The Curmudgeon


Monday, August 30, 2010

Innocent of Taste

A certain Ed Vaizey, who is something or other in the Department of Cultchah, Murdoch and Steroids, has been telling the Independent all about the Conservatives' ideas for funding the arts. Naturally, the Conservatives' ideas for funding the arts are much the same as the Conservatives' ideas for funding health, education, public transport and everything else that isn't a bank or a company in which a Conservative minister has a purely coincidental interest: that is to say, Government funding will be cut and eccentric millionaires will be expected to step into the breach; and if this means that half the contents of the National Gallery end up under armed guard in Miami or Belize, then so be it. However, it seems to have been apparent even to a Conservative minister for Cultchah that there isn't a great deal of public-relations mileage to be got out of this, so Vaizey went on to discuss the vicissitudes of decorating an office when one has at one's disposal only the resources of the Government Art Collection and the aesthetic discernment of a second-generation Thatcherite. "I got my Mark Wallinger before Jeremy Hunt got his," Vaizey burbled; well, tally bally ho for him. The Wallinger he got is quite a bargain: a screen print titled Mark Wallinger is Innocent, which appears to consist of the text "Mark Wallinger is innocent" printed in black on a white background in the sort of businesslike sans-serif font of which sensitive types like Ed Vaizey can never get enough. As one might expect from the artistic combination of whingeing self-importance and outstanding dullness, Wallinger is a lifelong Labour supporter; and, as one might expect from a second-generation Thatcherite, a lifelong Labour supporter in 2010 is Ed Vaizey's idea of someone who "might think he's a radical". However, Wallinger's sister once came up to Ed Vaizey and said "I love you in The Wright Stuff", which evidently just goes to show. Ed Vaizey allowed the Independent to photograph him grinning beneath the last three words of Wallinger's opus. Curiously enough, Ed Vaizey's levels of steely ambition are in some doubt.


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