Saturday, 29 March 2008

"Strictly youth dancing - ministers join 'Strictly' stars and Royal Ballet to boost youth dance", pah

When I saw the above Dept of Culture press release headline (it was issued a while back, I'm slow!), first my mind boggled, then I got angry.

The initial image which that line conjured up in my mind's eye was of British ministers desperately trying to be hip, awkwardly trying their hand, or rather shuffling feet, at joining the "yoofs" in dance - and it wasn't a pretty picture. Even if mildly amusing.

Then, I got annoyed. Talk about making Dumb Britain worse. Why aren't they putting as much money into "supporting" young people into the sciences? Oh no, kids in the UK need to be helped into dance. I'm as much of an arts fan as the next person, e.g. I love music and the vocal arts, but more money ought to be going into what's much, much harder to do: firing children's imagination about science, stimulating their intellectual curiosity about the world. I'm not even going to start about the educational system in the UK generally. Oh wait, I have.

The 19th century was the century of the British Empire, the 20th of the American. The economic powerhouses of the 21st century will be from the Asia-Pacific / India - and no one should be at all surprised. Decline and fall, indeed.

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