Happy St George's Day!


Take as read the usual inclusive stuff about us adopting a Turkish soldier or the fictional nature of his task.

Today is a chance to celebrate what it is to be English.

I don't mean flag waving xenophobia, blind insular superiority, or apologists for acts of history.

I don't mean feeling aggreaved by historical slights and injustices now centuries old.

We are a small country colonized many times, whose world impact over centuries has been astounding.

Combined with our Celtic partners, our nation has spread justice and fear in equal measure. Science and exploitation have been partners of ours through history.

However, we do also have the ability to change. We have led the world in establishing law, justice, even charity, we are often regarded as the gold standard of conduct in many walks of life.

As the second Elizabethan age draws to a close we have the chance to leave a mark in history.

On Friday we did a day without coal powering our electrical needs, for the first time since the industrial revolution we did not power our present by burning the past.

Every day is a new start, a chance to define ourselves anew, a chance to be proud of our journey, but not contained by our route to the present.

That's why each day we face our dragons and can only do our best.

That's being English.