There was a really interesting discussion on Radio 4’s Today programme this morning. Nicholas Hytner, director of the National Theatre, wants to see more "right-wing" plays.
On Monday this site hosted a discussion on whether the left or right were dominant in politics. What is incontestable is that the liberal left are dominant in the arts.
American conservatives are much more aware of the seriousness of the politicisation of the conservative movement. In the 1960s the American left decided to take over the commanding heights of the culture – including Hollywood – and the right plotted to dominate politics. Both won… but it is probably the left which won the greater prize. Politics is downstream from culture and the social conservatives are now investing hundreds of millions of dollars in fighting back. The Passion of the Christ and Narnia were big budget products of this fightback. A blockbuster film on William Wilberforce is in the pipeline – part-funded with money from Christian business leaders.
The big question I want to leave you with is this, however: What is a right-wing film/ play/ book? Many libertarian right-wingers will, of course, disagree with socially conservative right-wingers but we know what left-wing plays look like – they are anti-family, anti-business, anti-American…
In Monday’s thread I said that "the Tory Party can’t be expected to do all of the work itself" in turning public opinion on issues like tax. But political campaigns cannot do all the work either. The arts challenge the status quo but, as Today noted this morning, the status quo is now very left-wing – for many years rejecting plays like Ian Curteis’ Falklands drama. What can be done?