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Creativity needs to be nurtured from the, beginning, as the noble Lords, Lord Puttnam and Lord Inglewood, mentioned. Yet creative skills are stifled in our schools by a system that is dominated by exams and league tables. With the rejection of the Tomlinson report, the national curriculum continues to undervalue vocational qualifications. Creativity needs status, which has been recognised across the Atlantic by President Obama, who has committed to reinvest in arts education. He said:

“In addition to giving our children the science and math skills they need to compete in the new global context, we should also encourage the ability to think creatively that comes from a meaningful arts education.”

Will the Government follow his lead?

In their Creative Britain paper, the Government committed to establishing 5,000 apprenticeships annually in the creative industries by 2013. There is no money ring-fenced. Instead, the commitment turns out to be raising the awareness of employers of the benefits of apprenticeships. In other words, the commitment is to a concept, and so far I believe that only 50 places have been provided. The Chancellor said in his Budget speech that job creation and employment for people of all skill levels would be vital to long-term recovery. The Government should be investing in these apprenticeships.

The creative industries are a key to economic recovery. Two years ago, the cultural sector got together and published a manifesto called Values and Visions. I end with its words that,

“Britain’s economic prosperity will not depend on industrial prowess, natural resources or cheap labour but on developing, attracting, retaining and mobilising creativity. In this 21st century, goods, services and industries driven by knowledge and creativity will define Britain’s competitive edge”.

1.39 pm

Lord Howard of Rising: My Lords, I join in the thanks to the noble Lord, Lord Bragg, for introducing this interesting debate, which has covered such a wide range of subjects, all under the heading of creative industries.



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A number of noble Lords have pointed out the huge contribution that the creative industries have made to the economy of this country and, as the noble Baroness, Lady Young of Hornsey, pointed out, the enormous variety of fields that come under the description. Creative industries cover architecture, advertising, the performing arts, television, theatre—you name it. It is immense.

In some areas, that contribution is made in spite of the obstacles put in the way of that industry. For example, there are artists’ resale rights, or droits de suite, as they are more commonly known. At present, droit de suite applies to living artists. That imposition by the European Union is difficult and expensive to administer. A recent study shows that fewer than 1,000 of the 85,000 living artists have received anything, while the top 10 per cent shared 80 per cent of the total money paid out in the first 18 months of the scheme.

The United Kingdom has a derogation, so that droit de suite applies only to living artists. That is due to expire in 2012, when the droit de suite will be extended to all European Union artists who have been alive in the past 70 years. I urge the Minister to impress on Her Majesty's Government the importance of extending the exemption for the United Kingdom. The United Kingdom is, both through its dealers in art and its salesrooms, a leading player in the art market. Credit crunch permitting, I declare an interest as a purchaser in the salesrooms. The art market is global, but with none of the leading competing markets, such as Asia, Switzerland and New York, having the droit de suite, business will inevitably gravitate away from the United Kingdom to countries outside the European Union, to the detriment of all.

Some might say that salesrooms and dealers in art are not a creative industry, but they provide a marketplace for a broad range of products, not just the headline-grabbing items that feature in the media. Those intermediaries therefore play an important role in the overall prosperity of the creative sector. Impositions such as droit de suite can only drive business away from these shores. The argument has been made that only the big-ticket items will disappear. That argument is not valid, as diminishing the marketplace as a whole will have a consequent knock-on effect that will end up by reducing the ability to deal in the more mundane and everyday articles of artistic or rarity value.

A significant impediment to prosperity within much of the creative industry is, as the noble Lord, Lord Corbett, and the noble Baroness, Lady Bonham-Carter, mentioned, illegal file-sharing and intellectual piracy. The internet has made that possible on such a huge scale that it has been estimated that a quarter of the population has been guilty of that abuse at some stage or other. There is no easy answer to that problem. If there was a simple and straightforward solution, it would have evolved in the huge amount of discussion on the subject and the reams and reams of paper that have been produced.

As my noble friend Lord De Mauley said in a previous debate, in such a fast-changing environment, where everything from users’ habits to the technology and the source of the desired content changes at such

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bewildering speed, it is impossible to expect the Government or a regulator to keep up. Instead, we must look to the industry itself to both tempt users away from illegal options and identify the worst abusers.

