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Ed Vaizey becomes Minister for Culture

Tue 18 May 2010 11:14am GMT / 7:14am EDT / 4:14am PDT
Politics

Conservative Party games advocate appointed to position

UKIE

The Trade association for UK Interactive Entertainment

ukie.info

Conservative MP Ed Vaizey, who has been a vocal advocate of the games industry over the months preceeding the general election, has been appointed Culture Minister of the new Conservative - Liberal Democrat coalition government.

In his former role of Shadow Arts Minister, Vaizey spoke out regularly in defence of the games industry, noting that it was an important sector for the country and that it deserved a level playing field on which to compete with other countries.

"You are competing against countries that are giving active fiscal support to the videogames industry, and I think it's a given that you have to put something in place to, quite frankly, level the playing field - so it is my absolutely number one priority, should we win the general election," he said, speaking on tax breaks at a Playing The Game panel session held earlier in the year.

"I think that the videogames industry, in terms of the political world, has come an enormous distance," he added. "When people like Richard Wilson and ELSPA came to see me, they described this industry which is a politician's dream, and I couldn't understand why it wasn't more prominent...and the only way we heard about it was when Keith Vaz raised it in a motion about serial killers."

At a similar ELSPA event held in March following Labour's promise in the Budget of a games industry tax break, Vaizey pledged: "We are going to support tax breaks for the videogames industry."

Trade body ELSPA said that it "warmly applauds" Vaizey's appointment to the Department for Culture, Media and Sport.

"Over the last two years Ed Vaizey has proven himself to be one of the few politicians with a true grasp as to the importance of the video games industry and its cultural impact," said ELSPA director general Michael Rawlinson.

"Due to several meetings held with the new Minister in the run up to the election Ed is well aware of the issues we face. We therefore welcome the opportunity of working with him and his team in addressing these issues."

18 Comments

Kingman Cheng
Illustrator and Animator

950 166 0.2
I certainly hope you make a difference.

Posted:4 years ago

#1

Christopher Pickford
Producer

54 75 1.4
Get in.

Posted:4 years ago

#2
Didn't we have someone from this network who was standing as a Tory candidate? Did he win?

Posted:4 years ago

#3
Nope. The good people of Nottingham voted convincingly to keep me in the games industry. :)

Posted:4 years ago

#4
Ah. Unlucky Ewan - you need to keep working for a living:) Just checked your result - don't think you had much hope tbh. Good luck for next time, maybe they'll offer you a safer seat!

Anyway, let's see how the coalition goes, I'm happy to give them the benefit of the doubt. I just hope Gideon doesn't do a Greece, announce things are much worse than expected and bring the whole house down.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Fran Mulhern on 18th May 2010 12:49pm

Posted:4 years ago

#5

Andrew Crystall
Designer

13 0 0.0
I hear something about a couple of game devs and the Brighton seat as well :)

Posted:4 years ago

#6

Bruce Everiss
Marketing Consultant

1,692 594 0.4
Ed only has 314 links, presumably enough.

I think this is one of the best things to happen to the games industry in Britain for a while. Ed has been to lots of industry events and has listened to lots of people. He knows the industry well and he thinks we can be nurtured to add a lot more value to UK plc. Obviously the last lot have spent all the money so he can't be generous, but there are a thousand other ways he can help. Remember Gordon Brown blamed games for knife crime, so we have come a long way.

Posted:4 years ago

#7

Nicholas Lovell
Founder

185 170 0.9
The email said Ed has been appointed to the Cabinet. I'm pretty sure he is not the #1 culture minister - that's Jeremy Hunt, isn't it?

Posted:4 years ago

#8
Nicholas, yes, it is. Ed is a junior government minister - a member of the government but not the Cabinet.

Posted:4 years ago

#9

James Poole
Managing Director

36 0 0.0
He currently holds the position of the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Culture, with responsibilities for Architecture and Heritage, within the Department for Culture, Media and Sport. Unless his role has changed, and Jeremy Hunt is still #1, his role might not be that relevant, but t least it's a voice of sanity in the department.

Posted:4 years ago

#10

Dan Griliopoulos
Journalism

44 2 0.0
Yes, I've not been convinced by Mr Ed when I've seen him speak - he says the same things any politician would say about any industry whose representatives he's talking in front of before an election. Classic Yes Minister or The Thick Of It blather. That said, politicians can sometimes spin expensive policies out randomly from reactive PR that end up fundamentally shifting the path of an industry, so let's hope for something positive like that. ;-)

Posted:4 years ago

#11

Darren Adams
Managing Director

231 414 1.8
Let us hope that if nothing else, the monetary gain that comes from the games industry to the British economy affords it better treatment by the condem party. Perhaps they may look into the industry more than the Labour government did, but you can never tell with politicians if they are on the level or full of crap.

Posted:4 years ago

#12

David Amor
CEO

25 22 0.9
"And I, for one, welcome our new insect overlords"

Posted:4 years ago

#13
Perhaps daleks in disguise?

Posted:4 years ago

#14
I prefer the term "Coalition of Light"

Posted:4 years ago

#15

Alex Wright-Manning
Talent Acquisition Manager

172 2 0.0
David - the prize for most apt use of Simpsons dialogue ever is yours by a country mile.

"Coalition of Light"? I hope your tongue is firmly installed in your cheek Ewan.

Posted:4 years ago

#16
Ewan, I watched Osborne last night, giving his CBI speech. Impressive, although probably also exactly what you'd expect a new Chancellor to say. No reference in his speech, or today's coalition document, to tax breaks for the video games industry, but lots of talk about cutting red tape, reducing corporation tax etc. I have a feeling that, in the short term, we're going to see a "don't focus on tax breaks, look at these other things we're doing for you" approach. That's just my opinion though.

If nothing else, the current government is definitely a welcome breath of fresh air. Saying all the right things, let's hope they can follow through.

Posted:4 years ago

#17

Paul Loman
Director

1 0 0.0
Interesting to note that Ed Vaizey is a junior minister in both Culture Media and Sport and BIS. He is ideally placed to promote support for videogames industry.

Posted:4 years ago

#18

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