Book Review: More Human by Steve Hilton (published by WH Allen)
If, like me, you are feeling disillusioned and frustrated with the current political system, the archaic and ineffective structure of Government and it’s pandering to big corporates, the inhuman focus on data / meeting targets / cutting budgets for ‘efficiency’ rather than looking at what the people on the ground really need, then More Human is for you.
The author Steve Hilton (an ex Conservative Party senior advisor – but don’t let that put you off! – and now living in US, having founded Crowdpac, a “political tech start-up”, and Stanford University professor) lays out, in twelve chapters, suggestions and practical ways that we might revolutionise the system to make the UK, and in some sections, the US, a fairer, more human, place to live.
These chapters are Politics, Government, Schools, Health, Food, Capitalism, Business, Poverty, Inequality, Childhood, Spaces and Nature. Each deals carefully and thoughtfully with the subject at hand, first detailing how things are, how things could be and how we could get there by either making some tweaks or a complete overhaul. What he says, generally, seems absolutely logical and makes you wonder why it hasn’t already been done. But then you remember that there is no change to the system because the people at the top who benefit from it don’t want to change it and lose out on their £££.
One stand out point to me is as follows: “We have, in some ways, regressed… the ascent of big money and its lobbyists means that while there is no explicit quid pro quo, it is hard to mistake what donors intend when they make political contributions. Or what businesses want when they take politicians to dinner, the opera, the Brits or Wimbledon… It’s a democracy in name only, operating on behalf of a tiny elite, no matter the electoral outcome. No wonder voters feel that others’ voices are being heard more than their own. It’s because it’s true.”
Every chapter was eye-opening and seemed to confirm what I had been thinking about how things are and give solid reasoning about why things need to change - and quickly. The truths about factory schools and factory food were alarming and the insistence on fair pay, businesses paying their employees a salary they can live on, is ridiculous in that it hasn’t already happened.
I was also totally on board with the suggestions about valuing nature more: “…the more we live in cities, the further we are from nature… We risk what some a calling ‘nature deficit disorder.’…at the moment, across the world, consumerism is the social norm and nature is not. We choose to build Westfield shopping centres. Why?... Why do we think it’s acceptable for children to spend a weekend afternoon going shopping?... ‘Shopping is not a hobby.’”
And I gelled with the idea of creating spaces where people want to live, rather than the expensive boxes offered by the five big housebuilders, “manipulating and lobbying their way to dominance while giving people a worse and worse service. The factory houses they build sell because there’s little choice and there’s a housing shortage.”
I devoured this book quickly for a non-fiction as I found it effortless to read and the concepts proposed easy to understand. The tone was informative and educational, with the purpose to make you think rather than pushy or aggressive. Apart from one bit about Brexit in the Politics section, which was interesting, but which I’m guessing was added later as it was bit ranty and jarred with the tone of the rest of the book.
My rating: 4/5
Goodreads | Amazon | Author website | Publisher website
**My debut novel, an epic fantasy called MELOKAI, is out now! Available from Amazon, Kobo, iBooks, Google Play Books, Barnes & Noble and Smashwords. Read more about my books here.**
Click here for your free ebook of my fantasy novella THE FALL OF VAASAR.
Click here for my Book Review Policy.
Are you on Goodreads? Let's be friends! Find me here.
Subscribe to my email mailing list to be notified about new releases, giveaways, price promotions, free books, free short stories as well as exclusive extra content.