Public libraries are a precious reminder of what can be achieved if market forces are excluded from the public sector.  Books can be borrowed free of charge by everybody, regardless of income.  It’s municipal socialism in action and the system has worked beautifully for over a century.

This must grind in the jaws of those free marketeers who would put a price on everything and a value on nothing.  Now, the barbarians at the gates have these egalitarian anachronisms in their crosshairs.  As is reported in today’s Independent 400 libraries in England and Wales are targeted for closure as the philistines  do everything in their powers to destroy the spirit of sharing that underpins public libraries. Significantly, the same article highlights  community-based resistance to this intellectual Luddism.

The best news story of the weekend comes from Stony Stratford in Buckinghamshire.  Local people have emptied the shelves and “borrowed” all 16,000 books to protect them from the actions of Milton Keynes Council.  This is inspirational stuff. It would be great if this kind of imaginative community resistance to library closures were to spread…


Land reform and land ownership expert Andy Wightman has submitted written evidence to the Scotland Bill Committee calling for the Crown Estate Commissioners to be removed from their administrative role in the management of Scotland’s Crown property rights.  Andy’s submission can be read here.

It is well worth taking 10-15 minutes  to download and read Andy’s submission.  It’s not a long read but clarifies important distinctions between the Crown Estate and Crown Estate Commissioners; as well as clarifying exactly what powers of direction the Scottish government have with regards to Crown Estate property rights.

Given that the Crown Estate Commissioners have control over Scotland’s  seabed, among much else, it is clear that this Bill is important to the future of many of Scotland’s marine renewable energy projects.  There is a historic opportunity here if can be grasped by the Scottish Parliament.  All the relevant background to this important story can be found here at Andy Wightman’s website.