Saturday 21 May 2016

Millionaire actors, artists and politicians campaign for Remain vote to protect their grants

282 assorted luvvies, millionaire actors, artists, expats, politicians, knights, dames and largely unknown "creative industry" employees have put their names to a letter for the mad cows at the BSE campaign saying how awful it would be if the EU no longer subsidised the arts.

Like other infamous Remainiacs such as Richard Branson and Barack Obama, these millionaires and taxpayer-subsidised national treasures are completely insulated from the effects of EU membership on the UK. They spend most of their time on the other side of the Atlantic and when they pop back to their Surrey mansions and Kensington town houses they don't see groups of tracksuit-clad eastern Europeans hanging around shopping centres all day. When they send their kids to £1,000 a month private schools their education isn't suffering because teaching resources are being put into trying to educate kids who don't speak English. They don't have to worry about hundreds of thousands of cheap workers flooding the labour market driving up unemployment and driving down wages. When they get their weekly shop delivered from Fortnum & Mason (or Waitrose if they haven't quite "made it") they don't have to worry about inflated food prices. When they're squirreling their money away in tax havens they don't have to worry about taxes going up to pay for the consequences of being in the EU.

The letter says that EU funding, access to the EU market and EU freedom of movement are essential to the survival of the UK creative industry. But the EU doesn't have any money of its own, they just give away our money after wasting £1 in every 4 to fraud and bureaucracy. We also don't need to be in the EU for actors and artists to work in another country or to access the EU market. We export Bollywood stars to India and villains to Hollywood but they're not in the EU. We import soap operas from Australia and box office series from America and they're not in the EU. We have a plethora of digital TV channels from all over the world, including China, India, Nigeria and Qatar - none of which are in the EU.

We don't need to be in the EU to fund the arts, to sell our TV and art abroad or for actors and artists to come here and work. In film, TV and theatre the UK is the only major player in the EU and second only to the US on the world stage. The idea that we should shackle ourselves forever to a political project whose founding objective was to abolish the nation state and create a European Federation because some millionaire actors and political activists - many of which have received millions from the EU in grants and even appeared in a brochure advertising EU arts grants - think it'll be easier to get money out of the EU than the British government is preposterous.