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.
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.
The leader of the English Defence League (EDL), Tommy Robinson, has announced that he is leaving the organisation, as is EDL co-founder Kevin Carroll. British Future director Sunder Katwala has the following response to the resignations.
The final panel at our Festival of Englishness with IPPR looked to England’s future and concluded with a positive vision for the nation, writes Steve Ballinger.
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.
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?