The Mayor’s Advisor On Arts & Culture, who recently claimed that Manchester in the early ’80s was something of a cultural desert, is to answer questions from the GLA Economic Development, Culture, Sport & Tourism Committee on Wednesday 21 October.
Very odd, considering that during Young People’s Question Time on 17 September, the Mayor’s Ambassador for Young People, James Cleverly said:
I think black history, we have Black History Month coming up next month and I think it is really, really important.
Whilst Munira Mirza said:
I should just like to say that, whoever said it, about Black History Month being too narrowly focused on slavery, I think you are right. Sometimes, it can get a bit boring, doing slavery every year. So, this year, we are doing Black History Month events next month of Notting Hill Carnival: 50 Years of the Notting Hill Carnival in London. Actually, I think that is London history and not just black history. We are inviting lots of people – it does not matter your background or your ethnicity to come and enjoy that, to see performances. If anybody would like to come to that event I am sure that somebody at the GLA can tell you some more details about it.
Ms Mirza reveals her ignorance as Black History Month has not been focused on slavery “every year” but only in 2007 when it was bicentenary of the abolition of the slave trade. Despite her claim that the GLA are doing Black History Month events, the only event which has happened was a private reception, referred to by the Mayor on twitter.
I predict that Ms Mirza’s replies to questions about The Story Of London will be variations on “you’re looking at detail instead of the big picture” and “it was a huge success”, despite evidence to the contrary.
As for the Cultural Olympiad, I can’t say I’ve noticed any of these “major projects”.
I look forward to further cultural initiatives from Ms Mirza, maybe compulsory opera for four-year-olds and Stalinist public performances of approved music genres – unless, of course, they’re cancelled.
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