When you’ve no stable family network, an area becomes home. The prospect of leaving Brent, a decision I had to consider last year as the call for independence intensified, proved far more unsettling than I had anticipated. My obsession with the area, Willesden in particular, mirrors Zadie Smith’s passion in her bestseller White Teeth; even the author’s American polemic On Beauty makes its way home.
The 1948 London Olympic torch was a feat of British craftsmanship. It had to stay alight through all weather conditions, and be cheap for a war damaged Britain to make. But it also had to be something Britain could be proud to display to countries across Europe as the runners made their way from Olympia to Wembley – across the Mediterranean, Italy, Switzerland, Luxembourg, Belgium, France and finally across the English Channel.
Sunder Katwala reviews a week of thorny debates over the Union, human rights and the role of faith.
The government is right to want to deport Abu Qatada. He is a threat
to community relations in Britain. The Home Secretary is right to want
to use her powers to exclude him, say Shamit Saggar and Sunder Katwala.
Rather than being created by grand declarations of Britishness, British identity has grown organically through history, says James Forsyth, political editor of The Spectator.
British identity is about how we treat each other, and a civic sense of fairness is at the heart of Britishness, says Trevor Phillips, chair of the Equality and Human Rights Commission.
“When you go into school, or into college, you meet people from everywhere – from America, from Poland, everywhere – in one day”, says one Hackney Community College student at a British Future debate.
British Future went to Hackney to talk to students about whether they defined themselves as British, English or something else. The students’ debate, chaired by Anthony Painter, also focused on integration – in terms of the diversity they could see around them in London, and how they thought that was mirrored in the rest of the country.
By Sunder Katwala
What a disappointment Fabio Capello turned out to be.
The England football manager has resigned – protesting at his authority being undermined by being his overruled in his desire to allow an England captain to face court charges over alleged racial abuse without relinquishing the armband.
The problem was never that Fabio was foreign. Rather, he failed the integration test.
By Sunder Katwala
It is the constitutional duty of the head of a republican pressure group to provide a dissenting note during the high days and holidays of Monarchical ceremony.
But if Graham Smith of Republic may have half a point in his call on the mediato ensure the alternative anti-Monarchy view gets a voice he also massively overstates his two central claims, that the Monarchy “is able to co-opt almost the entire media output of this country to its own advantage and a media that is failing to report the true story of a changing public attitude toward royalty and monarchy”. Neither claim stands up to scrutiny of the evidence.
British Future reports examine public attitudes and make recommendations for change on topics ranging from future immigration and integration policy to how communications can help combat prejudice."Read more
See British Future's recent media coverage, with links to articles and clips."Read more