There are some supporters that the anti-cuts movement could do without. Back in 2009 Tracey Emin threatened to quit the UK over the 50% tax rate. “The French have lower tax rates and they appreciate arts and culture” she wailed. “At least in France”, she told us, “their politicians have always understood the importance of culture and they have traditionally helped out artists with subsidy and some tax advantages.” Because obviously, the best indication of how far a society values art and culture, is its willingness to offer tax breaks to those who make millions out of it.
Well anyway, it has recently been suggested, by fellow artist Dinos Chapman, that her cosey relationship with David Cameron is a betrayal of students, given what’s happened to tuition fees. Yet, she has come out fighting. The other day, she was quoted in the evening standard saying:
The point is that he didn’t ask me what my views were on tuition fees. The difference between Dinos and me is that he’s doing articles in newspapers and I’m actually talking directly to the Prime Minister, saying that I don’t think it’s a good idea and that without fees being paid I wouldn’t be the person I am.“
Indeed Tracey has not been shy about fighting the austerity agenda. Back in September she launched a campaign to fight cuts to the arts.
All of which makes us wonder who Tracey believes should pay for the arts and for arts students. Should the burden fall on somebody who makes millions out of doing exactly the job they desire? Should a woman who, in her own words, was able to become who she was precisely because of free education now be expected to shoulder some of the load, now that she’s raking it in? Surely not.