Thursday, November 3, 2011

Liberal whingers are wrong – we should shut our libraries

The British Library
The British Library
Photo by Steve Cadman
Americans take heart! Mean-spirited conservatism is not a "US only" phenomenon. Conservatives in the UK have decided that public libraries have got to go. After all, as this article in the Telegraph points out, almost 60% of people in the UK don't use libraries! And why would anyone? Today we have powerful computers and smart phones which let us look up information any time we want to!

The move to shut down the libraries has been a UK conservative issue for a while now. I can't figure out why the Tories are so keen on such an unpopular and stupid and idea, but I do note that it strikes a blow at the very poorest of society, those who likely won't vote Tory at all.

Except that it's Labour politicians who've been pushing this. Even the author of the above article (which I honestly thought was satire), is a well-known Labour strategist.

My friend Piers has written a protest song about this.

Child of the Library by pdcawley

If you think libraries are important, share the song. I understand that the UK is struggling financially right now, but saving money now by sacrificing the future of many poor children doesn't sound like a sound long-term strategy. For example, does the UK really need the third-highest military expenditures in the world? The cost of saving the libraries is a drop in the bucket of their spending on weapons.


  1. You do not need to be poor for enjoying Librairie. I do believe librairie is the place where everyone is equal. It's a place where you can have wealthy kid and poorest one enjoying books. It's a wonderful place. I remember spending as much time I could in our librairie when I was a kid. I was able to read as much as I wanted, to have access to so many things ! Shutting the librairies is a mistake for everyone !

  2. Leïla, that's true that you don't need to be poor to enjoy the libraries and I certainly didn't mean they're the only ones affected. However, I do recall being grateful for the library when I was homeless. I really had no other way to read at that time. I do think it disproportionately hits the poor.

  3. Why is it that the conservatives' solution to everything is to screw poor people over further? Do they really lack that lens to look at life through someone else's trials/issues/perspective?