Monday, 14 March 2011

A Letter To Census Customer Services

Census Customer Services.
Segensworth Road.
PO15 5RR.

Dear Sir or Madam

Re; 2011 Census.

This morning I have received your Census Questionnaire and having read it, and on matters of principle I am inclined towards not entering the information it demands.

Mr first reason is under the Westminster model I have no sense of living within a democratic framework that is worthy of the title.

Perhaps, if your questionnaire had included such generic questions the statistics gleaned from them would have more relevance.

The second is related to the first, namely you apply the vigour of the law to responding to a census yet the right not to vote in the democratic process is left to the conscience, or apathy, of the individual.

The third is my doubt, whatever the threatened retributions, that you will gather a true set of data figures from the great unwashed, the disenfranchised or the disillusioned. While I have no doubt you will have clever statistical formula which claim to square this circle of averaging averages the result will still be skewed.

And even if some of the above do fill the necessary boxes I doubt if the ‘facts’ entered are compatible with truth. And that’s mainly because few give the combination of trust and governance any credence.

My fourth reason is due to my understanding that it is an American company that is collecting and collating this information? If that is true, I am highly sceptical of the data collected not being used on the data - markets for purely commercial purposes.

I may be naive but I do not consider any government has the right to market its citizenry.

Finally you claim these censuses create the benchmarks for services such as health, education and local governance throughout the country. I doubt if they do in any tangible way other than to add to the plethora of doubtful statistics that are used to fog deceit and abuse reason. How else do you explain the knee jerk reactions to adopt PFI schemes? Or acting as mercenaries by initiating wars for global conglomerates. Or putting their citizenry in hock and increasing their penury in order to save the idiotic investments and portfolios of financial alchemists and their shady (fraudulent) institutions.

Where did your statistics apply, when pensions plans suddenly under performed, or when the shock horror of people having the audacity to live longer was transposed into the idiotic requirement to save more and work for longer within a system that has already failed in its commitments; where wages in real terms have been static for nigh on thirty years; where employment is no longer for life but is reduced to a contract term possibly renewable in months; and where contentment and aspiration is measured by the ability to service debt.

So in what way will your statistical exercise help to clarify or advance the complexities of human interactions and the requirements they have by right for competent and compassionate democratic governance.

For now what I need to know is how long I can be jailed for if I refuse to fill in the questionnaire. The amount of Fine doesn’t matter since I’d refuse to pay it – just the maximum term I may have to serve?

I could do with the holiday.

Yours sincerely

John Souter. 


Dick Puddlecote said...

What a tour de force of a letter. Bravo that man. :)

Joe Public said...

I fear that our EU masters will also be able to demand & disseminate our private particulars within their member states.

Dave Allison said...

I gave my form back to the census manny.

WitteringsfromWitney said...

Nice letter from JS, SR.

I can but come back to the point I made in my own blog:

That, for me, was reason enough for my form to immediately being placed in the recycling bin!

WitteringsfromWitney said...

sorry, forgot to tick the follow up comments box!

Anonymous said...


GoodnightVienna said...

Tris took the word out of my mouth - Well done John Souther!

subrosa said...

Yes indeed, very well said John. WfW, I fully understand your point and it's also interesting the legality of the 'occupier' address.

Anonymous said...

Everyone seems to have had one, except me....

Oh what a shame.

subrosa said...

Haven't had one either Tris. I'm not in the least concerned because I doubt if my contribution will be of assistance to them.

john.boettcher said...

Odd; I've been informed by two learned folk that under Scots Law there is no legal requirement to answer the Census, unlike England, Wales and (probably N.I.)

No fines, etc.

Anyone else know about this?

I'll ask a friend for more legal details tomorrow.


subrosa said...

Hello John B. John Souter lives in England although he is a Scot. I should have made that clear, my apologies.

However, I would be delighted if you could find out if there is no legal requirement here in Scotland. I'm having great difficulty making a decision and if this was confirmed, then my problem would be resolved.

john.boettcher said...

Subrosa - I'll seek more info this evening.

p.s. can I email you about something?

Crinkly & Ragged Arsed Philosophers said...

Sorry folks been a bit tardy with responses. Spent a wonderful evening trying to get a bloo** printer to work. Even missed Mrs Brown!

Point is, while I can understand the purpose of a census, I do not understand why the spend all the money they do and don't make full democratic use of it.

Generic questions such as - are you content with the model of government - are you for or against the retention of the monarchy - or parliament deciding to enact acts of war without a plebiscite from the people etc could all be ticked boxed on the form and give a real sense of the peoples will.

But as it is it's just another tool masked in mystery for the protection and use of the establishment, when in fact, were this a true democracy - it could be the poll of polls, free of any party political influence which could reflect the true feelings of the country.

Of course that would give purpose to statistics and that's probably exactly what they don't want.

William said...

"Mr first reason is under the Westminster model I have no sense of living within a democratic framework that is worthy of the title."

If I received the letter, I'd have filed it under 'round objects' at this point, I must say.

It's the sort of flatulent statement that only someone who lives in a peaceful, prosperous country can make and take seriously, if I'm being brutally honest.

subrosa said...

Hello John B, yes of course. My email address is subrosablonde @ (no spaces of course).

subrosa said...

Is it working now Crinkly? If so, well done.

From all the rights and wrongs of this census the fact that an American company is compiling the data concerns me most.

Crinkly & Ragged Arsed Philosophers said...

They probably will William; they probably will - and more's the pity.

And as I live in the UK the 'prosperous'of your criticism does not apply and the peace I interpret as apathy.

Crinkly & Ragged Arsed Philosophers said...

SR -thanks for that - yes I did fix it. I binned it.

Now do I get another HP when they conned another few £100k from Scotland -or a Canon - Epson or Kodak; and how much are the cartridges and how long do the last?

Ah, decisions, decisions......?

subrosa said...

I've always used Epson Crinkly because never read good reports about HP. Much depends on how much you print. I purchased cheap 'Epson' cartridges last year but they're much smaller and seem to need continual replacement.

Decisions, decisions...

carrew said...

Just catching up on your blog. I've written to our MP (Mr Wishart) asking for clarifications and assurances that the data will not be subject to the US Patriot Act (which allows the US Government free access to any and all data held by amrican firms regardless of where its held). I'll dig out the mail and send it on to you. You've made some good points in your letter and I'd be very interested in the issue of legality in Scotland.

subrosa said...

Carrew, John Souter lives in England so his points are relevant there. Up here it's slightly different I understand.

Pete Wishart is also my MP so I'd be pleased if you could manage to tell me his reply. My email is in the RH column. Many thanks.

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