November 20, 2005

HELPS TO BE THE NATION OF BURKE INSTEAD OF ROBESPIERRE:

We may have no ghettoes - but Britain must beware the paradox of integration (Niall Ferguson, 20/11/2005, Daily Telegraph)

Schadenfreude is a German word for gloating at your foe's misfortune. As a rule, the English only ever feel it when misfortune befalls the French. General strikes, lethal heatwaves, trials of Nazi collaborators - all these are legitimate grounds for an Englishman to gloat, since none is likely to happen here.

However, on returning to Britain this week after many months abroad, I have been amazed to encounter Schadenfreude on the subject of the recent riots in urban France. Jokes about burning banlieues are ubiquitous. To hear some people talk, you'd think it could never happen here: the only problem is that it has. Only four years ago, three northern towns, notably Bradford, saw full-scale riots involving youths from immigrant communities. [...]

At first sight, all the ingredients for trouble seem to be in place. Yet all is not quite what it seems. Last week saw the publication of some intriguing new research that points in precisely the opposite direction, indicating that racial integration here may in fact be - at least by Continental European standards - a success story.

Ludi Simpson of Manchester University has compared the ethnic structure of 8,850 electoral wards in England and Wales using figures from the 1991 and 2001 censuses. He found that the number of mixed wards - where 10 per cent or more residents are from an ethnic minority - has increased from 964 to 1,070 in the decade. There are now only around 14 wards where one minority accounts for more than half the population, and there is not a single ward where white people constitute less than 10 per cent of the population. Half the wards in Bradford count as mixed; more than two thirds of those in Birmingham.

Simpson therefore dismisses talk of nascent ghettoes. The reality is that as immigrant communities grow - which they do mainly through reproduction, not immigration - they disperse into new neighbourhoods rather than remaining stuck in segregated enclaves.

Want some more good news? According to Lucinda Platt of the University of Essex, around 56 per cent of children from Indian working class families go on to professional or managerial roles in adulthood, compared with just 43 per cent of those from white, non-immigrant families. Even people with Caribbean ancestry now do better than whites.


If 7/07 makes multiculturalism even less popular the Brits could save themselves the worst of what's to come.

Posted by Orrin Judd at November 20, 2005 6:01 AM
Comments

Paradox ain't the half of it.

… "where one minority accounts for more than half the population, and there is not a single…"

Has the definition of minority changed? I know liberals can hold opposite and opposing opinions at the same time, but I didn't know they could also absorb the contradiction of a majority of a minority? Or is it a minority of a majority????

I have a headache and need to lie down now.

Posted by: erp at November 20, 2005 8:10 AM
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