Ed Vaizey | Member of the House of Lords & Longest Serving UK Culture Minister

Who better to be part of our Creative Entrepreneurs Conversations than someone who actively champions creativity as the ‘magic dust’ of the economy with a seat at the political table? Join us at the House of Lords where Ed is now a peer, as he talks about his role as the UK’s longest-serving Culture Minister and how he successfully pushed for the creative industries to be taken seriously as an economic powerhouse.

As the ambient sounds of Westminster buzz and chime around us, get Ed’s take on the huge and often under-recognised importance of creativity, why tech companies receive more government support than the creative sector  – and why creatives shouldn’t shy away from talking about  their businesses.  Listen to Ed’s top tips on how to get your political representative to support your creative business and hear how politicians can help you in ways you may never have imagined.

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About Ed Vaizey

Ed Vaizey was appointed to the UK House of Lords in September 2020, where he is a member of the Communications and Digital Committee.

Previously, Ed was a Member of Parliament and the UK government’s longest-serving Culture and Digital Minister In his role as Culture Minister Ed was responsible for the roll out of tax credits for film, television, animation and videogames, which have helped make the creative industries one of the fastest growing parts of the UK economy.He also published the first White Paper on Culture in the UK for 50 years.

Ed writes regularly on culture for Country and Townhouse Magazine, for whom he also does a podcast, Breakout Culture. In addition, he produces a regular podcast on technology – the Vaizey View – for Kindred Media, and a weekly newsletter on culture and technology. In 2022 Ed joined Times Radio where he has a weekly show.

Ed is a visiting professor at King’s College, London and Newcastle University; an Honorary fellow of the Royal Institute of British Architects; an Honorary Fellow of the Radio Academy; and President of Didcot Town Football Club.

Ed also advises a range of private sector and not-for-profit bodies. His full bio is HERE.

Show Notes

04.04 Background

06.00 How becoming culture minister was a natural transition

06:25 Being there at the dawn of the digital revolution

09.25 Campaigning for the creative industries to be recognised as an economic powerhouse

10.41 Need for awareness that people can have very successful careers in the creative industries

11.45 Adding ‘Art’ to the STEM subjects to make STEAM

14.04 In the hierarchy of business, politicians tend to put the creative industries as the bottom

14.26 The Creative Industries should be viewed as businesses vs publicly funded culture sector

15.35  Government Whitehall still uses the Victorian model of siloing industries

18.05 How come tech startups get so much government support?

21.55  The pros and cons of creating a catchall platform for the creative industries

23.30  The power of supporting the arts simply by talking about them

25.15 Government should champion all creative sectors, just by talking about them, even if they’re not directly funding them

28.35  To get ministers’ attention, creatives should talk more about money, otherwise they can come across as a bit frivolous

30.22  Why the press don’t talk more about creative businesses, even highly successful ones

33.10 Wanting to be a politician was a life-long vocational calling

34.35 What have been the greatest ‘highs’ of having political career?

37.41   What are some of the ‘lows’ of a political career?

40.00  Key hings the Government can do for the creative industries and businesses

41.05   It works both ways: creative businesses should proactively approach MPs

42.50  Don’t forget your ‘exes’! Stay connected when relationships are over

45.00 How the ‘soft power’  of creativity wins the UK worldwide acclaim

46.10  The vital – and sometimes intangible – indicators of creative economy success – the “magic dust”

47.00 It’s easy to miss how a Burberry coat can shape our whole ecosystem

48.50 The CE interview question!

Quotes we love

“We tend to downgrade the arts as not being serious in education.”

“In climate sustainability, fashion tend to get slightly laughed out of court because they’re fashion and not tech.”

“Political endorsement is really, really important. It sends a signal that you take this industry seriously.”

“You’ll never see a press release that says, ‘New James Bond film announced: 4000 jobs created and 150 million pounds of inward investment…’ because frankly, that’s not the narrative the Bond producers want. They want to say, ‘Get excited – it’s Bond!’…”

“A friend of mine sitting next to me in the chamber (the first time we were in it) said, ‘It’s a bit like being on the set of Coronation Street but finding you’re a member of the cast!’…”

“I always compare politics a bit to a religion – it’s a kind of vocation.”

“If you’re sitting there thinking, ‘I’m running my business, I don’t need to meet a politician,’ you’re wrong.”

“If I was going to leave an action point for your listeners, I’d say, if you’re in the UK, ring your local MP and go and see them.”

“I remember going to the Burberry show and obviously, as Opposition Spokesman, I was in row ZZ. Then as Fashion Minister I was in row AA. And then as the ex-Fashion Minister, it was, ‘You’ll never be invited again’…!”

“In a 21st century economy, creativity really matters.”

“The magic dust of any economy is this almost-intangible creative element.”

“On most podcasts I complain about not being invited to things and it normally makes a diary story, so hopefully this will get your podcast into a diary story.”


Ed Vaizey Website

The Vaizey View Newsletter

Ed Vaizey on X (Twitter)

Ed Vaizey on Instagram

Times Radio Weekly Show

Break Out Culture Podcast