Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Cuts to the UK police budget are not enough.

News of a recent officialdom intrusion into normal family life convinces me that the police have too much idle time on their hands. Clearly they have a lot of spare capacity if they can waste their time and public money in issuing a mother with a caution for leaving her 3 year old child in the care of their 14 year old son for 30 minutes.
It seems to me the cuts to police budget can be more extreme if they can waste their time on cases such as this. At the very least the mother should receive a full public apology and a complete expunging of records relating to the case.  If 14 year old Laura Dekker can be allowed to sail around the world ...

Here's the BBC report on the case.

Sunday, 6 February 2011

Get rid of the Public Library Priesthood

There's a great fuss at the moment about the closure of public libraries as spending cuts are imposed by central government. Much of the ire is misdirected.

People have stopped going to libraries because the book stock is poor. Libraries have instead tried to change their purpose, in effect setting themselves up as cyber-cafes for the general public. All this costs money. That money has come from the book stock funding. Get a grip people! The library is there to house books, not as a social security depot.

The librarians themselves are highly paid for what they do. Much of the process of purchasing, cataloging and labeling  is outsourced (even more expensive) to third-party profit making companies. Meanwhile self-publishing authors are locked out. The salary of one librarian could buy an awful lot of extra book at a branch library. In effect librarians have become a form of priesthood with elaborate rituals, but no great contribution to the process.

Let's get some barefoot librarians who will go out there and do the job of providing interesting books for the public.