Response 136854504

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A vision for culture in Scotland

1. What is your view of the Vision as set out above?

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Support the vision
Ticked Don’t support the vision
Don’t know

2. If you have any further comments on the Vision, please provide them below. What do you like, or dislike, or what would you change?

If you have any further comments on the Vision, please provide them below. What do you like, or dislike, or what would you change?
The understand of culture is narrow. Culture encompasses facets of society such as respect for the rule of law, pet loving, queuing etc.. This document should be entitled "Arts and Heritage", not "Culture". (But we'll use culture according to your usage from now on.) "People who create have the right to earn a fair living from artistic and cultural professional pursuits." That is ill-considered and unrealistic. So everyone who paints pictures has the "right" to make a living from it? We find it staggering that such a bizarre comment could appear in a government document. "There is no one story of culture in or from Scotland and each individual and community contributes to and shapes their own culture, and society more broadly." This is vague, but the jist seems to be that there is no such thing as a unified Scottish culture and that any cultural expression in Scotland has an equal claim to being Scottish culture. We should distinguish between cultural expressions in Scotland and Scottish culture. It is desirable for a population to share in a unified culture to a significant degree, so encouraging and celebrating cultural diversity should be moderated to avoid damaging social cohesion.

Transforming through culture

3. What is your view of the ambition, ‘Transforming through culture’?

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Support ambition
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Don’t know

4. If you have further comments on the ambition, ‘Transforming through culture’, please provide them below. What do you like, or dislike, or what would you change?

If you have further comments on the ambition, ‘Transforming through culture’, please provide them below. What do you like, or dislike, or what would you change?
Looking back to the context section first: There is no explanation why linguistic diversity is regarded as a strength. Surely a common language aids communication, integration and social cohesion? An interesting statistic would be the % of cultural consumption subsidised by the government. It would be extremely low. People generally choose art forms that operate commercially, or, to put it another way, popular art forms generally don't need subsidy. The mainstream art forms are films and music. Only a minuscule % would be subsidised. The open market does a good job of supplying the sort of art that people want. Government funding can encourage the sort of art that people don't want, and so are not willing to pay for. When stating the economic benefit of creative industries, I hope that the cost of Government funding was subtracted first. "Culture must be free to be inspiring, disruptive and plural." Looking at the political slant proposed through this document, state funding of the arts will result in a playing field skewed towards those aligning with the government's philosophy. How much funding is available for anti-feminist, anti-internationalist, pro-life work, for example? That fact that you think that this is such a silly suggestion illustrates my point. On to the current section: " Position culture as central to progress in health and wellbeing, economy, education, reducing inequality and realising a greener and more innovative future." Let's recall that by culture you mean art and heritage. This sentence is surely hyperbolic. Good nutrition, relationships and exercise, along with medical care, could be said to be central to health. But art and heritage? They are peripheral. Not insignificant, but peripheral. Reducing inequality? Art and heritage at the centre of tackling poverty? Do you really mean that? Again, possibly some peripheral role, but not central. "Societies where creative skills are prioritised and creative occupations make up a large proportion of the workforce may be better placed to develop their organisations and business in light of the future direction of technology." A case could also be made that increasing technological automation will create more jobs related to the technology of automation. Also, digital technology can result in smaller numbers of creators reaping larger portions of the market. Climate change. In this section, the intention of the government to pay artists to deliver its message is stated clearly and, apparently, unashamedly. Paying artists to speak on the state's behalf is not acceptable in a open democratic society. The reply might be that the process is not quite that direct, but the implication is clear - push the "right" message, and your funding application is more likely to succeed. "We are creative and our vibrant and diverse cultures are expressed and enjoyed widely." A culture that is not expressed and enjoyed is failing to appeal to a wider audience. Is the state really going to try to make sure certain cultural expressions are enjoyed more widely? Is it not OK that not many people like something? If a culture is vibrant, it will already be expressed and enjoyed widely. If a small group is performing a unique style of world music, why should the tax payer be required to subsidise it? If I want to explore world music, I will, even spending my own money on it if necessary. As it happens, I'm not particularly interested in it, so I spend my time and money on other musical forms instead. Why does the Scottish Government see the need to intervene in my choices?

