Underclass families breeding and abusing children on the taxpayer dime? No.
The scandal of the so-called ‘Court of Protection’? Not quite.
I’ll give you a clue…
It is a shame that Cardinal Walter Kasper was, in the end, unable to make the trip to our "third-world country". If his health had held out, I would have invited him to accompany me to The Tabernacle, a drinking spot in London's Notting Hill, for the launch of a groundbreaking anthology of poetry written by some of the UK's most inspiring new poets.Eh..? Poetry? Just how could poetry be involved in a burning injustice?
Easy. Like this:
One of the reasons Ten matters is because it redresses a gross imbalance, namely that under 1% of poetry books published in the UK are by black or Asian poets.Oh noes! Scandal! Hold the front page!
"This is, quite simply, not fair," says one of the anthology's editors, Bernardine Evaristo. "And we all know that 'fairness' is a traditional, core British value."In what way is it ‘not fair’?
A week before the launch of Ten, Hunt told delegates at the Media Festival Arts that he is firmly in favour of "broadening participation" in the arts and is "very ashamed" that we still live in a country "where many, many people don't get a chance to access the arts".I can think of lots of things to feel ashamed about, but not the lack of opportunities to see the arts.
But then, I’m not currently supping with the Media Festival Arts. How were the canapés, Hunt?
Sounds hopeful, doesn't it? Unfortunately, what he said next was not: "The debate has got to move on from the kind of box-ticking targets approach that says that in return for your grant from the Arts Council, you will get so many people from particular ethnic or social backgrounds."Huzzah! Surely, this is good news?
How exactly is the Arts Council to interpret this? Should it now be striving to fund projects that mimic the largely white, male, privately educated, Oxbridge cabinet of which Hunt is such a fortunate part?No, it merely means that they should be colour-blind – reward good poetry, no matter who writes it.
Seriously, though, the poets who comprise the Ten anthology are not colourful ticks in boxes, but talented poets in their own right.Then they should be similarly in favour of colour-blind policies.
These are committed, hard-working artists: they don't want charity; they want equality.Sounds like they are on the same page as Hunt, then, surely?
And certainly not the same page as this chap:
"Mainstream poetry presses need to open their lists up to new black and Asian voices now – not in three, 10 or 20 years," says Evaristo, who laments that Faber has only published two non-white poets in 80 years – Linton Kwesi Johnson and Daljit Nagra, who co-edited Ten. "One hopes that it won't be another 80 years before another such poet makes the list."Hey, it might be, if no-one comes along who’s any good at poetry…