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November 25, 2004

Comments

scouseproud

Are not mixed marriages/relationships at their highest ever?

Andrew McCann

Not sure, Scouseproud. Have you some figures?

scouseproud

Andrew, I havent got any figures, its just what i have heard, mention of it is made on the following cain.ulst.ac.uk/issues/marriage

Peter

"So, brainless idiots are going to have to get used to large numbers of immigrants in Northern Ireland. Their economic future will be partly dependent on them."

Hear hear. Just imagine what would happen without (controlled) immigration: Declining hospital services due to lack of nurses and doctors, in the face of ever-growing demand. The racists don't see that of course.

Gonzo

Now and again Andrew surprises me...

That is the first time I have ever heard a unionist use homebrew population statistics to JUSTIFY more immigration into Northern Ireland.

*somehow simultaneously appalled and amazed*

Andrew McCann

If this is your first time, Gonzo, I suggest you visit this site more often.

Paul

Another beneficial side-effect of immigration-without more children attending, many inner-city schools will close-more immigration of younger families with children will help to reverse this. Doubt the brainless idiots have the capacity to realise this.
Andrew,
I'm sure that you agree that the number of potential supporters of the Union include those of a different faith and ethnicity than the traditional Ulster Protestant- I think the reliance on religious
breakdowns conceals a number of other factors that may affect NI's future- eg the large number of "garden-
centre" unionists that can't be bothered to vote and the growth of a catholic middle-class whose economic
interests may not be served by the 32 county state.
Unionism should be working harder with these groups( and also with the immigrants) to create a broader movement. I don't think they have the vision at the moment to do this, unfortunately.
Scouseproud,
I'm not sure what your point is about "mixed-relationships". My partner is non-Protestant, non-British- it doesn't weaken my political beliefs and she will be also a potential voter for or against the Union.
She's an opportunity not a threat!

scouseproud

My point was has anybody done any research into this increasing group, as to their political/religious outlook . Are they more inclined to nationalism/unionism or do they avoid politics, or will they save the Alliance party from its slow death?

slackjaw

I think a more pertinent question might be whether or not new immigrants will be inclined to stay long enough to start pondering constitutional matters, given the amount of racist attacks taking place at the minute.

Andrew McCann

Paul

I agree with you about the religious breakdown not necessarily equating a comparable breakdown in constitutional preferences. I am simply trying to prick the nationalist bubble on demographic change. I think the NISRA study aids my argument.

Howard

There is an increasing number of people moving to NI. The internal UK migration data shows that the number leaving NI to GB is mathed by the number leaving GB for NI. Add to that the immigrants coming from outside the UK and you have an important factor, that is as important numerically as the number of births and deaths per year.

Howard

that should be matched not mathed

colm


Andrew

Would you welcome the increased immigrant population to Northern Ireland if the influx was made up of green welly wearing guinness drinking shamrock wearing riverdancing tricolour waving 100% full blooded southern fenians! ;)

Young Fogey

the growth of a catholic middle-class whose economic
interests may not be served by the 32 county state.

Let's deconstruct this one for a minute - I often hear this said by Unionists and actually think there may be some truth in it but not for the reasons most of you think.

The Republic isn't a poor country any more. It's a considerably wealthier country than NI, as is Britain. It also has relatively low taxes and is arguably an easier place to run a business than Britain. So, if you're imagining that middle-class Catholics will vote to stay in the UK because they want to pay less tax, and live in a go getting, deregulated, Anglo-Saxon economy, they'd be just as well off in a United Ireland.

However, middle-class Catholics are disproportionately employed in the public sector in Northern Ireland, and the South's public sector is lean, in fact in some areas like state funded health care, definitely undernourished. An awful lot of people with relatively secure and well paying jobs would lose them if a United Ireland came about. So maybe, there is a market for idea after all. However, most opinion polls have shown a fairly dramatic decline in the number of Nationalists who say they want to stay in the UK (usually despite voting SDLP or even SF at the same time) as the South has become a normal European country, so that theory doesn't particularly stand up.

As for immigration - I think both Andrew, scouseproud and Paul have identified an important issue for future elections in NI. In my experience as an Alliance Party election agent, most ethnic minority voters didn't vote because they felt Northern Ireland politics was simply nothing to do with them. However, I fought at least one campaign where we got Indian and Chinese voters out to vote in relatively large numbers for Alliance but it was because of completely non-traditional NI issues (largely on the future of Cavehill Country Park) so perhaps there's a lesson there for politicians in areas like North and South Belfast where the ethnic minority population is growing rapidly.

There's also a huge elephant trap here for Unionists. There's an increasing level of non-white immigration into the Republican area of Belfast where my family live, and while I wouldn't say there's no racism, it tends to be of the gently patronising type rather than the burning cross in the garden type seen in too many Loyalist areas. As noted by Paul, ethnic minority people tend to come to NI with a blank sheet as far as NI politics go. If Loyalism continues to treat ethnic minority people like dirt, and if 'mainstream' Unionist politicians continue to give nods and winks in that direction, I suspect the 'new Northern Irish' will be able to draw their own conclusions about who can secure a peaceful and prosperous future for them in their new country.

