Author Archive for BFTemp
This Wednesday 20th November I am going to the People’s History Museum in Manchester. The reason for the visit is to explore Englishness in the north at an event hosted by British Future and IPPR North. As a student of anthropology and a born-and-bred Midlander living in the north, I am fascinated to hear thoughts on whether a national identity pervades across England’s regions, writes Sarah Dickson.
The English see themselves as a nation of charming chancers battling against the odds, misusing French to sound ‘posh’ and sipping cocktails in the local boozer, but certainly no longer snobs. At least that is what our latest polling says ahead of today’s festival of Englishness - with Derek Trotter of "Only Fools and Horses" named as the comedy character that best represents Englishness, writes Steve Ballinger .
According to a poll conducted by ICM for British Future entitled “Is Englishness changing?” the English like to discuss the weather above all else. What other character traits define being English, if anything, asks Jemimah Steinfeld.
On Saturday 19th October British Future and IPPR are co-hosting a "Festival of Englishness" to address a question which is becoming increasingly central to the Britain's national conversation: who defines themselves as English and what does it mean when they do? Featuring top political thinkers and figures from English culture, sport and comedy, "England, my England: A festival of Englishness" will examine exactly what English identity means today and what its implications are for people in this country.
England and Arsenal footballer Jack Wilshere this week suggested that only English-born players should be eligible to play for England, pitching into a media debate about which national team the young Manchester United player Adnan Jaznan should play for. His views are out of step with most of the country's sports fans, writes Sunder Katwala.
As a single white man in my twenties, going to see a play about four mothers dealing with their children, relationships and mixed race families was not something I thought I was going to relate to. But thanks to a healthy injection of humour and some sharp social commentary about the UK in general, Adult Supervision had myself and everyone else in the audience engrossed and laughing from start to finish, writes Douglas Jefferson.
Are you a Grumpy Nostalgic or part of team Jam and Jerusalem? Are you a Northern Soul or a Post-National Cosmopolitan? In an article in the Observer, Sunder Katwala outlines the main tribes that reflect our attitudes towards Modern Britain. They divide along various lines according to criteria such as class, place and age, but significantly unite at other points. It is this unity which says a lot about the country today and which should be built upon, writes Katwala.
St Patrick's Day has firmly established itself on the annual calendar in England, with the help of a certain brand of stout, but England's own patron saint’s day, St George's Day, is a much more sedate affair. Why isn't it bigger? What is stopping those in England from celebrating Englishness?
How to reach new groups without losing support from the core was a key theme raised on Monday 30th September when British Future and ConservativeHome hosted a fringe event at the Conservative Party Conference entitled “Future majority: how can the Tories win in a changing Britain?”
On 20th September the late Rev Dr. Oliver Lyseight was awarded a blue plaque by the Wolverhampton Civic & Historical Society in what marks an important chapter in the history of both Wolverhampton and of integration in the UK.
On Monday 23rd September, British Future took part in an event at the Labour Party conference entitled What's the answer to populism? Chaired by British Future director Sunder Katwala, guest speakers Zoe Williams from the Guardian, Sadiq Khan MP, David Lammy MP and Dr Evan Harris presented a plethora of views on the question.
Since the age of 15, Bernard Keightley, now 71, has worked in shipyards all over the north of England. Life at the docks was hard, mostly because of lack of health and safety measures at the time, and subsequently Keightley's memories are infused with tales of death.
Retired Wimbledon footballer Vinnie Jones, star of Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, has spoken out about England being “past its sell-by date.” In a Radio Times interview, Vinnie says that he would not return to Britain from his current home in Los Angeles as immigration has made the country “unrecognisable”. Steve Ballinger sends him a postcard from England.
Immigration is often among the most heated of public debates. Lord Ashcroft’s new report captures why immigration is such a challenging public issue, for governments of any party, and offers clues too as to how to engage the public constructively in the choices Britain makes about immigration, writes Sunder Katwala.
One positive story to come out of the tragedy of Woolwich in May took place at the East London mosque, in Tower Hamlets, when leaders of the Christian, Jewish and Buddhist faiths joined approximately 6,000 Muslims for Friday prayers. It was a shining example of interfaith, but it was not unique. Rather examples of interfaith have been becoming more visible and frequent in the UK over the past decade. Will they foster genuine dialogue and counter prejudice, asks Jemimah Steinfeld.
As the first world war centenary approaches, how should we commemorate those who lost their lives in service of this country? It’s a question that has attracted some controversy of late, amid claims that recipients of the Victoria Cross from Commonwealth countries are not being recognised, writes Steve Ballinger.
Modern Britain has provided a vibrant canvas for young British Chinese to explore their identity. This can be seen through their leisure pursuits, which present an interesting hybrid. While Hong Kong culture remains important, due to the migration history of the majority of British Chinese families, living and growing up in the UK has more than made its mark, and the importance of media from mainland China, Korea and Japan is growing, writes Dr Alex Tan .