5. Please provide comments on the aims and actions under this ambition. What do you like, or dislike, or what would you change?

Please provide comments on the aims and actions under this ambition. What do you like, or dislike, or what would you change?
Aim 1: Overstated. New post will result in more expense, more state interference in the artistic market, and more state influence over artistic content. Aim 2: "better articulate the benefits of culture to society" - the very antithesis of scientific method. If you pay people to come up with research showing how vital and beneficial culture is, that's what you'll get. If you gave them a more open and neutral brief, the relative importance of culture would be more accurately measured. Having said that, the influence of culture is largely subjective and inseparable from other variables, so measuring its benefits may well be a fool's errand. Action 3: "Develop alliances" - sounds a touch sinister, to be honest. Alliances between state and artists? Abuse of state power has to suspected in any such arrangement - especially considering the previous comments about communicating on behalf of the state.

Empowering through culture

6. What is your view of the ambition, ‘Empowering through culture’?

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Support ambition
Ticked Don’t support ambition
Don’t know

7. If you have further comments on the ambition, ‘Empowering through culture’ please provide them below. What do you like, or dislike, or what would you change?

If you have further comments on the ambition, ‘Empowering through culture’ please provide them below. What do you like, or dislike, or what would you change?
This section is hard to follow as it is vague and impressionistic. Some example of what is in mind would have helped. The ambition also is vague and imprecisely defined. The state can supply clean water to everyone, but supplying culture to everyone? What does that mean? Supplying the culture that they want? The culture that the state would like them to want? Surely almost everyone can access the culture that they want in some form. Maybe not all can buy tickets, but all can partake digitally. "Some groups are not engaging in culture (as it is currently measured) to the same extent as the wider population, including people on low incomes, communities in areas of multiple deprivation, and those who do not have higher education qualifications. However, this data is based on a relatively limited list of cultural activities which may not reflect the wide range of activities people participate in. Other research demonstrates that people in all communities, from all backgrounds, are culturally engaged but in ways that may not be currently measured or perhaps valued. The way that cultural engagement is measured therefore needs to be reconsidered. " Of course different people have different tastes. The Scottish Government's philosophy of equality demands that all groups be the same. It is not a problem if, say, poorer people prefer films more while wealthier people prefer opera more. In the spirit of cultural Marxism, the government seeks new inequalities on the assumption that each one represents an injustice in need of state intervention. Having stated that there is no evidence that any group access culture less than others, why invest precious resources hunting for such differences? Cultural engagement can't be quantified anyway. Does attending an RSNO concert count equally to staying in watching the Simpsons boxed set? Communities and Geography The logic of this section is not easy to discern. What's culture got to with with demographics? "Current and projected demographics demonstrate the important role that communities should play in determining how culture is supported to meet the specific needs of all of the distinctive and diverse communities across Scotland. There is a need to understand the implications of the challenges faced locally, which are in part driven by population change, and how culture can help to bring communities together to adapt to those challenges and changes. The diversity and accessibility of cultural opportunities in an area not only builds community cohesion generally but can often promote mutual understanding between and mutual respect for the cultural expression of, for example, younger and older generations and between newcomers and existing communities. " This section seems to be saying that we will have more immigration and therefore more effort will be needed to bring about integration and mutual understanding. If diversity is a strength, why are special measures requited to ameliorate its consequences? Or is diversity actually a weakness in an area, leading to problems that need to be addressed to restore healthy community life?

8. Please provide comments on the aims and actions under this ambition. What do you like, or dislike, or what would you change?

Please provide comments on the aims and actions under this ambition. What do you like, or dislike, or what would you change?
Action 2: "working towards achieving social justice". Social justice is a political philosophy with which I disagree. The government is acting inappropriately by seeking to appropriate artists in the promotion of its political philosophy.

Sustaining culture

9. What is your view of the ambition, ‘Sustaining culture’?

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Support ambition
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Don’t know

10. If you have further comments on the ambition, ‘Sustaining culture’ please provide them below. What do you like, or dislike, or what would you change?

