You might think that allegiance to the Queen, the Church of England, and pride in a British passport would all be on the list of ‘definitions of Britishness’, no particularly reason why they should be of course, we all have our own definition of what it means to be British.
I do find the Blairs’ – en masse – definition of ‘Britishness’ curious though.
First he very publicly decamps to the Church of Rome, absolutely nothing wrong with the Church of Rome, but it is a curious deliberate choice, as opposed to an accident of birth, for someone who was leader of the British people; ’switching camps’ from such a high profile figure is a very public rejection. Had he always followed the Catholic church it would not be worthy of mention, but, as when someone crosses the floor of the Houses of Parliament, the motives behind that journey become newsworthy.
Now, well spotted by Slugger O’Toole on late night Irish TV, comes the curious footnote that on behalf of all four of his children the Blair’s have chosen to hold Irish passports. No word as to whether they also hold British passports. Once again, there is nowt wrong with an Irish passport, and I am sure they are held with pride by all those entitled to them. Since the Blair children would have been automatically entitled to a British passport, this becomes newsworthy merely because of the deliberate decision that has been made to apply for Irish passports.
It was Tony Blair who made the call for a ‘definition of Britishness’ back in 2000. One could almost wonder whether it was his own confusion on the subject that prompted that call.