Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Starving poets (not!)

More on the fight against poverty or, at least, some people’s interpretation of it. Thanks to the Adam Smith Institute that keeps a wary eye on the various lunacies of the state machine, we hear that the Scottish Arts Council, funded by the taxpayer and lottery money has been handing out awards to far-from-starving poets.

One recipient of the £30,000 “Creative Scotland” grant is Robin Bell who has a “special interest in individual identity and national diversity”. (Eat your heart out Keats.)

He is proposing to
“… to produce a book of poems and a feature length piece suitable for broadcast based on his observations of the G8 conference, examining Scotland’s place in today’s global culture”.
The G8 Conference (G7 leading industrial countries plus Russia) will be meeting in Gleneagles and, as our readers will recall, should have world poverty and other suchlike topics on the agenda.

In fact, it will be at this conference that the Blair-Brown-Geldof project of pumping yet more aid money into dysfunctional African states and cancelling their debts so that bloodthirsty dictators can buy more arms to wage wars or oppress their own people, will be discussed.

It is not clear how much of all this Robin Bell, who
“… will be ideally placed to capture the feeling of the G8 conference as it will all be happening next door to his rural Perthshire cottage”
will pen but Dr Madsen Pirie, the Director of the Adam Smith Institute has pre-empted him, producing the following ditty:

“I think the G8.
Is great;
But to get an Arts Council Grant,
I'd probably need to take a different slant.”

We think Dr Pirie’s contribution will not get the prize, despite his suggestion that the money be sent directly to his own home address. But we do wonder whether the prize is entirely the best way of helping the developing countries. Thank goodness for that cottage, though.

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