Library News: Ed Miliband launched a scathing attack on the Coalition’s plan to enforce library closures today, appalled by the governmentâ€™s suggestion that libraries are an unnecessary expense because ‘reading is a privilege of the white middle classes who can afford to buy books’.
â€śI remind my right honourable friends,â€ť he told an unusually rowdy House of Commons, â€śthat not only are libraries the beating heart of any community but – as several of the right honourable gentlemen I see before me know only too well – they additionally provide an invaluable place for the nation’s perverts to masturbate in.â€ť
â€śWhile the majority of the population prefer to conduct this activity in private,â€ť Miliband continued, â€śit has long been the tradition in this country that certain areas of public libraries have been set aside for men who smell of onions to rub themselves off.â€ť
â€śSome might utilise a customised trouser pocket while gazing along the Social Sciences. Others might unleash themselves more fully, perhaps somewhere between Technology and Applied Arts.â€ť
â€śI ask the House – where are these men meant to go? Bus stops? Parks? Swimming pool changing-rooms? Is this not yet further proof that this government is totally out of step with both social reality and public opinion?â€ť
As both sides of the house pointed and cheered at each other, Miliband was forced to shout over the noise.
â€śMr. Speaker, once again David Cameron is determined to make struggling minorities pay the cost of this recession – while bank bosses, ensconced in a private offices, can freely peruse their profit reports with one hand down a pair of Savile Row trousers – trousers, Mr. Speaker, that were paid for by the tax payer.â€ť
Labour benches erupted in applause. It is quite that library closures are rapidly transforming into a much more difficult issue than the government had anticipated.
â€śThe real sparks are going to fly when this gets to the House of Lords,â€ť said one party insider. â€śThere are a few elderly gentlemen in there for whom this is a very sticky subject indeed.â€ť