It almost goes without saying that the arts have an intrinsic value - the 'arts for arts sake' argument has been made countlessly and convincingly. But, clearly we are living in tough times - and we therefore need to make sure that the incredible instrumental potential of culture is both appreciated and maximised.
Mr Osborne is so busy shouting "you're wrong!" at his naysayers, he can't actually hear what they're saying.
I doubt that Camborne are curious enough to have contemplated the Marxist theory of alienation, which states that social problems arise from capitalism's pervertion of the natural relationship an individual has to their means of production.
What are nuclear weapons? Cold War relics? Necessary evils? Indiscriminate bombs? The ultimate insurance policy? The answer of course depends on your personal outlook. But here's another way of putting it: for the UK, nuclear weapons are over £100billion of taxpayers' money.
For all the government's tough talk of protecting the NHS, £2.2bn from the NHS budget was handed back to the Treasury in last week's budget. Ministers have let care standards slip as they obsess over an unnecessary reorganisation that's taken £3bn out of patient care when the frontline is making unprecedented savings.
This isn't simply about the 235 Sussex staff losing their jobs, but the insidious, unaccountable nature of political decision making about universities. Pause to think for a moment how the flagship Tory mantra "There Is No Alternative" specifically discourages debate about the absent merits of their radical restructuring programme.
My strategic advice to the sector, is to seek to find common cause with local government to make the case to central government to stop or at least mitigate the impact of further cuts; to expose the human and financial implications of the Government's welfare 'reforms'; and to argue for greater localism with more devolved responsibility and resources to localities.
A recession usually means that for lots of people- and not the people making the decisions about what gets funded- things are going badly and are set to get worse. The old aphorism may be a cliché, but it serves as a warning: some people are so poor all they have is money.
This is a potential game changer and a warning for austerity politicians from the third biggest economy in Europe. Watch the fear spread throughout the political classes.
I imagine even David Cameron might have been alarmed if someone had told him three years ago that his government would be looking at privatising our emergency services.
If women stopped having children the world would stop. We need to be given more respect for the ordeal of being pregnant for nine months and then giving birth.
The continued dismal performance of the UK economy is entirely consistent with the predictions of those of us who have argued consistently for the last two years that premature fiscal consolidation would be severely contractionary in the short term, and risked doing significant long-term economic and social damage.
We are living in the midst of an economic meltdown, which as the latest economic figures reveal is being made worse not better by a Chancellor whose incompetence and mendacity is now beyond doubt.
So why are so many women's refuges being closed down by cuts in local authority spending? In my opinion it's because there are more votes in filling pot holes and keeping up the bin collections than in keeping a place of refuge open for the victims of violence.
The hope and confidence that the government's commitment to the 'Big Society' offered to the VCS in 2010 has ebbed away to be replaced by a cynical dismissal of what now seems to have been little more than rhetoric rather than an substantial set of policies.
Let's start with the important bit. The debt target will be missed. Despite stressing that the deficit has fallen by a quarter under the government's economic strategy, the Chancellor admitted in his Autumn Statement that debt will not be falling against GDP until 2016.