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Majority Of People In Scotland Reject British Identity

Albain - Alba - Scotland
Albain – Alba – Scotland

Mixed news today for the Gaelic-speaking community of Scotland in the figures released from the 2011 Census of Scotland. According to the statistics the number of people speaking the Scottish or Scottish-Gaelic language has fallen from 59,000 in the 2001 Census to 57,602 in 2011 (or some 1.1% of the population aged three years and older). However this represents a significantly lower 1.2% decline compared to the record previous fall of 11% in 2001. Furthermore there has been a small 0.1% increase in the number of Scottish-speakers aged under 20. The Scottish government has greeted the news of the slower rate of decline coupled with some signs of growth as a justification of its long term strategy of increasing the number of Scottish-speaking citizens by facilitating equal access to state services and resources with their English-speaking peers.

Interestingly the number of Gaelic-speakers at home are categorised as:

Language used at home other than English (detailed), all people aged 3 and over:

Gaelic (Not otherwise specified) 14,531

Gaelic (Scottish) 10,443

Gaelic (Irish) 1,375

Going Down The Toilet - UK, plc.
Going Down The Toilet – UK, plc.

Just as interesting are the results relating to the question of nationality with the number of people in Scotland now declaring themselves to hold a “Scottish identity only” standing at 62.4%, a majority of the population. In contrast just 18.3% marked themselves as holding “Scottish and British identities only” while 8.4% opted for “British identity only”.

All people 5,295,403:

Scottish identity only 3,306,138

Scottish and British identity only 443,275

British identity only 968,759

English identity only 120,990

A fascinating list from an Irish point of view details the combinations of identity available in the census:

Scottish and any other identity:

Scottish and Irish 5,574

Scottish and Northern Irish and British 5,184

Scottish and Northern Irish 2,798

Scottish and Gaelic 69

Any other combination of UK identities (UK only, excluding Scottish):

Northern Irish only 17,243

Northern Irish and British 8,052

Other identity only:

Irish only 21,474

11 comments on “Majority Of People In Scotland Reject British Identity

  1. Well it should be obvious that what Scotland needs is a Belfast Telegraph opinion poll, complete with leading questions and misleading conclusions!


    • Excellent!!! 😉

      I agree, the BT polls are just silly season stuff.

      The 2011 Scottish census is fascinating due to the amount of detail in it. One can drill right down into the numbers. I like that 69 people gave their identity as Scottish and Gaelic. Those are people I’d like to interview!

      The Irish component to the figures is very complicated, a real mix of identities.


    • NMunsterman

      Brilliant BangorDub – brilliant !


  2. Aitheantas
    Scottish and Gaelic? Céard atá i gceist acu ansin? An cultúr? Ceilteach b’fhéidir? Béarla agus Gàidhlig?

    Cé go bhfuil sé spéisiúil na torthaí a fheiceáil mar seo, nach a-aithníonn na daoine a scríobh é gur teangachaí éagsúla iad Irish (Gaeilge) agus Gaelic (Gàidhlig)? Feictear dom go bhfuil sé de nós ag na Sasanaigh ‘Irish Gaelic’ a úsáid in áit ‘Irish.’ Cuireann sé isteach orthu ‘Irish’ a úsáid gan ‘Gaelic’ ina dhiaidh. Níl an fhadhb céanna acu le ‘Welsh.’ An bhfuil baint aige seo le bheith ag admháil go bhfuil ár dteanga fhéin againn? Rian coilínithe? B’fhéidir é.


  3. Graham Ennis

    You might be interested in this. When the Serbs did it, they were charged at the Hague with War crimes….
    There is NO statuate of limitations in UK. Interesting situation. Heath Government had a chilling secret p‘Catholic-free’ Ulster policy

    THE Heath government had devised a secret policy of ethnic cleansing involving the forcible expulsion of hundreds of thousands of Catholics from Ulster to create a Protestant-only province.

    Edward Heath’s officials drew up secret plans that would see 500,000 people moved from their homes and the redrawing of the border, according to documents just released.

    The proposals were aimed at creating an “avowedly sectarian statelet”

    Graham Ennis


    • Yes indeed and of course Margaret Thatcher had a very similar plan when she was the British head of government.

      From CNN:

      “Top-secret documents released on Wednesday show how the British government in 1972 considered forcibly expelling hundreds of thousands of Catholics from Northern Ireland.

      The scheme, which was put before then-Prime Minister Edward Heath, would have created a Protestant-only Northern Ireland.

      According to files declassified after 30 years, up to 500,000 people would have been forced to leave their homes in the establishment of what officials described as an “avowedly sectarian statelet.”

      The proposals, deemed a radical solution to the problems of Northern Ireland, would have effectively amounted to a form of ethnic cleansing.

      Officials warned that the proposals would face “great resistance” and could only have been put in place through the “completely ruthless” use of force, the documents show.

      The plan was presented to Heath on July 23, 1972, during a year of escalating violence in Northern Ireland in which 500 people died.

      In his preamble to the document — marked “Top Secret: UK Eyes Only” — then-Cabinet Secretary Sir Burke Trend said it was “explicitly addressed to a situation in which we are on the point of losing control of events unless we take very severe action indeed.”

      He added: “A great deal would depend on the extent to which we could continue to count on local co-operation as regards the maintenance of essential services and on the loyalty of the RUC (police).”

      Under the plan, 200,000 to 300,000 Catholics would be moved out of their homes into areas which would be ceded to the Republic of Ireland, and around 200,000 Protestants would be moved from the ceded areas into those areas to be retained in the UK.

      “About one third of the population of Northern Ireland would be on the move. Such a massive movement would not be peacefully accomplished; great resistance could be expected from many of those who should move,” the plan said.

      “Unless the government were prepared to be completely ruthless in the use of force, the chances of imposing a settlement consisting of a new partition together with some compulsory transfers of population would be negligible.”

      Partition, however, was not the only solution to the problems of Northern Ireland being discussed by the British government during 1972.

      The files reveal that the then-foreign secretary and former prime minister Sir Alec Douglas Home emerged as a surprise advocate of a united Ireland.

      “I really dislike direct rule for Northern Ireland because I do not believe that they are like the Scots or the Welsh and doubt if they ever will be,” he wrote in a note to Heath marked “secret and personal.”

      “The real British interest would I think be served best by pushing them towards a United Ireland rather than tying them closer to the United Kingdom.

      “Our own parliamentary history is one long story of trouble with the Irish.”


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