‘Crass’ government ad angers U.K. arts workers hit hard by covid-19

“I agree it was crass,” Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden tweeted on Monday, adding that his staff were not involved in the advertisement, which was part of a “partner campaign encouraging people from all walks of life to think about a career in cyber security.”

Reactions to the advertisement dovetailed with broader criticism that officials have not found ways to communicate effectively with workers facing tenuous employment during the pandemic. Fatboy Slim, a popular British DJ and music producer, said that the government was “throwing the arts under a bus.”

The anger came after beta version of a quiz developed by the British government to help people prepare for career changes became the subject of gallows humor among arts workers last week. The Department of Education quiz asked 50 questions to help respondents decide what careers might best suit them.

But those who took the quiz were often perturbed by

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E.U. rule-of-law report angers Hungary, Poland

It was issued the same day that E.U. diplomats preliminarily agreed to tie access to E.U. funds to respecting the rule of law, as negotiations on a $2.1 trillion E.U. spending package accelerate in the coming weeks. Defenders of principles such as an independent judiciary and a free press have long accused the European Unionof enabling illiberal leaders by failing to cut off the E.U. money that props them up.

“We are trying to open a new chapter in defending and promoting the rule of law in the E.U.,” said Vera Jourova, the bloc’s rule-of-law chief. “Deficiencies often merge into an undrinkable cocktail even if individual ingredients seem to be fine.”

The European Union was founded as a club of democracies, but it has struggled to intervene over the last decade as Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban imposed stringent controls over the country’s judiciary, channeled public advertising funds to pro-government

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