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.