If you have further comments on the ambition, ‘Sustaining culture’ please provide them below. What do you like, or dislike, or what would you change?
"Value, trust and support creative people – for their unique and vital contribution to society and the economy." A tad obsequious and ingratiating. "Encourage greater openness and diverse cultures to reflect a changing Scotland in the 21st-century." Why is there a need to encourage diverse cultures to reflect a changing Scotland. Surely if you import different cultures they express themselves naturally? But what about the need for cohesion and integration? Isn't encouraging cultural distinctions at odds with these goals? The "diversity is good" principle seems to be standing in the way of clear reasoning here. "Evidence from funders and applicants, and from feedback received during the engagement phase shows that demand and competition for funding from all sources (public and private) is extremely high. " Hardly surprising. Handing out money does attract interested parties. Much easier to apply for a grant than to build up a following of people willing to pay for one's creations. EU funding, of course, is just the return of a fraction of what the UK pays in. So the UK can match or increase previous EU funding at no additional cost. "Artists and other freelance workers often: • Experience challenging working patterns and uneven rates of pay" That's the risk of setting up as an artist instead of getting a more conventional, but less attractive, job. The market will determine who can make a living out of art and who can't. "• Report that a freelance career can be unsustainable over a long period of time without some other means of support, with many juggling multiple jobs as well as caring responsibilities." Same again. Is the government going to subsidise everyone who wants to be a full-time poet or sculptor, thus insulating them from the economic reality that forces other people to get a more mundane job that will pay the bills? "more visible role models across civic life from schools to media. Cultural role models are increasingly crucial to enable a wider range of people to identify with, and be inspired by, people who are from a more diverse range of backgrounds in terms of: age; socio-economic background; gender; ethnicity; race; disability and sexuality." In other words, some people will receive preferential treatment. Discrimination in the name of equality. Once merit is not the sole criterion, quality suffers. " the UK Government’s decision to leave the EU " Correction: the UK electorate's decision. Blatant political point scoring.

11. Please provide comments on the aims and actions under this ambition. What do you like, or dislike, or what would you change?

Please provide comments on the aims and actions under this ambition. What do you like, or dislike, or what would you change?
Some previous comments relevant. Action 3. Improve "social status" of creators? Successful artists and crafts people are already highly regarded.

Monitoring the Impact of the Strategy

15. What is your view of the proposed approach to monitoring and evaluating the strategy set out in section 5?

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Support approach
Ticked Don’t support approach
Don’t know

16. If you have further comments on the proposed monitoring and evaluation approach, please provide them below.

If you have further comments on the proposed monitoring and evaluation approach, please provide them below.
See previous comment about unmeasurability. The way the document leads respondents to consider certain areas in line with government philosophy seems a little dubious. I hope that it will always be made clear that responses were prompted and not organic. Our policy is: "Where government funding is provided for the arts, priority should be given to the beautiful, the uplifting and the accessible." Should your objectives not include some such statement?

Other comments

17. Please use this section to provide any other comments that you wish to share about the strategy.

Please use this section to provide any other comments that you wish to share about the strategy.
Overall, the strategy indicates state over-reach. Culture is organic and flourishes where enthusiasm to create and consume coalesce naturally. Trying to force this process results often in the production of work that fails to capture a wide audience. The stance on cultural diversity seems incoherent, as I have already alluded to. The self-complimentary nature of some statements about Scotland are at least immodest, if not hubristic.

Impact Assessments

18. Do you think the partial Equality Impact Assessment has identified where the strategy might impact on people differently depending on characteristics such as age, disability, gender, race, religion or belief, sexual orientation or gender identity?

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Yes
No
Ticked Don't know

20. Do you think the partial Children’s Rights and Welfare Impact Assessment sets out how the proposals presented in the strategy might impact on the rights and welfare of children?

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Yes
No
Ticked Don't know

21. If you have further comments on the Children’s Rights and Welfare Impact Assessment, please provide them below. For example, what would you add or change?

If you have further comments on the Children’s Rights and Welfare Impact Assessment, please provide them below. For example, what would you add or change?
The groups you mention do not represent children. They are used by adults to speak through children.

23. Do you think the partial Business and Regulatory Impact Assessment identifies how the proposals presented in the Strategy might impact on businesses, the third (voluntary) sector or have any regulatory impact?

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Yes
No
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About you

Are you responding as an individual or an organisation?

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Individual
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What is your organisation?

Organisation
Scottish Family Party