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BS: UK Census

Arthur_itus 23 Feb 11 - 01:48 PM
GUEST,Eliza 23 Feb 11 - 02:07 PM
GUEST,999 23 Feb 11 - 02:35 PM
Smedley 23 Feb 11 - 03:10 PM
GUEST,999 23 Feb 11 - 03:17 PM
Van 23 Feb 11 - 03:29 PM
Smokey. 23 Feb 11 - 03:36 PM
GUEST,Eliza 23 Feb 11 - 03:43 PM
nager 23 Feb 11 - 03:53 PM
Arthur_itus 23 Feb 11 - 04:47 PM
GUEST, topsie 23 Feb 11 - 05:37 PM
GUEST,Eliza 23 Feb 11 - 05:53 PM
GUEST,Rattler 23 Feb 11 - 06:09 PM
GUEST,Eliza 23 Feb 11 - 06:16 PM
Arthur_itus 23 Feb 11 - 06:24 PM
Joe Offer 23 Feb 11 - 06:30 PM
Allan Conn 24 Feb 11 - 02:01 AM
Smedley 24 Feb 11 - 03:49 AM
Will Fly 24 Feb 11 - 04:04 AM
IanC 24 Feb 11 - 04:11 AM
GUEST, topsie 24 Feb 11 - 04:59 AM
Stu 24 Feb 11 - 05:13 AM
GUEST,Steamin' Willie 24 Feb 11 - 05:28 AM
Allan Conn 24 Feb 11 - 07:39 AM
GUEST,SteveT 24 Feb 11 - 08:36 AM
maple_leaf_boy 24 Feb 11 - 09:24 AM
GUEST,Steamin' Willie 24 Feb 11 - 11:15 AM
Herga Kitty 24 Feb 11 - 01:11 PM
Arthur_itus 24 Feb 11 - 01:17 PM
GUEST,Eliza 24 Feb 11 - 01:39 PM
Arthur_itus 24 Feb 11 - 03:02 PM
ced2 24 Feb 11 - 03:23 PM
GUEST,999 24 Feb 11 - 03:26 PM
McGrath of Harlow 24 Feb 11 - 04:10 PM
GUEST, topsie 24 Feb 11 - 04:45 PM
Smokey. 24 Feb 11 - 04:57 PM
Arthur_itus 24 Feb 11 - 04:59 PM
Van 24 Feb 11 - 05:07 PM
Smokey. 24 Feb 11 - 06:25 PM
Dave MacKenzie 25 Feb 11 - 04:09 AM
GUEST,Steamin' Willie 25 Feb 11 - 05:42 AM
GUEST,Patsy 25 Feb 11 - 05:58 AM
McGrath of Harlow 25 Feb 11 - 09:31 AM
Stu 25 Feb 11 - 09:37 AM
GUEST,Eliza 25 Feb 11 - 03:14 PM
McGrath of Harlow 01 Mar 11 - 06:28 AM
Smedley 01 Mar 11 - 06:36 AM
gnomad 01 Mar 11 - 06:53 AM
GUEST,Eliza 01 Mar 11 - 06:59 AM
Smedley 01 Mar 11 - 07:22 AM

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Subject: BS: UK Census
From: Arthur_itus
Date: 23 Feb 11 - 01:48 PM

I have just been reading this article on the internet concerning the UK census http://www.express.co.uk/posts/view/230632/The-census-is-just-a-licence-to-snoop-on-British-people

Now I am not concerned politically or which newspaper is reporting whatever. However, when I see the cost of 485 million pounds, I am astounded.

We are bankrupt and we are going to spend that much on what can be considered an intrusion on our privacy, which goes beyond what I consider normal for a census. Looking at some of the answers from last census and the number of people who didn't fill their forms in, it rather makes a mockery of things.

32 pages of intrusive questions.

Couldn't it have been put back for 5 years?

