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Binita Mehta: Another royally pride-worthy British summer – how about a British Pride Day to sustain its effects?

Binita Mehta is a 22 year old Conservative activist and council candidate in Watford. Follow Binita on Twitter.

Screen shot 2013-07-25 at 05.51.49The birth and international introduction of HRH Prince George of Cambridge; the first anniversary of our outstanding Olympic opening ceremony; the first British male champion at Wimbledon in 77 years; a British US Open winner; the British Lions’ triumph; and another British Tour de France champion - and all during a surprisingly scorching summer season. There are currently loads of reasons for us Brits to enjoy a renewed sense of national patriotism, even surpassing the glorious summer of 2012. I’ve even been hearing our wonderful national anthem being whistled and hummed throughout the streets of London!

Additionally, our party has a lot to be proud of: coming a joint 36 per cent with Labour at mid-term; being proven the preferable party for young Britons thanks to our strong action on welfare reform and stress on individual responsibility; economic growth, thanks to our sensible fiscal policies, and a reported mini “baby boom” have boosted us more than last year’s 'Jubilympic' summer.

Having recently returned from America, where Yanks are recognised globally for their national pride, it was particularly striking to observe how our Union Flag has infiltrated their fashions. Many shops around LA have at least one product on sale featuring British symbols, and T-shirts worn by Californians are covered in British branding – not quite as many as the stars and stripes, but still an impressive amount, especially just after their Fourth of July. My own union flag phone cover garnered much American attention and imitation!

So with intrigue and interest in our country, national sporting successes, and of course our royals reaching every corner of the Earth, what can we do to sustain celebration of our country’s achievements and communal spirit?

The Commonwealth Games in a year’s time, and the Rugby World Cup in 2015, will hopefully do much to unite our country through a shared participation in enjoyable sporting rivalry and show that Britishness is not mutually exclusive to one’s English, Scottish, Welsh or Northern Irish identity. Arguably, Northern Irish and Scottish interest in the English and Welsh team’s wins during the Ashes demonstrates this. Hopefully the Scottish referendum next September will demonstrate that there is only a marginal appetite to divide our United Kingdom.

However, whilst America has Independence Day, France has Bastille Day, and so on, Britain is one of very few countries that does not celebrate a national day. We recognise communicating more clearly our values and identity is key to further broadening the Conservative Party’s appeal. So why don’t we do more to bring together every community, some of which we have been traditionally detached from, to celebrate our national pride, patriotism and identity through a British Day?

A day of shared British cultural commemoration might even go some way in regaining our lost members, sceptical of signs of EU supranationalism, especially after seeing our entire party’s individual commitment to a referendum on our EU membership. So let’s observe our country’s continued successes, affirm that we are the party bringing action for national pride, and create a popular tribute to the fact that we are 'One Nation'. Perhaps starting this Trafalgar Day, on October 21?


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