The Labour Party has done so much for museums and art galleries in this country. It struck me today. I’m going to London for the weekend and have been online looking at what there is to do and see. I’m thinking of going to the Science Museum, if you’re wondering. That and the Kyoto Gardens if the weather is ok. Anyway, as I looked at the different places I could visit, and reminisced about the ones I’d been to many times, it struck me how much the Labour governments have done for museums and galleries around the country.
We’re all so quick to talk about the thousands of schools and hospitals that have been built or renovated, the minimum wage, devolution, or peace in Northern Ireland, that the fact that a huge number of these amazing places are totally free to enter gets forgotten. In my home town of Newcastle, the old Hancock museum has had a £26 million refit and is now the brilliant Great North Museum, which you must visit if you are in the region.
Access to museums should always be free. They provide people from every walk of life with an equal opportunity of accessing important educational, cultural and social resources. They preserve, maintain and display our historic, artistic, social and political history and heritage and help us to increase our understanding of our, and other peoples’, cultures. Education can’t just be confined to a classroom. Plus, there’s bloody massive dinosaurs! I mean what’s more exciting than that??
I realise these economic times are difficult ones, but the nation’s museums and galleries are jewels to be treasured and invested in, not trinkets to be discarded until times are better, and should be treated as such. I have to wonder how quickly a Tory government would pawn these jewels to help fill the black hole in their accounts.