Debate Magazine

Culture and the EU

Posted on the 23 May 2016 by Markwadsworth @Mark_Wadsworth

From the BBC
Jude Law, Keira Knightley and Benedict Cumberbatch are among stars who have signed a letter saying Brexit would "damage" the creative industry.
Almost 300 actors, musicians, writers and artists are backing calls for the UK to stay in the EU.
They say "vital EU funding" and work across borders has been key to projects from galleries to blockbusters.
OK, for starters, if there's something here that is funded with "EU money" and we should fund it, then it's very simple. Some passing it to the EU to pass back to us and just fund it ourselves.
As it happens, I don't see why the EU (or us) should fund very much art at all, particularly not blockbusters or galleries. I happen to rather like big superhero movies, but I don't see why anyone but me should pay for them, and I mostly don't care for galleries and don't see why I should pay for them (I really like sculpture, but I can look at a painting on my PC at home).

The letter, organised by the Britain Stronger in Europe campaign, says: "Britain is not just stronger in Europe, it is more imaginative and more creative, and our global creative success would be severely weakened by walking away."
So, like when Shakespeare pinched Macbeth and Romeo and Juliet from Europe 300+ years before the EU was founded? Or how about that Emeric Pressburger came here from Hungary 50 years before the EU. We don't have an "EU" with America, but somehow, Stanley Kubrick came here to work. Alfonso Cuaron has been here for over a decade, despite there being no superstate including Mexico and the United Kingdom.
As for "our global creative success", utter rubbish. That's down to a number of things: being an advanced nation, being fairly liberal. speaking English and in the case of the film industry, making it tax beneficial to make films here (and that we have huge amounts of technical skills in making blockbusters which goes back to at least the 1970s when we were in the EEC and less connected).
Even before the EU you were far more likely to see a British film on American screens or to hear British pop simply because of language.

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