Martin Bright

Suzanne Moore on New Deal of the Mind

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I know I said I wouldn't do this, but I have to plug one more article on the New Deal of the Mind. Suzanne Moore make a great contribution to the debate in Downing Street on Tuesday by warning that the initiative must not become just another opportunity for the arts lobby to hand out the begging bowl.

Suzanne's Mail on Sunday column this weekend captures the spirit of the summit meeting and the philosophy of the enterprise:

"It is an urgent situation and amazingly everyone there realised it and started putting some money on the table.

Trevor Phillips committed up to a million then and there. Jenny Abramsky of the Heritage Lottery Fund and Jude Kelly, who is also responsible for some of the Olympics money, agreed to look at projects they could fund.

Everyone knows this Government does not have money to spare, but we cannot afford to waste the skills of this and the next generation. Their digital inventiveness and sheer creativity exists whether in boom or bust.

A true depression means not just mass unemployment but real despair. It’s not just that actors and painters have to work in pubs, they do anyway; it means that we actively find ways of using their skills. That’s the Deal."

Gone are the days when the Britain's creative industries were written off as a mildly amusing sideshow. Now they are at the heart of what we do as a country. But it is important to emphasise that this does not just mean writers, artists and musicians, but the garden shed inventors, geeks and entrepreneurs who are just as creative in their own ways.