Friday, 17 February 2012

A man of wealth and taste

WHO would have thunk it - Financier for the Norn Iron executive Sammy Wilson is a man of wealth and taste, a patron of the arts no less.

Last week social development minister Nelson McCausland came over all Dick Dastardly and announced that all those artistes and artists congregating around the Cathedral ‘Arts’ Quarter would no longer be able to dance to the tune of public money tinkling into their grant pots.

This week, Mr McCausland announced that finance minister Sammy Wilson had come up with £200,000 and he would add another £50,000 to keep the whingers as silent as a mimer in a quiet contest.

Throughout the week, Mr McCausland has been arguing the case for cutting arts funding; but he was clear that his sudden about turn had nothing to do with negative publicity, phone-in criticism or newspaper stories. There is a Belfast saying that summarises most people’s response, with more than a touch of irony; it goes like this: “Aye! Dead on Nelson!”

Cynical? Us? Never!

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