Thursday, February 23, 2006

Welfare For Wasters

Seems like only a month ago the BBC needed an inflation busting rise in the licence fee to protect its ‘strong and distinctive schedule’. Well, they must have found some money down the back of the sofa – they’re splashing out £100 million on propping up the British film industry. And how did welfare for Emma Thompson et al get to be the BBC’s job ? Apparently, ‘By investing this acquisition money in UK films, we are ensuring that television audiences have access to a mix of movies which includes the very best of British.’ Don’t you just love the way Lefties don’t waste public money, they ‘invest’ it ? But leave aside the superficial absurdity and concentrate on the deeper stupidity: what the BBC is saying is that people like films so they need to prop up the film industry. Really ? Call this a shot in the dark, but I’m fairly sure there’s a more direct way for the public to fund film makers.

Ah yes – that would be the thing. For a real insight into what ails the British film industry, consider what swept the board at the Baftas. Now check out the box office takings. Big hits have been Narnia (current gross: £43,009,415), King Kong (current gross: £29,156,307) and Harry Potter 4 (current gross: £48,080,285). And the greatest film ever ? Ah yes, after 7 weeks it’s managed a gross of £8,534,522, or to put it another way, it’s in the same ball park as Fun with Dick and Jane and Memoirs of a Geisha. In just over a week, Chicken Little grossed £8,481,486. People might like films, but they don’t like the ones the British film industry wants to produce.

Brokeback Mountain celebrated homosexuality and adultery and mocked one of the heroic archetypes of western civilisation – the only way it could have appealed more to British Liberals was if it’d been set in Islington. No doubt the preference of the Great Unwashed for films with actual plots is another selling point in its favour with the chattering classes. That’s OK, there’s no law against snobbery, but I’m a little unclear as to why Joe Public should fund Liberal ego trips.

See, that’s Liberals all over. They whip out an onion when talking in the abstract about ‘the people’ or ‘the poor’ or ‘the disadvantaged’, but when it comes to actual people, the L3 are out there shaking them down for loot to pay for their idiot vanity projects. Hey, wasn’t it us Conservatives who were supposed to be beating down single mothers with our polo mallets ? Meanwhile, those compassionate Lefties at the BBC want to jail them if they don’t fork out cash to support their modern day Palace of Versailles.

No comments: