Given the Mail on Sunday’s story casting aspersions on Nick Clegg for not being properly British in their eyes (“His wife is Spanish, his mother Dutch, his father half-Russian and his spin doctor German. Is there ANYTHING British about Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg?”) now seems a good time to revive a post I wrote on a previous occasion when the Mail took to defining British:
As Sunder Katwala has pointed out, the Daily Mail has said it thinks it is a mistake for people who were born here but whose parents where born overseas to be counted as British.
Here’s the comment I’m submitting to the Mail’s story:
I was born here. I’ve lived here all my life (nearer to 40 years now than I wish to think).
I’ve been to school here. I’ve been to university here. Twice.
All my jobs have been here.
All my homes have been here.
I celebrate Christmas. I munch chocolate eggs at Easter. I was confirmed in the Church of England. I’ve been taught, read and seen Shakespeare.
I support the English cricket, football and rugby teams. I think football should start at 3pm on a Saturday. I’ve even cheered on English chess players.
I love Ealing comedies. I laugh at Monty Python.
I’ve voted in every public election here (except one where the Royal Mail lost my ballot paper). I’ve stood for election here. I’ve read the Magna Carta.
I talk to strangers about the weather.
I’ve been known to use the word “spiffing!” in public.
I’ve even started drinking tea.
I have on my shelf my father’s certificate from the British Under-Secretary of State for War thanking him for his service in the army.
But according to you, I should be counted as a foreigner.
Is the mistake I’ve made never to have gone Morris Dancing?