So here's the thing - Channel 4 programme Dispatches decided to do a
programme on 'How to save £100 billion - live' during which various
'experts' would stand up, say what they wanted to cut and then the
audience would have their say, then we'd all vote, see how much we'd
save, then move on.
Originally they were after a librarian person, so approached CILIP, who then ran around trying to find appropriate people for them to talk to (me included) but what they (Dispatches) really wanted was a librarian who was going to lose their job, or potentially going to lose their job. Not the most sensible move, because anyone who is perhaps going to lose their job isn't really going to want to talk live on national television about it, since the possibility would probably turn into a definite. However, CILIP did the best they could but I think Dispatches was being rather unrealistic.
I did however get a ticket out of it all though, as did @ioverlord and so off we toddled last night to the recording. It was a pretty shambolic set up to be honest - we were expected to be there for 5.30 doors opening (don't be late), but I didn't get in until well after 6pm, at which point we got herded around rather a lot. Oh yes, and I got a red wrist band. I don't know why, and the person who gave it to me didn't know why either, but I had it. I've kept it as a souvenir - look it's over in the bin there, being kept safe.
Eventually we got to go in - red bands first (I know not why) and we were directed to two banks of seats - I chose one that was behind a podium since I thought that might be a useful place to be. We all got given electronic clickers to use for the voting section of the programme as well. We then had to go through a little practice - we were asked a few questions and had to vote accordingly. Worrying, for two out of the first 3 attempts the votes were split exactly 50/50 (in an audience of 600) and they were muttering about a show of hands instead, but the next pretend vote had it sorted, so unlikely as it seems, people did seem split pretty much (raising pension age to 66 for everyone and taxing motorway use).
If you saw the programme there's no point in me going through it, and
if you didn't see the programme, there's no point in me going through
it, so I'll save my fingers. It was a little bit frustrating, because
all the way through I think we were expecting a libraries segment, so
while I wanted to talk in some of the other areas I didn't want to blow
my chance - it looked like they were only calling on people once, but
they clearly ran out of time. They also hadn't thought the voting thing
through properly, as they were going on a first past the post system, so
although in one case over 60% of people voted for cuts of between 10-20
billion on something (can't remember what), because 37% voted for no
change, no change won out.
Which really meant the whole thing was, in best Blackadder style 'like a pencil without any lead - pointless'. However, it was a fun thing to do, but I was a little disappointed not to have a chance to tell them to leave libraries alone! I do have a nice image of the evening though, thanks to Liane Bradbrook for thinking to take a picture of the screen: