VIDEO: Patrick Stewart Protests UK Arts Funding Cuts

Today Star Trek: The Next Generation’s Sir Patrick Stewart lead a delegation of actors to protest the cutting of arts funding by the British Government. Stewart appeared with his fellow actor at 10 Downing St. to present a petition, see video below.  


Patrick Stewart Petitions The PM For The Arts

Sir Patrick Stewart joined fellow actors Penelope Wilton, Samuel West and others to deliver a petition to 10 Downing Street (home of the UK Prime Minister) today calling for a "coherent" arts policy following cuts to the annual funding to Arts Council England, one of over 200 organizations to see funding cuts in the latest belt-tightening measures of Britain’s Conservative/Liberal Democrat coalition government.

Here is video of Sir Patrick talking to Sky News about the petition.

More Stewart’s campaign for funding at Press Association.

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Good man Sir Patrick!

Go Patrick!


Go get em? Are you guys serious, there’s no money! Anywhere!

Yeesh… take away there government handouts and the special interest groups heads start spinning…

Wtg Sir Patrick. You are the Man.

Sir Patrick are you sure you want to redress the government with a goatee? Some one in the Conservative Party might think you’re from the evil “Mirror” universe. I keed. Sir Patrick Stewart, I love your passion. Great societies are measured on their support for culture and how they take care of the less fortunate. Fight the good fight Sir Patrick Stewart.

Sir Patrick looks great … and he is doing what is expected of him… after all he is a great artist!

:-) :-)

Maybe some of the millionaire folks who signed the petition can directly donate some of their own money…

Yes, no talk of Subsides can be done without a Policy in place. Start with making a Policy.

What #7 said.

And I just wouldn’t be right if I didn’t do this anytine I see the marvelous Penelope Wilton:

“Harriet Jones, former MP for Flydale North, former Prime Minister, and exterminated by the Daleks. Yes, I know who you are.”

Good for you Patrick. Come speak on our behalf over here in the states. I’m a teacher. Gloom and doom talk on the news every night about our jobs.

Great – so how many millions of his American-earned money is he going to pledge to lessen the bureacracy burden on poor English taxpayers?

Or should they just eat cake?

To the center-right governments in the US and UK: Enough with the culture-smashing, already! I’m glad high-profile artists are willing to take a stand. It helps us struggling working artists, even if just with moral support….

I’d like to see politicians everywhere take a pay cut instead of justifying cutting everything else first. The arts are a good investment. The ongoing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan aren’t. How many trilions were wasted on those “endeavors”?

I’m sure Patrick Stewart has donated to various arts programs in Britain. He’s a pretty wealthy guy, but obviously the amount he has given hasn’t been enough.

Funding the arts is of the utmost importance… when there’s money to do it. News flash, guys—governments are going broke. If you really care about the arts, stop relying on bloated and incompetent bureacracies to help. Start a private fundraiser. Get active. But don’t count on Washington or London to help. Not anymore.

#12… you are making assumptions that he doesn’t donate money to causes and charities. Unless you can back that up, you shouldn’t leave such comments. It reeks of jealousy over a man’s success.

Governments should fund the arts. Arts are a good investment.

A society without the Arts is a people without culture. That is no way to live.

patrick stewart for president in 2012!

make it so.

Some have argued that governments are broke and can’t fund the arts. Let’s look at the facts, particularly in the United States. The National Endowment of Arts receives about 167 million. Sounds big doesn’t it? But the United States spends 3.721 trillion. The NEA is about .0045 percent of the budget. (Link below.) It’s nothing.

Most of the spending for the United States is from social security, medicare, and defense. (Wiki below.) So why complain about the arts?when for example GE wants to shove an ALTERNATE jet engine for the joint strke fighter down our throats. And get this, the Pentagon doesn’t want it. By the way the cost for the plane is estimated at 92 million. I’m guessing the U.S. will buy more than two. Okay, we’re talking about billions involved with this jet. So the arts are nothing compared to areas of waste and places that need to be cut.

1) Articile with percentage of budget spend on the NEA

2) 2010 Budget

3) GE wants US to accept an engine it doesn’t want.

Patrick is a well known supporter of the Labour Party- the very people that helped dropped this country in the financial mess that its in. And please don’t talk to me about World Recession. Labour had completely lost control of its Budget long before the global meltdown.
Perhaps Sir Patrick will reconsider his patronage of that Party now?
Oh, but then its always easier to blame the Party that is tasked with putting the mess right, isn’t it.
Pat should stick to acting. He does at least have a decent grasp of that.

