Meanwhile, having seen a rehearsal of the Olympic Opening Ceremony two nights ago, I hope you're all tuned in this afternoon (US time). Danny Boyle's brilliant, witty and eclectic production will blow away the Romney conservative myth about this being in an 'Anglo Saxon' country. Jonathan Friedland puts it brilliantly in the Guardian
It is London, not Britain, that can boast of being the most plural and various spot on the planet (indeed, narrowing it down, Travers says that honour may well belong to the N15 postcode). London is less segregated than even that other great world city, New York, where communities tend to live in more tightly defined enclaves. But London is also different in kind, not just degree, from the rest of Britain. Between 35% and 40% of Londoners were born outside the UK, while in parts of the capital the number of babies born to mothers born outside the UK tops 50%. The offer of what Travers calls a "neutral homeland" for the 2012 Games is one only London, not Britain, could make.
There was a time when such talk would have spelled deep alienation between the capital and the rest of the country as well as arousing the ire of British traditionalists. Some people still speak of Planet London, as if the city were utterly separate from the rest of Britain. But it's not just the success of the torch relay that suggests such thinking is becoming out of date. (Sunder) Katwala reckons that diversity is no longer always understood as a break or rejection of Britain's past, as it once was, but rather as continuous with it. "It's a very British globalism, it says this is where our story has got us." It's about a river Thames that opens out on to the seas or about Shakespeare, celebrated in a festival this year as a global writer whose eyes were never just on Britain but on Rome, Athens, Venice and the great stories of the world.
Much of this shift has happened within the last decade... Katwala says the old choice was between national pride on the one hand and acceptance that Britain had changed on the other: "Now we can be proud of the nation that has changed." It helps that the Conservative party is headed by a man who won the leadership in that Olympic bid year of 2005 by declaring he loved Britain as it is, not how it used to be.
Enjoy. And thanks Mitt for not getting it - either London 2012, foreign affairs, or indeed the Presidency.
PS Book cover is out: FOTHOM published on August 6th