Coming to my Census

The big day has come. Census Day 2011. Time to fill out the form. Or not?

Actually, I have just spent ten minutes filling mine in. I am not really keen to join the boycott. I boycott many companies and there are bigger fish to fry.

I don’t really see the Census as Big-Brother-gone-mad. What I do object to, however, is being threatened with a £1,000 fine.

I have the Scottish version, of course, and there are two questions I find interesting.

The first choice in the religion question is “None.”

That’s odd. Normally “none” appears at the bottom of a list of choices. Is this an attempt to encourage a vote for “none” I wonder?

Then there is the question, “What is your ethnic group?”

I am not prepared to answer this one because we are all members of the human race, ergo, all equal. I am an ethnic human. Why does anyone need any more information than that?

Another reason some people are boycotting the Census is the involvement of Lockheed Martin – for the reason that they make fighter jets, weapons and munitions.

Bobbie in the comments of that article writes,

Notwithstanding Lockhead’s involvement in destructive weapons, the fact that the ONS are saying that our data is going to a UK company is bending the truth.

On the bottom of each page of the form you will see a bar code and a number. This is a computer phone line. The number on my form is 303 918 3191. Please, please, please type this into Google before you send your forms in.

2nd paragraph of Google says. Denver, Colorado phone number, Lockhead Martin database.

This is certainly not a UK company.

I typed my barcode number (beginning 600) into Google and there were only four results (none on Yahoo or Bing) and it doesn’t seem to be a live telephone number. What’s going on?

There is one thing about the census that I like – this is only my third since I left home in 1985 and that makes me feel quite young.

I wonder if Leg-iron has completed his census. Last time I heard, he was having trouble deciding how many rooms he has:

Q9 Number of rooms. I can fit into the cupboard under the stairs so is that a room? How about the attic? I have a garage with no car so it’s just a room with a very big door. My lounge and dining room are continuous – is that one room or two? Built-in wardrobes could be considered a room within a room, as could a very large box. My garden has chairs and tables in it, does that count as a room? How about the shed and the greenhouse? There is an inner door inside the front door, does the space between them count as a separate room? Do hallways count? Since I am at a different level on every stair, does each stair count as a room or should I include the staircase as one room? I feel the urge to torment an official by telephone coming on.

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25 Responses to Coming to my Census

  1. Subrosa says:

    Stewart I’m in need of your professional help. Could you please email me? Thanks.

  2. bobby says:

    The Scottish census isn’t being done by Lockheed Martin. It’s another company. CAIR or something. Still a US security company governed by The Patriot Act. Our info is available when it…

    a) is required or permitted by any enactment,

    b) is required by a Community obligation,

    c) is necessary for the purpose of enabling or assisting the Board to exercise any of its functions,

    d) has already lawfully been made available to the public,

    e) is made in pursuance of an order of a court,

    f) is made for the purposes of a criminal investigation or criminal proceedings (whether or not in the United Kingdom),

    g) is made, in the interests of national security, to an Intelligence Service,

    h) is made with the consent of the person to whom it relates, or

    i) is made to an approved researcher.”

    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2011/03/25/confidentiality_of_census_data_not_guaranteed/

  3. Pingback: Digesting last weekend’s protests in London « Churchmouse Campanologist

  4. robbo says:

    So, Stewart, are you encouraged to vote for ‘none’ because it is at the top of the list?

  5. robbo says:

    No? Perhaps that’s because you are a special christian.
    Or could it be that the powers that be are so stupid that they think that would affect what people put in the box?
    Or could it be that you are so stupid?
    Oh no, that couldn’t be it, Churchmouse agrees with you.
    Maybe they should put ‘Christian who agrees with Stewart Cowan’ (shall we call him a cowanist) at the top of the list?

  6. Stewart Cowan says:

    Robbo,

    Of course it doesn’t encourage me, Robbo, but it could incline others to tick that box without reading through the options.

