28 October 2019

This is a most excellent book for anyone who is interested in public transport, local democracy, and seriously addressing the climate emergency and socio-economic inequality in the world. It is specifically focussed on Glasgow and the UK context however the central ideas are applicable across the western world and the reading list is very broad (I was disappointed to find no bibliography at the end, but the notes are extensive).

Ellie analyses her own personal experiences to better understand the world and its injustices. As a self-confessed privileged person, she bravely steps out of her comfort zone, acknowledges her naiveties and limitations, navigates complex social situations, reads shitloads and critically dissects and reconnects all of it. She breathes new life into slogans such as “think global, act local” and “small is beautiful”, at the same time as asking such obvious questions as, why do cities spend millions on branding exercises while ignoring obvious solutions to social problems? She finds answers to these questions by drawing vital connections between problems that have been isolated and individualised, clearly placing the blame on decades of neoliberal policies of privatisation, the GDP system of valuation, and profit before people. Happily, throughout the book she proposes imaginative, truly democratic and empowering solutions to reducing inequalities and moving towards happier, healthier sustainable lives for everyone.

Helen Varley