In April 1982 Sir Peter Frogatt, vice-Chancellor of Queen's, told Sir Ewart Bell, head of the Northern Ireland Civil service, that there was "a considerable exodus to British universities especially on the part of the Protestant community."Brian Feeney said:
Ewart Bell reported this to the then proconsul Jim Prior and said he regarded it as "another step towards the extent to which the Protestant community is 'opting out' of Northern Ireland."
"None of these internal émigrés participates in or endorses the antics of the yahoos waving flags or hammering big drums outside Catholic Churches... Yesterday's [Haass talks] failure will simply reinforce the majority of unionists in their opinion that, in the words of Alex Kane, they prefer to go to the garden centre that bother voting."Brian Feeney concluded:
"It seems the out-working of Ewart Bell's 1982 warning about students will be extrapolated to society in general so that as the nationalist vote increases Sinn Fein will take ownership of the north. The DUP can still change but they can't stop it. If they weren't so pig-headed and bigoted they could influence it before they become a minority."
Read me blog post on professor John Brewer who said that the silent majority needs to reclaim the peace process here. My blog post on Fionualla Meredith who said people need to speak up and pound the streets here. With contributions from Pete Shirlow here. My blog following Richard Haass comment that a majority want peace is here. My previous posts in 'The Two Worlds of Northern Ireland' series here, here, here, here, here, here and here.