As parliamentary recess looms, could MPs’ mental faculties already be aboard the Gatwick Express? After Michael Gove attributed the laws of thermodynamics to Isaac Newton last week, the secretary of state for rhyming slang has been caught out multiplying government investment by a factor of ten.
Responding to a question from Ivan Lewis, Hunt wrote that DCMS funding for film making in 2009-10 (his predecessor Ben Bradshaw’s tenure) totalled £333 million. The figures given for the subsequent coalition years were a paltry £40.963 million and £28.268 million respectively, the latter less than 10% of Labour’s supposed budget.
Scrapbook understands that this is a simple matter of a misplaced decimal point – the real figure should be £33.3 million. But perhaps if Hunt paid a bit more attention to detail, he’d have realised his mistake in axing the entire UK Film Council last year. As The Guardian noted in April:
“The UKFC’s entire annual budget was a reported £3m, while the cost of closing it down and restructuring is estimated to have been almost four times that amount.”
One of the final UKFC-backed projects was the box office smash The King’s Speech, which told the story of a nervous leader’s tragic problems of expression.
Perhaps Hunt could watch it and learn something.