Also considering how many households are on the internet, wouldn't it have been less costly to have done an online form. People who couldn't use the internet could have been made to go to the library or a place nominated to allow the form to be filled in.

Now I have got that off my chest, I will drink a nice glass of Chardonnay or two and cobblers to it all.


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Subject: RE: BS: UK Census
From: GUEST,Eliza
Date: 23 Feb 11 - 02:07 PM

I've had a look at the questions and some of them are a bit hard to answer, eg 'How is your health? good, quite good, fair, poor etc. How do you reply to that? Realative to what exactly? And 'How well do you speak English?' It depends on your standard of 'good'. These are impossible to answer objectively. They seem very concerned about employment, whether people have been actively seeking work, when they last worked etc. Also ethnicity. I'm English and also British. I'm half Irish and half Scots by parentage. And I'm white but why is that important? I agree that we could well have done without this stuff during a time of grave economic debt. Don't 'They' just love statistics and forms? Meanwhile, public libraries are under threat of closure! Enjoy your Chardonnay, Arthur itis, it'll be tapwater before long!


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Subject: RE: BS: UK Census
From: GUEST,999
Date: 23 Feb 11 - 02:35 PM

Does your census offer extreme punishments if you refuse to answer a question (qm).


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Subject: RE: BS: UK Census
From: Smedley
Date: 23 Feb 11 - 03:10 PM

There will be an option to complete it online (the first time this has been on offer).

It is, I believe, illegal not to complete it, though the penalties for not doing so are unlikely to be 'extreme'!


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Subject: RE: BS: UK Census
From: GUEST,999
Date: 23 Feb 11 - 03:17 PM

They can be here in Canada. Non compliance can result in jail time. Or that`s what they say, anyway.


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Subject: RE: BS: UK Census
From: Van
Date: 23 Feb 11 - 03:29 PM

Other than to annoy people what purpose does it serve. Next one will be taken from all the info Big Brother already holds which must be against the Data Protection Act. Always put in a few wrong answers just to sod up the statistics.


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Subject: RE: BS: UK Census
From: Smokey.
Date: 23 Feb 11 - 03:36 PM

I blame the Normans.

The penalty here is £1000, but if you refused to pay it for long enough they'd lock you up - though not for very long.


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Subject: RE: BS: UK Census
From: GUEST,Eliza
Date: 23 Feb 11 - 03:43 PM

Am very tempted to give jokey answers, eg about my health "Chronic wind, but otherwise quite good, thank you for asking" and " I am a Klingon" I suppose the Police would be round to wheel me away for insubordination and inappropriate levity.


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Subject: RE: BS: UK Census
From: nager
Date: 23 Feb 11 - 03:53 PM

A few years ago here in New South Wales, Oz a "survey" was done of nursing staff and one of the questions was "How much do you weigh?". Many objected to answering this so jokingly said 200 kilos, 150 kilos, 25 stone etc. A year later or so a press release was issued by the health authorities telling the world that most nurses in NSW were "grossly overweight".


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Subject: RE: BS: UK Census
From: Arthur_itus
Date: 23 Feb 11 - 04:47 PM

Ah didn't know there was going to be an online option. Thanks for that Smedley. I will keep an eye out for it.


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Subject: RE: BS: UK Census
From: GUEST, topsie
Date: 23 Feb 11 - 05:37 PM

I expect they might be a bit suspicious if you said you were a Klingon, but who will check on the answers otherwise. It makes the whole exercise meaningless.
I often put fake answers on surveys that come through the letter box. I always tell them I have a big dog in case the people processing the replies are tempted to burgle my house. It means I get free samples and money-off coupons for dog food, but that's not a problem.


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Subject: RE: BS: UK Census
From: GUEST,Eliza
Date: 23 Feb 11 - 05:53 PM

You're right, topsie, I don't suppose they have enough money to pay people to check every form. I seem to rememember a while back people said their religion was 'Jedi' in order to fox the Authorities on some questionnaire. (was it a Census?) And who is going to check your health comments? I always thought that medical matters were confidential. I could say my job was 'all-in wrestler' to put off prospective burglars. Actually, it would be fun to make up some silly answers to these intrusive questions!


