Emily Thornberry was wrong in her assumption, but she wasn't alone and it wasn't without foundation. Patriotism has been hijacked. Right wing movements like the English Defence League and Britain First use patriotism and the flag of St. George as a guise for their racism, and it's time to claim it back.
The English Defence League march in Peterborough on Saturday was not the first I've witnessed. In fact, it was tediously familiar. Drunken louts ranting incoherently about how they would like 'their country' to be, while multicultural England looks on - or avoids them - have become a regular spectacle in England.
Today, the international media will fix its gaze on Warsaw as tens of thousands of far-right supporters in Poland take to the streets for the annual Independence Day march. This year, this demonstration will be under greater scrutiny, as it coincides with the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change...
Things have been a little hyperreal of late. It all started three weeks ago with the Damscene conversion of Tommy Robinson and his decision to quit the English Defence League (EDL).
We must always leave the door open for groups or people to reform. If we don't accept that people can change, what is the point of arguing, of debating, of reasoning - the bedrock of liberal, democratic politics? Yesterday's extremist is sometimes today's elected representative. That's why we should give Tommy Robinson a chance.