Englishness is on the rise. On Wednesday 20th November a wide range of people came together to debate this question in Manchester as part of the Festival of Englishness, co-hosted by British Future, IPPR and the Social Action and Research Foundation. Listen to what various speakers at the event had to say.
Tag Archive for identity
The issue of northern identity has resurfaced recently. Since the deindustrialisation of the 1980s – and with social mobility reversing at a disturbing rate over the last 30 years – the gap between north and south has grown bigger. With London’s rise as a political and cultural superpower, what are the chances today of another Eddie Waring breaking through and rising to the top, asks Anthony Clavane.
One artist’s plan to paint every inhabitant of St Davids, Britain’s smallest city, will act as a valuable social history of an integrated Welsh community. Grahame Hurd-Wood, 55, has already spent 14 years producing pictures of people in the city, ranging from councillors and bishops to children and students, and plans to spend the next few years painting the remainder, writes Jemimah Steinfeld.
Last week British Future director Sunder Katwala wrote an article in the Guardian arguing that people should not feel uncomfortable about celebrating their Englishness, in response to David Edgar's piece about the Festival of Englishness making him feel "queasy". In this guest blog Eddie Bone, campaign director for the campaign for an English parliament, challenges Katwala's article and offers his own argument on the future of Englishness.
The most surprising aspect of David Edgar's engaged but sceptical take on the Festival of Englishness hosted by British Future and IPPR is his fear that anxious public debates about immigration may reinforce "the idea that deep down, there still ain't no black in the union jack," writes Sunder Katwala.
As part of the Festival of Englishness co-hosted with IPPR, British Future commissioned ICM to conduct polling about English identity to decipher how people feel about the England flag and other hallmarks of English identity. The headline figures make for interesting reading.
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.
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?
English identity has become a much more inclusive and welcoming identity, but different attitudes towards Europe now form one of the major differences between English and Scottish nationalism, said Conservative MP John Redwood at today's Englishness festival.
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.
In this Ashes summer, with so many of the cricketers who are playing for England being born abroad, it seems appropriate to look back at the first immigrant from the Indian subcontinent who made his test debut for England against Australia. He was a man who used his cricketing success to secure personal benefit and for all these reasons his story remains a classic study of migration, writes Mihir Bose.
As artistic director of Northern Lines Community Theatre Project, Javaad Alipoor recently made a play called City Stories: 120 years of City, 120 years of Bradford, which responded to Bradford City’s epic season. Bradford City was a natural choice for theatre, since the club's history reflects the history of Bradford at large, writes Javaad Alipoor.
The Leeds Big Bookend brings together writers old and new and describes itself as a "rock festival for words." The most encouraging thing was the celebration of writers from the past, with the present and future being well represented too, reflects Matthew Rhodes on a fascinating weekend in his home town.