Thursday, October 3, 2013

Arts Minister Heidi Victoria wants to hear from you

Let us just imagine for a moment that there are more pressing matters than a pleasant nine holes, a little fishing and an idle hour or two enjoying what for the moment remains the inchoate bafflement that has held many Labor and Greens supporters in its thrall since that glorious Saturday a few weeks back. Allowing for the existence of a spare moment, we might -- should, actually, being responsible adults -- unleash a little anger that the closest thing we have in Victoria to a conservative force is the government of Premier Napthine, one of whose ministers has spent the past week announcing grants to an arts community that will always take the money and, just as predictably, do whatever it can to assist its patron's ouster. To Overland, $50,000 worth of Guy Rundle-and-worse. To the Melbourne Writers' Festival, a quarter of a million. And to the chap who slithers about in a box of smoke, a very welcome $15,000. Apolitical he might seem, but which way do you reckon the human filter tip's audience will lean come the casting of the ballots in November 2014?

One could try calling the office of the Arts Minister Heidi Victoria and register a protest, but she holds her seat of Bayswater by a very comfortable 21 per cent, so the odd whiner is unlikely to be blessed with more than the cooing voice of sympathetic electoral officer and the sound of telephone going dead.

But just imagine that Ms Victoria received a message from her office -- the news that callers had been promising to contact schools, clubs, civic organisations and alert them to the fact that their MLA had just given $50,000 to a St Kilda gallery that was closed by the police after an exhibiting artist was charged with producing child pornography. Unlikely to go down well, you would think.

Or what about getting even more serious, starting from the position that a conservative government which isn't conservative doesn't deserve to be a government either. So just suppose Napthine was given to understand that candidates in just one or two of his most marginal seats were to be portrayed as supporting the public funding of really nasty stuff. It wouldn't be entirely fair, true. But then neither is the $250,000 lavished on the MWF celebration of lefties talking about how smart they are and everyone else isn't. If the minister is too busy or too lazy to call the organisers aside and request a little balance, then she might as well send her dog to administer the portfolio.

Here is the minister doing what politicians do and ingratiating herself with those on whom her future depends, in this members of the Pirate-Australian community from the local cricket club.

And here is where you can send an email to Ms Victoria. Readers should feel free to copy and paste their remarks into the comments thread. One message will be ignored, but a bunch of them might actually prompt a reaction.


  1. Well, well, well, you learn something everyday: Heidi Victoria is not actually the name of an art gallery. A word for Ms Heidi and the boss, Denis from Portland: if you pretend you are your enemy, you will be replaced by them. The Victorian Liberal Party might as well be headquartered at Trades Hall.

  2. God I hate supposedly right wing pollies. Lefties I despise but traitors are lower than dogs.

  3. Elizabeth (Lizzie) B.October 3, 2013 at 10:14 AM

    Here is a new broom, Heidi. Please use it.

  4. Heidi & Denis will receive my missive; along the lines that I'm old, cranky and although a liberal voter I've had enough of this outrageous gifting of large chunks of money to anyone who holds out their hand in the name of art.
    Usually they are blind lefties on the receiving end.
    Therefore I'm voting ALP at the next election (horror!) but that can't be any worse than voting for those soft cock libs; oh and I'm moving to Frankston.
    So suck it up sunshine and grow a pair if you want my vote.

  5. The "yarts" must be defunded. If you want to paint, dance, slither around in a smoke filled box etc then pay for it yourself.