Coalition government is ‘anti-book’

By IanDunt

The coalition government is anti-book, a leader article in the Bookseller has concluded.

The magazine said that library closures, tuition fees and Arts Council cuts made for a “horrible contrast” with Labour’s “bookfriendly” record.

“Gordon Brown was the most bibliophile leader since Churchill, while Blair was no slouch
with the pen himself,” it said.

“The current administration is proving a horrible contrast. The library sector has been
thrown into turmoil as local councils have been forced into deep cuts after their central government funding was reduced.

“Up to a third of the nation’s libraries are expected to shut. This is a rate of closure unprecedented in the long history of the public library service in this country.”

The magazine argued that tuition fees would deter many students from attending university and then deprive them of extra money to buy books if they do take the plunge.

It also raised the targeting of the Arts Council for spending cuts and the closure of the Poetry Book Society as areas of concern.

“The thrust of this government is clear and it is anti-book,” the article concluded.

Celebrated playwright Alan Bennett recently joined Zadie Smith and Philip Pullman to try and save the Kensal Rise library in London – part of a nationwide effort to stop local councils from shutting down library services in a bid to reduce costs.