This week saw communities around the country - and the world - flying the Commonwealth flag, including our two towns.

Seeing the flag conjured up an odd mixture of thoughts - embodying at one and the same time a bizarre cultural throwback to the days of Empire, and possibly our best hope once we leave one of the most powerful trading blocs on the face of the planet.

This was hinted at in the address by the Commonwealth secretary general, who wrote of “an ever more-needed source of strength and hope” in “a time of increasing instability and uncertainty, in the world.”

At a time when jingoism runs high, and many of our compatriots seem to believe that Britannia - improbably - still rules the waves, we should be doing all we can to connect with other cultures and communities.

We should do all we can to stretch out a hand to those- not as dominions but as neighbours.