Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Reeding not reqwired

As we're 'all in this together' (© Tory/Lib Dem scum), the minister for education has decided to take away all government subsidy for Booktrust, the charity which gives every child a pack of books shortly after they're born, start school, and go to secondary school.

Literacy rates in this country - especially amongst the poor - are too low, and Booktrust was a wonderful attempt to encourage it. Poor households tend to lack books and the poorest children don't develop a wide vocabulary, often because their parents are too busy working long-hours, low-paid jobs to afford the time and money for reading. Once a child starts school, the effects begin to show: children of equal intelligence take very different routes in life, and literacy is a major part of this process.

Virtually all of the government's ministers are privately educated, and two-thirds of the cabinet are millionaires. They neither understand nor want to understand the difficulties of those less fortunate then themselves. A packet of books might kickstart a healthy relationship and a life of pleasure.

Perhaps the problem is that books give us power. That's why English translations of the King James Bible were all massive: cheap, small editions like Tyndale's were banned because individuals could own, carry and read them - leading to independence of thought.

One more thing snatched away.

I'm sorry to be so negative, so often. I'd love to chat about lovely things all the time, but these vicious attacks are coming so thick and fast. Please protest to your councillor and MP on this one.


ed said...

I'm a part-time librarian Vole, so I've been involved in publicising Booktrust before (how exactly I can't remember...I think pamphlets and stickers?) If removing government subsidy will lead to it going under, then that really is a tragedy.

Libraries in general are coming under a lot of pressure at the moment. As well as redundancies, some smaller librares - the ones that serve local communities - are being shut down. Which means that a lot of kids in certain areas wont have access to books unless they're prepared to travel a considerable distance first. Granted, they mainly come in to use Facebook, but some do take books out...

The Plashing Vole said...

It's just so depressing. I think it's mostly because government ministers cannot comprehend needing or wanting to borrow books: like everything else, they can buy whatever they want. And to think that the rich used to fund free public libraries, rather than take them away.