Census

Mar. 9th, 2011 01:15 pm
liv: cartoon of me with long plait, teapot and purple outfit (mini-me)
[personal profile] liv
I received my census form today! I know some people are planning to refuse or sabotage the form, and many more have concerns about exactly what it asks about. A friend of mine is mounting a very brave and thoughtful campaign to expand the tickyboxes for binary sex. My feeling is that the census is generally more of a positive thing than negative, so I intend to fill it in honestly and helpfully. But then I'm inclined both by temperament and by upbringing to be relatively accepting of legitimate authority.

The thing that does jump out at me about the census form is that it has a whole long list of "if you need this form in a different language, please call this number". Except the translations into languages that I have any familiarity with are utterly atrocious, either nonsense or hopelessly clunky, and the bidi is a complete mess. For something that takes as much effort and expense as the once in a decade national census, they really could have managed more than lip-service when it comes to including non-native speakers of English!

It also happens that this weekend was Shabbat Shekalim, when we read about the census taken by Moses of the Israelites. So I preached a little sermon, which skirted rather close to being political, about standing up to be counted, and letting the new government know your opinion about the current hot-button issues and cuts.

Anyway, a few people (many of whom seem to be American; why are they taking notice of a UK census?) are posting census-related memes about where they were on the census date. So here's mine:
1981: My parents' house in South London, with parents and a new baby brother.

1991: My parents' house in Hertfordshire, with parents and three younger siblings. Attending
secondary school in Cambridge.

2001: I lived in three different places in 2001; if the census was March again that year, which I can't remember, I would have been in a spacious but shabby fourth year room in Rose Lane, Oxford. Not officially living with my girlfriend but we spent more nights together than apart, so on the very day of the census I might have been in her Magpie Lane digs. Later in the year I lived with parents again, in their house in South Cambridge, along with my grandmother and little sister. One of my brothers was vaguely around, the other I think on a Gap year in Israel but I'm not sure of the exact timing. And for the last part of the year, in a flat in Dundee, starting my PhD at the teaching hospital there.

2011: I live in a little semi in Stoke in the West Midlands, mostly on my own though I've seen quite a lot of [personal profile] jack over the last few months. However our plan to move in together permanently was somewhat disrupted by the fact that there are no job prospects at all round here. Working as a university lecturer.

That covers most of the places I've inhabited, with the notable exception of three years in a little suburb to the south of Stockholm, Sweden, which didn't cover any census years.

(no subject)

Date: 2011-03-09 03:59 pm (UTC)
simont: (Default)
From: [personal profile] simont
*applause* for the cut text.

(no subject)

Date: 2011-03-09 06:05 pm (UTC)
forestofglory: E. H. Shepard drawing of Christopher Robin reading a book to Pooh (Default)
From: [personal profile] forestofglory
It the US census as happened last year on April 1st. my family was "lucky" and had to fill out the long form. We use the data for redistricting, does the UK do anything overtly political with their data?

(no subject)

Date: 2011-03-13 07:45 pm (UTC)
tig_b: cartoon from nMC set (Default)
From: [personal profile] tig_b
It's used to re-allocate electoral boundaries if there has been significant population shift.
Some questions are used to drive funding, such as housing grants.

(no subject)

Date: 2011-03-10 09:49 am (UTC)
pne: A picture of a plush toy, halfway between a duck and a platypus, with a green body and a yellow bill and feet. (Default)
From: [personal profile] pne
a few people (many of whom seem to be American; why are they taking notice of a UK census?) are posting census-related memes about where they were on the census date.

I don't think the Americans know that it's connected to a UK census - at any rate, I didn't know there was a UK census coming up now.

I presume the meme was started in the UK and it simply spread across the blogoverse, with people thinking "fun, a new meme" and posting "where I was in ten-year intervals" without thinking about how the meme came about (regular 10-year census intervals in a particular country).

Soundbite

Miscellaneous. Eclectic. Random. Perhaps markedly literate, or at least suffering from the compulsion to read any text that presents itself, including cereal boxes.

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