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Subject: RE: BS: UK Census
From: GUEST,Rattler
Date: 23 Feb 11 - 06:09 PM

All these arguments have been rolled out since the first UK cencus in 1801. It has happened every 10 years except 1941 (WW2). The data is actually secure, and not available to the government or it's agencies. The processed statistics are available to everyone. These are 2 distinct levels of information. If you really do want to measure immigration, the north/south divide or the pressure on resources, look at these figures, not the Daily Mail's!


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Subject: RE: BS: UK Census
From: GUEST,Eliza
Date: 23 Feb 11 - 06:16 PM

Rattler, I'm afraid I'm a bit cynical in my old age, and when one is told that this info is not available to the Government or its agencies, I tend to reach for the salt. I don't think anything is secure nowadays. Last time, apparently, they missed a MILLION people in the Census, so any data is bound to be at least a little skewed.


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Subject: RE: BS: UK Census
From: Arthur_itus
Date: 23 Feb 11 - 06:24 PM

I suppose all mudcatters could answer Mudcat for religion.


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Subject: RE: BS: UK Census
From: Joe Offer
Date: 23 Feb 11 - 06:30 PM

Hi, Eliza-
I can read your statement two ways:
1. The the information collected in the census is confidential and will not be made available to the Government or its agencies - if that were the case, that would make me wonder why the Government would collect census information at all (or do they mean specific information about individuals, as opposed to composite information).

2. Or could it be that you believe that this information is already available to the Government, thus making it unnecessary for a census.

I did background investigations for the U.S. Government for 25 years, knocking on doors and asking questions about people who needed security clearances. Oftentimes, people wondered why I went door-to-door, because they figured the Government already had that information. Well, the way they got the information was to go door-to-door. We collected personal information only on people working in law enforcement or other sensitive positions, or having access to military secrets.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: BS: UK Census
From: Allan Conn
Date: 24 Feb 11 - 02:01 AM

Re the nationality and ethnicity question. I don't know what the English census contains but in the Scottish one it asks under nationality to tick all that apply. Hence one could for instance put Scottish, English and British. Then under the white ethnicity is asks for which would most apply where you can put either Scottish, other British, or Irish along with several other options. Though it also gives an option for mixed grouping so that you can basically put what you want. The reason is clear enough in that it is to get an idea of movements of people within the UK and self identity within the UK etc. Whether one thinks that is necessary or not is a different matter of course :-)


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Subject: RE: BS: UK Census
From: Smedley
Date: 24 Feb 11 - 03:49 AM

At the time of the last Census in 2001, there was a concerted campaign by some 'subversives' to get people to put Jedi Knight under religion. Several hundred folks did, I think.


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Subject: RE: BS: UK Census
From: Will Fly
Date: 24 Feb 11 - 04:04 AM

If it wasn't for the 8 censuses taken between 1841 and 1911 - all now available for searching online, I - and other family historians like me - would never have been able to gather the wealth of information about our families that we have. Taken at the individual level, they give a wonderful - if brief - insight into the lives of our personal ancestors. Taken at a broader level, they hold huge amounts of valuable information about the lives of people and communities.

However, there should be a common-sense approach on the part of the census makers as to what they ask - and why. The last census was roundly condemned by family historians because it excluded the birthplace of individuals - hugely important for people a hundred years later in tracing their family tree - presumably on grounds of ethnic sensitivity.

Older censuses, arranged by district, asked for: address, name, relationship to head of household, marital status, age, occupation and birthplace. Quite sufficient for a snapshot of the nation and for future researchers.


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Subject: RE: BS: UK Census
From: IanC
Date: 24 Feb 11 - 04:11 AM

You are not required to answer questions pertaining to religion on the UK census.

