Can creative industries create a crisis?

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We are now staring down the barrel of a no-deal Brexit. How did that happen? Doubtless various creatives are already planning ‘the Brexit biopic’ but this is not the time to contemplate what calumny brought us here. We are where we are.

And it isn’t a good place. A handful of mainly old, white, southern men (the dwindling Tory party membership) have foisted on us a real character for a PM. That will play well in the biopic but, frankly, the fact that character comprises being a proven liar, opportunistic charlatan and philanderer, doesn’t fill me with optimism.

For the creative industries the crisis is real. No deal means no country of origin status and that means international broadcasters will have to leave (most have already gone). Not a massive deal in itself, but the knock-on in the supply chain will be hard. And tighter restrictions on immigration won’t help either. Or tariffs. But most damaging will be the tarnishing of the brand: global, outward looking, culturally vibrant Britain has decided it prefers its own company. Or worse, the ever-closer company of its transatlantic cousins. Chlorinated culture anyone?

But you wouldn’t know there was a problem. As the rubber of reality begins to hit the road of ‘no deal is no big deal’ bullshit, industries will be lining up to wave their shrouds. Quickly in is the car industry. All of it is owned abroad, so why, as they are now pointing out, would they stay in a tariff barriered Britain? It makes no sense at all.

The creative industries at £100 billion+ are much bigger than the car industry.

Soon farmers – whose livestock business will, literally, die overnight from tariffs – and many others, will line up with their dire warnings illustrated with animals, hard hats or robots. All easy copy and pictures. The creative industries are bigger than all these combined.

It’s always going to be difficult to get the ‘man in the street’ to recognise the creative sector does actually create more real jobs and national wealth than the amount its members spend on artisan coffee. But could some of you please give it a go.


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