Bookstart was/is good for publishers & writing/reading industry, too @jockox3

It is hard to show causality in respect of literacy programmes. But,
it is not necessary to show that all govt programmes always work in
order to suggest that this particular cut showed a particular
direction of travel for this particular government. Have all arms
deals led to peace? Are they being cut? Looks like Sheffield
Forgemasters (they, allegedly, of Saddam’s super gun fame) will get a
u-turn. Public sanitation works can be shown to have reduced water
borne disease. In part it is a question of priorities when imposing
austerity, which sends signals. Cutting Bookstart did not send any
signal to the publishers. Continuing support for the aims of the US
Millennium Copyright Act sends that signal quite clearly. It is
questionable if any author’s particular royalties would have been
affected. I do not know the terms under which works are selected for
Bookstart. But, yes, as well as showing support for literacy
programmes generally, Bookstart would have had the consequence –
however small – of inculcating habits of buying and maybe reading
books, which in generally would be good for authors and publishers and
probably, too, for society (big or otherwise). Again, the educated
middle class among whom we can count ourselves, would not be affected
by this largesse. We will fill our houses with books for our kids as
well as new media devices. But, for health visitors (would you cut
them, too?) to bring books into all households, even those with few if
any books was a genius scheme. And, fwiw one of my little boy’s faves
is still the propaganda piece aimed at parents by Bookstart called
Babies Love Books. The cost of means testing Bookstart would almost
certainly exceed the cost of simply doing it universally.

Not only was it a mean cut, it was politically stupid. But, I do not
mind this particular government being shown to be both stupid and

Posted via email from George’s posterous

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