Blub blub blub. Give me taxpayers’ money to play dressup and let the doctors and nurses find their own money. Patrick Stewart is getting more senile by the day.

#18 not to spoil your party but to be US Preisdent you have to be born in the USA and have something to show you were. Also good Job Patrick.


was joking, obviously.

although i believe one also achieves US-citizenship simply by being born to an American-parent. even if that parent happens to be traveling abroad. i could be incorrect about that since i’m not a legal-expert.

we need a new Trek series set in the post-Voyager era, with Picard as a reaccuring role as an Admiral

#24 thats the royal ‘we’ I assume. I don’t feel any particular need for that myself.

I could listen to that man read the ingredients of a packet of crisps! (that puh-tayta chips to the yanks)

Such a (self-proclaimed) rich, sexy voice – and I’m straight!

u rock n roll SirPatrick!!


Sorry Buzz you’re talking out of your bumhole there.

Sorry, is that Cocktoastin or Cocktalking?
I’m guessing you are a Labour supporter anyway, so I rarely find you worthy of the effort. Anyway, despite your poor attempt to engage me I will attempt to enlighten you.

The bottom line is Labour, supported and encouraged by Stewart and his Luvvie chums, screwed up- as Labour governments tend to- and the LibDems and the Conservatives are now having to clear up the mess. As they also tend to have to after Labour have run-amok.
Labour supporters, just like Labour politician, think its genius and intelligent to just throw money at everything, no matter how worthy- or not.
Hence the situation we now find ourselves in.

Patrick, tucked away in his Ivory Tower somewhere, has no idea of what its like to live in the real world these days, cosseted as they are by their bloated banks accounts.

The Arts will HAVE to take some of the pain along with the rest of us- in fact they need to be stepping forward and offering to make cuts at this time.
I’m afraid, as inconvenient as it is for the actors, the days of Labour’s largesse are gone, thank goodness.
As Vultan says, if they are that good let them get the money somewhere else.

guess the cuts are deeper than we thought. linkie WITHOUT sound (and yes my sound is fine. Youpr0n lesbians are a delight)

If there is no money then where on earth you suppose it all went? There was an awful lot! :)


Thanks, Buzz.

It just doesn’t make sense to me when people think so little of government—though they’re right for doing so!—but they continue to go back to them with their hands out, back to the same people who were mostly responsible for this economic mess in the first place, people who couldn’t balance a budget if their lives depended on it.

Makes about as much sense as having an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting in a liquor store.

instead of all this ‘Shatner in the Sequel’ talk, why not Picard in the star trek sequel ?

Have to agree with everything Buzz said. We simply can’t afford to throw money at the arts: the ‘nuts and bolts’ of society come first. Health, education, defence, law and order.

There are so many areas of decadence that need to be trimmed or cut down in their entirety: quangos for minority pressure groups, overseas aid (unless for emergencies such as Japan), the arts and sports. These are areas where the privileged have an opportunity to step in and give back as philanthropists, and many do. The UK should also, now, give serious consideration to secession from the EU: we are tied in to bailing out the Euro countries when we’re broke ourselves. We should reforge our ties with the Commonwealth, and non-Commonwealth former colonies (e.g. USA) (I always say the Britain is not a part of Europe, but the closest part of North America to it).

At the end of the day, the real money should go to defence (restore our armed forces to the way they should be), health, education and investment in manufacturing to get our economy going again. The British have always been the greatest of inventors (railways, TV, jet engine, computers, etc,, etc.), yet we tend to sell our ideas abroad as we have little manufacturing base: we need to get that back and innovate our way back to the top.


Buzz you’re a complete joke. I could spend all day dismantling your posts but someone of your intellect isn’t worth the effort. Understand?

Let me break down some basics for you. You say Patrick Stewart should stick to acting because ‘it’s what he knows’. Yeah? Arts funding is his business and he has a right to stand up for this and the arts. The arts are probably something you don’t understand or appreciate Buzz, because, well you’re a bit dim. So hear endeth the lesson, and now get out of my sight, because, well you stink…

Right on #19 – The U.S. spends more on military bands than it does on the NEA.

Way to go Patrick. Tax the rich!

It’s true. Without the arts, what is life? It is directly plugged in to our economy.

Sam West was with Sir Pat yesterday morning and said to the BBC that a Robin Hood Tax would pay for the arts funing in a single day and a half.

Without a thriving theatre tradition Patrick Stewart wouldn’t have had the opportunity to develop and grow as a performer, we wouldn’t have had Picard.

