New UK think tank British Future has a poll out looking at British attitudes towards society, race and the future.
Director Sunder Katwala writes on Open Democracy about their recent State of the Nation poll:
"There is widespread economic anxiety and worries about falling living standards, which is perfectly rational, but this is combined with a stubborn optimism about prospects, even in this year ahead. There are high and sustained levels of national pride; a strong sense of belonging to cities, towns and neighbourhoods; and a welcoming attitude to newcomers who wish to contribute to thinking and debates about being “us”.
This echoes something that Londonstani has seen growing up and later working in the UK's multicultural capital; young British people of whatever background commonly find it easier and more natural to declare loyalty their city or their neighbourhood than their country.
The point though is that belonging, pride and loyalty are complicated emotions. But still vital for the UK's long-term good. So, you'd think that its the kind of thing people in charge would pay it proper attention, instead of say... proposing a "curry college" as the centre piece of their integration strategy.
... Seriously, they weren't joking:
"He [Communities Secretary Eric Pickles] has a dream: namely to set up a curry college. It combines border control with foreign cooking. It would both help satisfy the apparently inexhaustible appetite for onion bhajis and prawn birianis while also providing justification for the squeeze on visas.".