Dowden’s Minack mess-up: was he incompetent or was he lying?

Boris Johnson’s Tory government can’t seem to get anything right, can it?

While the G7 summit was taking place, partners of the G7 leaders were invited to visit the famous Minack Theatre, a clifftop amphitheatre on the coast, facing the Atlantic Ocean.

Afterwards, Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden turned the event into a pantomime by tweeting: “This unique venue was one of more than 650 theatres helped through Covid with support from the £2bn culture recovery fund, ensuring that it can entertain visitors for years to come.”

All together now: Oh no it wasn’t!

Theatre bosses responded: “Sorry @OliverDowden but this is not true. We did not benefit from any CRF money as we were not eligible to apply. It turned out having a good level of cash reserves meant we had to fend for ourselves and utilise our own reserves.”

Zoe Curnow, the Minack’s executive director, said on Sunday she was surprised to see Dowden’s tweet. “To try to score a political point is unfortunate, to be completely honest. Obviously the DCMS [Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport] didn’t think to check we were on the list.

“We weren’t on the list because we didn’t qualify, and we didn’t qualify because we run ourselves in such a way that we had enough reserves to see us through.”

That’s not to say that the Minack hasn’t been hit by Covid lockdown restrictions, though!

It lost £300,000 last year and was forced to lay off 15 staff members – something Ms Curnow described as “soul destroying”.

She went on to make the political point that open-air theatres like the Minack should be allowed to go back to full operation sooner than their indoor counterparts because conditions are far less conducive to the spread of Covid-19.

But – again – Dowden and his colleagues are unlikely even to have thought of this.

If they can’t be bothered to check whether a theatre is receiving grant money, they’re never going to be interested in fiddling details like whether meeting conditions to reopen mean it should, even if that makes the difference between prosperity and job losses.

Dowden’s only interest was in winning PR plaudits. Instead he was not only panned but proved that his own career should close – due to bad reviews.

Source: G7 partners’ trip to theatre backfires after minister’s gaffe | Politics | The Guardian

Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.

Vox Political needs your help!
If you want to support this site
but don’t want to give your money to advertisers)
you can make a one-off donation here:

Donate Button with Credit Cards

Here are four ways to be sure you’re among the first to know what’s going on.

1) Register with us by clicking on ‘Subscribe’ (in the left margin). You can then receive notifications of every new article that is posted here.

2) Follow VP on Twitter @VoxPolitical

3) Like the Facebook page at

Join the Vox Political Facebook page.

4) You could even make Vox Political your homepage at

And do share with your family and friends – so they don’t miss out!

If you have appreciated this article, don’t forget to share it using the buttons at the bottom of this page. Politics is about everybody – so let’s try to get everybody involved!

Buy Vox Political books so we can continue
fighting for the facts.

The Livingstone Presumption is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

Health Warning: Government! is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

The first collection, Strong Words and Hard Times,
is still available in either print or eBook format here:


1 thought on “Dowden’s Minack mess-up: was he incompetent or was he lying?

  1. Foggy

    In true S. Bannon style; Flooding the zone with shit.

    The Tories are doing this so much that it has become the norm for daily news and people are becoming immune to such bullshit, like it’s part of their daily life.

    No honour amongst thieves and there’s no opposition to take them to serious task over any of it !!

Comments are closed.