Many, many apologies for my absence from the blog. I have been deep in the inner crevices and interstices of government searching for an escape route from the recession. Have I found it? You will find out next week when the New Deal of the MInd finally sees the light of day.
The coalition of people who believe that we must act now to prevent the loss of a generation of creative and entrepreneurial talent has been building steadily and we are beginning to reach critical mass. The University of the Arts (all the London art colleges) and the British Council in the form of its think tank Counterpoint, have both been fantastically supportive of the idea.
One of my concerns was that tough-nut Labour MPs would be put off by the idea of supporting creative types. But I discovered at today's press gallery lunch in the House of Commons, that one of the toughest of all nuts, Labour's chief whip Nick Brown, is something of an aesthete. As the Guardian's tireless investigative hack David Hencke revealed, Brown is a regular opera-goer and a close friend of the North Ossetian conductor Valery Gergiev. The job he really coveted after Gordon Brown took over as PM, it turns out, was not chief whip, but Secretary of State for Culture Media and Sport.
I'm hoping he will prove a useful ally in persuading the more workerist elements in the Labour Party of the value of harnessing the dynamism of the creative industries during the downturn.