The end of the stiff upper lip? The Agenda discusses Britain's national identity

What forms Britishness in the 21st century will be the subject of The Agenda's debate. Photo: Joe Morgan/Press Association Images

As you'd expect in my line of work, I read all kinds of surveys, but the latest on our national identity is just a tiny bit depressing.

It is probably all to the good that most of us now believe restraint in the face of adversity is an "outdated stereotype" - though I have my doubts even about this - but the fact that we still apparently retain our love of queuing, apologising and talking about the weather is just a tiny bit dispiriting.

You do wonder what the Americans would say about their own national characteristics, but "dynamic," "enterprising" and "successful" seem like safe bets (even if we would add "loud," "brash" and a few others besides).

But with our footballers and cricketers kicking off a debate about who should get to play for England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland - is five years living in this country qualification enough? - this does seem a pretty good moment to be debating the concept of national identity.

We will be doing so on The Agenda tonight with Harriet Harman, the historian Dan Snow, the novelist Jeanette Winterson and The Spectator editor, Fraser Nelson. You can see the team's amusing introduction to the topic here:

We will also be talking about Labour's shifting position on welfare and whether the tough line now favoured by all the main parties is really fair.

And we will start with a debate on whether Tesco should be encouraged to ban lads mags from their stores; would this be a step forward for feminism or a piece of political correctness? It is certainly a big deal, because if the supermarkets do ban these magazines, it seems likely that some will be forced out of business.

Join us after News at Ten.