We ought not to scoff, for this is surely an excellent initiative. It's just that we've been taught by George Orwell to distrust such relabelling. Giving a different name to something doesn't necessarily make people think differently about it; all it does, most likely, is to alter the meaning of the name - calling a propaganda machine the Ministry of Information, for instance, merely alters the meaning of the word information in that context. A group of mafiosi may declare that they have "eliminated" a man, but he's still dead, as his widow may have noticed.
The question is, what do we mean by culture and how (if at all) does this differ from what Mr Smith wants it to mean? Certainly his view of it embraces Covent Garden and the Poetry Society and the Festival Hall, and obviously it excludes the yob and drug cultures. But it's rather vague. And there are other more distant overtones. A totalitarian regime wants to ban non-representational art, say. What better name for the relevant body than the Ministry of Culture? Humpty Dumpty chose his own meaning for whatever words he used, but we all know what happened to him.Reuse content