Monday 3 March 2003

Including the "wrong" sort of visitor

Labour's policy of introducing free admission to museums hasn't quite worked out as planned:
The dropping of admission charges, a key plank of Labour’s social inclusion agenda, has brought many more people through museum doors, but most are from middle and upper socio-economic groups, according to the Association of Leading Visitor Attractions.

But yesterday it was claimed that many of the new visitors were the very people who could afford to pay. "Although it’s good to see such increases in visitor numbers, it’s disappointing not to see a good social mix," said visitor association director Robin Broke.

Well, there's a surprise. Labour thinks that the "working classes" can be "included" by providing them with free access to culture. Of course, it's actually the other way round: those who are interested in museums and culture are no longer "working class". Needless to say, I am using the term "class" in the way the Labour party does. A correct usage would ascribe the term "working class" to all who earn their living in the free market and "exploiting class" to those who live at the expense of the taxpayer.