When one looks at what has happened in the past 25 years in the world of the internet, it is almost certain that there will be further developments in forthcoming years that no one here today has thought of or can probably even imagine. Given the huge changes that are occurring and will continue to occur on an almost daily basis, it is pointless to pretend that legislation can be devised to deal with the problem of creative talent being hijacked with no payment. Given that proposition, one with which I find it difficult to argue, it is for the industry itself, which has benefited so much in the past from technological developments—the wireless, telephone, television, gramophone records and so on, all of which have created huge streams of income—to find a solution, or perhaps even revert to life as it was before the days of electronic communication.

That evolution can already be detected in the world of popular music. Only recently, live tours were used to promote the sale of recordings. Now it is the recordings that are used to promote the live tours, which generate enormous sums of money, or there are the shows to which the noble Lord, Lord Bragg, referred. There may be a role for government here, but the role will be to facilitate the creative industries to act rather than for any direct action by the Government, as some have called for.

The noble Lord, Lord Bragg, and my noble friend Lord Chadlington both referred to the problem of bureaucratic interference and red tape of one sort or another. Some of that cannot be avoided. If government subsidy is accepted, it must be recognised that there will be a greater level of government interference. Examples such as that of Kevin Spacey and theatres such as the Globe, given by the noble Lord, Lord Bragg, which receive not much, if any, subsidy, demonstrate how effective theatre can be without interference and subsidy. From that, should one question whether subsidy can do as much harm as it does good and whether it should therefore be treated with great caution, lest creative talent is stifled? If theatres such as those can survive, surely television will be able to continue to produce quality drama without too much help.

Before sitting down, I would like to say that, having listened to him play, my noble friend Lord Colwyn grossly underestimates his talent as a trumpet player. It is a pleasure to listen to him.

1.46 pm

Lord Davies of Oldham: My Lords, I share with the House my gratitude to my noble friend Lord Bragg for his introduction to this very important debate, and for stimulating such a range of constructive contributions, varied in geographical range and in the issues addressed, making this an extremely difficult debate to which to respond adequately. I will do my very best to answer the particular points raised. At the same time, I emphasise that in his introduction, my noble friend surveyed the contribution of the creative industries to our society

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and economy in a manner that I could scarcely match. The Government have revised the figure of the creative industries contributing 7.3 per cent of the economy; we now identify it as 6.4 per cent, which is a slightly lower contribution but, nevertheless, one that reflects the expansion during the past decade. There is no doubt that the creative industries are important in the employment that they provide, their contribution to the economy and, as my noble friend identified, our exports.

All that is not to measure the arts and the creative industries purely in terms of their economic contribution, but it would be remiss not to mention—I was grateful to my noble friend for emphasising this fact—that in these straitened times, we need to put our analysis of sectors such as the creative industries into an economic perspective. It is a dynamic sector. Over the past decade, it has grown faster than the rest of the economy. Employment in creative jobs has grown by more than 400,000 since 1997, which means that creative employment has grown at twice the rate of employment in the economy as a whole.

All of us on the government side—although I think it is recognised a great deal more widely than that—would say that one of the most popular, constructive and important decisions taken by the Government on coming into office in 1997 was the abolition of charges for galleries and museums. That has been justified by the enormous, overwhelming demand shown in the attendance figures at art galleries and museums since then. As my noble friend indicated, several of our great museums are now part of the national consciousness. That gives us hope that some of the suggestions made in this debate about the necessity for educational change are partially being met by this extension of opportunity and understanding.

My noble friend Lord Bragg mentioned education, and other noble Lords commented on it, including my noble friend Lord Puttnam. I was encouraged by the fact that an education Minister was sitting beside me for the early part of this debate and taking on board the important point about the extent to which the creative industries depend upon the successful education of our children. I say to those who are anxious about education that their anxieties might well be allayed by visits to schools. We all recognise that schools have to meet targets with regard to performance in a range of ways, but there is not a junior school in the country that does not show commitment to creative work for young children. Nor is there any real anxiety that the creative industries may not get the necessary support from young people emerging from our schools and universities. That argument cannot be sustained if we look at the kind of A-levels that many students take—in other parts of the House to some disparagement—because arts subjects are pursued to a great extent at A-level, and at university level, we have seen enormous expansion in opportunities in creative industries. I make the obvious point that one of the strongest growths in educational opportunity in higher education is in media studies. That is sometimes regarded in educational circles as some kind of a soft option, but let me emphasise that universities providing media studies often find that students on those courses are more successful in gaining their first jobs than those on

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more traditional courses. I look upon that as a positive factor. I am glad that my noble friend mentioned this in his introductory remarks.

