i Editor's Letter: Still getting to know you


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The Independent Online


As I've written before, being a mere 18 months old, we are still getting to know you and your tastes. The summer ahead will solidify what are currently our impressions of you. The Diamond Jubilee and the 2012 Olympics are examples of events where a vocal minority of naysayers punches above its weight, garnering coverage in the way a Boat Race or Leveson Inquiry protester does.

Some may bristle at the description "minority", but it is clear that much as some of you are against both events the majority in Britain is pro.

Want evidence? There is the vast number of you that have supported every stage of the Olympic Torch's progress to date. Or the huge over-subscribing to tickets. Or the reports back from the early visitors to the Olympic Park about how impressive it is. This is a traditional story arc: once the event is upon us we can see where (at least some of) the money has gone and pride in achievement and athlete support kicks in.

And the Jubilee? i's own Yasmin Alibhai-Brown is right to lament that this is not a good time to be a republican in Britain. As the likes of Emma Bridgewater can't handpaint enough commemorative mugs and plates, and flag-makers cannot keep up with demand for a Union Flag (no matter that we don't seem to know which way up it goes), a majority of you will be celebrating the Queen's 60 years this (very) long weekend.

What's special about Britain is that we are so free to protest against the events – Locog's heavy-handed crackdown on Games supporters who use the rings on cakes or floral displays notwithstanding. This does not mean organisers will roll over and let protesters ruin the day(s). In whose name would that happen? Clearly, not the majority of us. Or, perhaps you don't agree?