Arts minister says 'useful idiots' behind Sydney Festival boycott have suppressed art

Federal Arts Minister Paul Fletcher has drawn parallels between an artist boycott of the Sydney Festival and Stalinist Russia.

21/01/2022 3:53:00 AM

Federal Arts Minister Paul Fletcher has drawn parallels between an artist boycott of the Sydney Festival and Stalinist Russia.

Paul Fletcher's strong comments come after dozens of artists have already withdrawn from the festival in recent weeks, in solidarity with the global Palestinian-led BDS movement.

“The lessons of history are pretty clear: if programming and curatorial choices are subject to political censorship, you end up with pretty dreadful art.“Stalinist Russia, with its turgid dramas and operas celebrating heroic workers exceeding their tractor production quotas, is but one of many examples.”

Mr Fletcher said arts festivals “should be about creativity, expression, telling stories, making an impact, moving an audience”.“If arts festivals are required to conform to a political orthodoxy then the first casualty will be the quality of what is programmed. The second casualty, of course, will be the audience experience,” he wrote.

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Typical LNP, just like Josh raising the spectre of 'militant unions' because ppl want to be protected from sickness. The LNP is scraping the barrel for lies but only revealing its underlying rotteness. Its all coming out into the light so 'mad bastard saying mental bullshit' is the title of the article boycottsydneyfestival boycott

There is no room in the world for evil Zionist lobbyists like Paul Fletcher. Definitely need to be removed from Australian Politics. Have a read at this guy's one eye view of the Israeli state. Nothing says communist Russia like artists having the freedom to criticise authority. Rubbish, Alll artists ARE heroes for refusing to be involved with bribery by well known ideology,who invaded and on going basis mistreat the Palestinians in every way possible, camera’s DON’T lie Boycott in every way possible, the so called embassy should be closed

Is he fucking unhinged because his skull is full of styrofoam peanuts Hey folks I'm not like, totally accross the board on journalistic integrity - but I feel like running interference for an apartheid regime and attempting to hide dissenting opinions is what you might refer to as a 'news based whoopsy uh-oh'.

Did he mention when George Brandis appointed himself commissar of Arts grants funding? And how exactly did Fletcher decide those RISE grants again? auspol

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I seriously doubt that he even knows the difference between Stalinist Russia and and a Bolshevik Russia… The Sydney Arts Festival is sponsored by Israel, which is a brutal apartheid regime Why is this fair and appropriately referenced comment hidden, SBS? Just another right wing talking point from members of the Morrison government. Seems like extreme views and comparisons are all they have left besides conspiracy theories. Australians have moved on and so should they

🤔 Artists are being used as political pawns. Single issue art is propaganda. (And what about all the other people who were trying to make a buck, such as backstage people or cafes and restaurants which surround the performance venues? Oh well, too bad eh?) He is a politician he says whatever he wants with no accountability

Modern leftism is pure stupidity Paul Fletcher saying that merely projects his own interest and intentions.

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In Stalinist Russia if you got out of line the govt shot you. Pathetic comparison. At least they are 'useful idiots'. Same can't be said about him.. I draws parallel between him and a dog turd Lol. Really? With comments like that, it’s time they also boycotted Australia Council funding BackToTheGarret Whenever I see this bloke on TV I think somewhere a zoo keeper is staring at an empty cage in the reptile house and scratching their head in confusion.

Womp womp. Has he also drawn parallels between Australia and Communist Russia and the empty supermarket shelves He's one of Scott's useful idiots Stalinist Russia? 😂

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CallTheElectionDickhead Yeah sbs file this under satire? How stupid! The Sydney Arts Festival is sponsored by Israel, which is a brutal apartheid regime.

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2022-01-20T00:00:00+00:00 “The lessons of history are pretty clear: if programming and curatorial choices are subject to political censorship, you end up with pretty dreadful art. “Stalinist Russia, with its turgid dramas and operas celebrating heroic workers exceeding their tractor production quotas, is but one of many examples.” Mr Fletcher said arts festivals “should be about creativity, expression, telling stories, making an impact, moving an audience”. “If arts festivals are required to conform to a political orthodoxy then the first casualty will be the quality of what is programmed. The second casualty, of course, will be the audience experience,” he wrote. Read More Performers have been boycotting this month's Sydney Festival. Here's why Mr Fletcher said the “principal cheerleader” for the BDS movement was Hamas, a Palestinian Islamic political party that has a militant wing of the same name and which is designated as a terrorist organisation by some countries. “The political significance of this propaganda action that advances the cause of Hamas has rightly been highlighted. Certainly, a lesson from political history is the role of the “useful idiot”, as Russian communists disparagingly termed their naive left-leaning sympathisers in other countries. Evidently, Hamas has some of its own useful idiots to call on,” Mr Fletcher wrote. “But an equally troubling historical lesson, I believe, is the way political censorship stultifies and suppresses artistic and creative excellence.” Read More The Morrison government itself has been accused by Labor, the Greens, unions and artists of not doing enough to protect Australia’s arts sector in recent years, which has been hit harder than most by the COVID-19 pandemic. Under changes announced by the Morrison government in 2019, Australia ceased having a dedicated federal arts department . The previous department of communications and the arts was rolled into the new Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications. Palestinian poet and writer Sara Saleh said on Twitter on Friday that Mr Fletcher’s opinion piece was “the most I've ever seen him get excited about the arts, in between his govt cutting funds and consistent lack of covid support for us artists across the sector”. Minister for Comms Paul Fletcher called us "idiots" in his Australian op-ed today and quite frankly that's the most I've ever seen him get excited about the arts, in between his govt cutting funds and consistent lack of covid support for us artists across the sector. — 2022-01-20T00:00:00+00:00 The Sydney Festival board has announced it will commission an independent review of the festival’s funding and existing practices. Chairperson David Kirk acknowledged last week the festival’s “unprecedented challenges this year" had put “significantly increased pressure on all members of the board, the staff, and most importantly, artists”. Share 21 January 2022 at 11:52am Source: