Vaizey was the best shadow minister for libraries, but the worst minister for libraries. The massive hypocrisy of his words after what he said in opposition, sat on his backside doing nothing in office while the library service was dismembered will be his legacy. His record of non-intervention during a time of massive cuts to the sector speak for themselves. He bottled the debate with Alan Gibbons and wouldn't speak to users or campaigners. Preferring to only interact with those who had nothing but praise for his ineptitude.
It took a while and a name changing fiasco, but the leadership of CILIP saw the light and started to actually challenging his record while in office, but sadly the SCL ("advocates for continuous improvement of the public library service on behalf of local people") still seem to see it as their job to ignore Ed's hypocrisy and bizarre policy of non-intervention and claim Ed was a "champion" of libraries.
Thank you for championing libraries and SCL over the past six years @edvaizey it has been a pleasure working with you.— UK SCL (@UKSCL) July 16, 2016
I mean honestly. The SCL seem as deluded or duplicitous as the former minister himself. I know they've done a lot of good work on the universal offers, but how can they be advocates of users when they allow politicians to get away with not doing their jobs. I know they claim they have to be impartial and can't criticise government or ministers (doesn't stop the LGA or CILIP or any other body) and if that was the real reason, they should also stop blowing smoke up the backside of the minister who has so obviously failed the people they claim to represent.
The new minister Matthew Hancock I know little about, I'm not a fan of the PPE/SPAD type of MP, but he does seem to have a bit of experience outside of politics. Hopefully with his economics background, he'll understand that money spent on public library provision gives a great return on a small investment for the nation. I'm sure he can't be worse than his predecessor and I'm certain that whatever he does or doesn't do, the SCL will think he's a champion.