John Major was a huge sports fan married to an opera enthusiast - setting up a ministry of culture and sport rather fitted his outlook (and that of David Mellor, another sport and classical music maven - plus some other peccadilloes best not mentioned in a family blog). But it's an indulgence, there's nothing here that merits such attention (a bit like agriculture, really) and the hints that the DCMS might be for the scrap heap are welcome:
Shadow culture minister Dan Jarvis tweeted last night that "well placed sources in Whitehall" suggested that "#CSR13 may scrap @DCMS - with Culture, Media & Sport going to other Govt depts".
These seems quite a good idea - the savings won't be huge but it's a start that will hopefully lead to the scrapping and merging of other departments. We don't need a department for business and we certainly don't need three departments with an interest in the environment. This process reduces the number of ministers (and their legions of spin doctors and special advisors) as well as the grand panjandrums of the Whitehall departments concerned.
Not surprisingly Labour and the luvvies (now that's a band name for you) think such public shrinking of the state a terrible thing:
As in 2012, Labour has pledged to oppose the move, with Jarvis warning that it would be "driven by short-term expediency, rather than the desire to plan for the long-term". He told me: "abolishing the department wouldn't be in the long-term interests of sports, or the arts, or the constituent parts of the culture brief. With the importance that they represent to people's daily lives, they deserve that focal point that sits at cabinet." He added: "the DCMS brief, based on its economic contribution alone, well deserves its own department."
This translates and "hey, that's my next job you're abolishing there".
However (boo, hiss) the abolition has been denied:
Unsurprisingly, Dan Jarvis doesn’t know what he’s talking about. There is absolutely no truth in these rumours.