Rosen warns new culture secretary on library 'crisis'

Rosen warns new culture secretary on library 'crisis'

Poet Michael Rosen has written an open letter to the new culture secretary Sajid Javid, warning him of the "terrible crisis" in libraries and and across the arts.

The former children's laureate used his blog to express his doubts about the new minister, who has taken on the role after Maria Miller stood down after being involved in a row over expenses.

Rosen said: "It's very difficult to see… how you're qualified to do this new job at the Ministry of Culture," and refers to Javid's past as a banker "who made millions during the fatal bubble of the early 21st century… the fact that people like you got up to all sorts of greedy lending and fiddling is why we're in this crisis."

He goes on to describe conditions in the arts, asking Javid: "Perhaps you've seen how people manage on a shoe string, perhaps you've seen the awful conditions backstage in many theatres, perhaps you know about the crap wages that most people in the arts work with. Perhaps you know about the terrible crisis we have in libraries, depriving people of access to knowledge and culture."

He then adds: "No matter you are of working class origin and your cultural background is a million miles from the Etonian toffs, you are now part of the class (yes), that runs the ludicrous world of the mega-rich gamblers who have caused millions of people across the world to lose their jobs and welfare. So I'm not holding out any hopes."

Javid was elected in 2010, and is the first of those MPs to be given a position in the cabinet.