Grunts for the Arts

Letter to Jeremy Hunt
August 8, 2012, 9:41 am
Filed under: London 2012

The following letter was delivered to the Offices of the Department of Culture, Media, Olympics and Sport by Marika, the winner of the Sack Jeremy Hunt Race in the London 2012 Closing Ceremony.

To DCMS and Jeremy Hunt,

 How busy you have been, closing down arts centres and the cultural infrastructure of the country, yet overspending on these modern day “Olympics”. Now London, the cultural hotbed of the country, once even of Europe, has had to close its sports centres (for lack of funding) and hire out its arts centres to this modern day “Olympics”.

You say it is money well-spent but we say it’s money mis-spent!

The 1908 Games relied on donations and ticket sales and no government involvement, costing a mere £5.7m-£7.6m in today’s money! Even with post-war rationing, shortages and austerity of 1948, the Olympic budget was £600,000 (£18.5m today) with a profit of £10,000! Where has our £9.3bn gone? In 2005, we the Great British public were told it would cost £2bn! If we ourselves made such mistakes, we would have been carted off by the banks, bailiffs and HMRC years ago!

GFA, dismayed by the ridiculous costs of the Games and so disappointed with the IOC’s demands for posh hotels and speeding lanes has come together with the Real Continuity IOC to re-inaugurate the true spirit of the Games and save the Olympian mind from atrophy.

Grunts for the Arts asks once again for the government to reconsider its woeful attitude to the Arts and the Nation’s health. With barely an hour to go to the RCIOC closing ceremony, we ask this government to undertake a truly magnificent clean sweep – including a brand new secretary of state for culture. Our goal is a new games, new trophies, new futures.

We call for the ‘Royal’ arts institutions like The Royal Opera House and The Royal Ballet to be supported by sponsorship and large donors, and, most importantly, by the Royal household. This return to its rightful owners would allow dwindling monies to be redistributed to those who cannot afford to live off luxury alone.

We call for real “arm’s length” funding of the Arts, where greater transparency of all funds, sponsorship and gifts to arts institutions are publicly declared without fear or favour. There is a greater need for transparency to defend against censorship and abuses of influence.

We call for Minister Jeremy Hunt to resign immediately to allow for a radical overhaul of state funding for all arts organizations, and artists.

And finally, we’d like to update you on the artists who were encouraged to retrain as sports people the last time you reallocated the DCMS budgets. Those artist-sports people, growing tired of waiting, have tragically gorged themselves on McDonalds, Cadbury’s chocolate and Coca-Cola. Instead of making them Faster, Higher and Stronger (as the IOC says), these Olympics have made them Obesus, Hirsutus and Stupidus! (How stupid of them to be caught out helping the sponsors.) Please send us your suggestions of how to simultaneously adhere to the Olympic brand guidelines and the IOC motto, so that we can help them!

Yours Faithfully,


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