Our changing population…

ONE in four of us in Northern Ireland now die from cancer, and the population – now more than 1.75 million – is the fastest growing in the UK, thanks in large part to immigration, although this might slow if the credit crunch continues. Other interesting nuggets from the 2007 annual report of the Registrar General are that 40% of births are now outside marriage, with more than half in the two biggest cities being outside wedlock, although it’s in the low 20s in some rural towns. Births are up 5%, with immigrant births doubling between 2006 and last year. Policy makers may be interested in future demographic projections here.

  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it

    The Fenians are breeding again after a bit of a breather.

  • heck

    sammy, how did you come to that conclusion? I scanned the report and could’nt see any speculation on the “50%+1” demographic changes.

    the closest I could see was the predicted high population growth in the west of NI and in Newry which are “fenian” (to use the word you picked) areas. However craigavon was also predicted to have high growth and is’nt this a “prod” area

    this site regularly has the “50%+1” argument but I have not seen any professional or academic studies which comes down one way or the other. The opinions on this that I have read so far are like ass holes- everyone has one and they all stink.

  • Mack

    Belfast Gonzo
    “with immigrant births doubling between 2006 and last year”

    Where did you see that? I haven’t been able to find it yet.

    According to this spreadsheet also from NISRA births to mothers born outside the UK increased by 1% from 9.4% to 10.9% between 2006 and 2007

    http://www.nisra.gov.uk/archive/demography/publications/annual_reports/2007/Table3.21_2007.xls

    Heck

    NISRA produce stats on the birth rate by local authority every quarter. Craigavon was 50% Catholic and 45% Protestant among the under 20’s in the 2001 census.

    In fairness the birth rate of both communites does appear to be rising.

  • Rory Carr

    For God’s sake, Mack, don’t mention “rising”. Not only is it multo-macho sexist, it’s bloody Fenian as well.

    Any way the obvious solution to the 1:4 cancer mortality rate must be an adaption of the Herodian method – kill every fourth born child !

  • Guppy

    Does foreign-born include the Republic?

  • dantheman

    “Does foreign-born include the Republic?”

    Not if their parents do their shopping in Newry at least once a year…

  • ulsterfan

    To be serious for a moment.
    Are there any mortality tables to show longevity of Catholics as compared to non Catholics.
    If there is a discrepancy what are the reasons?

  • RepublicanStones

    ‘Are there any mortality tables to show longevity of Catholics as compared to non Catholics.
    If there is a discrepancy what are the reasons?’

    Going to confessions 😉

  • Belinda

    What’s disturbing is the total avoidance by elites of the available research on crime rates & group IQ averages in relation to immigration:

    “The same pattern is found worldwide. Interpol Yearbooks show the rate of violent crime (murder, rape, and serious assault) is three times lower in East Asian and Pacific Rim countries than in African and Caribbean countries. Whites in European countries are intermediate. The 1996 Interpol violent crime rates were: East Asian countries, 35 per 100,000 people; European countries, 42; and African and Caribbean countries, 149. ” http://www.psychology.uwo.ca/faculty/rushtonpdfs/P&E; Crime.pdf

    http://www.udel.edu/educ/gottfredson/30years/Rushton-Jensen30years.pdf

    http://www.gnxp.com/blog/2007/10/james-watson-tells-inconvenient-truth_296.php

  • Mack

    Belinda – Eugenics? The stats you proffer don’t relate to immigration, they relate to crime rates in countries. There are a preponderance of failed and semi-failed states in Africa and the Carribean which undoubtedly contributes to the higher crime rates there. Also, not crime rates inversely proportional to the lagging abortion rate (subtract average of criminal) – although I’m still opposed to abortion on demand.

