Sunday, 16 March 2008

Talking points

I'm getting plenty of responses to my Daily Mail extract yesterday. There'll be another one along tomorrow, Monday 17th, so look out for that.

All of the emails and comments I've had so far have agreed with my take on the homogenisation of England. Expats from Brazil and the USA have written in sadness to agree, one saying that he left England fifteen years ago because he 'saw it coming.' Others have asked what can be done: there are some thoughts about this in the book, though I can't claim to have any comprehensive manifesto or batch of easy solutions.

Emigration is certainly tempting sometimes. I often wonder what the country will look like in another fifteen years. How many more roads, runways, power plants, housing estates? How many remaining pubs, local shops, small farms, marketplaces, hidden spaces? Will there be any sense of English folk culture remaining, or any feeling for the genius loci? Or will there just be thousands more pointless 'celebrities' being shuttled around in 4x4s proudly run on biofuels?

But emigration is no escape. One of the points I make in my book is that the forces affecting England are affecting the world. The spread of the global consumer economy leaves none untouched: in this sense I am taking up where my last book, which explored forces of resistance to that economy worldwide, left off.

One of the commenters on my Mail piece took me up on this. 'Paul doesn't seem to have grasped', he writes, 'that the Economy is a voracious, completely invulnerable monster that is ravaging everything human and humane that lies in its path.' Hopefully he'll read the book, where he'll see that I have grasped it, and all its implications. After Cobbett, I call it 'The Thing' - it stalks the world, devouring people and places and spitting out money, and I really don't know what to do about it. But I'm open to ideas.


Charlie Marks said...

Would've been nice if the book was officially launched on April 23rd...

And a shame the Mail used the word "Britain" in the headline. "Eng-er-bland" would've been good.

Paul said...

I suggested that to the publisher actually. There was some technical reasons they didn't want to.

Eng-er-bland: I like it!

EARTH AID said...

Hi Paul,
We may have met during the road protests in the 1990s.
You say you don't know what to do about the destruction of the planet, but you are open to ideas.
If you read my post on Indymedia UK on 28 February 2008 entitled "Children's Revolution and New Youth Movement Could Save Humanity from Extinction" you will see the ideas some of my friends and I are currently working on.
We are trying to inspire the local residents of the three threatened villages near Heathrow Airport to declare independence from the government in Westminster and take control of their own affairs.
Combined with the creation of a futuristic high tech eco-village in the area, local action by the local people could help trigger off a worldwide Consumer Revolt against the governments and the corporations.
We have no idea at the moment how the residents of Sipson Harmondsworth and Harlington have responded to our proposals, and this is a story that needs a good investigative journalist to write.
If you are interested in getting involved I can provide you with all the clues on condition that there should be no personal publicity for our group.
The Earth Aid Environmental Campaign.
07964226736 or 07846816797.

Daniel Owen said...

I can't wait to buy your book. Sounds ace!