Posted by: Lister | September 11, 2007

Leicester

An article in today’s Independent: Leicester to be first [British] city where white people are minority. In about 12 years time, apparently. It was expected within a decade back in 2001 — according to this article in the Guardian:

On September 15 1972, an “important announcement” appeared in the pages of the Ugandan Argus newspaper in east Africa. The announcement was financed by the ratepayers of the city of Leicester, England. “The City Council of Leicester, England, believes that many families in Uganda are considering moving to Leicester,” the notice read. Its advice was straightforward: don’t. Thousands of families were already waiting on the council’s housing list, schools were full to bursting, social services were stretched to the limit … “In your own interests and those of your family you should … not come to Leicester.”

For Uganda’s Asian population, in the process of being expelled from their country by Idi Amin, it wasn’t much of a welcome. But Leicester’s city council believed urgent measures were needed. More than 10,000 Indians and east Africans of Asian descent had already settled in the area, and were now highly likely to encourage their relatives in Uganda – most of whom held British passports – to join them.

[…] Despite the best efforts of the city council, however, the Ugandans did come. And today, thanks in part to that influx, Leicester – a small, unassuming east Midlands city – is predicted to be Britain’s first black majority city. The city council estimates that with Asian and black children already making up more than 50% of the school population, white people will be an ethnic minority in Leicester within a decade.

[…] A recent document published by Leicester city council speaks of “the joy of being a truly diverse city” – the same council that warned, in an emergency meeting in August 1972 , that “the entire fabric of our city is at risk” from immigrants.

So the story has a happy ending.

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