I have two passports – one British, one Irish. I can trace my family tree all the way back to the 16th century on my ‘English’ side. But at that point, dear reader, my paternal side isn’t English at all. In fact, we were Hugenots, fleeing from France.
My son has dual citizenship – British, and New Zealand (which makes the rugby interesting). He can go and live and work in New Zealand (and Australia) when he’s older; or not. His choice. His dad and I see that as a bonus.
See, I’ve never really got the whole ‘nationality’ thing, because I’ve never felt remotely precious about it. Yes I was born in London, and most of the time I’m proud of that. But just because you weren’t born here, does that mean you don’t have the right to call yourself British, even if you live and work here, or if your kids have lived here most or all of their lives and go to British schools?
The reason I’m blogging about this is because in the past week I’ve been hearing people bemoan the fact that the organisers of the British parent bloggers group Brit Mums aren’t actually British, at least not in the born and raised here sense.
Now, leaving aside the fact that I don’t particularly like the name ‘Brit Mums’ (I’ve never referred to myself as a Brit or a Brit Mum, and I never will), I don’t believe you have to be born in Britain to be a British parent blogger.
If your kids are being raised here, go to school here, you pay taxes here, work here, vote here – well, that makes you a ‘British’ parent in my book. Whatever that means.
In fact, it doesn’t matter if you were born in Outer Mongolia, really, if you’re living here and raising kids here. At least, not to me.
But what do you think? Do you have to be British-born to be a British parent blogger? If someone is raising British-born children, doesn’t that make them a British parent? Or is it really so important to be born in Britain?
I’d love to hear all your views (but please, be respectful).