The author read The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists by Robert Tressell, a book written in the early 1900s and it changed her life. She saw for the first time that conditions for ordinary people could be so much better under socialism than capitalism and it started her on a mission to try to bring about this change.
The original described the miserable conditions of the working class in 1900s Britain. The new workers Party, the Labour Party was spreading its message of an alternative to the crisis ridden capitalist system.
The author has moved forward a hundred years to base the book in the 21st century. Although fiction it mirrors real events told through a family living in a former mining village in Yorkshire and reflects how working class life has changed beyond recognition in the last thirty years. Then it had been a thriving industrial area with full employment and now an area run on part-time and casual employment and high unemployment; food banks springing up all over; malnutrition at levels not seen since the second world war. A new workers coalition is being formed by trade unionists and socialists with a clear socialist programme.
The aim of the book is the same as Tressell’s to show the conditions of the working class now and how it could be different.