Interesting event last night with Alan Davey, Head of the Arts Council, in a wide ranging speech he made two points that I found particularly fascinating. Reflecting on the difficulties the Council had when it cut funding to several organisations earlier this year, Alan said that in future the Arts Council would use peer review increasingly to assess the value and quality of publicly funded art. My question to Alan was whether this was realistic. In my experience artists are often willing in public to criticise other sectors of society, notably politicians and business people. However the same artists are very wary of criticising each others work. Maybe it’s because they fear retaliation, but artists also claim that criticism is a dangerous infringement of artistic freedom. So I will be interested to see whether peer review gets off the ground.