    And there is space at the bottom to put your own explanation of what you believe.

    The powers that be (did you know that’s from the Bible?) know what they are doing. that’s why everything’s falling to pieces.

    P.S. Do you think I’m stupid?

  7. Stewart Cowan says:

    Bobby,

    Thanks for that. This is the type of thing which amazes me – the government pretends to be concerned about the individual’s privacy and I, as a mail-order retailer, have to comply with privacy laws and have a “privacy policy” and yet they can basically do what they want.

    Quelle surprise!

  8. Stewart Cowan says:

    Thank you Church Mouse.

  9. robbo says:

    I didn’t know it was from the bible. I have checked and yes, Romans 13v1. Thanks, I love trivia.
    I don’t say you are stupid but that doesn’t mean I don’t think this post is pretty stupid.
    So some people don’t care and tick the first box. Does it matter? Do you really want them on your side? The point of the survey is to find out who does care and they are, presumably, the people who will tick their chosen box.

  10. In many respects, I must confess, I side with the Cowanites.

    ‘Cowanite’ it should be.

  11. Stewart Cowan says:

    Robbo,

    Why is this post pretty stupid? Where else have you ever seen a list of choices where “None” is at the top? If we can agree that this is odd, maybe we can ‘move forward’ together to try to reason why they did this and what effect it might have, if any..

  12. Stewart Cowan says:

    Richard,

    Thank you, but I think there are enough -ites and -isms without adding yet another.

  13. lionheart says:

    I am reliably informed that “None” was the first option to head off any possible complaints of bias or discrimination towards any particular religion by followers of another.

    It was suggested that anyone that would vote “None” simply because it was at the top rather that C of E or Catholic, Islamic etc would for the sake of being realistic be better off doing so rather than just stating a religion without any real conviction. I see the logic in the argument but have to wonder if any other country is quite so careful not to offend anyone and how much money was wasted on the consultation that decided on it?

  14. Tarquin Farquhar says:

    I put ‘Jedi’ because its the one true way, everyone knows that the dark side clouds everything.

  15. robbo says:

    Come over to the dark side, Tarquin. Every cloud has a silver lining.
    Is that from the bible too?

  16. Tarquin Farquhar says:

    I have always been a ‘christian’ but to be honest I’m not sure what it means any more? Am I nice to people? Yes, Do I help old ladies with their shopping? yes. Am I perfect in the eyes of the lord? No…..are any of us?

  17. robbo says:

    Darth Farquhar has a great ring to it.

  18. English Viking says:

    Tarquin,

    (Cool name, BTW) A Christian is someone that follows Christ. ie They will do as He says, even if they do not agree with Him.

    Doing what you want to do, and then calling it Christian, is not the same thing as doing what you don’t want to do, because Christ demands it.

    I have found that I disagree with God on a number of matters, but this is because I am wrong on the same matters.

  19. Darth Farquhar says:

    yes it does! from now on you shall refer to me as Darth Farquhar!

  20. Darth Farquhar says:

    I hope one day to find my feet here enough for the eminent Richard Carvath to dub something a Darthism? (I think Farquism sounds a little rude for Richard, he may blush)

  21. English Viking says:

    robbo,

    I didn’t know it was from the Bible either, and I read it (almost) every day.

    Weird.

  22. Stewart Cowan says:

    Tarquin/Darth,

    I would like to officially welcome you to the Real Street blog, and present you with this laurel, and hardy handshake.

    P.S. None of us is perfect in the eyes of the Lord based on our own merits.

  23. Darth Farquhar says:

    Thanks for the Welcome Stewart, nice to be here!

    Darth

  24. censustalk says:

    The problem of the race and ethnicity categories in worldwide censuses. We will do a comparison of selected worldwide censuses question – asking what are the categories of race and ethnicity. The site http://www.censustalk.co.uk will be a site for participators to get info on the censuses and discuss the meaning of the categories – what are the problems (if any) with self reported data for ethnicity categories in the census

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