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Response to Review of Militant Liverpool: a City on the Edge

The authors would like to thank the reviewer for a detailed, positive and fair assessment of our book. We are particularly pleased to have acknowledged our attempts to offer a balanced picture that is inclusive (as far as possible) of those on all sides of the fence. This was not an easy task to accomplish in the context of a city where antagonisms and entrenched views continue to run deep today. The review also picks up on the all-important wider socio-economic and political context within which the Labour council came to power and subsequently had to operate. The strong ideological difference between the government and the left-wing Liverpool council that saw Thatcherite policies as hitting the working class disproportionately is also underlined in this review, and this is still the case today. For us, the key take-home message of the book was summed up by a be-suited low-carbon business investor one of us spoke to about the book, who said ‘what did you expect us to do: give up and die?’ While of course lessons can always be learned, for us the city started to turn itself around when it fought back after decades of poor leadership from both the public and private sectors. It did not go quietly the same way as Detroit. Sometimes you need to start with ‘enough: another world is possible’.