You're only British if you have no accent
Survey conducted by Independent Survey Researchers among 1000 British born residents of white background indicates a tendency of perceiving someone non-British as long as no British accent can be detected.
Data obtained from the survey shows the prejudice towards counting foreign born residents British citizens, even if they hold British passport as in their perception British identity cannot be obtained, but has to be built throughout the long term active participation in social, cultural and economical life of the country.
It raises further discontent due to the high inflow of people applying for British citizenship despite their relatively short history of living in GB.
But considering the current global situation in terms of the diversifying fast developing societies, this trend seems obsolete.
Strong associations between “British way of sounding” and the identity are outdated in the era of ethnic diversity and omnipresent multiculturalism that became a definition of modern societies. Why does British society hold such strong, ungrounded beliefs at the same time growing more and more multicultural?
The report said that 2nd and 3rd generation of British inhabitants supports the view that upbringing, British passport and even family history do not contribute towards Britishness recognisably if a person fails to communicate fluently with British accent.
This seems to be particularly biased view in the face of extremely fast developing multinationalism in the country that enthusiastically backs the policy of the equality of rights and an access to privileges stemming from equal participation in the growth of the country.
In my opinion there are two reasons for why such uncompromising report has been produced: group of survey participants was not representative due to their homogeneous origin and low number of them engaged in the research and thus the opinions expressed are unlikely to reflect the general view on the subject; e.g. South Wales will always express different opinion to the one heard in South England which is a result of the lowest percentage of its inhabitants with ethnic background.
This is particularly upsetting in the light of wide span of benefits brought into the British society as a result of coexistence of mixed ethnicities within the same environment.
All the qualities brought by academics, professionals, high profile activists and other prominent figures should not be diminished by their origins and foreign roots.
It is ignorant and disconcerting to value the sound of the opinion more than its content.
An accent is not inherently such a bad thing. I will go even one step further – variability in accents can make conversations with people more entertaining. I would like to believe that participants of the survey cited above have mistaken accent with what is a consistently poor pronunciation which – I agree – can be an problem causing embarrassment and difficulties with being understood by native speakers, regardless of their nationality.