Voices

These letters were published in the 26th December edition of the Independent

Get dancing for a happier (and longer) life

Get jiggy. It might seem an unlikely message to come from the Government, but boosted by the appeal of shows such as Strictly Come Dancing, dance is being increasingly promoted as a way to sashay to good health.

David Lister: The Arts Council has had its day

Congratulations to Dame Liz Forgan, right, on being appointed the new chairman of the Arts Council. The former head of BBC Radio and the National Heritage Memorial Fund is well regarded, and I hope she will do the arts the great service that is now in her power. She should examine the Arts Council thoroughly, and then urge the Government to abolish it.

Sir Lewis Robertson: Industrialist and company doctor who turned around the fortunes of ailing British businesses

At any significant gathering of the great and the good in Edinburgh or Glasgow, and at many an occasion in London, a huge man, with a large face and spectacles to match would heave into the room, with a supporting crutch. This was Lewis Robertson, company director extraordinary, who, in my opinion, was both good and great. He was an industrialist in his own right, not merely a consultant; he was an extremely effective administrator; but, above all, he excelled as a corporate recovery specialist.

Alan Davey: The arts are here to provide the strength to overcome despair

In the times we are living in, the arts matter more than ever. There'll be pressure to cut funding but I'd argue that now is the time to expand. We've got to keep public spending strong as a base to attract private funding, and from which to put on compelling work.

Is music policed and controlled?

A new course in music policy starting at the University of Edinburgh this month aims to open students' eyes to the politics of sound, teaching them about who is allowed to make music, and who is allowed to hear it, and why. The course – the first of its kind – will encourage third- and fourth-year music students to think about how music is patronised and policed, and what motivates the people and organisations behind it.

Edinburgh Festival director to step down

The director of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe today announced he is to step down.

David Lister: Do lyrics really matter

The Week in Arts: A chorus of dissent, but do lyrics really matter?

John Cruft: LSO oboist and secretary who became a much-loved director of music and drama at the Arts Council

In the late 1960s, when Jennie Lee was Minister for the Arts, William Glock was Director of Music at the BBC, and Pierre Boulez conductor of the London Symphony Orchestra, John Cruft was the much-loved and respected Director of Music and Drama at the Arts Council (where Arnold Goodman was then Chairman). Ironically, at a time when "serious" music was as about as unpopular as "popular" music was then popular, new music nevertheless had its most formidable and capable champions within the establishment. When Cruft retired from the Arts Council in 1979, having been its Director of Music for 14 years, it was found that three people needed to be appointed to fulfil the workload he had somehow managed on his own.

Gary McKeone: The creepy cult of management consultancy

Personal development, psychometric testing – I'm a veteran

Public service broadcasting must reform to survive, says watchdog

The media watchdog, Ofcom, has warned that British public service broadcasting is under threat unless the UK moves to a new system by 2011.

Channel Five to showcase new talents from folk scene

There was a time, not long ago, when folk music was about little more than sticking your finger in your ear, donning your best woolly jumper and pining for bygone times.

Arts Council gives 11th-hour reprieve over funding cuts

It was set to be the bloodiest cull of the arts for more than half a century. But, in a dramatic 11th-hour reprieve, Arts Council England has been forced to reconsider potentially devastating funding cuts for dozens of organisations.

Simon Mayo, Radio 5 Live

Oi, don't workshop my language, mate

For all its faults, the Arts Council does not deserve such bad reviews

These are turbulent times in the world of subsidised arts. An assortment of theatrical grandees this week passed a vote of no confidence in the central funding body for the arts in Britain. And next week is the deadline for appeals to be lodged from almost 200 arts organisations, many of them well-respected, that had their funding cut at the end of last year. So what exactly is going on?

Career Services

Day In a Page

Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Dubrovnik, the Dalmatian Coast & Montenegro
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Lisbon, Oporto and the Douro Valley
Lake Garda, Venice & Verona
Spain
Prices correct as of 23 January 2015
Greece elections: In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza

Greece elections

In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza, says Patrick Cockburn
Holocaust Memorial Day: Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears

Holocaust Memorial Day

Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears over Europe
Fortitude and the Arctic attraction: Our fascination with the last great wilderness

Magnetic north

The Arctic has always exerted a pull, from Greek myth to new thriller Fortitude. Gerard Gilbert considers what's behind our fascination with the last great wilderness
Homeless Veterans appeal: Homeless in Wales can find inspiration from Daniel’s story

Homeless Veterans appeal

Homeless in Wales can find inspiration from Daniel’s story
Front National family feud? Marine Le Pen and her relatives clash over French far-right party's response to Paris terror attacks

Front National family feud?

Marine Le Pen and her relatives clash over French far-right party's response to Paris terror attacks
Pot of gold: tasting the world’s most expensive tea

Pot of gold

Tasting the world’s most expensive tea
10 best wildlife-watching experiences: From hen harriers to porpoises

From hen harriers to porpoises: 10 best wildlife-watching experiences

While many of Britain's birds have flown south for the winter, it's still a great time to get outside for a spot of twitching
Nick Easter: 'I don’t want just to hold tackle bags, I want to be out there'

'I don’t want just to hold tackle bags, I want to be out there'

Nick Easter targeting World Cup place after England recall
DSK, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel

The inside track on France's trial of the year

Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel:
As provocative now as they ever were

Sarah Kane season

Why her plays are as provocative now as when they were written
Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of a killing in Iraq 11 years ago

Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of another killing

Japanese mood was against what was seen as irresponsible trips to a vicious war zone
Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore