London is a city facing big challenges. Population growth is putting huge strain on our housing, transport and infrastructure. The increasingly globalised economy means that our businesses are no longer compete just with those in Birmingham or Manchester, but with firms in Shanghai, New York and Berlin. And most worryingly, rather that sharing in our city's successes, rising numbers of Londoners are being left behind, as inequality widens and poverty grows.
We are in great need of the other story of Britain. The one where millions of us get on with our lives and get on with each other. That everyday local experience provides the building blocks of our national experience. It should no longer remain invisible. The story of new neighbors who have become true friends has never been told, now is the time to start telling it.
There is absolutely nothing like someone criticising the British to bring the British together. Remember just before the Olympics last year, when we were all still convinced it was going to be a total flop, and then US presidential candidate Mitt Romney came over, essentially said the same thing, and, well, we all went a little nuts? Fast forward a year and a bit, and with Cameron licking his wounds over his Syria Commons defeat, one of Vladimir Putin's senior aides steps in with a nicely timed insult, and we're lining up behind the PM to defend our glorious nation.
As India prepares to celebrate its 67th Independence Day next month, this blog post, the first in a new series about an India that many of us know little about, lists the first four of fifteen ground-breaking contributions that India has made to the lives that all of us lead today in Britain, and around the world.
Until recently, I confess that I hadn't given much thought to the plight of the asylum seekers. I had listened to, and believed, the facts and figures drip fed to us by the media, and if I'm honest, was of the mindset that they jumped the housing queue and benefits system ahead of us more deserving Brits.
Needless to say, expectations are high of another successful run here at Flushing Meadows next month. Rugby followers may have noticed that two days before Andy Murray's achievement the British and Irish Lions won their first Test series victory since 1997, in Australia. So after a long drought we Brits are beginning to enjoy the taste of victory.