  • Mack

    Typo, should have read –

    “Also, note crime rates are inversely proportional to the lagging abortion rate (subtract average of criminal) – although I’m still opposed to abortion on demand”

  • Dave

    Heck, the 50% + 1 ‘method’ of securing a UI is propaganda that is proffered to create the impression that a UI is inevitable and that, ergo, it is superfluous to devise a pro-UI strategy or offer any arguments to that effect. It is essentially a means of promoting acceptance of the constitutional status quo by censoring organised, political and activist opposition it. Of course, what actually happens is that people accept the improved status quo; and that as the status quo is unionist, people become unionist by default. The more the status quo improves, the more satisfied people become with it; and the more satisfied they become with it, the less inclined they are to seek to change it. This is not a strategy of promoting change to the status quo as it is proffered to the gullible, but it is in actuality a strategy for promoting the maintenance of it. You’re all unionists now. 😉

  • Comrade Stalin

    Dave,

    I don’t completely agree with what you say, but there is some truth to it. While it is clear that pretty close to 100% of unionist voters (UUP/DUP/and the smaller parties) will vote for the union in a referendum, I don’t think it’s similarly clear that nationalist voters will vote 100% for reunification.

    I quite like the idea of reunification but I’d be sorely tempted, in the event of a 50% nationalist vote resulting in a referendum, to vote for the union just to see the smug look wiped off Gerry Adams’ face.

  • Mack

    CS – If nationalists became a majority based only on demographics, I’d be very surprised if Gerry Adams was around to see it (at least as a political leader)..

  • cynic

    Belinda

    Those figures are useless. Different states count in different ways. In Brazil for example, lots of criminals just disappear in turf wars between gangs. They arent counted in the murder figures. Noone reports them

  • cynic

    If there was a referendum, you have to wonder what way the SF leadership would vote?

  • Belinda

    “Belinda – Eugenics?”

    Not in terms of coercing people not to have children. That is inconsistent with individual rights in a liberal democracy. My point was that IQ is correlated with education, health outcomes & even crime levels. So it would make sense for it to be considered in terms of immigration decisions.

    http://www.futurepundit.com/archives/005202.html

  • Mack

    Belinda – Are proposing prejudging people based on national statistics? I mean, if you want smart educated workers, there is an easier way – give visas to smart educated workers.

  • ersehole

    Are there any mortality tables to show longevity of Catholics as compared to non Catholics.
    If there is a discrepancy what are the reasons?’

    Going to confessions 😉

    May I add eating fish on Fridays, not riding motorbikes at 200mph on windy roads, not watching Glasgow Rangers regularly, eating babies’ livers on Corpus Christi feast days, getting up early to vote, not working too hard, running hard from paedo priests, not eating lots of dodgy pills, avoiding McEwen’s lager…. for a start???

  • PaddyReilly

    As Ulsterfan wanted a sensible answer, I think I should finally give him one. Any Ulster undertaker could tell you that Protestants supply the greater part of his custom. But this is not because Catholics have found the elixir of life or enjoy better health, it is because Protestants form by far the greater part of the elderly.

    During the twenties and thirties and later, there was a tremendous drive to reserve employment for Protestants and to encourage Catholics to relocate in the Free state or elsewhere.

    While this policy was in force, right up till the sixties, the Catholic percentage of the population was pegged at no more than a third of the total, and remains as such with the over forties.

  • PaddyReilly

    Dave

    The more the status quo improves, the more satisfied people become with it; and the more satisfied they become with it, the less inclined they are to seek to change it.

    Really? There’s no chance of India, Australia, South Africa, Kenya or His Majesty’s American colonies wanting independence then?

  • Dave

    Paddy, one-nation states that have united under a common nationalism are not comparable with Northern Ireland. In NI, you have two nations and no common nationalism to unite them. That is why a new common nationalism of Northern Irish is being engineered. This emergent, nebulous nationalism is reverse engineered from a validated right to self-determination. I say ‘reverse engineered’ because the common methodology is for the nation(alism) to exist before its right to self-determination is asserted and granted.

    Because there remain two nations, the nation which seeks to change the constitutional status quo must now persuade the other nation (which holds the legitimised veto) that the status quo needs to be changed. It must also, of course, persuade its own nation that the status quo needs to be changed. The more that status quo is improved, the less either nation is inclined to change it. This dynamic works against those who argue that the status quo can only be improved by changing it at the constitutional level. Why change something if the change cannot be shown to be an improvement on the status quo?

