Ian Monk: A landmark year for Brand Britain

The year ahead may see seismic shifts in perceptions of our country. The Olympics and the Diamond Jubilee will provide a global showcase for Brand Britain - if we can at least agree that we are Britain and not the widely used UK.

Ian Monk: A landmark year for Brand Britain
Ian Monk: A landmark year for Brand Britain
The Olympics and the Jubilee come as our self-image changes in light of the apparent repositioning of the nation at arm's length from Europe. With David Cameron's Euro-summit 'non' dividing opinion, the pro-European lobby, unabashed by the disaster befalling its beloved euro, spin relentlessly in favour of kiss and make-up with Brussels.

The Eurosceptic lobbying campaign seems to be gaining ground among swathes of voters who relish the idea of a restored sovereignty.

Meanwhile, a modern and multicultural Britain prepares to welcome the Olympic circus to a capital whose boast is that more languages are spoken within its boundaries than any other metropolis in the world.

Our athletes will compete as Team GB despite the imminence of a Scottish referendum on independence. The political shenanigans surrounding the selection of a football team containing the requisite numbers of Celts (plus Brand Beckham) are already exercising organisers.

PROs championing London 2012 must hope their task is eased by an 11th hour pulling together around the cause. Despite the views that the whole show is a vainglorious waste of money and that legacy arguments are fallacious, it seems likely that even the doubters will patriotically rally around to put on a show for the world.

The Diamond Jubilee looks an altogether easier sell. With William and Kate in place, the popularity of the succession looks assured. The nation can celebrate the continuity and certainty of a sovereign who has reigned almost flawlessly for the lifetimes of a majority of Britons.

The Jubilee will probably encourage a rising tide of quiet conservatism. An Olympian medal haul will add lustre if not jingoism.

Taken together, the events look set to provide a kaleidoscope of images and perceptions. The 2012 Overture will be as noisy, triumphant and occasionally discordant as its 19th century musical counterpart.

Ian Monk is founder of Ian Monk Associates and a former executive at the Daily Mail and The Sun.

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