Economy: Creative Industries
Baroness Morris of Yardley (Labour)
My Lords, I declare an interest as a director of the Performing Right Society. All noble Lords who have chosen to speak today understand the size of this sector and the growth we have seen in it in the past decade. If we combine the creative revolution with the technological revolution, the impact on our industry, economy and lives will be as great, if not greater, than the industrial revolution that occurred centuries ago.
There are two aspects to that. First, new industries such as games are being created, and traditional creative industries, such as music and film, are having to redo business completely. We often forget that the creative industry allows personalisation and people to be individuals through design at a time when we talk about the global economy, mass production, mass communication and everything being the same. If we understand the nature of the creative revolution and how drastically it is changing our world, we will begin to take advantage of it.
The second thing that is different about this revolution is that it is being driven by the consumer; it is being driven by individuals, particularly those under 21. It has happened in a very short time. All the changes we are talking about have come about within a decade. There is an argument that the market, consumers and those who can respond can drive the creative economy and the changes. There is almost an argument that we do not need government interference. The rapid change we have seen has done very well and contributed to the economy without too much interference by government. Like my noble friend Lord Smith, I think that the Government have a role, although so far they have been slow to respond and to realise what that role will be. That is understandable. When I think of ways to describe the creative industry, I think of people who work quickly, who break the rules, who look for an alternative way of doing things, who take risks and, when things go wrong, stand up and start again, and who are non-conformist rather than conformist. That is not a description of the way in which government works. It is bringing together two completely different cultures. That is why the Government sometimes take time to respond.
I congratulate the Government on the work that they have done in recent years, but they need to provide a legal framework in which this explosion of activity can take place. I subscribe to the view that we have to protect the creator as much as we provide for the consumer. Creators are the leadership of this industry; without them it does not exist. We need to protect the creator in the same way as we nurture leadership in any other sector of the economy or area of life.