    You shouldn’t assume that the preeminent dynamic is that one nation must have a right to self-determination irrespective of all other factors (cultural, economic, political, etc) especially in a political context where you have downgraded your own right to self-determination as part of the Irish nation to the status of an aspiration in return for improvements to the existing constitutional status quo. You have conceded the principle by accepting that your guiding ‘ideology’ is home comforts.

  • Dave

    Comrade Stalin, the status quo is unionism by default. All of the parties who accepted the constitutional status quo are unionist by default. That includes, of course, the two main nationalist parties in Northern Ireland. I don’t see the constitutional status quo as being separate from the cultural, economic, and political status quo but rather as being inextricably interlinked to it. Unionists have a huge advantage because people will always support the system that they prosper under; so as people prosper, they have a vested interest in maintaining the status quo. Prosperity, ergo, favours unionism; and prosperity will make nationalists into unionists by default. As I said on a related thread:

    “If that is too obscure: it’s not about sectarian headcounts, it’s about persuading people that the status quo needs to be radically altered. That confers an immense advantage on Unionists because the status quo is unionism by default, whereas nationalists who are not convinced that changing the status quo is advantageous to them will become unionists by default. For a practical example: a nationalist who works for a multinational company that located in NI because it is part of the UK will not vote himself out of a job by voting NI out of the UK. It’s a post-sectarian game, so adjust your game plan or lose, kids.”

    The most sensible thing for nationalists to do at this point is to recognise that they were outplayed in the Whitehall-devised GFA process, and to settle down to making the best of life under British rule – because they will never be in a position to alter it.

  • Mack

    Dave – While I see your logic, and I disagree with some of your conculsions (see below), was this not the de jure case prior to The Agreement? At least after it, there is an agreement on a mechanism that could change the status quo.

    The UK itself isn’t really a single nation state (as the existence of the SNP, PC, SDLP & SF attest too). Ulster Protestants manifestly don’t consider themselves part of the Irish nation, in certainly in the sense of that phrase that you use, we can see this by their violently resisting the expression of the Irish nation’s self-determination by running guns in the face of overwhelming support for first home rule and later full independence. We still have two competing nations within north east Ulster no matter what constitutional arrangements were / are / will be in place. So while you state a fact about two competing nations, I don’t see how this penalises the Irish nationalist side any more than the British nationalist side – except to rule out a notion of a ‘pure’ Irish nation on the island.

    The Agreement provides a mechanism by which sovereignty for Northern Ireland could be transferred from the UK to Ireland. You say

    “Because there remain two nations, the nation which seeks to change the constitutional status quo must now persuade the other nation (which holds the legitimised veto) that the status quo needs to be changed.”

    This is not the case. The agreement states –

    “(i) Recognize the legitimacy of whatever choice is freely exercised by a majority of the people of Northern Ireland with regard to its status, whether they prefer to continue to support the Union with Great Britain or a sovereign united Ireland;”

    There is no mention of having to persuade the other nation of anything. Personally, I think it is a good idea for Irish nationalists to reach out to Unionists to ensure, that in the event of a United Ireland that they can be accomodated within whatever structures emerge. The more Ulster Protestants who can be persuaded to vote for a united Ireland (or at least not vote against it) the better. Or perhaps you feel it is improbable that a majority in favour of Irish unity could emerge?

  • Mack

    Dave – “Unionists have a huge advantage because people will always support the system that they prosper under; so as people prosper, they have a vested interest in maintaining the status quo. Prosperity, ergo, favours unionism; and prosperity will make nationalists into unionists by default”

    Not so Dave. Wealth and prosperity are relative. In the case of the competing nationalisms you mention we have the opportunity of directly comparing the performance of Northern Ireland within the Union and the Republic of Ireland outside it. Recent history suggests that RoI performs better. If RoI continues to outperform NI by even a very small amount each year, the cumulative effect will be a very visible divergence in wealth between the two Irelands.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Exponential_function

    Both parts of Cyprus are substantially wealthier now than say 300 years ago – but the Turks recently felt moved to change their longstanding opposition to Cypriot unity for largely financial reasons.

