Suspected culture

Re: 'Art of the Matter’ (features, issue 396)

Mark Fisher's article on the Scottish Executive's Cultural Strategy left me feeling confused. On the one hand he writes: ’lt’s called Scotland’s Cultural Strategy, but there’s very little of the strategic about it . . . it is a first attempt by the new Scottish Parliament to get to grips With the cultural thing. It is wide-ranging to the point of meaninglessness'. And on the other hand he writes: ' . . . in other words, Scotland has a formal policy, endorsed by first Minister Donald Dewar, no longer to treat the cultural sector as the poor relation‘.

So what is the Cultural Strategy? Is it Wide-ranging to the point of meaningless or a genume attempt by Government to improve the status of culture?

To me there is no confusion. This is a first, and genurne, attempt by the Scottish Executive to look at culture in Scotland and the role it plays. It may not be a perfect document, but the very fact that it has been published is in itself a major step forwards. It is a recognition of the Vital role that culture plays in the life of the nation, the way it shapes the image of Scotland in the Wider world, and its huge potential for invigorating our sooety. It sends out a signal that the new era in Scottish politics is to be echoed by a new era in Scottish culture It is vital that the opportunities the strategy holds out are seized, not only by arts organisations, but by everyone involved in cultural activities, from creative artists to administrators.

At SAC our prime focus is on helping artists and the arts community to share culture With the people of Scotland, wherever they may live and whatever their situation. The Cultural Strategy is a framework

for doing just that, it is part of the means, it is not an end in itself.

Of course, Mark Fisher is absolutely correct, if this strategy was about seeing large sums of money disappearing into the bureaucratic void it would be a great loss to artists and audiences alike. Surely it is up to publications such as The List to be vigilant and thus ensure that this is not the case.

Magnus Linklater

Scottish Arts Council Chairman 72 Manor Place

Edinburgh EH3 7DD Re-cycling the message

Re: Boom or bus? (Frontlines, issue 396)

l was pleasantly surprised by the piece written by Tim Dawson on Change Travel Week. He's condensed my comments well, although I’d take exception to one detail. I’m not a cycle campaigner, but work to advise on integrated transport, utilising the concept that travel consumption can be managed and big saVings made by buying your ’trips’ as you need them from 'best value' sources.

Typically an average family can save around £2000 a year by not owning and running a car, but hiring a new one when they really need it, catching buses, trains or taxis for other motorised trips, and walking or cycling the shorter ones. With unlimited travel on Edinburgh’s buses for just 90p a day, and all buses, trains, the subway and a ferry in Greater Glasgow for £1.58, the savmgs soon mount up on the AA’s figure of £10 a day to run a car.

Sadly the main focus in the daily press is to have motoring pages which relate only to the purchase of cars. No mainstream paper has revrewed car hire, public transport deals or utility cycles which are the transport purchase of over 30% of

Out Thursday 5 October

Sample the work of six exciting new voices in Scottish literature courtesy of 11:9


Coldplay . . . The Sopranos . . . Samuel Beckett . . . In The Mood For Love . . . Phil Kay . . . John Fardell . . . and more

households. I’m throwing the challenge to The List, and mainstream media to have a travel page that deals with the daily commute rather than the once-a-year holiday, on which generally less is spent.

l'll close with a plug for the DETR seminar series on Travel Management Plans for industry, which has a session in Glasgow on Thursday 28 September. Details on 0207 944 4904.

Dave Holladay via e-mail

Bye bye Big Brother

Has the UK finally gone mad?

So Big Brother has finally ended. And what have we learned? Some love it (a friend reported spending the whole night watching on the web), some despise it and would criticise our voyeur society and some, myself included, couldn't care less. It's just TV, right? Well, not quite.

Maybe it's millennium fever setting in a little later than expected, but the UK seems to be developing some kind of national consciousness. Big Brother has created a talking point (and did so even before the tabloids caught on), an escape from our lonely little lives to find out we’ve a common tOpic of conversation, a topic which transcends age and gender; my God, it's stopped us having to talk about the weather.

You can see the same thing with the petrol ’crisis’ (alias a godsend to anyone who doesn’t drive and was able to spend a few blissful days walking through quieter, less polluted streets). The Brits on strike? People out on the streets showing support, taking an interest in political issues? There’s definitely something suspicious going on. Have we got Big Brother to thank for it? Make up your own mind.

Everett McGiIl via e-mail

Contrlhutors Publisher & General Editor Robin Hodge

Editor Mark Fisher


Deputy Editor Brian Doria‘dsoi‘ Assistant Editors Miles Fielder, Mark Robertson

Research Helen Monagnan, Kt’il‘,‘ Apter, LOUisa Pearson Maureen E!‘;s, Henry NOrthmore

SALES AND MARKETING Sales & Sponsorship Director Mino Russo

Sales & Marketing Manager Amanda Mungall

Snr Sales & Sponsorship Executive Justine Watt

Sales & Sponsorship Executive Emma Lawson

Sales & Promotions Executive Daniel Pollitt

Circulation Serge Divito


Art Director Stephen Chester Production Manager Sl'TlOl‘. Armin Production Assistants Moira McFarlane, James Cargili

DTP Nikki Turner


Accounts Manager

Georgette RenWick

Accounts Assistant Manager Donna Taylor

Reception Betty Offermar‘. Edinburgh Office Pippa Wright Glasgow Office Jane Ham-iron New Projects Director

Mhairi Mackenzie Robinson

Art Helen Monagnai: Books Brian Donaldson

City Life lvlaureen Ellis, Jane Hamilton

Classical Music Caros Mam.

Clubs Catherine Bromley, lack Mottram

Comedy Steve Cramer

Dance Steve Cramer

Film Miles Fielder

Film Listings Helen Monag'iuin Folk NOrman Chalmers

Food Barry Shelby

Jazz Kenny Mathiesoo

Kids Maureen Ellis

Music Mark Robertson

Rock Listings Mark ROK)QI'.S()", Fiona Shepherd

Television Brian Donadso" Theatre Steve Career

Videos Miles Fielde'

©2000 The Ltd RPD'OfLK to". whole or in part is i0'i)l(IfI("l trioi‘. the written permission of the publishers

The List does not accent responSibility for unsolicited riiateria Printed by Scottish C0unty Press, Sherwooo Industrial Estate, BOnnyrigg, Midlothian

,‘ \ ‘ti


21 Sep—S Oct 2000 THE “ST 119