I see conspiracy theorist* Greg Dyke is doing pretty well from his association with the Conservatives these days.
For those who don’t remember, after his spectacular falling out with Labour he dallied with the Lib Dems before the Tories tried to get him to stand to run as Mayor of London. He was one of various people the Tories wanted ahead of their last resort and eventual ‘choice’, Boris Johnson.
After that they announced he’d head a creative industries review for the Tories, the result of which called for the scrapping of the BBC license fee.
Anyway, the Tories have – finally – announced what they’re planning on doing with the UK Film Council, which they announced would be scrapped – to the dismay and concern from the entire industry and Steve Spielberg among others – and prompted Hollywood legend Clint Eastwood to write to George Osborne expressing his concern.
Basically most of the functions of the UK Film Council (UKFC) will be submerged into the British Film Institute (BFI), which will consequently need to be enlarged, costing more money and essentially turning itself into a UKFC Mk.II. This follows on from a plan by the last (Labour) government to merge the two bodies anyway but with the internationally respected UKFC as the senior body. So the Tories, after four months of messing about, have essentially followed Labour’s plan, except swapped a few things around and angered the entire global film industry in the process.
The chair of the BFI is naturally very pleased that his group is going to be enlarged with extra responsibilities. The chair being Greg Dyke of course, but then I’m sure it’s a total coincidence that a man who hated Labour and was chair of a body to be submerged into a larger and more respected group, ends up submerging the larger group as dictated by the Tories and running everything himself.
I’m going to give him the benefit of the doubt though, and presume this recommendation wasn’t in his report to the Tories about the UK creative industries, which does of course include UK cinema.