Sunday, 1 May 2011

Libraries and wool shops

On 5th April, politician John Redwood wrote a blog entry, the gist of which was reported as: libraries are too middle class and should be shut down. I don't often comment on blogs but I did on this occasion, because it was such a mad thing to suggest coming hot on the heels of the decimation of the sub Post Office network, the slashing of funding for adult ed courses, the closures of pubs, etc, etc. These all offered the chance for the kind of informal contact that can make a huge difference to people's lives - and they're all disappearing. And now he wants to shut libraries too! For goodness sake, libraries are important, not just for their official purposes - borrowing books and using the computer and self-education - they're important as a place where everyone can go. And even if they're mostly used by the middle classes - whoever they might be - are middle-class people never lonely? Never in need of a friendly word or a place to sit and feel like they belong? While the government bangs on about the Big Society, chances for neighbours to get to know each other are rapidly diminishing.

Anyway, I commented to this effect. For a few days my response appeared on my own computer as 'Your comment is being moderated'. Then it was moderated out of existence. Wow, I must've been REALLY controversial.

But fear not, knitters and crocheters! You, at least, can go sit and knit in your local wool shop, feel welcome and chat with like-minded people. Quiet or gregarious, skilled or beginner, come along sometime and put the world to rights while you practise your purls and improve your intarsia.

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