Names do make us think, form perceptions and yes, I am ashamed to admit but know it is universal, judge. Randy may be a perfectly common-place name among Americans, but unless it's just the people I know and I don't think it is, I have yet to meet anyone who wouldn't have to hide a smirk if they were introduced to a Randy from Swansea or Sheffield.
Personally I have found that I couldn't even place myself in cultural groups around me. When my hair was short, afro-diasporic people gave me the nod of solidarity, when my hair was long south-Asian diasporic peoples spoke to me in their diversity of languages, yet I remained neither here nor there.
Allowing users to verify their identities and log in to websites and mobile applications using existing profiles from networks such as Facebook and LinkedIn not only creates a more streamlined experience for consumers, it also enables marketers to capture and leverage rich, first-party social identity data.
I am not pledging allegiance to the French flag, my country of origin, or to the British flag, my host country. I am pledging allegiance to my family, my friends, my teachers, my colleagues, my partner, to all the people from the various backgrounds that constructed "me" into "me," the diverse and heterogeneous voices of my life.
Whichever way it goes, I will be challenging myself to remain steady in an idea of global Britishness. I won't be accepting the Scottish nationalists' invitation to think of myself as reduced and obliged to come to terms with my Englishness, but will be working to enhance strong, ongoing narratives about a Britain that embraces and integrates.
So, a simple plea. Can we not let go of the past and just share our island? Sure, there are a few unfairness issues that need ironing out. You have poverty in Scotland just the same as we have it in the other corners of the UK. And I know that 'Yes' voters will scream that this blog is too simple and that, as an 'Englander', I don't understand how it feels to be a 'Scot'.
The ideology which terrorists are fed aids this process too. When people take on a belief system, they begin to see the world in an abstract, intellectualised way, rather than through direct perception. They begin to see the world in terms of concepts and categories, developing a dry and rigid outlook which becomes so powerful that it divorces them from the immediacy of experience and contact. It encourages them to see other human beings not as individuals but as units in an abstract, conceptual and deadly game.