I'm hosting a live phone-in with Ben Bradshaw and his opposite numbers in the Tories and Lib Dems. Please join in
Tomorrow on Music Matters on Radio 3, I'm hosting a live phone-in with the culture secretary, Ben Bradshaw, and his opposite numbers in the Tories and Lib Dems, Ed Vaizey and Don Foster. As Charlotte Higgins has so brilliantly demonstrated in her interviews with all of the parties and her scrutiny of their policies and records, there has hardly been a more interesting time for the relationship between the arts and government.
All three major parties promise to sustain funding for the arts in general, and music in particular, at current levels, either by beefing up philanthropy (the Tories) or rejigging the National Lottery (the Lib Dems). They all pay lip service to how important music is for our schools and for children. But none have said how they would follow Labour's £332m settlement for music education, which runs out in 2011, and none have even promised the peanuts it would cost to keep the three In Harmony pilot projects going.
We all know how the arts can be used in an election as a convenient vote-winner and then be kicked unceremoniously into the long grass once the new parliament sits. There are big questions for all three parties to answer – but the best will come from you. It's your chance to test them, live, on their policies and vision for music. Email the show at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0370 909 3333 tomorrow morning, and be part of the programme at 12.15pm. I look forward to hearing you on-air!
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