    If the communities in NI grow at different rates, their is no upper bound to the relative size of one vis a vis the other. If the economies of North and South grow at different rates their is no upper bound of the strength of one vis a vis the other…

  • PaddyReilly

    In NI, you have two nations and no common nationalism to unite them

    Half way up the Shankill Road there is a bookshop proclaiming this two nations twaddle. The Shankill doesn’t look like a nation to me. It looks like a declining inner city ghetto surrounded by ever increasing numbers of the opposite sort.

    Northern Ireland’s Protestants are a ‘nation’ for only as long as the existing politico-religious apartheid can be imposed. Protestantism is a 16th Century religious movement which has long passed its sell-by date, most young people in Britain nowadays being more drawn to a Hindu/Buddhist sort of creed. Equally, planterism and its creed of not going native is sinking under a tide of miscegenation.

    Once the young folk start interbreeding with the papishes to any extent (in Donegal it’s 50/50) they will become a historical memory like the Huguenots and Palatines.

    Perhaps though one should compare them with the Amish, and that maybe is what they will become. It is accepted among the Amish that in every generation about a third of the young people won’t be able to take the lifestyle or inbreeding and defect to the Englanders (as they call other Americans.) But the sect still continues, because there are always some inbreds left.

    Why change something if the change cannot be shown to be an improvement on the status quo?

    Sage advice, and something the darkie folk of Zimbabwe must be be pondering. Indeed, I have Hotmail users coming to me complaining about their unwanted upgrade.

    But in the case of Northern Ireland, we have evidence that independence can work. A trip down the road to Dublin gives the appearance of a much greater degreee of sanity and prosperity. Possibly though, this comparison is unwise: in a reunited Ireland Belfast would be on the same level as Limerick, which I have not sampled recently.

    But your question is ludicrous. Since the only way to find out whether a change would be beneficial is to put it into effect, if adopted your philosophy would mean that nothing would ever get changed.

    the nation which seeks to change the constitutional status quo must now persuade the other nation (which holds the legitimised veto) that the status quo needs to be changed.

    No, the faction that wishes the normalisation of Irish government only needs to persuade 50% + 1 of the voters that the status quo needs to be changed. Electoral returns indicate that it is within a few percentage points of doing so.

  • PaddyReilly

    All of the parties who accepted the constitutional status quo are unionist by default.

    It is hardly an uncommon experience in this world to have compromised with British rule at some time. President Obama, according to some, should not be Prez because his father was British when he was born and so, therefore, is he. And it is a relatively short time since the Americans were ruled by the British, and for the Canadians even shorter.

    But that was then and it ain’t now. The favoured system of government for the 21st century is for smaller, contiguous interconnected units without seas in between them.

  • PaddyReilly,

    Most of what you say is quite true. On the Amish, though, they survive and thrive because they have a very high birth rate. They can afford to lose a third in each generation and still be the fastest growing religion in the US. NI Prods do not have that luxury – their birth rate is low, and any loss to mixed-marriage is a real loss. The growth of atheism (or ‘couldn’t-give-a-damm-ism’) is an enormous threat to unionism – each mixed marriage thins the orange herd some more. The man, and his children, are no longer likely to be Orangemen, and while some may vote unionist, others will not. The gap is too small to allow these sorts of losses, but the unstoppable tide of modernity is washing a lot of reliousness away, and hence lowering the barriers to mixed marriage.

    I suppose the Tory/UUP ‘New Force’ is a sort of attempt to tackle this problem, but it is too little too late. Unless the UUP isolves itself and econstitutes without the old deadwood (the old bigots), they will not attract enough post-religious ex-Catholics to stem the losses to the tribe.

    Once sectarianism dis down, the rate of mixed marriages will rocket upwards. My own family includes many Protestants in the south, and I have to think long and hard to think f any who have married other Prods. You say it’s 50/50 in Donegal – but in other areas its closer to 100%.

  • PaddyReilly

    Well Horseman, I did point out that the Shankill was surrounded by ever increasing numbers of the opposite sort. Protestantism in NI is due for at least 50 years worth of decline due to the dying out of the elderly alone, not taking the effects of intermarriage into account. Presumably it will retreat into rural areas and compulsory inbreeding.

