Well, what have they really done?
It took about two years before anyone realised that West Dunbartonshire Council, west of the City of Glasgow, Scotland was implementing a BDS policy against Israel. Given that the area has the highest unemployment in the United Kingdom you would have thought they had better things to do than waste time and presumably money on gestures. Like Marrickville Council the honourable councillors feel they have international obligations above their local ones. Unlike Marrickville Council they must have realised what prats this made them look like and kept it quiet.
No one would have noticed had the council library not banned Israeli books. Perhaps realising that this made them look too much like Nazis (I can’t be a Nazi. I’m a Socialist?”) they backtracked. Their current position is they don’t seek to censor or silence authors and commentators from Israel. The Council’s boycott only relates to goods ‘made or grown’ in Israel. Money doesn’t grow on trees but apparently books do! Only books that were printed in Israel and transported to the UK for distribution would be potentially boycotted.
I wouldn’t imagine there were too many of those in a Scottish library but I could be wrong …
Freedom of Information Request
Under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 anyone has the right to ask the Council for any information it holds and then receive it. So I have prepared the following questions for West Dunbarton Council and Library.
- Since West Dunbartonshire Council resolved to immediately cease the purchase of any goods we currently source, which were made or grown† in Israel, what goods have been boycotted?
- As a prudent council buys at the lowest price, how much has the decision to boycott Israel cost the residents of West Dunbartonshire?
- Which other states or organisations has West Dunbartonshire Council put under an official decision to boycott.
- How much has the decision to boycott these countries and organisations cost the residents of West Dunbartonshire?
- Has the West Dunbartonshire Council inadvertently purchased computers with Intel processors, Microsoft operating systems or Microsoft Office software, largely developed in Israel, since deciding to boycott?
- Has the West Dunbartonshire investigated whether modern office equipment developed in Israel has been inadvertently purchased?
- Does West Dunbartonshire boycotted British Telecom, Veolia, Motorola, Alstom or other companies placed on the BDS boycott list?
- As the boycott is not retrospective and absolutely no books have been or will be removed from the library shelves as a consequence of the motion, how many books, printed in Israel and transported to the UK for distribution, are currently on the shelves of West Dunbartonshire libraries?
- How many books in total are on the shelves of West Dunbartonshire libraries?
Will let you know the response, which should be in 20 days, when I get it.
† Again with the growing.