The point which should be stressed over and overis: the banks are directly responsible for this depression, complicit with them are Governments which deregulated them so they could run amok. They should feel the pain.

The BBC is under attack as well, anything that that has a hint of social gain, even if it makes a profit and facilitates new business, enhances our culture and by extension our economy. Trying to educate the far right of politics is a struggle, I imagine its worse in the USA.

Theyre killing everything that educates people whilst entertaining them. They dont want actors touching the conscience of the king…

Well said Bugs.

It’s just there are a few people (and you know who you are), who clearly don’t understand.


I thought Britain wasn’t part of the EU?

When the banks take on their share of the pain, maybe an agreement can be reached. Right now its not about tiny small arts councils shouldering their fair share of pain. The banks could cough up – and we would all survive.

Take movies and football – the two great pillars of popular culture in the UK.

Now consider a poor industrial town in the north. Declining business, poor health, depression, lack of jobs the spiral gets worse and worse.

Then they build a new football stadium or maybe 10-screen cinema. All of a sudden, this town has its own outlet for sports stars, amazing glamorous Hollywood movies and maybe a few small British films along the way – actors are discovered like Jason Statham, Sean Connery, Keira Knightley, they are lifted out of obscurity to become big stars. People like them. They get inspired and aspire to their success. They may not make it, but they are lifted out of a lack social of pride. It’s great knowing that someone like Sean Connery or Patrick Stewart came from your town

Next to the cinema or the football stadium, big supermarkets open up, business relocate around the periphery, its good to be associated with your football team. Shops appear next to the supermarkets. Restaurants bars clubs, fitness centres. People find themselves working there earning money. Housing estates start springing up, schools… the economy starts turning a profit, taxes get paid, the country gets stronger. Business reaps the reward.

New talent is spotted and is lifted out of the regions and given a place in those cinemas those stadiums and around the world, others are attracted to us and come to us enhancing our economy.

This all happens because of our creativity and our talent whether you’re a we designer or an aspiring football, you may become a school teacher or on rare occasions, a star. It doesn’t matter.

Business Governments and Banks only see the bottom line; they are blinded to everything but the fruit, but not the roots. It’s the roots, which are being starved here. The fruit will dry up if you don’t provide just the least little bit of nourishment.

It is the banks fault. We are awash in money – we just don’t control it.

*”web designer or an aspiring footballer” lol ;)

I just watched the documentary Inside Job last night. It’s about how the banks and Wall Street screwed everybody and got away with it. Scary stuff!

I’m sure this will ruffle some feathers but what I want to say is not out of malice, I’m just trying to be logical. So here it goes…

I see that UK debt is around a net of £2,252.1 billion and by next year will rise close to 100% of the UK’s GDP. The US debt is above $14 trillion federally and that doesn’t include State debts where many states are teetering on bankruptcy. Very few in Washington seem to be serious about getting that under control. One country around the world after another is drowning in debts that are damaging to their economies. Japan’s a good case for that – there were becoming a mighty economic engine that began stagnating in the 90’s long before the massive quakes struck as they began spending too much. The problem is always spending too much.

It also seems to me that most people really can’t fathom how absolutely vast these debts are. Maybe scales need to be shown in light-years or something. You could confiscate the riches all the billionaires and millionaires in the world and it still wouldn’t be enough to completely pay down the debt, much less keep the government running through an entire year at current spending levels in places like the US. Don’t forget that interest payments on these debts are also gigantic and are becoming larger as spending binges continue. So what I am wondering is that for those of you who think that everything the government pays for is too sacred to cut, what is the solution? Keep on spending, all is well and that debt is meaningless? Do you honestly think that it will just all magically work itself out with no negative consequences whatsoever? In the real world money exists and contracts mean something. We’re not living in Star Trek’s utopian future yet.

I think it’s fine if Mr. Stewart wants to bring attention to the issue but the thing is that at some point in time, cuts are going to have to be made – not just for the arts but for everything. I personally think that you can find waste to cut in every sector, from the arts to defense to education, to entitlements, etc. It’s true that arts are generally a small drop in the bucket of overall spending but that’s also part of the problem – a lot of drops together will eventually fill a bucket and if no one is willing to cut anything then nothing is ever solved, is it?

If the UK reaches Greece or Portugal status, who is going to bail them out? Will a bailout fix the problem? Of course not, it just kicks the can down the road. You still are faced with cutting non-essentials (and I mean things that are truly non-essential, these days some people are thinking that everything is a need as opposed to a want) or collapse where everything goes down the toilet. Which is better?

