Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Obdurate options...

Obstinate or hard-hearted options rather than sensible, necessary ones? As expected councils across the country are instigating polemic cuts, similar to what many of them did with the Poll Tax: use it as a stick to beat the government. Instead of cutting waste and trying to slim-line where they can they immediately go for the headline, rabble rousing cuts...however, maybe I'm not seeing their priorities the right way: Raedwald today asks whether we would like "Libraries or dead children?".
"As the Indie reports this morning, public anger is growing at the 'bloodbath' facing public libraries, with some 375 having been identified to date for closure by councils making savings. However, this is an entirely rational and self-interested move by council bosses; no-one will put them in the dock, or summarily dismiss them, for depriving their populations of access to books. If they have a child die on their watch, they face personal disgrace, even imprisonment. In fact, they will first cut not just libraries but every single traditional non-statutory function of local authorities before they reduce by one pound the budgets for children and child protection."
Needless to say the comments under the article in The Independent are almost exclusively slagging the government but as Raedwald points out in THIS (opens as spreadsheet) the councils are spending more on children's 'social protection' than the combined total of that spent on libraries, parks, rubbish collection/disposal, food safety & environmental health, street lighting, road maintenance and trading standards...so, consider the close dlibraries as
"a consequence of a Rousseau-esque State that's worked hard for decades to destroy the horizontal ties of family and community and replace them with a direct vertical link between every individual and the State. And this is the cost - and it isn't cheap."
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