It’s nice when people change their mind, when they say ‘Oh yeah, I see what you mean, you’re right, I was mistaken.’
It’s nice to be in the right, to be proven right, to be the one who knew all along.
Sometimes though, we – all of us – don’t quite get it right first time round. I rarely do. I welcome my editor suggesting changes to a piece of work (even as I struggle to do better, make it better), I welcome my colleagues in Fun Palaces encouraging me to think deeper/wider/broader/more strategically about an idea (I’m more likely to be the one to jump in and do, which is valuable, I know – but so is questioning, considering, a slower, more deliberate approach). And it’s not as if I ever write and deliver a piece of work where I haven’t done my best, not as if I ever work on something for Fun Palaces where I don’t do my best – but other views, other considerations, new views, new opinions, can make a huge difference, and then it’s time to try again. It’s still important to be sure I am doing what I personally believe in – be it a piece of writing or a piece of theatre or a making a decision about Fun Palaces’ future plans – but it’s also OK to change my mind. To make a new choice.
It would be OK for Lambeth Council, now they have truly seen the passionate concern for libraries that the citizens of the borough have, now that they have seen that these citizens are engaged with and hopeful for the alternative plan, now that they have seen the national and international support for Lambeth’s libraries, the strength of the amazing young people for the libraries – it would be OK for Lambeth to change their mind. It would be OK, and worthy of respect, for Lambeth to change their mind and agree with the people of Lambeth that we need all ten libraries (and one archive), and we need them staffed by professional librarians, and we need them for all the reasons that have been rehearsed for months now – for the most vulnerable, the most needy. We need them for our community.
That lady wasn’t for turning. This one thinks a Lambeth U-turn now would be brave and strong and visionary.