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The Urinals of Taj Mahal
Toilet humour is a relatively easy thing to come by but sold hard porcelain facts
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It was absolutely great and so inspiring. I really liked DaVId McLeod's collection. His Shapes and textures were really fantastic.
6 THE LIST 27 May—10 Jun 2004
The furore surrounding Jack McConnell and Scottish Opera has diverted
attention from the real crisis in the arts.
ats off to John McLellan. intrepid editor of
Seat/and on Sunday. for using the issue of
culture to get right under first minister Jack McConnell’s skin last week. But why did he do it‘.’ Was it a heartfelt move. or the first volley in a new battle between Scotland’s Sunday broadsheets'? Let‘s be realistic. If you’re involved in Scottish culture. you are now a pawn in a deadly game: Chess Barons.
It all started two weeks ago. when Sent/and on Sunday splashed a headline describing McConnell and his loyal manservant, Frank McAveety. as ‘the Philistines‘. complete with a mocking mock-up of the terrible twosome‘s heads grafted onto the bodies of the Chewin' the Fat neds. Knight takes castle! So proud was the 505 of its story that the editor followed up a week later with a coruscating attack on the Scottish Executive, in the form of a letter calling for an end to the ‘confusion' about culture in general. and Scottish Opera in particular. The letter was emailed to all the usual arty suspects. asking for them to add their names in support of the sentiment, which many of them duly did — List staffers included. Then. the paper published the letter without McLellan as a signatory. implying that it had been written by people in the cultural sector and not by the newspaper itself. Dirty move. but who cares! Queen takes bishop!
However. Edinburgh’s finest Sunday newshounds hadn‘t reckoned on the first minister‘s own Gary Kasparov tendencies. There on the newsstands that Sunday morning stood a ‘world exclusive‘ in the The
Emily and Anna Student and finanCia/ serwces worker Emily: It was really impresswe. You COuld see some of the modern fashions coming into the deSign but some of it was totally off the wall.
Sunday Herald: a leaked story on how the Scottish Executive was to bail out Scottish Opera with a £5m grant in retum for a cut in the payroll. While Sear/and on Sunday was heralding a crisis. the The Herald scotched it with a story on how McConnell was sorting everything out. Check!
It was time for the game to move tip a level. into the daily papers. and even into Holyrood. Breathless MSPs jumped at the chance to accuse McConnell of breaching ministerial codes by leaking commercially confidential information. The .S'eotsman branded it a ‘Crisis in the Arts' and splashed its front page with scandalised copy. while the The Herald did its best to feign an ironic smirk. gently mockinu McConnell‘s clumsy attempts at spinning the story. while The Sunday Herald editor Andrew Jaspan vigorously refused to name his sources.
The conclusion from the whole affair is a pretty depressing one. A reliable and well-meaning first minister gets drawn into a journalistic trap. and. just like his predecessor. finds himself under attack for a ‘breach' that's barely worth bothering with. But boy. does Holyrood bother with it. revealing its own penchant for operatic farce in the process. The papers get a scandal to fill their pages. and the flummery of the whole affair obscures the fact that we're no nearer to a solution for the big problem. The arts as a whole remain desperately underfunded. and another week goes by with a void where Scotland‘s cultural policy should be. Your move. first minister.
Edinburgh College of Art Fashion Show Edinburgh, Thu 13 May
Shelly and Sam Isla Property manager School pupi/ and Owl servant loved the
performance costume lreally Izked Piriiia Kaini's work; it was so colourful Etf‘tt she had added so much to it
Shelly: The Bartered Bride perfOrmance costumes were fantastic. Sam: Such a lot of energy and work has gone into creating these airiazing costumes.