I am, actually, genuinely, mad as hell.

There has also been drink taken, so this post may end in me sobbing over my copy of The Dark is Rising, proclaiming “I love you, I really love you, you’re my best mate you are,” and hiccuping.

This post is also written whilst surrounded by books. In Rosamundi Towers, I might be living off Tesco Value pasta and tinned tomatoes, but there is always money for books and coffee. Always.

Literacy is a gift and a treasure, a key that opens doors to other worlds, a light and a guide to better things, an exerciser of the imagination and a balm to the soul.

And so the government are removing their funding from Booktrust from the next financial year.

This is insane. A Booktrust book is often the only book a child owns. How dare, how dare our smug millionaire cabinet sit there and slash the funding to something which does such immense good for, actually, very little money? An annual £13m in government funding generates a further £56m in sponsorship, which is a handsome return on investment by anyone’s standards, not counting the immense benefit gained from a lifetime of literacy.

I pay my taxes, Mr Cameron, and I want them spent on literacy programmes and the NHS and care for the disabled and stopping my local school’s roof leaking, not on bailing out your mates in the banks so they can pay billions in bonuses whilst still being owned 80% by the taxpayer. You remember the taxpayers, don’t you, Dave? The little people? The people who don’t have offshore trust funds to cushion the blows you are raining down on them?

Someone asked me, recently, “Where did you learn to put words together in such a fashion?” To which the only answer I could come up with was “I buy books like normal people buy food.” Don’t starve our children, Dave.

12 thoughts on “I am, actually, genuinely, mad as hell.

  1. I agree with every sentiment.

    But books are dangerous things arnt they? They carry ideas, they inform, they drive action. That’s why miners had their own libraries, that’s why Dave and his mates are shutting our libraries and taking books from our kids, it a defacto burning of the books.

    But it is the people that create history and the people that create their own stories and one day Dave will be able to read about his own debacle and downfall and one hopes this he and his family and their children and the childrens children etc ad infenitum will be ashamed. Because it will be in books!

  2. Rob, welcome. Dave should fear the literate. Because we can teach, and we can enthuse, and we’re coming for you. Saturday reading clubs in east London, anyone? I’ve got enough books here to start my own library.

  3. YES!!!
    (Eloquence limited by need to find coherent words for Christmas sermons…)
    Thank you for saying so clearly something that REALLY needs to be said.

    PS I’m in the midst of annual read of The Dark is Rising too 🙂

  4. Beautifully expressed. One of the greatest gifts I had as a child was being surrounded by books. I have an almost innate love for them due to that early experience. Those who miss out on exploring the glories of the written word are deprived of one of the great joys of life. The value of encouraging reading is beyond calculation which is why this decision is appalling.

  5. Not that it has a direct bearing on the funding of Booktrust but I don’t think any taxpayers’ money has been spent on bailing out banks while David Cameron has been Prime Minister.

  6. Well said, Rosamundi. Your blog is a marvel and always both pithy and enjoyable. I enjoyed your talk very much. It’s an inspiration to me to be less chicken about explaining my faith to others. (Although I could definitely do with more study…)

    Why did you decide to become a dominican? Why not a lay benedictine, for example?

  7. I have argued about the cuts with a friend who is a Moral Theology Geek.

    He says that the state isn’t obliged to pay for anything besides law and defense and that it is heresy to say that it should and that all these things should be funded through private charity.

    Is he right? Am I being a heretic by protesting DLA/ESA cuts?

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