It should be a general rule not to blog when incandescent with rage. Which is why I am doing so...
I have just listened to a radio 4 edition of 'Your and Yours' on the proposed cuts in library services. I have of course already made my views on these cuts known on this blog site. The programme was generally well balanced and there were intereviews with, for example, a councillor from Doncaster who said he did not want to cut library services but in a choice with cutting social services libraries had to lose out.
However one of the studio guests was a 'conservative commentator' [according to Wikipedia] Richard D.North. He is with the Institute of Economic Affairs (as media fellow) and also with the conservative Social Affairs Unit, where he blogs on art, film and social issues.
His remarks, not so much on the need to close libraries but how they were used at the present time were, I felt, frankly insulting to the general population. He showed just out of touch he is - and also one would suppose those he is advising - with the 'constituency' of library users. I am not going to repeat all his remarks because to get them into context one needs to listen to the whole programme - this should be able to be accessed at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b006qps9/episodes/2011. However I will just say that a few of his suggestions were that:
'The poor' could get Kindles [cheapest price around £100] and have books downloaded onto them to replace librariesAnyway I sent a complaint to the programme [aren't I grumpy!] and if anyone is wondering whether to also complain - please do!:
'Grannies' could have some sort of listening devices supplied and an SD card sent to them once a week to replace 'listening books' in libraries. He doesn't seem to have grasped that the reason that library cuts are on the cards is to save money so buying listening devices and SD cards does not seem a 'goer'.
He also made some sort of suggestion that it is mainly the middle-classes that use libraries, not 'the poor' and thus the middle-classes can afford to buy books.
Photograph courtsy of The Guardian