Close the book on BC libraries! Education Ministry’s budget slashes will close school libraries.
Recently some people have become aware that programs in BC schools are being serious victims of a financial strategy that’s been around since Campbell took office. The dummy with the DWI charge is no fool but rather arguably our most skilled politician. Almost every local school board has trustees are reeling as scapegoats. Now there is even debate in the public square(Vancouver Sun} to banish theses elected bodies entirely and hyper-centralize decisions into Canada’s fastest shrinking Ministry. When the Ministry appoints a comptroller to solve budgets in VSB, we have a political battlefield. ie. MacDiarmid said, “I think this is an ideal time for a special adviser to be appointed, when we are hearing that a school board cannot cope and believes that education is in jeopardy.” Blame the messenger as incompetent. What about all the other school boards? Don’t they need comptrollers too? That’s like BoobQuake, blaming the women as the cause of earthquakes!
There seems to be a sense that BC government does whatever it wants and electorate be damned. They also have miopic views of the hinterland. Nothing exists beyond the Pacific Gateway. New platform not campaigned on: If we can’t get what we want via Legislature, then we’ll poison the parties and policies with red herrings. This is essentially the Bush Doctrine-a strategy of the nouveau conservative elite. I’m serious! What’s happened to all our ‘sacred’ trusts? Institutions designed and built to conscientiously prevent poverty and plagues.
Too many smart people oppose the evolution of the ‘enlightenment’ because they think they are from an entitled clique. It is an old dance really. (read gwynne dyer) NO DONT LOOK WHAT IT DID TO ME! ha. Try Naomi Kline’s Shock Doctrine-Stephen Lewis daughter n law. Reads like a narrative.
We are now in a ‘class war’ started by Reagon/Thatcher crowd. “before the Revolutions (brit,fr,Russian,) we owned all the land, money and power; so now damn you people! , we want it back!”
Public Education IS THE ENEMY. Public Library, School, Medicare, Unionism, Womens Rights…are ideas that resist the trend to centralize and control all resources. These forces don’t care about community, nations or public good-ideas that our generation cherished as a result of institution building. These forces don’t even want democracy. Democracy is just talk.
If we are comforted into complacent consumption or shocked into compliance, these elite are getting general working class to pay up. (WTO, Iraq,911, Patriot Act, even 2008 Banking recession all contribute to a transfer of wealth) It gives us serfs too much hope. Do these oppressive patterns sound familiar? You bet. It is called Fascism but so far they haven’t needed a ‘Kristallnacht’, or slavery or internment camps; we’ve all just wandered into the railway cars without a drop of blood.
I personally think playing budgetary games that remove programs, like school libraries, is dishonest and dangerous. Writer, Stephen Abrams, recently wrote, ” cutting-libraries-in-a-recession-is-like cutting hospitals in a plague”
My disdain is far wider than the huge BC budget cuts to public education(impact on taxpayer supported private schools appears to be insignificant) or just closing libraries or even losing the teacher-librarian assignment I passionately love. My anger also lies with a government that deceives and a populace apathetic about social policy. Cutting equitable access to reading and valuable information technology instruction from children is a very alarming signal. After Olympic cost overruns in the millions and huge tax breaks to Canadian banks is insulting. Government spending is the demon. Unfair redistribution of tax revenue is sinful. When Campbell axes $100 million yearly tax revenue from fat financial institutions, sound public policy is already dead. I do not think the Royal Bank needs propping up.
Will the recent arrogant leadership be a tipping point? Injuring our future citizens by removing rich opportunities for reading is not a healthy parliamentary democracy. One day the sky- will fall. Wake up everyone! Make BC Liberals accountable to the public. -Al Smith