Monday, 24 January 2011

Aye Right!!

I have just seen the new programme for the 2011 Aye Write! festival that is run every year by Glasgow's Libraries. It has been a welcome development and one that seemed to be going from strength to strength.

It is particularly gratifying to remember that it started as an initiative while Glasgow's Libraries were still run directly by the elected council (in 2006) - thus giving the lie to those who say that this kind of partnership is only possible when our services are hived off from our control.

Is it just me, however, or do this years offerings have a aura of 'haven't we seen this before?' about them? No one has a greater admiration for Polly Toynbee than me, but weren't she and Richard Walker plugging The Verdict at last year's Edinburgh Book Festival? Didn't I see Michael Frayn and Steve Bell there too?

It's also a pity that the series of debates on the future of the economy, public services etc  - a good concept in itself, even if not linked to specific publications - don't include some people directly involved in the services and facilities under threat.

Is this diluted offering a product of the public service cuts beginning to bite? Or is it indicative of more serious problems at senior level in Glasgow Life (as we will never get used to calling it!).

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