A passionate and very funny memoir of 25 years of political activism - Ben Elton meets John O'Farrell's THINGS CAN ONLY GET BETTER Brief Description 'Telling someone from Swanley about the tedium of your small town is like saying to Nelson Mandela "I've had hassle from the old Bill myself, so I know how you fell mate"'. Mark Steel was born in suburbia and raised by working class parents, so naturally he became an Angry Young Man. Punished by his headmaster for eating a banana in public, he decided to commit his life to eradicating injustice. More Citizen Smith than Che Guevara he joined the Socialist Workers Party only to discover that it had no workers and wasn't much of a party. In his attempts, in the late 70s, to persuade his pub mates of the political validity of non-sexist attitudes, he was mostly called a poof. And then, innocently wandering into the heat of battle during the Brixton riots in 1981, he realised that his first experience of police violence was as life-changing as losing your virginity or your first curry. From his involvement in the Anti Nazi League in 1979, through to the steelworkers and Miners strikes, the Poll Tax march, the Liverpool Dockers strike to campaigning as a candidate in the Greater London Assembly elections, Mark Steel has been in the thick of every major left wing cause over the last 25 years. With passion, humour and a seriousness of purpose underlying his self-deprecation, REASONS TO BE CHEERFUL champions, not party politics, but the politics of human dignity, cheerfulness and a good laugh in all walks of life.