Writers' Guild General Secretary, Bernie Corbett, has criticised the proposed merger of the British Film Institute (BFI) and UK Film Council (UKFC), announced yesterday by Film Minister, Siôn Simon.
"A new, streamlined single body that represents the whole of the film sector will offer a better service both for film makers and film lovers," Simon said.
"There are practical issues which we need to resolve to ensure that this proposed merger brings about the benefits we want without impacting on the work currently done by the BFI and UKFC. DCMS will now work closely with both BFI and the UKFC to deliver a better service for film."
Corbett, however, disagreed. "No one in the arts and entertainment world will believe this is any more that penny-pinching intended to free up a few more pounds to be sucked into the Olympics black hole," he said.
"A merger between these two bodies makes about as much sense as a merger between the Science Museum and British Aerospace," he said. "Will it be this Government or the next one that finishes the job by throwing the fast-declining Arts Council into the same jumble-sale operation?
"Today’s announcement confirms Britain as a nation blessed with extraordinary reserves of talent and cultural heritage, delivering audiences and cultural tourists by the million, but governed by short-sighted philistines, box-ticking bureaucrats and self-deluding economists."
You can read Bernie Corbett's full statement on the Writers' Guild website.