Anton Howes pays a visit to a London squat:
I had expected people struggling to get by and occupying someone else’s property as a last resort, but the iPods and laptops suggested otherwise… Given they professed to have reclaimed the place for the people, I tried to explore. However, I was stopped when trying to go upstairs: it was apparently “private.” I complained that this surely contradicted the whole justification for occupation but was told, “If you’re going to be like that, you can fuck off then.”
It seems the slogan “property is theft” has quietly been modified to something a little more honest, if scarcely less stupid: “Your property is theft. Mine is out of bounds.”
Heresy Corner on blame, condescension and burning Qur’ans:
One might as well blame the 9/11 hijackers, or the rioters against the Danish cartoons, without whose actions it would never have occurred to Mr Jones that the Qur’an was a book worth burning. By all means criticise the Qur’an-burning if you disapprove of it on grounds such as respect for religion or for the feelings of believers. But to condemn it on the grounds that it incites violence betrays severe moral confusion.
And Quentin Letts casts an eye over Arts Council spending:
In the past five years, the Arts Council, which has been through six restructurings since 1993, has spent more than £300,000 on public opinion research. In 2009, it spent £100,000 on media monitoring and £107,000 on legal fees (down from £455,000 in 2008). Some £50,000 was blown on office Christmas parties in two years. Christmas cards accounted for another £22,000 in 2009. The spending has been like something out of The Great Gatsby. Arts Council buildings cost £2.7 million a year to rent, while latest figures show an annual administration spend of £48 million. Oh, and 20 staff had ‘diversity’ in their job titles last year, while almost 40 had ‘communication’ on their business cards. All of this money has been spent before a single play, a single concert or a single exhibition was staged.
Arts Council chair and noted Guardianista Liz Forgan has taken great exception to Mr Letts’ piece, in particular his reference to the organisation’s “multicultural nomenklatura of senior lieutenants.” As Guido Fawkes notes, Ms Forgan is now demanding “‘sincere and personal apologies’ to the entire Arts Council board and senior management team for suggesting that they might have been token appointments who won their jobs on anything but open competition.” Which may not be the soundest footing for public umbrage, given that the Arts Council and its protégés openly celebrate taxpayer-funded racial favouritism.