Madradin Ruad

There's an increasing level of non-white immigration into the Republican area of Belfast where my family live, and while I wouldn't say there's no racism, it tends to be of the gently patronising type rather than the burning cross in the garden type seen in too many Loyalist areas.

YF- the last 3 racist incidents I saw reported were all violent and in nationalist territory.
1) Violet Street, Adams Country
2) Lord Lurgan Park, McKenna country
3) Derry , McGuinness Country

Young Fogey

Thanks, MR, do you have a link for them? And even if this is the case - do you think you would see Carmel Hanna supporting protestors at a new block of flats on the Ormeau Road just because it happened to be full of Chinese and Protestants?

Ronan

One thing that made a difference though was at least with the Portadown one, the local people shopped the assholes to the police, rather than sending out their kids to riot as per the village, though I admit it would be tough for someone to grass on the local uda or uvf knuckledraggers

Ronan

What was the Derry one?

slackjaw

MR

Looks like it's mote and beam time again on ATW.

Perhaps you could address the substance of YF's point

'If Loyalism continues to treat ethnic minority people like dirt, and if 'mainstream' Unionist politicians continue to give nods and winks in that direction, I suspect the 'new Northern Irish' will be able to draw their own conclusions about who can secure a peaceful and prosperous future for them in their new country.'

rather than allowing this thread to descend into farce.

You haven't ever managed the Spanish national football team, by any chance?

Madradin Ruad

SJ - It's time nationalists stopped being holier than thou over racism. That's my point. It's a huge problem across the divide that needs to be addressed properly. Claims that our side are morely pleasantly racist than your side help nobody.

Derry - Gobnascale
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/northern_ireland/4028621.stm

Wrecking someone's car isn't 'gently patronising'.

Fraggle

MR, I thought you were talking about the attack reported today in Derry which was in Coleraine, Gregory country, as you would put it.

Ronan

Seems you cant go two posts with yelling what about themmuns...

Madradin Ruad

Not fully caught up with today's news Fraggle.

Ronan - when somebody claims that their community gently patronises rather than uses violence, it's worth correcting.

Andrew McCann

Colm, pleeeeaaaaseee!! You'll give me nightmares.

Iñaki O'Kelly

Mr. McCann,
You have based your demographic analysis on a superficial comparison of birth rates between predominantely protestant and catholic district council areas. However,even district councils with large majorities (70 to 80%) of one or other community, contain too large a "mix" to permit a mathematically meaningful breakdown of catholic and protestant birth rates. In fact, much better information exists at the ward level (see fertility rates on the NISRA site). Fertility rates are more meaningful for future trends than crude birth rates and ward level units much more accurate than disctrict council areas. Instead of comparing a dozen or so disctrict council areas with 70/30 mixes, we can compare hundreds of ward-level units with almost homogenious protestant or catholic populations.
What do these figures show? Catholic fertility rates are still 20 to 25% higher than protestant rates. This is confirmed by the school enrollement figures published every year by the DENI (Dept.of education) which show that catholics still comprise 51 to 52% of the youngest schoolchildren(those born in 2000-2001). This despite the fact that catholic mothers only comrised about 45 to 46% of women between 25 and 35 years old.
Since the late 1980's, unionist-minded demographers and observers like Dr. Compton and Garret Fitzgerald had been predicting a large drop in catholic fertility and birth rates down to protestant levels. In fact, they were even eagerly anticipating a possible drop below protestant levels based on southern european catholic fertility drops. The facts have, as yet, disproved these predictions. While catholic fertility has indeed dropped sharply since 1985, the assuption that it would converge with protestant fertility has not occurred. Catholic rates in both the Republic and the North seem to have stabilised at a fertility rate of around 2,0 and a birth rate of 15,5 to 16/1000. During the last 15 years, the protestant rates continued to decline, something Dr. Compton and Dr. Fitzgerald had not anticipated, focused as they were on the long-awaited decline in catholic fertility. Protestant fertility is now at around 1,65 and the birth rate around 11/1000.
To sum up, we can affirm the following: Since 1977, catholics have accounted for 51 to 53% of all births.This means that by next year, catholic women will represent 51 to 52% of potential mothers.If catholic fertility remains 20% higher than protestant fertility, the percentage of catholic births will rise from 52 to 56% of all births in the next few years. Even if fertility rates suddenly converge tomorrow, catholic births will continue to represent around 52% of the total, in which case the catholic community backround population will become the majority around 2030.
While nothing is inevitable, givin the current demographic structure (52% catholic mothers from 2006 on), a catholic majority by 2025-2030 is by far the most probable prediction.

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