:-)


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Subject: RE: BS: UK Census
From: GUEST, topsie
Date: 24 Feb 11 - 04:59 AM

People I know who claimed to be Jedi Knights did it for FUN. Subversion didn't come into it. I believe there were enough of themm to make it qualify as an 'official' religion.


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Subject: RE: BS: UK Census
From: Stu
Date: 24 Feb 11 - 05:13 AM

" People who couldn't use the internet could have been made to go to the library"

Huh? You going to send the bizzies to frogmarch some old gal who doesn't have a clue about computers down to the library or wherever? The buggers know everything anyway. Your talk of Chardonnay has made me think of beer . . . mmmmm.

I'm in favour, although not for the government's sake, but the sake of future genealogists. Without the census' of previous years I would never have discovered my roots as a Welsh/English/Gypsy/Huguenot/Protestant/Catholic/cockney/country/Celtic/Saxon/Occitan/bumpkin/labourer/blacksmith/platelayer etc etc etc

As for religion, I'm thinking of what to put down. Possibly Irish Traditional Music.


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Subject: RE: BS: UK Census
From: GUEST,Steamin' Willie
Date: 24 Feb 11 - 05:28 AM

I hear all the concerns and agree with many of them.

Just one point in the interest of balance though;

Those working in public health would point out that the information helps long term health planning in so many ways. How many in patient beds an area will need versus access to community based care, or anticipated life expectancy, all of which help plan NHS services effectively, (even when successive governments like to interfere with the structures.)

Mind you, it would be cheaper and possibly more effective, from health perspective, to buy into the databases used by the large supermarkets. Tesco club points etc help supermarkets plan what to stock in a particular area. It also tells you which post codes buy fresh fruit & veg and which have Micro Chips and crisps. Knowing that helps plan for the heart disease care tomorrow. (And the reality of how it would help is far more complex and useful than that sweeping example.)

If you could make The NHS only 1% more efficient and targeted from the census, you have recovered the cost twice over. That's before planning for education, roads, infrastructure....

I have issues with the cost of the census. After all, technology exists to get a reply from 95% of the population just by putting the form on the internet at (if you keep consultants out of it) the cost of designing a form similar to ones that Amazon etc knock out each and every day. The remaining 5% of the population can therefore be targeted at a much lower cost.

Right, next problem?


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Subject: RE: BS: UK Census
From: Allan Conn
Date: 24 Feb 11 - 07:39 AM

"You are not required to answer questions pertaining to religion on the UK census."

That is true. On the Scottish paper religion is the only question which is clearly marked as a voluntary question. I can't myself see the logic in that. If it is ok to give your country of birth and ethnicity then what's the problem with stating what religion you are if any?


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Subject: RE: BS: UK Census
From: GUEST,SteveT
Date: 24 Feb 11 - 08:36 AM

Surprised no-one has mentioned the controversy over the company tasked to collect the data. (http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2011/feb/19/census-boycott-lockheed-martin). Do you really trust the security of your data to the British Government, let alone via an American arms manufacturer? (Yes I know they say the data will be retained in and processed by Britain.)


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Subject: RE: BS: UK Census
From: maple_leaf_boy
Date: 24 Feb 11 - 09:24 AM

@999, there have been talks about making the long-form census voluntarily. I think they want to make the only required questions
be age, gender, and language(s) spoken.


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Subject: RE: BS: UK Census
From: GUEST,Steamin' Willie
Date: 24 Feb 11 - 11:15 AM

Ah.. the religion section.

Had to declare my religion as (previously) holding public office. (Chairing a quango of sorts, but I digress.)

There, on the OCPA website, (office of the commissioner for public appointments) was my entry. Including my declared religion bit. (Publicising is optional, declaring to OCPA mandatory.) I preferred to let the world know;

I went on a website and registered, which is far more sound than being almost drown as a baby I suppose.

I joined The Church of The Flying Spaghetti Monster.

I especially enjoy being referred to as a Pastafarian.


