Over the last few months, I've had occasion to report some good news stories about some of the campaigns featured in Real England. Now, two more developments are beginning to make it look like a trend. It seems that featuring in the book bestows on a campaign a reverse curse; a weird kind of gypsy blessing. It's starting to look like more than a coincidence. I mean, look at the evidence:
I wrote in Real England of the campaign to save this ancient, diverse street market in east London from predatory developers. Yesterday, I was told that London's mayor, Boris Johnson, has turned down the developers' planning application, against all expectations. The campaigners are understandably thrilled.
The pubs of England
Years of determined campaigning by landlords, some of them featured prominently in Real England has led, this week, to a damning parliamentary report which recommends the government takes action against the power of the Pub Companies which are driving so many pubs to the wall. Just watch those share prices plummet ...
Oxford's last public boatyard has successfully fought off two advances by developers since featuring in the book. Now locals hope to buy it for the community.
Sheringham vs Tesco
Despite the fears I wrote about in the book, one of the last towns in England without a superstore has comprehensively rejected the advances of Tesco.
A fierce campaign by residents and shopkeepers put paid to an attempt at creating a 'Chinese themed shopping mall' that wouldn't have involved any actual Chinese people.
Now we just have to hope that the wider trends start to be counteracted. A tougher battle, that one, but with global recession and the ongoing collapse of parliament, everything is starting to look possible after all...