My noble friend Lord Bragg will have drawn considerable solace from the immediate support that the noble Lord, Lord Chadlington, gave to the issues in this debate. There is no doubt that management in the creative industries is an important dimension of success. I was grateful for his contribution because it emphasised skills and talent, which the Government have been concerned to address. We need to look at the way in which the creative industries make demands upon the educational system and upon training. The Government are well aware of that, and are very concerned that action should be taken. My noble friend Lord Puttnam, who always speaks on these matters with great authority, was reinforced by my noble friend Lord Macdonald, who spoke about the television industry. The skills agenda is of the greatest importance. We are concerned to develop 5,000 apprenticeships before 2013 in the crucial area of the creative industries. That reflects the fact that the Government recognise that investment in skills is crucial.

In this context, I mention again that the Government are concerned about innovation. The success of the creative industries is clearly based on technological and non-technological innovation, and we are seeking to support and encourage innovation in various ways, including through NESTA and the Technology Strategy Board. It will be recognised that £10 million has been invested in the Technology Strategy Board in research and development relevant to the creative industries. This is where the Government can play their crucial role of giving support.

Several noble Lords made the point that the creative industries and creative people must not be strangled by overregulation. The noble Lord, Lord Colwyn, criticised the Licensing Act. He has spoken on this issue before. The Government are concerned about this matter. The noble Lord will know that certain aspects of licensing are vested in local authorities and that they have important interests to balance. However, I assure him that his point is well taken and the Government are looking at ways in which they can relax certain aspects of the regulations in order to sustain, as far as we can, live music in as many locations as possible. He will recognise that the Government have been reviewing the Licensing Act in that respect.

We have also been concerned to develop our Creative Britain initiative. It aims to move the creative industries from the margins to the mainstream of economic and policy thinking and to bring together a range of government departments that have relevant responsibilities, not only the DCMS, which is bound to be a lead department in this area, but the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform for regulation and support and, as my noble friend Lady Warwick reminded us, the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills, on higher education. I am having a little difficulty in replying to the noble Baroness’s rather precise point about taxation and support. However, I assure her that the Government are fully aware of her important point about where incentives can be adduced, and I

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will write to her in some detail after the debate when I will have the chance to address some of the issues that I have not been able to address successfully.

Intellectual property was raised by a number of noble Lords. The noble Baroness, Lady Bonham-Carter, emphasised it in her contribution, and my noble friend Lord Corbett was concerned about it. The noble Lord, Lord Howard, was generous in his remarks on this matter when he identified that this is not an easy issue for the Government to address. The Intellectual Property Office has taken action on intellectual property enforcement and education and is concerned with this crucial issue. However, there is no doubt that we recognise that online piracy on the internet is difficult for national regulation and government in action. In order for the UK to remain one of the best countries in the world in which to produce and invest in content, we need to ensure that the necessary protection and incentives are in place for our creative workers. Therefore, we need to safeguard their achievements. However, the issue is complex, so our approach is multifaceted. We will legislate to require internet service providers to inform their subscribers when rights holders identify them as engaging in unlawful file sharing, and we will oblige ISPs to maintain a list of individuals identified by rights holders as being the most frequent copyright infringers. Subject to a court order being obtained, this will allow targeted legal action by rights holders against the most active infringers. All this activity will be subject to a code of practice supervised by Ofcom.

None of us underestimates the challenge represented by developing technology. Legislation always takes considerable time to enact and then to enforce, and the pace of change can overwhelm us if we are not careful as we develop that legislation. We are all therefore well aware that this is one of the most difficult areas in which to legislate effectively. I want to reassure the House that we do not have the slightest doubt about its importance to the creative industries and the need to preserve intellectual property and copyright positions.

Several contributions ranged probably more widely than my expertise and even that available to me from the civil servants was somewhat stretched. As they have both been in the news this week, I know rather more about Nicole Farhi’s husband and his work than about her products. However, I recognise the importance of the creative work of fashion, which was introduced by my noble friend Lady McIntosh and the noble Baroness, Lady Young. In particular, we applaud the point emphasised by the noble Baroness, Lady Young; namely, that sustainability is important. Creative fashion is an art form which strikes many with the most enormous enthusiasm, a point which my noble friend Lady McIntosh conveyed. The economics of the industry and the sustainability of the fabrics it uses are also important. I want to emphasise the importance of those points.

