Welsh Labour Government “philistines” says father of Ponty MP
Professor Dai Smith has just ended his nine year stint as Chair of the Arts Council of Wales and has delivered a kick in the teeth to the Welsh Labour Government that they could surely have done without five weeks out from an election.
In an interview with the BBC he critticzed their attitude to the Arts, accusing them of having a "silo mentality" He went on to say
"And there are some parts of government ministerial office which seem incapable of understanding that cooperation and partnership is the name of the game, not chivvying and ordering people about and sometimes getting it wrong in a knuckle-headed, philistine fashion."
Professor Smith is of course the father of Pontypridd's Labour MP Owen Smith – himself no great fan of the Assembly and devolution. Still even he must have been a little shocked at this outburst.
He said that the Arts should not have been subject to any cutbacks and that the Arts Council should have been allowed a wider remit.
Now whilst we fully appreciate the role of the arts there have been many questions raised over the years as to whether the Arts Council were really putting money to best use. One example locally is the "Unity" sculpture they helped fund in Pontypridd. Many people, including Cllr Mike Powell, questioned whether this was the best use of public money when cutbacks were being made elsewhere.
It seems that Professor Smith is a little disgruntled that he was not given more public money to squander.