Sunday, January 23, 2011

Butter or guns, coppers or books ?

As the hangover from Nu-Labour's spending binge begins to bite, we are all realising just how much the spending cuts are going to affect all of us.  Although my local library at Ilkley has not appeared on any closure list as yet, I have been in the renew my membership and borrow some books.  It's ages since I have been to the library, I didn't even realise they stocked graphic novels.

Some protests against library closures, at places like New Mill, have found that there is a fourfold increase in the number of people willing to sign a petition to protest against a library closure as opposed to the amount of regular users the library actually has.  Critics of the protests point out the very low borrowing rates in the same library (2.8 books annually per head of the adult population) and say that if people actually used their libraries they would have a much better chance of keeping them open.

Ilkley library seemed well used when I was in on Wednesday morning, a group of children were listening to stories in the children's section, another small room was being set up for a craft session, and there were about a dozen people in the main library, reading newspapers and books, browsing or using the internet.

Mass borrow protest in Isle of Wight

West Yorkshire PoliceImage via WikipediaThe Yorkshire Post reported yesterday that up to 700 police officers could be cut from the West Yorkshire force by 2012, with another 1300 support jobs going as well.  Police forces lend officers to other forces when there are major events, and 2012 is of course the Olympics.  West Yorkshire Police have indicated that the main areas in which they will cut serving officers will be road traffic, CCTV, intelligence and major crime investigations.

So, the future for West Yorkshire seems to be lower education and higher crime, great, just great, well done Nu-Labour, what a legacy you have left us.
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  1. It wasn't New Labour spending that caused this country's financial problems, it was their willingness to deregulate the banks that allowed us to get so deeply caught up in the US toxic debt crisis. It was their craven servitude to the banking sector (in times of prosperity as well as crisis) in exchange for bankrolling the party's time in power that was so insane - not their alleged profligacy - despite what the Tories would have everyone believe...

    I know this is a moot point, when the way in which the effects are hitting certain vulnerable communities is so terrible - but I just hate the way the mistakes being blamed are not the ones (IMO) that actually got us to this position... all while all kinds of other mistakes go unaddressed and certain agendas are allowed to advance in amongst all the confusion.

    I do blame Nu-Labour - but I also blame the banks, the Murdoch press and the current Coalition government for initiating, distorting and compounding the problems.

  2. All fair points Paul, the US banking system in particular needs to shoulder a large portion of the blame, although, they were repeated warnings going back years both from financial advisors and the Opposition that Labour's spending and borrowing was increasing at an unsustainable rate.

    I can't see how private sector businesses are supposed to make up for the jobs lost in the public sector. In my part of the leisure industry we have seen a steady fall in sales first from the banking crisis, and now we're seeing less working blokes playing golf. I certainly won't be creating any more well paid full time jobs.