9 killer techniques in 167 words (91 fewer than I could manage talking about it):
Contentious title and opening. Your first reaction when you read it? Probably Never!
Short, active sentences and paragraphs.
Reference to powerful, controversial brand names (the library world both admires and fears Amazon and Google).
Judicious use of ‘we’.
Facts and figures (£1000 million).
A triple (politicians, council officers and library professionals).
Emotive language (lunacy, deserves to be shut down).
A counter example (America).
A call to action (we should stop it).
Unsurprisingly, several people commented.
But read it again, and a few gaps appear:
Legal tax evasion is an oxymoron that comes from the writer’s attempt to resolve several contradictory ideas. Should Google and Amazon be allowed to dodge tax – not that they did dodge tax, of course – in order to save taxpayers money?
The America example is intriguing but not outlined in any detail at all.
In the same vein, how has Google provided a better information service? One sentence would do.
Churches weren’t built for meeting in; they were built for praying in. It’s a bad example but not surprising because there simply isn’t another space that fulfils the same civic function as a library.
I love this style of writing, and it sharpens up your thinking even if you don’t agree with the opinion it expresses. But just a little detail would make it less easy to dismiss after a second reading.