Sunday, June 15, 2014

Sunder Katwala writing for the New Statesman

Usual farrago of nonsense and wishful thinking from Sunder Katwala writing for the New Statesman:

It would be pointless to argue with his premise since it is without any coherent basis.

However we must challenge absolute untruths when we come across them.

Therefore let us look at his statement:

"ESRC research shows that over a third of the population of England have at least one parent or grandparent who was a migrant from outside Britain."

Let us assume a generation is 20 years.  Therefore the grandparents he refers to are those born in the early 1960s.  The population of England in 1961 was 41,000,000.

One third of 41,000,000 is 13,600,000.

Were there thirteen million immigrants in 1961 and did they result in thirteen million mixed race marriages?

Obviously not - the total foreign born population of the United Kingdom in 1961 was 200,000.

One can appreciate the position Mr Katwala is in.  And one can understand his (rather frantic) evangelism for mixed marriages as perhaps a way of making his own position seem less exposed.  But falsifying the facts will not advance his case.


Sunder Katwala said...

The foreign-born population is 1961 was 2.57 million. It was 1.9 million in 1951. I am not sure where you got 200,000.

Your method of taking the 1961 population and dividing by a third makes no sense anyway. People have four grandparents, while many grandparents have several grandchildren. For a third of the population to have one foreign-born grandparent; that does not require one in three people to be foreign-born.

a from l said...

Please see the graph on (which is also credited to the ONS and based on the Census). As you can see, the bar for 1961 is 250k - I have deducted approx 50k to allow for those colonials born overseas who returned to the United Kingdom post independence of various countries (for instance the British population of India was approximately a quarter million, many of whom had been there for generations but none of whom I would suggest would self-identify as Indian; same for Protestant Irish who found they were no longer welcome in southern Ireland; same for hundreds of thousands of other colonial settlers in Africa and Asia). If anything the number of colonial repatriates was far greater than this - the 50k I allowed was merely symbolic (you have been quiet on this blog for so long Mr K that I did not anticipate your requirement for further information).

Regarding the rate at which 1960s foreign immigrants translate into twenty-first century grandchildren, until recently the birthrate has been fairly static at 2.4 children per couple. Therefore the exponential growth you suggest is impossible.

There are 63 million people in the United Kingdom. For 21 million people to have had a foreign grandparent is clearly impossible.

Let us take your most optimistic (from your point of view, not from the majority of British people) figure of 2.57 million foreign born in 1961. Let us assume that none of them were repatriated colonials and that ALL of them were BME people. Let us also assume that ALL of them married white British partners giving them 5.14 million mixed race children. Let us assume that all of these 5.14 million mixed race children only married white British partners, the total grandchildren would be roughly ten and a half million - well short of the 21 million third of today's population.

And this is using the most absurdly favourably interpretation of the numbers possible!

Sunder Katwala said...

Dear Andrew

Your wikipedia graph is wrong; I don't know what the source is, but its claim these are ONS figures is erroneous.

The ONS figures are in the ONS link. 5% of the population of 46 million were foreign-born in 1961, not under 0.5%

As the ONS link also sets out the top 10 countries of origin of foreign-born residents, by decade. So it reports that, in 1961, there were 683,000 people born in Ireland in Britain; 157,000 born in India; 121,000 born in Germany; 120,000 born in Poland; 100,000 born in Jamaica; 94,000 born in the USA; 81,000 born in Italy; 53,000 born in Russia; 49,000 born in Canada; and 42,000 born in Cyprus.

Of course not all of the foreign-born people in England were black or ethnic minority.

This was a piece about people with migrant family heritage, not a piece about racial identity. That is why the piece refers to Wayne Rooney and Phil Jagielka's Irish and Polish heritage, and to the Spanish ancestry of Adam Lallana.

a from l said...

This list rather underlines my point: "in 1961, there were 683,000 people born in Ireland in Britain; 157,000 born in India; 121,000 born in Germany"

There were half a million "Anglo-Irish" protestants in southern Ireland before 1922 and there are only a few thousand now - that would account for the majority of the 683k Irish-born in the United Kingdom in 1961.

There were a quarter million British people living in India before 1947 and most of them moved here after independence, forming the majority of the 157k born in India quoted in the 1961 statistics.

The British Army of the Rhine fluctuated from between 77k and 55k from 1945 to 1961 (and beyond of course) including settled married accommodation where many thousands of British children were born - accounting for the 121k German-born children in 1961.

These people cannot really be called migrants if they are not self-identifying as migrants and therefore they should not be co-opted into arguments seeking to promote the ideology of multi-culturalism.