, the Government has pointed towards the £1.57 billion Cultural Recovery Fund that it has in place, but bear in mind that music venues were just days ago told that they will have to continue to wait to see if they are even considered to be eligible for such a grant, making such a Fund, a useless source to many.
With April 2021 having been highlighted as the earliest date that we might be able to see some return to normality for the arts and creative industries, a number of individuals employed within these sectors have very real and grave concerns regarding their own financial positions resulting in bankruptcy and the catastrophic demise of the live music sector, unless, of course, the Government take some responsibility and step up and stop penalising the industry in the way that they currently are.
This latest assault on the public by a majority considered, incompetent Government, just screams of a “pull the ladder up, I’m alright Jack” notion for which they are becoming notoriously known and for which they shall no doubt be remembered, unless a change is made to their current stance.
The current view of this Government is extremely short sighted, do they not realise just how much the Arts and Entertainment Industry has contributed to this country through the decades? Take just one band for example, The Beatles, think of all the revenue and tourism they generated and indeed continue to generate to this very day for this country even though half of them are deceased.
Yesterday, one clearly visibly moved, member of the doomed creative sector took to social media to film a personal message to Rishni Sunak.
This someone was Joe Maddocks from Scouse indie band RATS and his voice has resonated with many.
As Joe walks down the famous Mathew Street in Liverpool, he passionately puts his point across to the Chancellor pointing out the closed bars and cafes in the once heavily populated and highly popular tourist destination, the bricks in the wall engraved with the names of every famous person in the entertainment industry you can imagine and he succinctly summarises how can this Government possibly even begin to suggest that those currently employed and facing financial ruin in the industry should retain. With precision timing he then leaves the Chancellor in no doubt as to his feelings when he flips him the finger!
Since this video was first posted on Instagram last night it has gone viral with over 350,000.00 views, 15,000.00 likes and re-shares from some high profiles supporters such as Camelphat, Reverend and The Makers, The Coral, The View and more sharing even as this goes to press.
Watch the video from yourself here.
Just goes to show you doesn’t it, Mr Rishi Sunak, that this is an industry that won’t be silenced and fobbed off and that the music and arts industry will continue to fight for the right to be heard.
Click the link below to visit the SAVE OUR VENUES campaign and see what you can do to help.
Written by SALLY NEWMAN