Innovative, talented and creative artists will find ways to make things work out without the backing of taxpayer funds. People still have a desire to be entertained and to pay for it with their own money and I believe that as long as that is true, then the arts can survive without taxpayer money, in the UK, in the US, wherever. It won’t be without some pain for those who rely on subsidies and it’s certain that some things will be canceled but it’s either take the pain now or pay the price down the road when your government can’t even borrow money anymore and it is simply impossible for them to pay for current programs anyways. Create something people are willing to pay for and survival will happen.

Star Trek is a good example, it wasn’t done under a public broadcasting banner with taxpayer money, it was put together by individuals who risked their own money and livelihoods to get it going and sustain it. People like us enjoyed it and we’ve in turn given Paramount a lot of money for this series, which is paid in turn to the thousands of people who have been involved with the show over the years, including Patrick Stewart. Paramount brought Star Trek back in ’09 not because they wanted to do a public service but because they made a bet that it would make them some money and it certainly has. In the case of the UK, I’m willing to bet that if Doctor Who was faced with cuts, it’s a show that could survive in the same world as Star Trek.

Penelope Wilton, “Doesn’t she look tired?”


You make some good points. But if politicians are going to ask everyone else to make painful sacrifices, then they must be willing to do the same, i.e, no pay raises for the next five years, pay a portion of their travel costs instead of relying solely on taxpayers, etc.

As for the banks in Britain and the U.S, simply imposing heavy fines on them will only make customers pay higher fees. The better strategy would be for governments to confiscate assets of bad banks and auction them off to banks who have been responsible. Same goes for corporations. There have been companies run by responsible CEOs while others have been run by irresponsible CEOs. The point is to punish the bad CEOs/companies, not the ones who have been playing fair.

Every political party in every country has to make steep cuts TO EVERYTHING, not just to things that might seem trivial.

Star Trek isn’t an example of social gain.

No one can ever again look anyone else in the eye and denounce socialism. Not since these bailouts happened. I appreciate that Republicans are anti social, that’s their prerogative. But they should take solace from the fact that this wasn’t caused by capitalism.

The only thing that will save us is capitalism.

Road infrastructure, the military, the utilities all had to happen through public social tax means. Public money facilitates capitalism, and it never happens the other way round. Even our telecommunications had to happen through public money, later on business reaped the profit rewards. That’s our hybrid of capitalism with social money and it’s great and should be celebrated.

But we do not live in a capitalist society. What we have right now is rigged corporatism.

We need real proper industrial capitalism facilitated by a sprinkle of public money.

The figures quoted by Commodore Shaggy are a result of the banks without rules and limits effectively running a ponzi scheme of quantitive easing hidden by smoke and mirrors. The economy was tanked by cheating and lies – fake wealth on paper only.

The only thing that will solve this economic nightmare is by making wealth through hard work.

Patrick Stewart et al are simply asking for a meeting to understand their policy.

Here’s proof that a Theatre group can pretty much fund itself.

They are packing theatres out throughout Britain by presenting unique, fun yet educational shows that apeal to all ages.
I know, my other half took the ten year old boy to see them last night. I was waiting outside at kicking out time and the packed audience came out buzzing having had a great time.
Thats the trick. Its all very well Sir Patrick and his Shakespeare loving mates stretching their acting chops but the audience is going to be very limited for that. Does that mean they should receieve punlic funding? I’m not sure the taxpayer can take the strain at the moment.
Should local football teams receive funding? Where do we stop?
Thats my point.
I love Sir Patrick and much of his work, but on this I’m struggling to agree.

What I teach is considered the arts. I like to think it enriches the schools. I’ve never been to a good school that doesn’t have a strong band, choir, orchestra program or things along those lines. And I’ve been to plenty of bad schools that aren’t healthy in any of those areas. You can just smell it when you walk in the place. It (the arts) just color everything else in the school positively. The arts attracts the best of the best and makes the not so good even better. I’m not saying the academics are unimportant but again, it seems the whole atmosphere of those subjects are informed by the arts and the gifted kids that fill those seats. I’m not just fighting for our jobs I believe that.

And i’m told this was thrilling- judging by the squeals of delight the 3D was indeed excellent.

Buzz – you’re actually referring to the Birmingham Old Rep. It gets its funding from local council arts body.

They’re packing theatres [in Birmingham] thanks to ticket sales coming from schools primarily:

They have a council subsidy and have to demonstrate profitability to survive, which proves the point that Sir Patrick is making – they want to keep on making a profit, cut that subsidy and you lose the profit.

There is no “it’s all very well” to this situation – you are actually using Stewart’s argument in the first place.