This text uncovers the world of the Arts Council. Since this pioneering outfit was set up as an emergency measure in World War II, it has grown to become the chief means by which artists and producers receive the cash of taxpayers in return for creating work for the public's benefit. Most of the u3.6 billion the Council has spent to date has gone to the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. The author explains why, in his opinion, the Arts Council can never say No to the opera house, despite its inglorious record. He goes on to examine the Council's public humiliations - including the orchestra fiasco of 1993 - the lottery handouts, the theatre cuts, and the tussles with Westminster and Whitehall. The interviews with artists, advisors and members of staff include discussions with Lord Rees-Mogg, Richard Hoggart, Sir Alec Guinness and Melvyn Bragg."