Rishi Sunak has, by omission, declared that jobs in the creative arts and live entertainment industry are not viable.
Despite bringing huge amount of revenue into the tax coffers, theatre, concerts, cinema – it’s all for nothing. There is no support.
They bailed out the banks. They have also provided financial support to British Airways – £300m, America’s InterContinental Hotels Group – £600m, the US/Dutch/Italian agricultural equipment manufacturer CNH Industrial – £600m, easyJet – £600m, Ryanair – £600m, The worlds largest catering company – The Compass Group -£600m, Chanel -£600m – with their parent company based in the tax haven of Cayman Islands while their HQ is based in London, Baker Hughes (One of America’s largest oil and gas service companies) -£600m, JCB – £600m, German Pharmaceutical giant Bayer – £600m, and Germany’s BASF received £600m financial support as well, from the British Government’s COVID-19 Corporate Finance Facility (CCFF).
The entertainment industry is dying. You say our jobs are not viable, but you are so short sighted. You have not looked at the bigger picture. You’ve not imagined the repercussions in years to come. This isn’t about any single company going under.. this is about an entire INDUSTRY!
Can you imagine in 20 years, life in the United Kingdom without British music? Without British cinema? Without West End theatre? It’s what you’re laying the groundwork for – this will be your legacy. A bleak miserable future. Imagine state controlled radio and television. I suppose you have, and the idea appeals to you..
It isn’t just the job of the singer on the stage that you’re threatening. It’s their crew, sound engineers, lighting designers, catering, trucking, accountants, dancers, musicians, makeup artists, costumers, choreographers, hair stylists, chauffeurs, personal trainers, public relations, admin.. that’s just the tour personnel. At the venues, you’ve got the security staff, the customer service, kitchen staff, bar staff, stewards, event managers.. thousands of people involved in bringing shows to our arenas and halls every day…
British music is revered all over the world.. Could you imagine yourself having lived without the Beatles? Without the Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, Elton John? Would you like to tell Ed Sheeran or Adele they’re not viable any more?
My point is that you’re making it sound too clean. Too clinical. “Unviable jobs”.
There are people behind those jobs. Valuable people. They are not unviable.
I have made many friends in my time doing what I do. I care about the people I meet in my work. Many of them have been doing their jobs even longer than me.. and THEY have made many friends over the years too. It is not just jobs that you are stripping. It’s friendships, a sense of purpose and well being. Being a part of something.. you’re not taking away just their jobs, their livelihoods.. you’re tearing apart friendships, companionships, and communities. They are NOT unviable.
So the industry has to take a break due to Covid-19.. that’s fair enough. You can’t be blamed for that. But people are losing their jobs..
People I know and care deeply about are losing all they’ve ever known.. People who keep concert goers safe, despite working zero hour contracts and being on standby at a moments notice.. event management – people who have been doing the same job for over 20 years, in despair at the thought of losing their jobs and having to retain in another field, because you say they are not viable.
So.. tell me Mr Sunak, I’m all ears..
What is the plan for when the pandemic eases and restrictions are lifted? Yeah – I reckon Ed Sheeran might be well up for going out on tour and getting the industry back on its feet, bringing in valuable funds to your tax coffers…. But how can he do that, when the thousands of people who he relies on to put on the show have gone on to other careers?
Think about that Mr Sunak. Hopefully the pandemic will be over one day. But there will be NO-ONE left who is capable of running the industries you’re letting collapse. It doesn’t matter what British talent there is.. They can’t do it alone, and those are the people you claim are not viable. The ones who will be relied on to rebuild it before it gets back to normal.
Do not kill our industry.
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