The Spanish know how to celebrate

Unlike the English . . .

I have written already about the relative merits of Britishness and Englishness in relation to football, proposing a UK team, and I was told off in various quarters for being a naughty boy.

So I won't expand at great length on the relief I felt last night that England was not in the final, given the ugly havoc the side's presence would have thrown up on our streets, except to say that I happened to be in a Spanish restaurant during the final between Holland and Spain. The atmosphere was friendly, warm and generous. When Spain scored its late winner, there was hugging and dancing and flag-waving, but with none of the screaming, aggression or violence that accompanies England games.

The experience made me think about what it is to be English these days.

James Macintyre is political correspondent for the New Statesman.
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Andy Burnham's full speech on attack: "Manchester is waking up to the most difficult of dawns"

"We are grieving today, but we are strong."

Following Monday night's terror attack on an Ariana Grande concert at the Manchester Arena, newly elected mayor of the city Andy Burnham, gave a speech outside Manchester Town Hall on Tuesday morning, the full text of which is below: 

After our darkest of nights, Manchester is today waking up to the most difficult of dawns. 

It’s hard to believe what has happened here in the last few hours and to put into words the shock, anger and hurt that we feel today.

These were children, young people and their families that those responsible chose to terrorise and kill.

This was an evil act. Our first thoughts are with the families of those killed and injured. And we will do whatever we can to support them.

We are grieving today, but we are strong. Today it will be business as usual as far as possible in our great city.

I want to thank the hundreds of police, fire and ambulance staff who worked throughout the night in the most difficult circumstances imaginable.

We have had messages of support from cities around the country and across the world, and we want to thank them for that.

But lastly I wanted to thank the people of Manchester. Even in the minute after the attack, they opened their doors to strangers and drove them away from danger.

They gave the best possible immediate response to those who seek to divide us and it will be that spirit of Manchester that will prevail and hold us together.

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