Kate Hoey urged to backtrack on ‘nationalist domination’

Baroness Kate Hoey has been asked to withdraw her controversial term that many professions in Northern Ireland are ‘dominated’ by those of a nationalist persuasion from a leading scholar.

Professor Peter Shirlow, director of the Institute for Irish Studies at the University of Liverpool, called the debate sparked by the former Labor MP’s foreword to the Unionist Policy Studies report “sterile and without evidence” .

In it, the multi-stakeholder peer expresses her “concern” about the influence of “anti-union activism” within key professions such as journalism and law.

She said she supported “the work underway to encourage those, especially those from working class loyalist communities, to engage in education and seek access to professional vocations such as journalism. , law and the civil service “. “There are very justified concerns that many professional vocations have become dominated by those of nationalist persuasion, and this positioning of activists is then used to exert influence on those in power,” continued Baroness Hoey.

Ms Hoey defended her comments, insisting it was a “very legitimate position to be expressed”.

Writing in a platform article in the Irish News, she said her position was underscored by the “manner in which the aforementioned elite network moved into action in seeking to distort the context of my remarks” .

Professor Shirlow said the problem was more complex than the zero-sum game described, adding that he disagreed with the term “dominated”.

“The rise of a Catholic middle class shouldn’t be anything other than something we support. This did not shake the position of the Protestant middle class. There is no evidence to suggest this, ”he said.

Instead, a person’s results in life are shaped by various socio-economic factors, such as obtaining a postgraduate degree, homeownership, and whether someone has attended a high school or not, he argued.

“What this company needs to do is have a conversation about social inclusion. We still have a situation where the majority of disadvantaged places are predominantly Catholic, ”explained the academic. “You go into the sections of nationalism and republicanism saying that they are going up, they are going and that the Protestant community is dysfunctional and is collapsing.

“You have sections of unionism and loyalty like Kate Hoey who accept it; that their community is falling apart and being undermined and discriminated against.

Mr. Shirlow continued: “There is no evidence for either of these arguments. So what we get is this sectarian identity reading of social changes.

“No one in this conservation asks us why people are being left behind – two-thirds of the children on the Shankill and the Falls do not reach five GCSEs.”

He described the debate sparked by Kate Hoey’s article as a “sterile Catholic / Protestant conversation”, adding that the younger generations here find these labels “boring”.

“I think the term ‘dominated’ should be taken out. It’s basically taking the language of civil rights, that there used to be domination of trade unionists and now we have people claiming that there is domination on the other side. If it is not proven then it should be removed.

Comments are closed.