St George’s Day could be a moment when people in England from every background come together, but that just isn’t happening yet. We need to ensure that everyone feels invited to the party.
Many of us in England will be celebrating St George’s Day this week, commemorating the nation’s patron saint. Others will remain unaware, or wonder why there’s nothing much happening in their local area. British Future’s Steve Ballinger looks at what we think about St George’s Day and what we know, or don’t know, about England’s patron saint.
Any party that keeps wondering whether the ‘English question’ really needs to be asked will find itself shut out of the conversation, writes Sunder Katwala. Instead they should make it clear that they want to find an answer.
Martin Amis’s recent claim that white skin is still a key attribute of being English is at odds with public sentiment, especially views held by the young, writes Jemimah Steinfeld.
Liberals who still fear that the St George’s flag is associated with far-right groups should take a lead from the Irish and celebrate their patron saint, writes Steve Ballinger.
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.
The Discovery Museum in central Newcastle was full with over 100 engaged local people who had travelled from Newcastle, Sunderland and Middlesbrough on a cold night to debate what – if anything – it means to be English in the 21st Century north-east, writes Matthew Rhodes.
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.