Home Gloucestershire County Council MLA and GCC say Friends of Gloucestershire Libraries are not “real people” (via Friends of Gloucestershire Libraries)

MLA and GCC say Friends of Gloucestershire Libraries are not “real people” (via Friends of Gloucestershire Libraries)

by Barry

It is a fine line to tread, you want to show support for a particular issue, but not become part of a mob.

However, just sitting at home tutting at the paper doesn’t convey the message. So many people have signed petitions, attended council meetings, and taken part in peaceful marches to show support for various issues.

The issue raised here is the contempt shown for campaigners, and how much weight is given to public feeling. I think every issue has those who are passionate about it, and it is really good to see how those people galvanize and provide some outlet for others to create a coherent message.

The work done by the likes of Johanna Anderson is much needed, as seen by the result in the compromises on the Libraries. That would not have happened if the public message had not been coherently and persistently given to County Council. The same happened with the Forests and the HOOF campaign!

To have campaigners branded as “not real” is completely ridiculous, many of those Councillors in the Council now have been campaigners themselves on one issue or another – they should really remember their own roots!!

We had been told that the Museum, Libraries and Archives Council (MLA) who are "the eyes and ears" for the Department of Culture Media and Sport (DCMS) and who oversee libraries, have been working with Gloucestershire County Council on their library proposals for the last 18 months. We were amazed that GCC could have come up with such an unworkable library proposal if this were the case and wondered how they were being advised so we submitted a F … Read More

via Friends of Gloucestershire Libraries

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garygre February 27, 2011 - 1:24 am

I totally agree, Barry. It’s almost as if councils don’t realise that the people who get involved in campaigns are people who care about what happens in their local areas. Campaigners are real people who care enough to get off their backsides and make an effort to question local or central Government decisions when they don’t agree with them. Campaigners don’t campaign for fun. Campaigning is hard work. It takes up so much time; so much emotional effort; it can be demoralizing; it is thankless sometimes – why would a fly-by-night rent-a-campaigner want to put in so much effort for that? They wouldn’t! Only real people like Johanna Anderson, Demelza Jones and other Friends of Gloucestershire Libraries campaigners who care enough about something so important would do that. It is insulting for Gloucestershire County Council to suggest otherwise.

Eddie February 27, 2011 - 11:13 am

I do wonder why with all these campaigns that none of them want to actually volunteer to do anything about it. Apparently tthey can turn up to demos, but don’t want to do any work.


johanna bo anderson February 27, 2011 - 9:39 pm

Um, how about because we work full time for a wage to live on and to pay our taxes for the public services that they now expect people to work for free for. I cannot live on air alone can you? Wake up

trollhunterx February 27, 2011 - 12:30 pm

I couldn’t agree with you more, Eddie (s that weird?)

Mind you, I have to be true to myself and note that some, perhaps even many of the people who come out on these demos, do a lot of other stuff too. That doesn’t excuse a minority whose sole joy in life seems to be making noise.

johanna bo anderson February 27, 2011 - 9:47 pm

“whose sole joy in life seems to be making a noise”? No excuse needed for having the courage to speak up for something you believe in. It is preferable to sitting back and putting down the efforts of others in the way that you are doing – which is pretty spineless not to mention ignorant

louwheeze February 27, 2011 - 11:25 pm

@Trollhunterx and Eddie: By ‘making noise’ do you mean expressing an opinion? It seems to me there are plenty of people who are willing to let Councillors and Politicians get away with whatever they want no matter what impact their decisions have on people. I am glad there are people who will question their decisions. What sort of society would we live in if no one cared?

The people who have protested over issues such as the closure of Libraries possibly care MORE about their communities than the people who criticize the protestors, as they are aware how much of a (negative) impact the closures will have on their communities (Particularly children from deprived areas and the elderly) and feel it is their duty to inform these people. It seems someone should, seeing as the Councillors haven’t.

It seems the Councillors thought of the original 5000 people who answered their Libraries consultation as “real people” but are determined not to listen to the voices of more than 15000 people who signed a petition opposing the Library proposals. So people are only classed “real” and their opinions as important when they want them to be…interesting.

It’s all very well to say “none of them want to actually volunteer to do anything about it. Apparently tthey can turn up to demos, but don’t want to do any work.” How many people do you know who could afford to give up their whole week to run a Library? Because that is what it will involve. That is the only way these services will keep going…not by a retired person working two hours a week once a month when it suits them.

I can’t imagine many vulnerable Children and Adults who rely on Social Services would be too pleased about the handing of Social Services over to the mythical “Big Society”. So they get care and respite provided or organised by neighbours and people in their community? (That’s if they’re not at work already, and can spare the time) Really??

Oh and by the way, I think you’ll find the majority of demonstrations tend to be at weekends…when most people are NOT at work.

Eddie February 28, 2011 - 8:41 am

I think it is both spineless and ignorant to demonstrate but not have the nonce to volunteer. Scout masters also work full time, but they then volunteer in their spare time as do thousands of others

Eddie February 28, 2011 - 10:49 am

“The people who have protested over issues such as the closure of Libraries possibly care MORE about their communities than the people who criticize the protestors”
No they don’t. This is typical of the arrogance that I see here all the time. How dare you suggest I dont care. I simply disagree with the gimme everything for free mentality
No one is being asked to “give up a whole week”. Have you never heard of sharing? 50 volunteers should be relatively easy to find that can give an hour here or there.
It is always the most vulnerable with you. So, if we give you the money you want for the libraries, who are you going to take it from? The sick, the elderly, carers….

There is a limited pot of money, and apparently a limited number of people who are prepared to get off their backsides and do a little unpaid work for the community

trollhunterx February 28, 2011 - 11:40 am

Why do people always seem to criticise me for the wrong reasons? You don’t know me at all, Johanna. You should register with the Gloucestershire Boards and exchange a few PMs. Then you can not know me even better.

I don’t take back what I said about a minority of people who protest. I think it’s true that some people who get involved have motives that are very different to yours. Those who welcome any opportunity to castigate the coalition, for example (and I wasn’t only speaking of library cuts protesters). ‘Ignorant’ is a valueless jibe as we’re all ignorant of something or other, and ‘spineless’ is equally meaningless when you don’t even try to understand where I’m coming from.

I fully appreciate how important libraries are to the community, and that they should be preserved, and their use encouraged. I’m not, however, going to take the easy path of refusing to see any obstacles to that continuing to be the case. The trump card of library defenders seems to be that so little money will be saved as a result of imposing these cuts that it’s not worth it. The alternative, of really big cuts in other areas is no more attractive to people who will be affected in those areas, though.

It’s all just re-arranging deckchairs on the Titanic, but if you can think of a way of doing so that prevents the ship from sinking, tell someone about it.


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