The following piece went up on Comment Is Free a few hours before kick-off in the Rugby World Cup Final on Saturday.
"Last Saturday lunchtime I headed west to see my mum, leaving the England I now live in to visit the one where I grew up. It is a very different place. According to its former scoutmaster, who went elsewhere to become a Tory MP, it was built on "mining and Methodism." There had been no obvious sign of either on Hackney's Lower Clapton Road that morning, where shops, barbers' and cafes are Brazilian, Italian, Turkish, Pakistani, West African, Indian, Chinese, Polish, Caribbean and Greek, and where Muslim men embraced in the spirit of Eid as me, my son and three Orthodox Jewish men in enormous hats walked by.