Counterpoint: The Good Life

Counterpoint: The Good Life

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Belfast, Campbell College, High Street, Jaeger Store, Porsche Dealership




Transmission 19/01/1989


25min 56sec




1 inch



Digitised as part of the UTV Archive Partnership Project (ITV, Northern Ireland Screen and PRONI)


Department for Communities, ITV, Public Record Office of Northern Ireland

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Presenter Brian Black explores the gulf between the "haves and the have nots in Northern Ireland" by speaking to some of Belfast's middle-class. 

A question asked is, if Northern Ireland [NI] has higher poverty, illness and unemployment levels than almost everywhere else "in the European community" why do the middle-classes stay and where does their money come from? Beginning the programme at Campbell College's annual ball which has "produced some of Northern Ireland's most successful men", Counterpoint interviews "Old Campbellians" about the preferences they have when awarding jobs and what could be perceived as cliquishness. 

Sharon Hall reports from the Jaeger store, Belfast, where employee Lynda Boyce gives an insight into their customers who vary in age but who are eager to spend - with Belfast's store being one of their highest turnover branches outside of London. Likewise, at the Porsche dealership, Robbert Ferris says that their clients are "slightly extrovert, well to do and keen to enjoy their wealth". 

However, reasons for such abundance of disposable income alongside unemployment is due to the lower cost in living but same income as those across the water. Paddy and Colette McCrossan are amazed to find that their joint income puts them into the top 20% of households in NI but acknowledges that what people consider "affluent" is all relative. 

Concluding the programme, we are back at Campbell College with Headmaster Dr. Ivan Pollock, who discusses how their results measure up to public schools in England such as Eton and how they send a good proportion to their students to Oxford and Cambridge. The problem is, as David Oldfield (Career Advisor) explains, is in getting these high achieving men to come back with to Northern Ireland after university.



A UTV Production

Producer, Jamie Delargy 

Director: Tony Boyle 




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