I back Jeremy Corbyn.
ISIS, take the p*ss,
Labour faker,
Horrible Trotsky sh*te,
Dirty dog,
Nazi Stormtroopahhhhhhhh!
I would like a different political direction.
ISIS, take the p*ss,
Labour faker,
Horrible Trotsky sh*te,
Dirty dog,
Nazi Stormtroopahhhhhhhh!
I would like a vote, please.
ISIS, take the p*ss,
Labour faker,
Horrible Trotsky sh*te,
Dirty dog,
Nazi Stormtroopahhhhhhhh!
I am prepared to pay £25.
ISIS, take the p*ss,
Labour faker,
Horrible Trotsky sh*te,
Dirty dog,
Nazi Stormtroopahhhhhhhh!
I am sick of this abuse.
I am thinking of leaving.


2015 General Election


Islington North


Jeremy Corbyn, Labour, 60.2% of vote, 29,659.


Nearest challenger, Conservative, 17.2% of vote, 8,465 votes.


Morley and Outwood


Ed Balls, Labour, 18,354 votes, 38%.


  • Lost to Conservative who got 18,776, 38.9% of vote.

Library round up

BBC News : 27th August

Lancashire County Council to go ahead with library cuts




Lancashire Telegraph : 27th August

Plans to shut more than 20 libraries in East Lancashire given go-ahead





Blackpool Gazette : 26th August

Libraries and children’s centres to close

detailed report



The Visitor : 26th August

Morecambe Library to remain fully open




Redditch Standard: 27th August

Worcestershire | Council plans fears over Redditch library






Remove, exclude, eject, expel

Foreign bodies,

Like socialists.



Clear out, root out, weed out, tear out

Disconcerting novelties,

Like new members.



Rid, oust, dismiss, eradicate

Unsettling irritants

Like union fighters.



Impulse, need, craving, yearning

For something new

Like socialism.

Open letter to Chi Omwurah


This is my reply to Chi Omwurah, Labour Shadow Minister for Culture and Digital Economy:


Dear Chi,

We haven’t met. My name is Alan Gibbons. I set up the Campaign for the Book, which is part of the Speak up for Libraries coalition, some of whose members I believe you met. I instigated National Libraries Day. I have spent the last eight years of my life acting as an unpaid, volunteer advocate for libraries. It has cost me several thousand pounds of my own money and a huge number of hours.            

I expected to have to fight Tory ministers and Ed Vaizey did not disappoint, presiding over the closure of over three hundred libraries, the withdrawal of millions of books and the removal of a quarter of staff.

I hoped for better from the Labour Party, of which I am a member, but the only real measure of support came from Andy Burnham when he stopped the Wirral libraries closures some years ago.

So, like other colleagues, we continued to hope for firm, resolute support from the Labour Party. Then it came, in the form of Jeremy Corbyn’s backing for the National Demonstration for Libraries, Museums and Galleries on November 5th.

Maybe, instead of implying he is somehow deterring the development of a progressive Labour policy for libraries, you should work with him to help build our demonstration and sharpen Labour’s backing for libraries, museums, galleries and all public services.               I find your intervention disappointing in the extreme. I think it is more about your backing for Mr Smith in the leadership battle than a genuine concern for libraries.

Best wishes,

Alan Gibbons        

Chi has replied and I have asked permission to publish her comment. My reply to that comment is here:

Thank you for your prompt reply. I am unaccustomed to politicians responding so quickly. Sadly, they often do not reply at all.
I believe a leadership contest in the Labour Party should be about policy. In this light, the contested and controversial nature of your relationship to the party leader, something neither I nor library users, nor indeed the public in general can verify, are secondary and subordinate to our concerns. They should be dealt with in Labour Party meetings and not aired in The Bookseller, whose purpose is to explore publishing and books. What we who have devoted so much effort to saving libraries care about is the development of policy, how to sustain a ‘comprehensive and efficient service’, redefining it if possible, how to ensure paid, trained library staff in every library, how to extend opening hours and book stock.
For eight years, library campaigners have struggled to win the support of successive Labour Ministers and Shadow Ministers. For example, it was highly embarrassing for me personally, as a lifelong socialist, to discover that the then Shadow Minister for Culture Ed Vaizey accepted an invitation to attend the 200-delegate Campaign for the Book conference while Labour was unable to field a representative.
It seems very strange that, at a time, when a Labour leader has finally given robust support to libraries with Mr Corbyn’s backing for a National Libraries, Museums and Galleries march, his Shadow Minister should comment in a trade magazine about a Shadow Cabinet spat.
I look forward to meeting you on the demonstration and discussing this face to face.
Yours faithfully,
Alan Gibbons

Round up

Public Libraries News : 21st August

Editorial | Fewer are Taking Part so let’s have a National Demonstration




The Visitor : 22nd August

Lancashire | 2,450 sign Morecambe Library petition




Isle of Wight Radio : 22nd August

Mobile Libraries Hit By Isle of Wight Council’s Funding Cuts




The Courier : 22nd August

Cop counters move into Angus libraries as part of one-stop shop programme






The breaking of hands

When they want to break you,

They find that part of you,

That atom of your soul

As precious as your lover’s touch.

