I should confess to being a big Caitlin Moran fan. I loved her previous books, and went to see her live when she was touring ‘How To Build A Girl. It was brilliant – and resulted in me having a t-shirt made for a friend that said ‘Never Regret Cheese’ on it – which a) maybe you had to be there to understand and b) is a useful motto to live by! I laughed a lot at the TV series Caitlin wrote with her sister Caroline – and am properly cross that Channel 4 haven’t commissioned a 3rd series. I am definitely more conservative (with a big and little c) than Ms Moran – so was slightly concerned that this book might be a bit too right on, left wing and trendy for a 42 year old accountant mother of 4, but I didn’t let that stop me.
Here’s the Amazon blurb:
” ‘I’ve lived through ten iOS upgrades on my Mac – and that’s just something I use to muck about on Twitter. Surely capitalism is due an upgrade or two?’
When Caitlin Moran sat down to choose her favourite pieces for her new book she realised that they all seemed to join up. Turns out, it’s the same old problems and the same old ass-hats.
Then she thought of the word ‘Moranifesto’, and she knew what she had to do…
This is Caitlin’s engaging and amusing rallying call for our times. Combining the best of her recent columns with lots of new writing unique to this book, Caitlin deals with topics as pressing and diverse as 1980s swearing, benefits, boarding schools, and why the internet is like a drunken toddler.
And whilst never afraid to address the big issues of the day – such as Benedict Cumberbatch and duffel coats – Caitlin also makes a passionate effort to understand our 21st century society and presents us with her ‘Moranifesto’ for making the world a better place.
The polite revolution starts here! Please.”
The book started with some columns that had already been published – and some of which I’d read – but they were all great. I particularly enjoyed the ones based around the Olympics of 2012 – as I was reading the book with Rio 2016 as a backdrop. The book was written pre Brexit – but remembering the summer of 2012 and how everyone was in love with London was even more emotive when contrasted with the problems that the EU referendum has caused with shocking racism and intolerance in the summer of 2016. It was also published pre the death of David Bowie – but Caitlin’s love for Mr Bowie shines through in many different chapters!
As I mentioned above – I was nervous that the political bits wouldn’t be my bag at all – but this could not have been further from the truth. I would consider myself fairly middling politically (there’s a whole chapter on people thinking this about themselves actually – and analogies with swimming speeds and middle lane drivers!) and I agree with a lot that Caitlin writes about helping others out – and how this is often the way with ‘normal’ people (not smug politicians who grew up at boarding school!). I am lucky enough to live in a great village outside Birmingham (this is not code for Wolverhampton, it is a North Worcestershire village) and the sense of community there is excellent – with people helping each other out frequently with matters large and small.
I’m all for capitalism and people making money (as long as they pay the appropriate tax on it!) but there also needs to be a place for a welfare system that supports people who need it. Just because I can pay for (some of, at the moment) my kids to go to private school, doesn’t mean I don’t also believe in the state system – and the same goes for the NHS v private healthcare which we as a family use both of. I know I’m lucky and have choices – but the husband and I also work damn hard for this ‘luck’ too, and the ‘luck’ means we can be in a position to help others out as well. People who’ve done well for themselves shouldn’t sit in their ivory tower counting their pennies far away from the real world (she says, looking out of the window on holiday at the view of a 7 star hotel………) but should want to ‘put back’ a bit too. And I think in this, Ms Moran and I have similar views.
Wow – a book review that’s gone a bit political (don’t worry, I’ll be back to chick lit next I promise!!)
So let’s all read the ‘Moranifesto’ and start a polite revolution, if we all do, who knows what benefits we could reap!