“The Ticket” Or
“An open letter to Maria Miller on the subject of Prove Your Worth”.
Dear Mrs Miller,
I couldn’t help notice your speech recently
How the arts should “Prove their Worth”
And any decently-minded person
Knows in times of austerity
The lack of prosperity
Means sacrifices have to be made
But the carcass of the arts has been skinned and flayed
too many times for there to be anything left to cut.
However, in the face of your ifs and buts
Let me be gracious and bigger
And do your job for you with a few facts and figures.
Last year our town held a summer of culture
Costing £1.2 million pounds
But it wasn’t just niche artistic vultures
Who turned up for the sights and sounds
But punters from far and wide
Came to venues outdoors and inside
And gross income was £6.4 million
Over five times as much
And it seems to me such
An obvious conclusion to draw
You don’t need to be smart
But here’s what happens
when you buy a ticket for the arts.
Firstly the event needs to come to your attention
So marketing companies use their invention
Design a campaign and put the message out
By poster, adverts, brochures and spout
On the air and social media,
Telling you everything you need t' know
So that’s marketing, print and media industries grown.
You book a ticket by phoneSo the phone people make money
Pay a fee to the agency
(Make sure they’re legit and not funny)
That’s yet more business supported by the Arts net
And you haven’t even left home yet
Take public transport and you're filling their coffers
But if they don’t have any special offers
You can drive your own car
For which you’ve paid insurance tax and road duty
And the biggest expense by far, (this is a beauty).
Is fuel of which the lion’s share is tax.
And we still haven’t got there
But you settle down and relax.
Because time’s getting on and you need to eat
So find a restaurant or bar to put up your feet
Spend your hard-earned on a meal and a drink
This all boosts the economy without having to think
And finally, finally, you get to the show
And when you get there, what do you know?
Money for programmes, drinks at half time
Ice-creams, souvenirs and the point of this rhyme
Is that there are so many industries relying in part
On that one ticket you bought for the arts.
The industry this philistine government is slowly choking
So please Mrs Miller are you teasing or joking
When trying to keep this argument alive
Every pound spend on the arts generates another four or five
Mrs Miller, please come to your senses
Politicians love creative writing
I mean look at MP’s expenses
I’m going to finish this message
With a line that isn’t meant to be funny
Quote Bob Geldof to the Treasury and
“Give us your BLEEPing money”.