British Future - a new independent, non-partisan think-tank - in their new report [pdf link]: Hopes and Fears: The British Future State of the Nation Report 2012. The report is titled 'This Sceptred Isle'**. A year of quiet hope...": we in Britain are 'surprisingly optimistic about the impact of 2012' and - despite the tough economic times - feel upbeat around their personal lives, and their family’s achievements for the year ahead.
** This royal throne of kings, this scepter'd isle, This earth of Majesty, this seat of Mars, This other Eden, demi-paradise; This fortress built by Nature for herself, Against infection and the hand of war, This happy breed of men, this little world, This precious stone set in the silver sea, Which serves it in the office of a wall, Or as a moat defensive to a house, Against the envy of less happier lands; This blessed plot, this earth, this realm, this England, This nurse, this teeming womb of royal kings, Fear'd by their breed, and famous by their birth.
The Bard was good wasn't he? The speech 'attributed' to John of Gaunt (portrayed in a very sympathetic light by Shakespeare) is wonderful; today we see a similar 'renting out' of 'divinely favoured' England; organic unity is a step in the right direction towards independence once more.