"Which libraries are we going to be looking at?" I ask.
"Probably be best if we have a look at all of them, to be on the safe side."
"So we're not building a business case for closing five particular libraries?"
No, we're not. Shall we look at Pottersbury Road first and get it over and done with? No, let's not, there's no point. Everything in Jim's manner points to one conclusion: somebody's already decided which five and Jim's been given the job of making the evidence fit the conclusion. "Which five, Jim?"
"If I tell you I'll have to kill you."
Whichever libraries are on the hit list, three eternal verities will apply:
- The choice will be irrational: there will be no service-based business case for the chosen;
- The process will drag on for months, raising the utmost disruption and upset; and
- Five libraries won't close.