Thursday, October 22, 2009

Census Commonsense

From the BBC:
The full set of questions for the 2011 census - including new ones about citizenship and how well people can speak English - has been unveiled.

The 10-yearly survey of UK residents will take place on Friday 27 March.
It will ask about the date overseas nationals entered the UK and the length of time they intend to stay.

Everyone in the UK on the day will be obliged to answer the questions, which also cover number of bedrooms and types of central heating in homes.

Those who do not complete the census risk being prosecuted.
I’m not sure why it’s anybody’s business other than my own which central heating, if any, I use- although in the interests of "mind yer own business snooper" let’s rejoice in the fact that we no longer will have to record whether or not we "have access to a bath or shower".

The Beeb has, as per usual, gone out of its way to annoy the CEP by labeling the questions as being part of the UK Survey when that will not necessarily be the case; the data issued today will apply only for England and Wales leaving Scotland and NI to create their own questions and it’ll certainly be interesting to see how they finally proceed on the specific question relating to national identity:
The specimen census asks "how would you describe your national identity?," offering English, Welsh, Scottish, Northern Irish, British or "other", with space to write in.
Not the full details supplied there, if you check the sample pdf (from page 46 onwards) you’ll see that the option is given to tick more than one box simultaneously, ie HMG is quite prepared for you to be, for example, English and British at the same time.

Why that seemingly small fact is pertinent is that the last time we checked, the SNP were not prepared to be so accomodating:
SNP ministers were under fire last night after claims that the 2011 census form north of the Border will not allow Scots to say that they are both Scottish and British.

Tory and Labour MSPs at Holyrood were furious after it emerged that the draft census questionnaire in Scotland will split up British and Scottish as potential ethnicity options.

In the draft questions for “ethnic group”, people answering section A will be forced to tick just one box, which separates the Scottish and British options.

Murdo Fraser, the Scottish Conservative deputy leader, said: “Incredibly, the census does not do the same for Chinese-Scottish, Pakistani-Scottish, Indian-Scottish, Bangladeshi-Scottish and other options too.
So why, other than pure prejudice, was this case?
A spokesman for the Scottish government pointed out that in the national identity part of the census form, Scots would be able to describe themselves Scottish and British. He added: "In the ethnicity section, there is a space at the bottom of the list where respondents can say they regard themselves as Scottish and British."
As there is on the England/Wales Census…but that is only to be used if you do not fall within the "categories listed above" and Fraser’s point stands, why were Chinese-Scots (correctly) and not British Scots accomodated?

The SNP should be forced to answer that one IF the Scottish 2011 Census follows the format of the earlier draft

4 comments:

tony said...

Gott in himmel you guys won't be happy until we are all wearing union jack vests and singing rule Brittania.

>>So why, other than pure prejudice, was this case?<<

Prejudice?!?! against who? Scot-Brits/Brit-Scots? These guys are not an ethnicity. These odious little creatures have an opportunity to advertise their slavishness should they wish, your silly out of date(slow news day) says as much.

Andy said...

The BBC often go out of they're way to annoy the CEP. And misinform the public in England and Wales.

O'Neill said...

Prejudice?!?! against who? Scot-Brits/Brit-Scots? These guys are not an ethnicity.

The ethnicity and national identity question are two separate sections on the box. If dual ethnicity is permitted on what grounds is Scottish-Britishness being denied then?

These odious little creatures have an opportunity to advertise their slavishness should they wish, your silly out of date(slow news day) says as much.

Yes, I suspect that first little insult is the true SNP feeling for their fellow Scots who just happen to think differently about their national identity from them, but that's not the point. Check the same section for England/wales and compare it with the proposed Scottish one and tell me the difference. If the SNP were truly confident in their fellow Scots not feeling British then they would be giving them exactly the same opportunity to say so as is permitted in England and wales.

Regarding "out of date news", the English and wales census deatails were published on Thursday, afaik we have had no update from the SNP from the piece I linked into; if you have feel free to post it up.

O'Neill said...

The BBC often go out of they're way to annoy the CEP

I think it's more laziness and or incompetence, but whatever, it's the kind of thing which national public broadcaster shouldn't be making mistakes with.