If the freedom of speech is taken away then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter.

- George Washington

Tuesday, 22 February 2011


There's a good piece over at the Tellygiraffe by Philip Johnston on the intrusive nature of the census.
Most of all, the census has become far more than a simple reckoning of the size of the population and is now inquisitive to the point of prying. We will be required by law in March to provide more than 40 pieces of personal information, including religious belief and ethnic background. Questions about income and sexuality were originally proposed for inclusion but dropped as too nosey. Even so, there is a section to say whether you are in a civil partnership.

It is a far cry from the first UK census in 1801, when just five questions were asked, to establish the number of people in each household, their sex and occupation.
There's some interesting stuff on the history of the census, and how people have always been suspicious of government attempts to find out things. Go and have a read. The comments are worth a look too.


  1. Apparently "....you can answer most questions by ticking a box."

    The fun begins if someone blacks-out the box with a felt tip pen, then uses black ink for the tick.


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