This is my ONE HUNDRETH post for Beestonia, and I was planning some self-aggrandizing gimmick to celebrate this landmark. I am incredibly rubbish at committing to anything, as anyone who has ever attempted to educate, employ or have a relationship with me will testify, but somehow when it comes to churning out poorly written polemics, I do not tire. But I will spare the cake and fireworks until the next post, as more important issues are at hand.
Thursday saw me attend a very packed, very passionate public meeting at College House School, to work out what the dickens to do about the forthcoming slash and burn proposed by the demonic worshipper at the altar of Thatcher, Kay ‘Nominative Determined’ Cutts. I wont churn out all the details of the cuts,they are available best here http://nottssos.org.uk/ . Opening hours are to be shrank, budgets cut back, trained staff replaced by volunteers. Why? there was no mention of this in the Tory manifesto, and the savings they hope to make seem are pretty tiny compared to the damage that will be wrought. On my last post on the subject I received a wonderfully angry comment from perhaps Nottingham’s most famous blogger, Alan a Dale ( http://alanadale.wordpress.com/ ) who made the point that these cuts are purely ideological
He’s right, it seems. The UNISON speaker at the meeting, Mike Scott, correctly labelled libraries as ‘ The Universities of the Poor’ and I agree. My childhood was spent in Stapleford library, chasing whatever fickle interest briefly fascinated me; today, I spend hours in the reference sections. They are nothing but a civic force for good, and it seems a touch evil to destroy this. Not everyone can afford to buy books, not everyone is connected to the internet, not everyone knows where to access services and exercise their rights: for these people libraries are vital. Does Ed Vaizey MP, Minister for Culture, Communications and Creative Industries, understand this? I doubt it. Like most of the millionaire-studded front bench, they think of a library as the room opposite the drawing room and across from the servant’s quarters.
What to do then? Well, first off JOIN THE BLOODY LIBRARY, NOW. If you are already a member, good on you, if not, JOIN. And not just you, your kids, your parents, your friends, your neighbours, random strangers in the street, get them to join RIGHT NOW. This is an incredibly effective method of registering your support: if Cutts sees how many people use the library, she might become nervous to touch them. So do it, do it, do it now.
Also have a gander/ sign up here:
There is a day of action planned on the 5th February, at 11am, at Beeston Library. It’s still not totally decided what will entail, I’ll let you know beforehand.
Once a library is gone, its gone. The Conservatives do not like you, do not want you to have this resource. It doesn’t generate money, it empowers the powerless, and they want it gone. Do not let them. Off your arse, get down Foster Road (or to Inham Nook, Stapleford, et al) and join up, register your support.
I’d also suggest that you write to Anna Soubry asking her to oppose cuts, but you know the drill by now…the letter will either be ignored, or if read, considered to be a coordinated left-wing campaign against her to stop her working on things that really matter to the constituency, such as bowing down to Boots Management and lobbying on their behalf (see Beestonia passim). It seems that news of her failure to engage with the local electorate has reached the opposition benches, judging by an extract from Hansard, December 8th, during Prime Ministers Questions:
Anna Soubry, Broxtowe, Con. This morning, I spoke to one of my constituents[Hon. Members: “Hooray!”] It might come as news to Labour Members, if they were quiet, and they should try it.
On a more immature note, I recently embarked on a short project to create interesting anagrams for MPs – everyone needs a hobby – and posted some online (ROB ANY ANUS was the cracker for our incumbant). One of the more horrific ones, however, was reserved for Michael Gove. I forgot all about it, until I was sent an email urging me to look at Gove’s entry on Wikipedia. I did, and got this screenshot before someone sensibly deleted the highly immature and offensive vandalism, and I swear I didn’t laugh like a drain and feel a swell of pride as I did;
Besides, I’ve moved on from such immaturity. Nope, now I indulge on an evening in the highly sophisticated hobby that is painting politicians faces on nuts. Heres my John Prescott. Hazelnut Blears and George ‘Brazilnut’ Osborne to follow:
Still awaiting reply from Soubry myself, it’s only been two weeks though so still some hope eh? For a reply I mean, not hope in general.
I think we were probably a bit spoilt by our last MP who would usually reply within 48 hours, and not with the sort of cut and paste rubbish that passes as “customer service” these days with an actual reply concerning the content of your correspondence.
Still I’ll add another to Anna’s growing backlog when I write to her about the libraries, she’ll be consider it light relief when she gets the email and letter and probably phone call about the “coalition’s” plans for destroying the NHS.
An anagram of Anna Soubry is Baron Anusy
Posted a photo of Beeston Library and what was happening on my blog site last Thursday. I went to the meeting and saw some familiar faces, besides Beeston’s fab librarians. I looked out for you, but not really sure what you look like, made it difficult.
I was doing my usual lurking thing, scribbling notes which I then find I can’t actually read: this explains the rather patchy coverage I give such events. Apparently, if you want to recognize me, look for someone who looks like ‘an even more gay Nigel Slater’ 😦
Beestonia blog may well be interested in my experience of lobbying Anna Soubry on tuition fees at her open surgery at Inham Hook library last November.
As a Broxtowe constituent I wanted to understand her position on tuition fees and for my cheek in asking pertinent questions about marketization of Higher Education I was variously labelled a (i) Marxist; Labourite; and (iii) time waster because her surgery was meant for constituents with genuine problems not some (iv) academic in a cosy job.
I was also accused of not understanding ‘grown up politics’ and when i enquired why she had not mentioned tuition fees in her email circular to constituents I was told that no-one in Beeston was interested in her writing an essay on tuition fees hence she wasn’t going to put any comment on tuition fees in her email circular to constituents.
The experience of ‘debating’ in surgery with our parliamentary representative was akin to what i imagine is the unpleasant (‘dirty’ even) experience of being stitched up by a lawyer in a courtroom whose strategy is to take a single spoken word and then proceeds to rubbish whatever point you are trying to make.
This was not what I imagined a grown up political debate to be like. It resembled a savaging by a politician more or less using a ‘shouting strategy’ to browbeat a constituent. Being shouted at by Soubry confirmed that her ability to engage in proper and informed political discourse is not her strong point. I wonder what is.
“My childhood was spent in Stapleford library, chasing whatever fickle interest briefly fascinated me; today, I spend hours in the reference sections. They are nothing but a civic force for good, and it seems a touch evil to destroy this. Not everyone can afford to buy books, not everyone is connected to the internet, not everyone knows where to access services and exercise their rights: for these people libraries are vital. Does Ed Vaizey MP, Minister for Culture, Communications and Creative Industries, understand this? I doubt it. Like most of the millionaire-studded front bench, they think of a library as the room opposite the drawing room and across from the servant’s quarters.”
Indeed. I’m currently reading Jeannette Winterson’s brilliant autobiography “Why be happy when you could be normal?” She grew up denied books and the library was literally her lifeline. I’d like all those Philistines who seek to close our libraries to be shut in a locked room and forced to listen to this book on a loop.