Ruling the waves

Tom Holland's call for a return to a grand historic narrative as a way of reimagining the nation for the 21st century is bold and welcome (Christmas Essay, 22 December - 9 January). Yet if we are to reinvent our island story we must abandon its founding myths, which accord special status to Saxon or Celt as defender of ancient liberties against the Normans, and as the racial backbone of a seafaring nation that would establish a great maritime empire. "Rule Britannia" brings these two ideas together all too succinctly. However, a close reading of James Thompson's anthem reveals that there is little still fit for purpose in representing contemporary Britain.

Phil Cohen

London N19

Just recently Google has brought out with a great deal of alterations and improvements to their prominent search system, including Googles Knowledge Graph Release. Read More...

This article first appeared in the 12 January 2009 issue of the New Statesman, The destruction of Gaza