We are inching into that time of the year the national budget comes out to meet harsh, goring criticism.
“The budget could have been this; the budget could have been that,” so goes the chorus.
Views swing like daggers. Analysis fills the air. You can easily choke on opinion.
It is a moment of madness, increasingly so, for social media ‘economists’, ‘journalists’, ‘medical doctors’, ‘lawyers’ and ‘chiefs’ examining budgetary allocations with the lousy approach of a bogus surgeon.
While it is true that some suggestions from right thinking minds never get the nod of the people entrusted to mould the national budget, it is high time some groups ran a reality check.
We have many groups that always take the back seat to yawn all the way until the national budget is out. My attention this year is artists.
We have pre-budget consultative meetings, no matter how crude they may be. But, in the last five years, how many art associations or individuals have either attended such meetings or sent in concrete ideas, even by post?
Our art industry knows no proper planning, or where it chances on good ideas, the approach is so disjointed there is no pulling in one direction.
I even wonder if our art associations have comprehensible long term strategies they can fork out the drawer if government called some today.
One then even questions where the criticism of the national budget allocations, at the expense of arts culture, comes from.
For a start, art associations must wake up and elect right minds to lead planning and implementation of strategies. Pre-budget consultations must be used to sell priority themes that could be supported by the national budget.
Art associations must look for credentials — the tried and tested hands that can coordinate or lead in the right direction.
Remember, money will never be enough. And just like with any budget, be it for a home or school, the best ideas will be prioritised and supported first.