Tuesday, 15 February 2011

BS or the Big Society

I was listening to a Radio 4 programme last night about how the Tories are making the "Big Society", also known by the Hashtag #BS, work in Oxford.

I attach a link to the prog here it really is worth 30mins of your time. I am astounded by the breath taking arrogance of the Conservatives in Oxfordshire, an area I know well. The story revolves around the plans for withdrawal of funding of the Counties libraries. It picks up the story of one Library in Sumertown, where the users are middle class and eloquent, they are able to campaign for funds and support, and probably will get something organised to either fund or support the library. The report then contrasts this with the library in Blackbird Leys where the users have low levels internet connections, high unemployment and frankly are already stressed enough with Cameron's attempts to impoverish them that they are finding it difficult to organise.

The leader of Oxfordshire, when challenged by the reporter about the Blackbird Leys library had the brass neck to say something like, "oh yes of course there are plenty of retired academics in Oxford who can pick up the mantel of runing the Blackbird Leys library. The arrogance of it is unbelievable. The Liberal Democrat interviewed says something along the lines of  "not my fault gov, I never signed up for this".

If anything should make those of use who are working to protect services in Reading against the attacks by the Conservatives and their heart felt supporters the Liberal Democrats then this programme should spur us on to fight to protect local people, local jobs, local education services and local lives. The hashtag is dead right, #BS describes Camerons service cutting Big Society perfectly.