The Sum of Its Department

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It is of course traditional for people to call for the dismantling of the D.C.M.S. even in weeks when the Secretary of State has not been forcibly replaced: on this occasion the Spectator is doing the honours. Yet last June the Telegraph carried suggestions that the Department was too small...

Some senior Conservatives are privately arguing that her entire department should be disbanded and its duties handed to other, better-rated ministers. One Conservative Cabinet minister told the Daily Telegraph there is a ‘strong case’ for dismantling the DCMS. The minister said: “Under Maria, it’s shrunk so much that it’s close to losing critical mass – they do so little now it’s hard to justify the costs and status of a full department and a Cabinet minister.”

...whereas today the B.B.C. quotes the artistic director of a theatre company saying roughly the opposite:

“The first thing would be to ask parliament and his bosses to reduce the size of this portfolio,” he said. “Look at what they have to do; broadcasting, sport, media – including Leveson, telecoms, art. It is a very, very big portfolio. I wish the arts could be separate, like it used to be, with its own minister.”

Unless the Department has ballooned over the past year (unlikely, in these times of cuts and austerity), they can’t both be right.

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