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Subject: RE: BS: UK Census
From: Herga Kitty
Date: 24 Feb 11 - 01:11 PM

I conscientiously filled in my 2001 census form, and posted it in one of two postboxes outside the Post Office which had been newly installed specifically for franked mail. But it turned out that the Communication Workers Union hadn't agreed that members would empty the new postboxes and they were plugged. Though with a gap that was big enough to slide an envelope through. So I phoned to say what had happened and wasn't sent a replacement form to do again. The postboxes are still there, but the Post Office has moved over to a smaller building on the other side of the road. I think my 2001 form is probably still in the box where I posted it....

Kitty


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Subject: RE: BS: UK Census
From: Arthur_itus
Date: 24 Feb 11 - 01:17 PM

Just think Kitty, in a hudred years time, somebody will open that post box and find your Census form and you will be on beam me up scottie TV or whatever it may be then. :-)


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Subject: RE: BS: UK Census
From: GUEST,Eliza
Date: 24 Feb 11 - 01:39 PM

Pastafarian!! LOL!
Has anyone noticed that question 17 "has intentionally been left blank" ? What's that all about? Are they going to put something in there after they get the form back?
Joe, I have my suspicions that, if they wanted to and exerted themselves, the Government or any Interested Body, could find out almost anything about an individual. I know this sounds paranoid, and I personally have nothing to hide or fear, but even without a Census, one's details are all over the place aren't they?
If computerless folk are sent to a Public Library, they'll soon have to get on a train, as Library closures are being threatened, in Suffolk for example.


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Subject: RE: BS: UK Census
From: Arthur_itus
Date: 24 Feb 11 - 03:02 PM

has anybody got a link to the online form?


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Subject: RE: BS: UK Census
From: ced2
Date: 24 Feb 11 - 03:23 PM

Wonder what would happen if someone declared their religion as "Regicidist" (or should that be regicideist).


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Subject: RE: BS: UK Census
From: GUEST,999
Date: 24 Feb 11 - 03:26 PM

"I personally have nothing to hide or fear"


You will have if the arseholes ever decide to go after you.


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Subject: RE: BS: UK Census
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 24 Feb 11 - 04:10 PM

"After all, technology exists to get a reply from 95% of the population just by putting the form on the internet..."

Where on earth did Steaming Willie pick up the notion that 95% of people, or anywhere near that, use the internet? (In fact perhaps 60% of UK people use the Internet regularly.)

Even aside from the fact that there'd inevitably be all kind of daft stuff with people making multiple and false entries for the "fun" of it.


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Subject: RE: BS: UK Census
From: GUEST, topsie
Date: 24 Feb 11 - 04:45 PM

They will probably try to stop multiple entries by only allowing one entry PER COMPUTER.

(A friend of mine asked if he could use my computer to take advantage of an on-line offer. He did so using his name and address. I then thought I would do the same so I entered my details using my address (not even in the same county) and a different email address. I was blocked.)


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Subject: RE: BS: UK Census
From: Smokey.
Date: 24 Feb 11 - 04:57 PM

They'll send the form out to everyone, but with an individual pass number on it with which to complete it online as an alternative to posting it back.


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Subject: RE: BS: UK Census
From: Arthur_itus
Date: 24 Feb 11 - 04:59 PM

Thanks Smokey. Although its disgraceful that we will get a 32 page paper form, when it isn't necessary. The cost. Spit spit spit.


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Subject: RE: BS: UK Census
From: Van
Date: 24 Feb 11 - 05:07 PM

Next census will be done by combining all the information held on government computers. So sod the Data Protection Act and all the protection it was meant to provide. Has the census ever provided any information of any worth? And I don't care what anyone looking to construct a family tree wants to to know. When I registered my mum's death I had to work out a title for my Granddad's job - working with horses wasn't good enough and all this was in case someone wanted to trace their ancestry. They should get a life.


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Subject: RE: BS: UK Census
From: Smokey.
Date: 24 Feb 11 - 06:25 PM

I've got a life, but I'm still interested in genealogy.


