I know this article is going to sound emotive, and I make no apologies for that as when I believe in something, it tends to be all or nothing.
As a child and teenager, you would not find anyone more sporty. In todays terminology I would have been called hyper active. I represented my secondary school at every sport and for years whether it was after school or work I would cycle 25 miles every evening as a training run. Also completing Lands End to John 'O' Groats two years running.
So trust me, there is no one who enjoys their sport more than I, but when I see that we now put sport above the welfare of our fellow human beings, I really do struggle to see how things could have become SO messed up.
You do NOT need money to play sport, the proof of the pudding is that children are more unfit today than they have ever been and yet our government pours billions of pounds into it. As opposed to when I was a child there was no money but kids were far fitter than they are today.
Art. What a wonderful past time. Whether you draw, dance, paint, sing or act. We are given a huge amount of pleasure enjoying the various forms of art. My favourite being particularly uneducated, is, Banksy! Of course art in its many forms has been passed from generation to generation for us to enjoy. Is it necessary for us as a civilised nation to put art before assisting others to live with dignity?
Last week I posted a blog about the disabled among us and primarily wheelchair users. I did say that I would make some suggestions as to how we can easily pay for huge improvements for the disabled, which is their right as equal members of society. Unless of course they are not? Of course I hear you yell, "We are not all equals, and that is also why communism has failed". What a poor argument this is quite frankly. I am probably more UKIP than Tory, but arranging our finances to benefit those who are certainly deserving of it does not make me a communist, it makes me a realist.
How can any of us in all good conscience put the world of Art over whether someone can afford the correct type of wheelchair. How can we in all good conscience put buying sports equipment or funding sporting groups over making transportation easier, access to buildings easier, or providing support for the carers who give so selflessly.
I am now hearing the cry go up "Art is our inheritance and should be supported financially at all costs". In short 'NO', art in all its forms is free, a concept that record companies are now struggling with in these days of the internet. If the rich wish to keep art let them pay for it, why should it come out of public funds? Yes many dancers, singers, painters and performance artists will have to go elsewhere to find work most probably abroad where they would get paid, but as surely as I am writing this now, we should NOT be paying for the arts when we have those in society who through no fault of their own are struggling like third class citizens. In all honesty, it is archaic and an abhorrent way to treat people.
We will invest over £1 billion of National Lottery and Exchequer funding between 2012 and 2017 in organisations and projects.
So in one sentence on the opening page of the Arts Councils website £2.4 billion pounds of public money over a three year period. £800,000,000 a year given to the arts council! Sport England £200,000,000 pounds a year over 5 years, of public money! My money! Your money! It doesn't matter whether we are happy for this money to go there or not. We need to get our prioritise right.
Culture Media and Sport said the overall cost of delivering the 2012 Olympic Games was £8.92 billion, lower than the £9.3bn set aside. Although I'm sure I remember figures of 12-15 billion being banded around. https://uk.eurosport.yahoo.com/news/london-2012-final-cost-london-2012-games-revealed-135956051.html
THE cost of staging the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow rose from £81million to £454million. http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/politics/cost-of-glasgow-2014-commonwealth-games-1042259
We also have a yearly £10,000,000,000 foreign aid budget
All of this money I have been quoting, is your money, my money, money that those with disabilities would/could find to be life changing.
Yes I did enjoy the Olympics contrary to my objections to having to pay for it. Yes I enjoyed Euro 96, but what I cannot and will not countenance, is the attitude of money for sport or art over the well-being of those who deserve better but appear not to have a voice. These sums I have quoted are not made up and frankly would fulfil any requirement. I know I use exclamation marks a lot, some would say, way too often. I would say that on this subject I have not used them enough!