Culture Minister Ed Vaizey did not announce a review of the government's demolition job on public libraries because he thinks it a good idea.
The announced review was a desperate straw clutched by an increasingly desperate drowning man who is up against a movement more substantial than he is.
Speak up for Libraries has cut through the coalition claptrap to home in on the government's intended death by a thousand cuts that lies in store for our public libraries.
The presence of the Women's Institute movement at the heart of Speak up for Libraries alongside public-service union Unison ought to chill Vaizey to the bone.
It was Women's Institute members who revealed Tony Blair as having feet of clay when they heckled and slow-handclapped him for talking down to them at the WI Wembley conference in 2000.
Vaizey should not pin his hopes on these women giving up their campaign until his hastily notified review reports in 2014, having heard National Federation of Women's Institutes chairwoman Ruth Bond speak of her members' dismay at seeing the government "stand by while our library service crumbles."
It is the Women's Institutes that have done the legwork in gathering the 75,000 signatures to the petition against library closures.
To suggest that charities or private contractors can replace dedicated trained staff, in the main organised by Unison, betrays a disparaging attitude towards the vital role played by these professional staff.
The same applies to suggestions that time has caught up with public libraries and that they have been superseded by home computers or ebook readers.
Millions of people have no access to a computer outside the workplace, but this awkward reality has clearly not found its way onto the horizon of the multimillionaire members of the Con-Dem Cabinet, for whom such deprivation is scarcely imaginable.
They would also fail to question how, as Unison leader Dave Prentis put it, struggling families can "afford books for their children when they are worried about their jobs, have had a pay freeze for three years and can hardly afford to put food on the table or pay energy bills."
Government financial cuts are putting the very institution of public libraries under existential threat, with 600 facing closure.
Even those struggling on at present confront a precarious future with staff numbers trimmed, opening hours curtailed and fewer new titles.
Vaizey suggests that local authorities have a choice about whether library services should be run in-house, privatised or offered by well-meaning charities.
There is nothing free about such a Hobson's choice, which would be dictated by the reality of councils having insufficient funds to provide the services that local people want.
The minister is transparent in his intentions, declaring that volunteers would be cheaper than professional librarians. True perhaps, but have we reached a stage in Britain's development where it is acceptable to replace professionals with enthusiastic amateurs simply to save money?
If so, why not replace overpaid Cabinet ministers with jobless teenagers on the minimum wage?
Tempting as this scenario is, the reasoning behind it must be rejected in favour of a principled position to support the continued employment of properly qualified and experienced librarians to help library users get the full value of a much-loved institution that has to be defended against this short-sighted Con-Dem assault on culture, knowledge and pleasure.