    The Amish were the first sect that occurred to me, though as you point out, they are good breeders. Perhaps a better analogy would be the Reformed Presbyterians (the last of the Covenanters, who don’t believe in recognizing the state by voting), the Select Brethren (who have as little as possible to do with non-members), or the Peculiar People of Essex and Sussex, who pretend not to watch television or listen to the radio.

  • … the Peculiar People of Essex and Sussex …

    lol – I once lived in Essex, and they are peculiar people (though not, of course, in the sense you meant).

    One other factor to take into account (again, I’ve seen it myself) is that as a group (Protestantism in the south, for example) becomes smaller it attracts a certain level of interest and prestige. In the south it is very fashionable to be a Protestant. This could happen in the north too, but only, I guess, after Protestantism ceases to be a political force.

    In the south Protestantism has won by losing. It can do so in the north too, but only when Protestantism is no longer the same thing as unionism.

  • Ulsters my homeland

    What would happen if you married in a registry office, (where you didn’t have to bring your children up Catholic/Prod), what happens to the child until they become adult?

  • Ulsters my homeland,

    I don’t imagine it makes any difference where you marry. If you bring up your kids as X or Y, then that’s what they’ll consider themselves to be. I’m not an expert on religion, being a militant atheist, so I couldn’t say whether people feel ‘bound’ by what they may have promised at the time of marriage. Ne Temere no longer exists anyway, so I think it is all left up to personal preferences.

  • PaddyReilly

    If you bring up your kids as X or Y, then that’s what they’ll consider themselves to be.

    Not in my experience. In NI, I find, children identify with the religious complexion of whatever housing estate they find themselves in. Michael Stone in “None shall divide us” mentions several Protestant paramilitaries who had Catholic mothers, as probably was his own. People of mixed background often feel they have to over-react in order to be accepted by the tribe they find themselves among.

  • Mack

    UMH, Horseman –

    Ne Temere was replaced (according to Wikipedia) by Matrimonia Mixta – you can read the text of it here

    http://www.catholicdoors.com/misc/marriage/mixed.htm

    It does still contain a clause stating the Catholic “is also gravely bound to make a sincere promise to do all in his power to have all the children baptized and brought up in the Catholic Church.”.

    In practice, in today’s more secular society I’d guess that would amount to what Horseman describes in practice.

    Fethard-on-sea makes it into the Wikipedia entry on Ne Temere as an example of one of the problems with the doctrine. Nice to see our problems are impacting on global events.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ne_Temere

  • Mack,

    Fethard-on-sea?! How long ago was that? It was certainly long enough ago to have been in a different country (as the saying goes).

    In the south religion is, to be blunt, passée. Sure, some people still do it, especially for marriages and funerals, but almost nobody is a ‘Christian’ in any real sense. The north has ome way to go to catch up, I’m afraid.

    The south is (possibly) more anti-Catholic than some northern unionists could ever believe. That is what I meant (inter alia) when I said that the Prods have won in the south. The ‘Protestant’ ethic is dominant, and to be prod is cool. Apart from the mad uncles in the north, Protestantism is seen as liberal, modern and unthreatening, whereas Catholicism still brings back bitter memories of betrayal.

    If unionists only realised how open the door is, they would make a historic deal with ‘Catholic’ Ireland – one that would secure their ‘heritage’ far better than their current unstable relationship with Britain does. But I fear unionism is blind.

  • Mack

    Horseman

    Aye, we’re all Protestants now. In dem olden days the Mass was in Latin, Priest facing the front, the Gospel wasn’t for the masses. Now they can hear the Gospel in English, but spend their sunday afternoon’s in Dundrum shopping centre instead…

    Unionism can’t do a deal on a united Ireland, as politically, that’s the opposite of their platform. Even, if some thought it a good idea, the violence still casts a long shadow over Unionist politics (victims pain) and makes it difficult for the politicians to make even lesser compromises now (though they have and are making them).

    We have a deal in place in though. I read the SDLP’s policy document on Irish unity today, which seems sensible enough. Have a referendum that transfers sovereignty under the agreement. In the future if people want to negogiate different arrangements let them..

    I tend to think a referendum could be won without a nationalist (SF & SDLP) electoral majority – by focusing on different segments of society and communicating to them how they would be better off. It’s not a debate that’s happened in the north yet though…