Note of shame

3rd December 2010 at 00:00

Here we go again. First it was Renfrewshire, then it was Fife and now it's Aberdeen.

It seems that every time a cash-strapped local authority approaches a budget crisis, its first tactic is to test public opinion by leaking a proposal to make savage cuts to the traditional "soft" target of instrumental music provision in schools. We get the usual wringing of hands, the biblical wailing and gnashing of teeth as local politicians profess their lifelong love of the arts.

Sadly, they go on, the decision is outwith their control because someone else (always someone else) has reduced the amount of money available to them to spend.

Then they wait to see if there will be a hugemoderateminor public outcry. Then, based on the public reaction, they reduce the level of proposed cut to whatever they feel will cause them least collateral damage.

This is no way to treat people, no way to treat a workforce which has some of the finest educators in the country, no way to carry out one's business. Shame on you all.

As politicians posture and bicker and jockey for position, there will be no chance of Nero fiddling while Rome burns this time - because the fiddles, like the clarinets, trombones, cellos, guitars, drum kits and so on, will have been sacrificed, either on the altar of Mammon or in the pursuit of some illogical, ideological goal.

Let me put it in simple terms: never has a musician, dancer, actor or artist caused a recession, so why are they expected to pay the price for it?

Charlie Maynes, East Navarre Street, Monifieth.

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