Akenfield in Suffolk had a population of 300 in 1961, but these were roughly divided into two groups—the native and the new villager; Ronald Blythe remarks that “the nearer [they] come together, the more obvious their difference”. Ronald Blythe (1969), Akenfield. However, any conclusions drawn from the evidence of towns and villages in the present day and recent past are dubious. For one thing, the focus of community life and gossip has been shifted away from the community and towards a general semi-fictional public gossip. Sybil Marshall writes on the decline of gossip, “Maybe it was because for a lot of people the fictional communities of Coronation Street and The Archers had replaced interest in what was going on around them in their own community”, Sybil Marshall (1993), A Nest of Magpies, Penguin edition, p 450.

David Fleming
Dr David Fleming (2 January 1940 – 29 November 2010) was a cultural historian and economist, based in London, England. He was among the first to reveal the possibility of peak oil's approach and invented the influential TEQs scheme, designed to address this and climate change. He was also a pioneer of post-growth economics, and a significant figure in the development of the UK Green Party, the Transition Towns movement and the New Economics Foundation, as well as a Chairman of the Soil Association. His wide-ranging independent analysis culminated in two critically acclaimed books, 'Lean Logic' and 'Surviving the Future', published posthumously in 2016. These in turn inspired the 2020 launches of both BAFTA-winning director Peter Armstrong's feature film about Fleming's perspective and legacy - 'The Sequel: What Will Follow Our Troubled Civilisation?' - and Sterling College's unique 'Surviving the Future: Conversations for Our Time' online courses. For more information on all of the above, including Lean Logic, click the little globe below!

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