UK Film Politics

The Muddy waters of eternity

Most of the cartoons here were done as a reaction to the abolition of the UK Film Council, of which I was the first Chairman. Closing the UKFC was a hasty, petulant act of political vandalism executed by an arrogant and ignorant, right wing ideologue, Jeremy Hunt, MP for South West Surrey, soon after being appointed Secretary of State for Culture Media and Sport following the 2010 elections. The UK Film Council was the best, and most professional, support agency the UK film industry ever had, with a board made up of cutting edge professionals.  It resulted in a decade of unprecedented unity, stability and growth for the British film industry, leading to what the Observer called a ‘golden age’ of British film. At the news of the Film Council’s demise, the grabby producers’ organization, PACT, rubbed their hands together and the Directors groups, the DUK and DGGB, shamefully rolled over and let the moron Hunt piss all over them and the film industry. The garroting of the UKFC has lead to a miserable void: impotent, lackluster and far from golden, as each self interested group scrambles — grabbing at their ten quid’s worth of lottery pie. It’s so reminiscent of the dark ages that preceded the UKFC, with the BFI acting just as the inept Arts Council did before them: a bunch of spineless, clueless amateurs overseeing an interminable cycle of seminars, conferences and gas-bag posturing, as the gabby, periphery talk the core filmmakers into an early grave. The ability to shape and guide an industry has been lost as it fragments once more into a dog’s bollocks of self-interested groups. Whilst the amateurs who have never worked on, or even been on, a film set are in charge, the UK film industry will continue its decline with one bullshit decision after another. After screwing up the film industry, the hapless and ambitious Hunt went on to be serially discredited regarding his handling of Sky and the News Corps shenanigans, where his brown-nosing of Murdoch was of Olympian proportions and deemed to be probably illegal. His personal aid, who had concocted all the bogus figures regarding the Film Council, was fired even before the National Audit Office reprimanded Hunt for politically motivated, bogus accounting regarding the Film Council abolition. But, in Tory tradition, the aid was made to fall on his sword regarding his inappropriate behaviour with Sky, and Hunt was promoted by Cameron to look after the National Health Service. God help us all — especially, all those crotchety, PACT members in need of a hip replacement.


All cartoons © Alan Parker