Thursday, January 24, 2008

Titanic Deckchairs?

The wisdom, or otherwise, of investing too much in a particular politician or their words, is seen from today's reshuffle, where James Purnell, briefly culture secretary, and one who seemed to understand and like his brief, has now been the beneficiary of Peter Hain's fall from grace, so lasting a mere 8 months at the Department of Culture, Media and Sport. Clearly getting over "photogate" (where his image was superimposed over a picture even though he turned up late) it does make one wonder where culture (including the arts) stands in government's list of priorities. Unlucky for culture that a young, ambitious minister was in the brief; Tony Blair managing just two culture secretaries, Tessa Jowell and Chris Smith; and Gordon Brown has already matched that. That another young, ambitious north west MP, Andy Burnham, takes his place, may make one wonder if he'll still be there come the Olympic games, though perhaps in a year when Liverpool is city of culture, having a Liverpool born MP as culture secretary has a certain charm to it.

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