Sunday, March 25, 2012

Sneering rattlesnakes

Oh dear. Our hero is back. He had gone, we thought, to seek his fortune in the United States of America. It was quiet, too damned quiet, Carruthers.

Then there was the announcement of his new e-book project. Was it Loganberry, Tayberry, Whortleberry?…no, it was Bilbrary with, we suspect, the accent on the bill. Conspicuous by his absence from such events as the recent lobby of parliament, the world's greatest living library campaigner suddenly returned to public debate with a curious proposition, that he would use some profits from his venture (that is, supposing there actually are any) to give money to library campaigns. This generosity was not received by a cruel cynical world in the spirit in which it was offered: American librarians wondered why profits made out of their e-book subscriptions were being sent abroad, when there are plenty of campaigns needing support at home, while British library campaigners, on reading the small print, saw that he intended the money, not to support campaigners in demanding that local councils and the DCMS fulfil their responsibility for the public library service, but to establish so-called community libraries, completely outside the public library system.

In a post that the ill-willed might describe as petulant, entitled the Library Campaign Police, he rails against his critics, saying, 'if you don't say what they want you to say, they sneer like rattlesnakes'. We're not sure how to sneer like a rattlesnake, but hope to acquire this useful skill, if our readers will enlighten us.

We had thought that the need for CoatesWatch had passed. It seems not. La lutte continue!


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