It is this that they tear from you,

Place before you like steaming entrails

Before a warrior.


When I was a young man,

A dreamer like so many more

That a new, better world was possible,

A shimmering, golden smear

On the dawn-welcoming hills,

I read about what they were doing in Chile,

How they made a government

To serve the people,

The many, not the few.


They had a singer then, a poet,

A man of words called Victor Jara.

When their tanks moved,

When the torture chambers rang

To screams and jets shrieked

Over the Moneda Palace,

They broke this man’s hands,

Those fingers that strummed strings

And made hope tremble through hearts.


Please remember this when you dare to hope,

When you think another world is possible,

When you find something within

As precious as your lover’s touch.

They will try to break you.

They will reach inside you,

Rummage through the very core of you.

They will search for it,

No matter how deep, how well hidden.


They will try to break your heart,

Break your hands, break your flesh

Like fresh, steaming bread.

They will try to make you hate

That which you loved,

Render filthy all that you admired,

Smear with dirt all that you held precious.

You may be rich in dreams and hope,

But they are rich in note and coin,

Power, lies and force.


So clench your hands into fists

And they will be less easy to break.

Take all those things you love

And know them well, know their worth,

Know every fibre of their being

So they can not be reduced to dirt.

Stay rich in dreams and hope

And share your wealth with all.

Then you may sing and hear your music

Ring through the rising of the sun.


Support for libraries and museums national demonstration

“Unite The Union is proud to be able to say that our members in Greenwich and Bromley have been leading the fight to save libraries in both these London boroughs. Whether it’s been about fighting off privatisation or the introduction of volunteers, defending libraries against closure or staffing cuts and mass casualisation, our members are ready and willing to take the action that is necessary – as a result we have won victories and concessions along the way. Now it is time to organise to make the long called for demand for unity a reality – that is why we are helping build to build for a mass, united demonstration in defence of libraries. It is time to unite, nationally, to take action together to Save Our Libraries!!!!”

Onay Kasab, Unite Regional Officer

November 5th.

British Library, Euston Road, London.


That Corbyn

The media says:

He’s a monster,

A loonie,

A goonie,

A Moonie.

He ain’t half daft,

He’s kind of soft,

Something’s missing

Up in his loft,

That Corbyn.


The media says:

He’s goofy,


Sounds like a spoofy,

A slate missing

From his roofy,

That Corbyn.


The media says:

He’s a terrorist,




Must be pissed

(well, if he drank),

a grey beard

dead weird,

That Corbyn.


The media says:

He’s all metropolitan,

Don’t do the Norf,



Weird red mister

Political demister.

That Corbyn.


The media says:

He’s a dinosaur,

It’s been done before,

Old hat Labour,

What, talk to your neighbour,

Only relevant to a Northerner



For Clause Four,

Peacenik bore,

That Corbyn.


The media says:

He’s a bloody bore,

Sits on the floor,

Won’t do first class

Sits on his bony ass,

What a bastard,

That Corbyn.


The media says:

He’s a cyclist,

Red fist,

Red mist,

He just ain’t normal,

He don’t do formal,



Trotsky-hat sporting,

What a throwback,

That Corbyn.


The media says:

He’s unelectable,

Not delectable

Like Kim Kardashian

Or Ant and Dec

Bloomin’ heck,

He don’t know the difference,

Never seen

Byker, Byker, Byker


That Corbyn.


The media says:

He’s irrelevant,


Don’t it make you curious,

Make you bloody furious

That he thinks he can stand

Before his left wing band.

Got no chance of winning,

Absolutely pointless,

That Corbyn.


The media says:

You ask me why I write this

If he’s got no chance as PM,

It’s because I got a DM

From Rupert just this am,

To tell me what to put down

In my daily tabloid,

The Digger’s bloody


That the venerable


Might actually do this,

Then we’d bloody rue this,

I tell you, screw this,

We’ve got to stop him,

That Corbyn.