Jonathan Portes, a former chief economist in the Cabinet Office under Tony Blair and leading immigration advocate, recently penned a critical review of David Goodhart’s The British Dream – a book which takes aim at Blair’s generous immigration intake. Knowing both men personally, as well as their views, I cannot but come away with an impression that the two have very different notions of national identity. Both have American-Jewish family background, but Portes’ Englishness tends toward the multicultural whereas Goodhart’s is anchored in a political nationalism rooted in historic traditions. The divide seems incommensurable, but maybe it’s not: rather than a one-size-fits-all national identity imposed from above, what if British national identity could emerge from below? Continue reading