Letter to The Editor - If artists and patrons could be kinder to right-wing views, a centre-right government might return the favour
To The Age Jason Steger is right ("The arts are vital to everyone", 7/12) to remind us that our artists are "just as important in telling the world about the nature of Australia" as our sports stars. Thus it is reasonable for him to question what seems a diminution of government support for them in the PM's "rejigging of the federal public service." On a wider scale Steger expresses puzzlement at our nation's "fraught relationship with the arts." That their value "is not fully tangible" may indeed be part of it. The arts direct our awareness beyond the mundane and the merely logical to regions not currently in fashion with outdoor hedonists or money-makers. Yet a significant number of culturally alert Australians still do value them for the "intrinsic quality they bring to society." What is omitted in Steger's analysis is the close link (for good as well as bad) between the arts and left-wing politics. If artists and patrons could be kinder to right-wing views, a centre-right government might return the favour.
Nigel Jackson, Belgrave