Letter: Cunningham: a philistine who forgets the grassroots The shadow minister of fun whose strength is elsewhere

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The Independent Online
It was worrying to see the Labour national heritage spokesman, Jack Cunningham, adrift in the good ship Philistine ("The reluctant minister of fun", Review, 1 December); a salutary warning on what to expect from Labour's arts policy. Equally revealing was your own elitist and metropolitan view of culture. Mr Cunningham's fault was to accept that definition instead of challenging it.

One might have expected a national newspaper to recognise arts activity around Britain, not just in London. One might have expected a Labour spokesman to have recognised the range of people working at grassroots level throughout Britain. Even with New Labour, one might have expected him to question the amount of funding going to so-called "national" arts companies and focused on a community arts sector starved of central and local government funds.

Eric Robinson

Edinburgh

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