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.

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar,, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today