The big day dawns and exactly how many, I wonder, will refuse to complete the Census Form? The Daily Telegraph informs us that "an army of enforcers has been given police powers to gather criminal evidence against householders who fail to complete tomorrow’s national survey. It continues:
"For the first time in the 210-year history of the census, a unit of “non-compliance” officers authorised to conduct interviews under caution will visit homes across the country.......or those who repeatedly refused to take part, a unit of 100 “non-compliance” staff had been recruited to gather evidence for potential prosecution. “It’s a last resort but we expect to have to take action against some who are persistently refusing,” Mr Watson said. “Ultimately, it is a fine and a criminal record."
Glen Watson, the census director, first has to get his "non-compliance" officers admitted to some one's home - and I am intrigued by the phrase "persistently refusing". What is the legal definition of "persistently refusing"? As Viki Woods writing in the same newspaper shows, if the ONS are prepared to accept incorrect responses just what is the point of the damn thing anyway? A further point worth noting is that, if the Telegraph figures are correct, only 38 people were prosecuted out of over one million who did not return a census form - that is not justice for all, more selective justice and something that should not exist in a democracy.
The days following 6th April sure are going to be "interesting" - aren't they? My form was placed in the appropriate receptacle on the day it arrived and I can but refer those that have not seen it to this post. I now sit back and await further events - especially as I don't have £1,000 and at my age a criminal conviction matters not one iota!