BAE Systems have retracted their sponsorship of the Great Exhibition of the North (GEN) in response to an artist-led public outcry that art should be funded by arms manufacturers. ‘Art Not Oil’ comment that ‘The exhibition’s partnership with BAE Systems was not about money, it was about brand association: the artwashing of BAE’s corporate social licence to operate.’ BAE commented that they would ‘redirect our support to other initiatives’ better suited to its objectives. Currently those ‘objectives’ include arming regimes such as Saudi Arabia. Meanwhile, northern powerhouse minister and MP Jake Berry tweeted that ‘subsidy addicted artists’ and ‘snowflakes’ are supported by taxes paid by the 18000 BAE workers in the North, a vary-loaded statement: artists being on subsidies; not doing a ‘real’ job like the BAE workers; anybody receiving tax payers’ money not being entitled to an opinion, let alone a moral stand…. We are eagerly awaiting a snowflake song from the Commoners Choir!