I’ve always had a bit of a thing about Union Jacks. On arriving at Warwick University three years ago, I was a bit shocked when my new Union Jack laptop bag was ridiculed for being “a bit BNP”. I’ve always been proud to be British, maybe I got it from my dad who was given refuge in Britain when the Ugandan Asians were kicked out by Idi Amin. So getting accused of being "a bit BNP" sounded like the most ridiculous thing I had ever heard.
If I were going to university this year, I would not get the same reaction. The summer of 2012 has changed that. There’s a new sense of patriotism around. And it feels different, it feels modern and 2012-ish, and it feels like we all get it.
Just ahead of the summer, my Conservative Future friends were questioning the value of the Olympics to Britain. Not any more. Now we are having discussions about how we can see a legacy for volunteering, and how we get that same kind of community spirit working again. They also feel the way Boris embodied the optimism of 2012 has been a great boost for us.