I’m writing this blog from our local library. Our internet at home went down two days ago and so, it seems, has the internet connection of a lot of local businesses around here.
We use our local library a lot, my daughter loves nothing better than maxing out her library card with as many books as she can borrow, and ergo I have re-discovered my love of the library; which wasn’t that hard considering the years I’ve spent with my head in a book.
This got me thinking, libraries are under threat in the latest round of government spending cuts. In fact there’s the possibility that yet another valuable service may end up the way of free dental and optical checks – non existent. Can you imagine – no libraries, the thought sends a shudder down my spine.
The recession, it seems has turned the attention of the government on services it considers wasteful, or surplus to requirements, another example being the NHS trusts that are likely to be declared bankrupt because they borrowed money to make their service offerings better.
But in my opinion, libraries and the NHS are not profit making entities, they are part of a civilised society whose services should and can be enjoyed by everyone -regardless of social status or salary size.
Why when we can bail out the banks, can we not bail out the NHS. I know the NHS is not the most efficient service in the world, but neither were (and are) the banks.
For example, running businesses or institutions on a profit basis would mean sites like this wouldn’t see the light of day
Too many people are still out there out to make a fast buck, and they are using the recession as an excuse to do it. Why do you think the richer are getting richer during the recession?
I’ve got a micro example, a friend I know fell behind on their council tax, one month, owing just under £200. The council knew the family were having financial problems, and theywere apying each month just not on the 1st of each month.
Last month a bailiff arrived on their doorstep, demanding £400 for unpaid council tax – the £200 extra was his company’s expenses. And how many families have fallen behind with their council tax, and paid the bailiffs expenses to get them off their back. A lot I imagine.
When it comes to cost-cutting there’s another scary fact out there, one I discovered when I went to a conference held by my union the National Union of Journalists. It noted that women are twice as likely to lose their job now as they were pre-2007. And I have to say, out of my group of friends, the only ones to lose their jobs were my female ones, including myself. With so much news around the recession these facts get overlooked – and we (women) are in real danger of losing many of the rights we have gained over the last few years.
My only consolation as I write this is that money can buy many things but it can’t buy integrity and peace of mind, nor can it buy you a happy soul and loving relationships. Those – like the NHS and local libraries – are priceless.