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Politics is the art of looking for trouble , finding it whether it exists or not, diagnosing it incorrectly, and then applying the wrong remedy“ Ernest Benn 1875-1954

Have you heard the first cuckoo yet asked my wife over breakfast ( we rarely talk over breakfast ‘cos she’s always grumpy with me at that time in the morning). So we have the radio on instead. We usually listen to the BBC Today program which always has a fair sprinkling of early morning cuckoos masquerading as our elected politicians telling us that we all have to do as they say, but rarely it seems, to do as they do. Muttering over the toast I lifted up the morning’s Daily Telegraph (April 24th) and there on the front page for all to read was a wonderful example of the call of the Greater Westminster Cockoo Bird, to wit (or twit), one Ms Maria Millar better known to us lesser birds as the U.K. Culture Secretary .

It appears that Ms Millar’s latest utterance is to demand, “that leading figures in the arts world show ministers the value of culture to our economy”. Think about this for a second and then ponder on the following. A United Kingdom Parliamentary under Secretary of State gets paid a basic salary of £89,435.00 (USD 138,248.00) plus pension, expenses inc. first class travel, etc, etc.
That, as Culture Secretary, Ms Millar feels the need to ask this is something straight out of Alice in Wonderland or Monty Python. Does she not know about the value of culture to the British economy ? Is she living in on planet Earth?

Ms Millar is a career politician, her present title might be very grand but do not let that fool anybody because Culture Secretary is usually a springboard to other things within government. When Ms Millar gets the answer she wants, or maybe does not want, when she allows the grants to the Arts Council to be cut and when Britain’s status as a world leader in the arts has been very much reduced she will cry crocodile (or cuckoo) tears, make platitudes and move on believing, like all politicians, that the electorate has short memories. Is that not what a cuckoo bird does, lay it’s egg in another bird’s nest, leave others to raise it’s chick and move on?

Now, speaking as a UK taxpayer ( also in the Irish Republic ), I am absolutely fed up with politicians of every shape, party and description. All of them, every single one. They blame everyone and everything except, of course, themselves for the complete mess the Western world is in and they have no agreed proven coherent policies for making things any better. ‘Austerity rules’ and ‘hardship and unemployment is good for us’ seems to be the message of the day, and the fact that years of successive waves of politicians got us all into this mess is all so soon forgotten. By them that is.

Maybe, to quote Edward Langley: “what this country needs is more unemployed politicians “.

I’m an antique dealer, a small business man and I work very hard indeed. My name is legion for we are many. It’s very simple even for a career politician to understand. I (we) need to work hard and be successful or I (we) don’t eat. Neither can I (we) pay the tax needed to pay the excessive salaries and expenses of our political masters if I (we) are less than successful.

Perhaps instead of the Culture Secretary asking us to prove that arts and culture are of value to the economy , we should all be asking the question of her “what value to us, the hardworking taxpayer, does your position present?”. After all £89.5K plus pension & expenses is a lot of money, so prove to us within the arts, antique & design community that you indeed do something to earn it.

The first cuckoos of 2013? The sound is deafening……………