- Thu Nov 17, 2016 3:17 pm
Yes - to a point. Byles' concern was that library cuts impacted mainly on older people and parents of young children, two groups who tend to vote. He knew that every one of those votes (his majority was less than 100) mattered to him.
The thing was, people love the idea of cuts until they happen to them. I ran enough public consultations and meetings where people would be in support of an idea in principle, provided it impacted on somewhere/someone else. Nimbyism for sure, but bloody infuriating.
And the result of Nimbyism is an awful one, because it results in Nice Things for Nice Areas, because people who live in those areas know how to argue. They know how to lobby, to organise petitions, to make people take notice. So the problem, the cut, gets shifted a little further along. To the Not Nice Areas, where people either don't know how to fight their corner or are so browbeaten and resigned to losing that they don't bother. And then a demagogue comes along and promises that everything will be made right...
Which leads nicely back to Truss! Prison budgets have been stripped bare while populations have risen. Because, to quote Stephen King, when it comes to crime and punishment people only want 3 things - more guards, more walls and more bars. Argue all you like about rehabilitation but at the end of the day someone will counter with "Can't do the time, don't do the crime" or something about Playstations. Truss isn't majorly responsible for this mess - that's down to Gove and primarily Grayling - but what is apparent is that she has no answers. She has kept moving this problem further and further on down the line, and now it's in a figurative Cleethorpes and she's got nowhere else to go with it but backwards. And she's not going to do that.
"It is not enough to succeed. Others must fail." - Gore Vidal.
"I proved that you're wrong. And if you're wrong, I'm right." - Aaron Eckhart.