When I fill in those diversity forms for job applications, I always put 'White British' or 'White English', or whatever variant I'm meant to use. That's what I am, although it seems so clumsy: what is 'white British' anyway and who gets to be that rather than, say, mixed race British? How mixed does your race have to be before you're mixed race?
And how white is white? I have no idea. Does my gypsy grandmother count as 'white', or should that lineage be viewed as 'mixed race'? I don't know. I am usually pink, and I was born in Britain, so there you have it: white British. Should I be proud of that, scared of it, worried about the fact that people like me are being apparently overwhelmed, or just ambivalent about the whole thing? I don't know. I think you're much less aware of your ethnicity and your heritage if you're in the majority; you grow up knowing that most people are like you, no matter how you mix at school, or work, or whatever.
Being 'white British', if I must call myself that, though, gives me an insight into the kind of articles that we've seen splashed over the newspapers today - and may see more of tomorrow - about how 'white Britons', people like me, might - that's might, not will - no longer be in the majority by the time I'm 91 years old.
I don't know if I'll really care, if I make it to 91, whether there are more slightly darker faces than mine walking around; or whether I'll care very much if there are more pink faces belonging to people who didn't grow up in Britain, either. Maybe that's just me, but I don't see what the big fuss is about. I really don't, and I can say this as a 'white Briton': I don't care.
People say it's a taboo to talk about immigration, but of course that's not the case. I say it's a taboo to talk positively of immigration, as if it's something that isn't a great deluge to be feared. And 'white' does not equal 'British'; 'British' does not equal 'white'. If white Britons do get 'outnumbered', that might not be a tremendously bad thing. These islands do not belong to whites, the same way that they don't belong to anyone. White people happen to have lived here since the Ice Age, but a lot of things have changed since then.
Human beings are migratory animals in a lot of ways, and now we have aircraft and all sorts of technological advances to speed up that process; you can't see a nation state as being composed of a particular ethnic group. Increasingly, it doesn't work that way. Britain is more of a cultural than a racial identity, I think, and that identity is more multicultural the more immigration we have - and do you know what, I don't think that's a bad thing at all.
These articles do, as ever, come with the same old agenda - the agenda that there are 'Brits' and there are others - it's the them and us thing all over again. I don't see it that way; I see it as us and us. So there are other races than white coming over to this country and living here? Good for them. So it might mean that white people - the 'indigenous population' so beloved of dog-whistle racists everywhere - are not in the absolute overall majority in fifty or so years' time? Well, so what. This is where I struggle to find a problem, where I struggle to find the fear.
One of the reasons why I do love living in this country - and I do, by the way - is the way in which it is such a cosmopolitan place. 'Our' history and heritage is not under threat. 'Our' country is not being taken over. There'll still be a place for the cricket on village greens and warm pints of beer of John Major's wistful vision; but maybe the country is changing in more ways than just the shades of the faces of the people who live here, and maybe there are more things to be concerned about than that.
What makes me angry is when it's assumed that 'white Britons' like me are automatically opposed to all kinds of change; that somehow I should go along with this panic porn about immigration because somehow it's me who is under threat. Well that's simply not true. I'm not under threat. I'm intensely relaxed about it all. If I do make it to 91, and if I am no longer as a pink-skinned person in the majority, I won't be shedding too many tears. I dare say if I ever have children they may have children with 'non-white' partners, or maybe they won't; but if they do, I'll be happy. I'm not scared by the scaremongering. My race isn't under threat. So I refuse to go along with any of this. Those who worry about the apparent decline of the 'white Briton' don't speak for this white Briton. You don't speak for me.