I am also conscious that the debate had a geographical dimension. My noble friend Lord Bragg worried me a little. I understand entirely his point about some of the ravages of the Industrial Revolution, which were not always attended by a skilful, creative force in terms of art. I recall however that in some of our major industrial cities, major industrialists were most concerned to

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construct some surpassing examples of Victorian art form, including architecture, to include some outstanding Victorian art and what had preceded it. We should pay tribute to the Industrial Revolution for some of the outstanding art galleries and museums in our northern cities and the Midlands.

I could not possibly allow the contributions made by those concerned with other parts of the country, particularly Wales, to pass without reference. The noble Lord, Lord Rowe-Beddoe, suggested that when the cities of Britain make a bid to become the city of culture, with which Liverpool was blessed in terms of its outstanding position in 2008, they be put in alphabetical order. I note that Cardiff begins with a “C” and that, therefore, a little special pleading was going on. All sides know the importance of Welsh culture, particularly with regard to music and poetry. I am grateful for those contributions.

I inevitably am short of time for covering such a wide-ranging debate. However, I again emphasise that we have been debating areas in which we all have an intrinsic interest because of the joy and advantage we all derive from the work of the creative industries. Of those, television is bound to be very important because of its appeal to the nation. Therefore, I emphasise to the noble Baroness, Lady Bonham-Carter, to my noble friend Lord Corbett, and to my noble friend Lord Macdonald, who spoke with his usual authority in this area, that we are addressing crucial support for aspects of the industry which are under pressure. We all know the difficulties of independent television and the pressures on the provision of regional news and programmes. There is no doubt that the BBC has an important part to play in responding to those challenges. In just over a week’s time, my noble friend Lord Carter will report on digital Britain and the future of the media in the broader sense, of which television is very important. We will be able to discuss this more intensively at that time. I hope noble Lords will therefore forgive me for not being able to speak too intensively about that aspect now.

Finally, my noble friend Lady McIntosh said that one of the things she enjoyed most about the opening speech made by our noble friend Lord Bragg was that he filled the House with cheer in these somewhat gloomy times, which he did. We all recognise the difficulties that the economy faces and the difficulty of resources for aspects of the creative industries. But we should also recognise the extraordinary advantage that we have. My noble friend described London as the city of delights. Whether or not we accept that at face value, we know what he means; namely, that London is the world capital for art. It leads an immensely creative country and this debate has shown all its richness and its importance. We should support it in every way we can.

2.07 pm

Lord Bragg: My Lords, I thank all those distinguished speakers from whom I have learnt so much. The debate was very impressive and very informed. Alas, I do not have the time to point out your Lordships’ individual contributions, which is a great shame, given

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their quality. There is clearly real knowledge of and commitment to the creative industries in your Lordships’ House. As so often, this House stands for what is best in Parliament and in the country. I beg leave to withdraw the Motion for Papers.

Motion withdrawn.

Science, Technology and Engineering

Debate

2.08 pm

Moved By Lord Haskel

Lord Haskel: My Lords, it is very appropriate that we should have this debate on a European election day, because science, technology and engineering are becoming more political and more central to our lives and are part of our membership of the European Union.

I say this for two reasons. First, we look to science, technology and engineering to solve our problems, such as coping with climate change, looking after an ageing population, feeding a growing population, finding new sources of energy, lifting billions out of poverty, competing in today’s globalised knowledge economy and even fighting terrorism. The list is endless.

The second reason why we are going to hear a lot more about science and engineering is that of balance. Although an economy leaning heavily towards financial services served us well for a number of years, it has turned out to be unreliable. The economy emerging from this crisis needs to be more evenly balanced and spread. This is Prudence in her latest guise. Much of the burden of achieving this will fall on science, technology and engineering, which must take the strain. I believe that they can because we have all the ingredients—some good and some not so good—to create a balanced economy. What we must find is the will and the skills to marshal them effectively.

These elements are not just science, technology and engineering taken in isolation; there are social and cultural factors, too. A society that accepts and does not demonise technological progress is important. A balanced economy requires a culture that accepts new knowledge and technological progress as well as the institutions that seek it. It requires us to create and nurture businesses and companies that use science, technology and engineering to bring about economic and commercial progress. I think that we have such companies to a much greater degree than is normally accepted. Amazingly, we also have a number of charities devoted to developing science, technology and engineering, and I pay tribute to those who set them up.


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