After pointing out a couple of weeks ago that the census is a political tool, tonight I decided to use it as such. As we know, the census is being administered by a US arms manufacturer who is hoping to make a significant profit off our tax money. After carefully considering the arguments (please read!), I decided that my initial responses to the census had not been quite helpful and informative enough.
Unfortunately, adding the extra information has required me to cross out my original answers and then scribble the new ones all over the page. My handwriting’s not very good I’m afraid, but Lockheed Martin, the British state, and future generations will now know many more exciting facts about me:
- I found, for instance, that the options provided in Household Question 7 (What type of accommodation is this?) did not quite match the type of house I live in. So I explained what a Tyneside flat was.
- While my flat has two bedrooms, I felt the need to explain that one of them is known and used as “the laundry and campaign materials room”.
- I was offended by the phrasing of Personal Question 2 (What is your sex?) and explained that while I was female, I found this question limiting and offensive on behalf of the many transgender and intersex people in the UK.
- I explained that I had come to live in the UK in “the month of September nineteen-ninety-nine, current era”.
- I felt the need to elaborate on the state of my health (Personal Question 13): “Very good. I can kick people in the head from cold.”
- When asked about my ethnic group, I first felt compelled to explain that Gypsy and Irish Traveller were two distinct ethnic groups. I then described myself as “a sort of pinkish colour that people tend to call white”.
- Question 17 has been deliberately answered. It now tells the government that I think they should be asking about sexual orientation too.
- I struggled with Question 19 the first time round, so I gave a much fuller explanation of my language capabilities. I also explained in Question 20 that my English was very good, as I could tell the difference between “affect” and “effect”, which many of my English colleagues couldn’t.
- When talking about my nationality I complained that I was not allowed dual citizenship.
- When asked about my employment, I pointed out that as well as a full-time job I was also volunteering for four separate organisations, and that I thought they should be asking about this, what with the Big Society and all.
- Oh, and then they wanted to know my precise job title and description. I was very precise indeed.
To help with processing, I have carefully coloured in all the barcodes, and I plan to staple the form closed to make sure it is tamper-proof (wouldn’t want unauthorised persons to view my personal data), and put it in the envelope with the “Visitor Questions” section visible through the window as that is surely the most urgent information they will want to know.