Saturday, 26 March 2011

Census Day 2011 - Sunday 27th March

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!


Tufty said...

WfW, you seem to be changing your calendar rather than your clocks. Sunday is March 27th.

WitteringsfromWitney said...

T: So it is - thank you and have amended.

As a matter of interest I don't change any timepieces in my home or car. GMT is our timezone and GMT is what I live by.

A personal rebellion for a great number of years!

Woodsy42 said...

What on earth are 'police powers to gather criminal evidence'?
Either the damn thing has been filled in or it hasn't, shouldn't need a lot of evidence gathering should it?

Anonymous said...

You might be interested in this

TomTOm said...

Having tested my forecasting ability by filling the form upon receipt 10 days ago I now arrive at the point of testing the validity of my forecast. Thus am I am satisfied that the R2 = 1 and will proceed to forecast on a wider range of issues

English Pensioner said...

As I said in my own blog, the fine puts this country's priorities into perspective.
Failure to complete a piece of bureaucratic paperwork to provide information that is already elsewhere in their records:
Fine £1000
Burning the Union Flag, shouting anti-British slogans during the silence on Armistice Day and offending millions of people:
Fine £50
It says it all.

Anonymous said...

I wonder what would happen if all those police-power-authorized last minute census takers were to proceed with caution to the large number of people who failed to submit their forms were to go out in number to these households scattered about the countryside - but never to be seen or heard of again? My, my, wouldn't that send government a strong message.

Stuart said...

I have not had my forms delivered so will be unable to fill them in and return. I am very upset about this. I almost feel like an illegal immigrant except I have to pay for my house and food.

James Higham said...

This is indeed going to be a very interesting one.

banned said...

100 nationwide does not sound like very many, less than two per county. They are probably re-deployed Smoking Cessation Officers, give them something to do for a while.

WitteringsfromWitney said...

W42: Good point indeed.

A: Thanks, had seen it.

TT: Good for you.

EP: I know, I know.

A: that would indeed be sweet.

S: Some forms will come with the enforcers, fear not.

JH: It will indeed and how many of thosse refusing will capitulate?

b: Yet they say all will be followed up. As i posted, the legal definition of persistently is?????