No Colour Please, We are English! By Richard Miller
According to a study by the British future and Centre for English Identity and Politics, only 10 percent of people believe that ethnicity is a determining factor in being “English”:
“The number of people who believe that in order to be English you have to be white has halved over the past seven years, with the older generation apparently driving a wider acceptance of people with different ethnic backgrounds.
Just over 10% of people believe that ethnicity is an important determining factor in being English, compared to 20% from a 2012 study, according to British Future and the Centre for English Identity and Politics, which is about to publish its follow-up to the 2012 study, This Sceptred Isle.
The biggest change was noted among over-65s, where the importance of whiteness fell from 35% to 16%. The new data could challenge the perception that the 2016 Brexit referendum reflected an increase in xenophobic English identity. The findings suggest that during the time of the Brexit vote, perceptions of English identity were becoming more, rather than less, ethnically inclusive.
A contributing factor to this shift in perceptions is likely to be emergence of examples of English diversity. Gareth Southgate’s squad for the 2018 World Cup in Russia was a prominent example. Southgate described the England squad as a team that represented “modern England”. In an ITV interview, he said: “We’ve spent a bit of time being lost as to what our modern identity is, and I think as a team we represent that modern identity and hopefully people can connect with us.”
This was echoed by Sunder Katwala, director of British Future. “An inclusive England may be symbolised by Raheem Sterling and Nikita Parris scoring goals for England, or Moeen Ali taking wickets in the World Cup, but it also reflects the lived reality of who most of us now think of as English.”
Other signifiers of English identity saw a smaller change. Previous results showed 56% of participants thought it was important for your parents to have been born in England, and the latest show 48% do – marking a drop of 8%. “There has been an important generational shift in how we think about England and the English,” said Katwala. “There has been no doubt that most people who have migrated to England, like my parents, usually felt they were invited to become British but not often to identify as English, too. An increasing number of their children, born in England, have felt they can choose to identify as English as well as British.”
If this is to be believed, then English ethnic consciousness among whites has totally disappeared, as 90 percent figures is in the domain of Joe Biden voting patterns. And, we can take a lesson from the utter defeat of the polls predicting that Donald Trump would be smashed by Biden. Who today would be prepared to say to a survey that race and ethnicity are determining factors of Englishness? Who knows what could happen? And, there is another factor counting against this, and that is the eternal claims of racism against White British, which even if partially true, count against this 90 percent hypothesis:
Really, the establishment, as a matter of logic and consistency cannot have it both ways. If the English have no ethno-racial identity at all, where could racism possibly come from?