What Da Cover Says: Ghost Signs – Poverty and the pandemic – An eyewitness account of the impact of the early days of the pandemic on those living in poverty in Leeds, as Stu Hennigan delivered emergency food and medicine to communities that had already suffered 10 years of austerity. It is a blistering exposition of what happened to a community in one of the richest countries in the world.
What I Says: First off before I start this review I have to say that in my opinion this book is going to go down as one of the most important eyewitness accounts of the Tory government before and during the COVID pandemic and that anything I write after this sentence ends is never going to do justice in showing just how much this book has affected me.
Stu Hennigan was a volunteer during the first lock-down in 2020 delivering food parcels/collecting prescriptions for those in self isolation and this job was to become far more harrowing than he could possibly have expected. Day after day he would visit the poorest most run down places in Leeds, seeing people living in filth, so starved of food that they don’t have the strength to lift the bag of food he had just delivered. He would meet people who were dying, lonely people that were starved of human contact and those too scared to even answer the door even though they were expecting a food delivery. Most traumatic of all though were the children, what sort of world are we living in when a company like A****n can make £Billions whilst a child can be in tears when given a free bag of food?
Whilst it is disgusting that a situation exists where this book has the material to be created there are some good moments, Leeds council seemed to have been quick of the mark to get this food project off the ground and it wasn’t long before the public took advantage, it wasn’t just those in isolation needing the food, it was the starving, those who had lost their jobs and unable to get by and not once does it get mentioned that they were turned away, fantastic response in my opinion. Then we have the many volunteers, what they achieved was incredible, at times fearing for their safety, witnessing poverty far beyond what you could comprehend, what this book shows is how amazing it was that they kept it up, Hennigan was a wreck after only a few deliveries and in my eyes he put in a super-hero effort to keep going. I know that I couldn’t have done it, I was welling up at times just from reading the book.
The damage caused by so many years under Tory rule is staggering, will we ever be able to recover? The leaders of Labour and Lib Dems need to pick up this book and use it as their biggest weapon to take down the most corrupt government the UK has ever lived under.
Bluemoose books have published their first Non-Fiction book and what a book to kick it all off with! Not only is Hennigan a mighty human being he is a fantastic writer…it truly was an honour to read these words, the experience is never going to leave me.
Do not buy this book from A****n, get it direct from a book shop or from the publisher HERE, support indie publishers so they can produce more fantastic literature like this.