It was a done deal in July that Jeremy Hunt was going to appoint his pal and advisor Peter Bazalgette as next chairman of Arts Council England. Hunty and Bazza had dined at each other’s homes. Bazza was keen on the job. As the media entrepreneur who brought Big Brother to England, he was going to raise the arts to a standard hitherto unimagined.
But the deal had to be put on hold pending a September reshuffle. Hunt has now been moved on. The new culture secretary is Maria Miller, who has no track record in the field, no preconceptions, no debts and obligations. She should not let Bazza past her door.
UPDATE: By 7 pm the matter was taken out of her hands. Hunt conspired with Downing Street to appoint Bazza as his parting gift, thereby humiliating and disabling his successor. I have no experience of Miller, but if she has any backbone, she will treat Bazza with extreme circumspection.