It was the spirit of our finest hour, the backbone of our post-war greatness, and it promoted some of the boldest and most brilliant schemes this isle has ever produced: it was the Welfare State, and it made you and I.
But now it’s under threat, and we need to save it.
In this timely and provocative book, Stuart Maconie tells Britain’s Welfare State story through his own history of growing up as a northern working class boy.
What was so bad about properly funded hospitals, decent working conditions and affordable houses? And what was so wrong about student grants, free eye tests and council houses? And where did it all go so wrong?
Stuart looks toward Britain’s future, making an emotional case for believing in more than profit and loss; and championing a just, fairer society.
It All Begins to Blur …
Well, this is a very different kind of read for me, and it turned out to be far more political than I expected.
Stuart Maconie is slightly younger than I am, so much of what he says rings true and I can’t disagree with his memories of how things used to be, although I feel he has rather cherry picked. I really enjoyed his visits across Britain to discover how different areas deal successfully with things in the here and now; however, there were many realities left untouched.
This is definitely book which will appeal to voters who lean to the left; it’s very much a case of the labour party can do no wrong and the conservatives can do no right. I’m more of a hybrid voter myself, weighing up how each government performs before casting my vote.
I’m not here to criticise the content, but to review the book as a whole. It was consistent in the stance taken and, perhaps, the author should go into the political arena? It’s well written although it does begin to blur at times. I can’t say I loved it – or even liked it – but I got through it. For me, this is a 3* read.
My thanks to the publisher for my copy via NetGalley; this is – as always – my honest, original and unbiased review.
Tags: memoir, political
- Format: ebook, hardcover, audiobook
- Size: 299 pages
- Publisher: Ebury Digital
- Publication Date: 5 March 2020
- Links: Goodreads
- Google Play
- Barnes & Noble
- W. H. Smith
Stuart Maconie is a writer, broadcaster and journalist familiar to millions from his work in print, on radio and on TV. His previous bestsellers have included Cider with Roadies, Pies and Prejudice and Adventures on the High Teas, and he currently hosts the afternoon show on BBC 6music with Mark Radcliffe as well as weekly show The Freak Zone. Based in the cities of Birmingham and Manchester, he can also often be spotted on top of a mountain in the Lake District with a Thermos flask and individual pork pie.