When the history of twentieth century North Britain is written, it seems quite possible that the revival of Scottishness will be seen as the overarching theme beneath which all else will be discussed.
I took my Dad to the Oval last summer for the Sunday of the last final England v India test match. Each of us would be supporting the country in which we were born. I had booked the tickets last Christmas, expecting the series to be on a knife-edge. Instead, we England supporters had the strange experience of trying to remember not to gloat like an Australian. This was still cricket, after all.
British national identity is becoming more and more like the British weather – a mixed bag, changeable from one place to another and on occasion difficult to describe to outsiders not already familiar with it, argues Ipsos Mori’s Mark Diffley.
Both the Olympic Games and the Jubilee are expected to lift the British mood in 2012, but the British Future poll suggests Seb Coe’s Olympic spirit may just be pipped by Jubilee pride in the Queen, if only by a short head.
68% of people expect the Queen’s diamond jubilee to lift the national mood, while 64% say the same about the Olympics, according to the Hopes and Fears poll published by the British Future think-tank on Monday.
Do we need to accept a trade-off between tackling racism and addressing the marginalisation of white working-class communities? My own experience of living in Eltham gives me some hope that we do not.
Today’s Observer sets out what the British Future poll shows us about Britain’s hopes and fears for 2012.
By Sunder Katwala
This is a year when Britain will want to tell a story to the world. The message that we want to project overseas must depend on what we want to say to ourselves, too, about who we are, what we stand for, and what we feel about how we have changed.
It was a murder that came to shock a nation, eventually. But I had my own, personal reasons for thinking about Stephen Lawrence almost every day, back in 1999.
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
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