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Subject: RE: BS: UK Census
From: Dave MacKenzie
Date: 25 Feb 11 - 04:09 AM

When I worked in Public Service, as a general rule, if I wanted accurate information I didn't get it from another Government Department.


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Subject: RE: BS: UK Census
From: GUEST,Steamin' Willie
Date: 25 Feb 11 - 05:42 AM

95%. McGrath of Harlow.

That's what I put because that is the answer.

Huge difference between access and day to day usage.

I once dealt with a complaint sent via email that their lack of access to IT meant they were being sidelined.

Quite....

The Care Quality Commission and OFSTED reckon that to be the figure, to include those in care having access via advocate. If you wish to look it up, it is under safeguarding.

Now... That is a stab in the dark but methinks a bit more accurate than your 60% which is, forgive me if I am wrong, the population with daily access according to industry figures.

My wife's grandad is 94 and never used a computer in his life, but his annual entry on the register of voters is done via a computer, by his daughter with his blessing. etc etc etc.


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Subject: RE: BS: UK Census
From: GUEST,Patsy
Date: 25 Feb 11 - 05:58 AM

I am interested in genealogy too and did come across a long long lost uncle by marriage and what his occupation was before he married my aunt on my father's side on old Census records, which was quite interesting, also working with horses funny enough. This was a long time ago and before computerisation so worked well for the time.

As I see it in today's world if personal CV's are not to be totally relied on a Census isn't going to be either.


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Subject: RE: BS: UK Census
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 25 Feb 11 - 09:31 AM

Having theoretical access to a computer, perhaps via a library that hasn't been closed down, with the help of some knowledgeable and helpful person is not a realistic option for very large numbers of people.

Some things are worth worrying about or making a fuss about. Holding a census is not.

On the other hand, objecting vociferously to the run down of libraries, which I touched o in the first paragraph is.

Save your ammunition for the targets worth shooting at is a good principle.


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Subject: RE: BS: UK Census
From: Stu
Date: 25 Feb 11 - 09:37 AM

"They should get a life."

Sigh . . .


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Subject: RE: BS: UK Census
From: GUEST,Eliza
Date: 25 Feb 11 - 03:14 PM

My sister has traced our family tree back to the seventeenth century, and very interesting it is too. But neither of us had the least desire to know the sexual orientation or 'ethnicity' of our ancestors, or any other intrusive and personal details about them.


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Subject: RE: BS: UK Census
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 01 Mar 11 - 06:28 AM

I'd have thought the sexual orientation of our ancestors might be quite interesting to know.


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Subject: RE: BS: UK Census
From: Smedley
Date: 01 Mar 11 - 06:36 AM

And the ethnicity. If you don't want to know details about your ancestors, why take the time and trouble tracing them ?


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Subject: RE: BS: UK Census
From: gnomad
Date: 01 Mar 11 - 06:53 AM

If they are ancestors (rather than siblings of ancestors) it is clear that on at least one occasion they acted as heterosexuals.

Doesn't stop the question being of interest, though. How many would have admitted in writing to an act which was illegal at the time?

Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster (the Pastafarians) Just in case there's someone here who doesn't know, and would like to.


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Subject: RE: BS: UK Census
From: GUEST,Eliza
Date: 01 Mar 11 - 06:59 AM

Their sexual orientation to my mind is their own business, and their ethnicity irrelevant. To put it crudely, what they did in bed and what colour they were are not questions my sister and I asked. Instead, their living accommodation, number of children and especially their livelihoods were fascinating. I was amused to find for example that for centuries they were connected with seafaring, many being captains of ships, fishermen and Customs men at ports. And I only have to look at the sea to feel seasick. My sister cannot even swim!


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Subject: RE: BS: UK Census
From: Smedley
Date: 01 Mar 11 - 07:22 AM

But where they lived & what they did could have been influenced by factors like ethnic background.


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