UK to abolish decennial census

July 10th, 2010

Francis Maude, the Cabinet Office minister, said the Census, which takes place every 10 years, was an expensive and inaccurate way of measuring the number of people in Britain.

The herd owner has decided that there are better ways of counting the head of cattle….hmmmmm!

Instead, the Government is examining different and cheaper ways to count the population more regularly, using existing public and private databases, including credit reference agencies.

And these databases will fit in the palm of your hand.

It will represent a historic shift in the way that information about the nation’s population, religion and social habits is gathered.

The suggestion is likely to be approved by Cabinet next week. It will be too late to prevent the next Census on March 27, 2011 from going ahead, although Mr Maude said he was looking at ways of reducing the £482million cost.

FOUR HUNDRED AND EIGHTY TWO MILLION POUNDS? I would love to see a breakdown of how that number came about. That is

cost of census / (number of adults in UK / 3)

482000000/(50893318/3) = 28.4123742924

£28.41 per productive person in the UK.

And why exactly is it too late? Why not scrap it right now and save one hundred million pounds? Perhaps the contractors might have something to say about its cancellation; that is probably the TRUE reason why they are unwilling to stop it.

Britain has carried out a Census every decade since 1801, with the exception of 1941 during the Second World War.

It is the only time that everybody in the country is counted, and is used by the Government to determine spending priorities and track population movements.

In other words, there is no sound reason for it whatsoever.

Academics, charities and religious organisations all rely on information gathered in the Census as it asks wide-ranging questions relating to people’s households, nationality, faith and marital status.

The needs and interests of these groups does not constitute a sufficient argument for the theft of this money to count people.

The information is also a significant source of research for future generations. The online publication last year of the 1911 Census proved hugely popular, with three million people accessing the database within its first few months.

Completely irrelevant. If there was a reason to collect and store this information, then someone other than the state would do it at their own expense. The latter uses of this data are secondary extra benefits, not the primary consideration. Even if those benefits did not exist, the state would still claim that they had to collect this data.

Mr Maude, who has responsibility for the Census, told The Daily Telegraph that the Government was looking for a “fundamentally” better way of doing it. “There are, I believe, ways of doing this which will provide better, quicker information, more frequently and cheaper,” he said.

The ID Card would have become a one stop shop for all this data and more. Now they have to piece it together from disparate sources. What they should do is give this task to people who are good with big and dirty data sets, like Google. Why should the state do this at all in the first place? As long as no state data is given to Google in preparation of its national data set, why should this valuable data, which everyone thinks is such a good idea, cost people who want nothing to do with it a single penny?

Just as it is with the ridiculous ‘Your Freedom’ website, which is total rubbish and is costing £20,000 to run, this task would be much better handled, for free, by Google. Imagine ‘Your Freedom’ run by Google; it would have no scaling problems, would have been properly thought out and executed… but you know this.

Mr Maude said Britain needed a new way to keep track of the population because the Census was often inaccurate and out of date. About 1.5million households failed to fill in their forms in 2001.

What’s that you say? 1.5 million?!

Once again we see that there is nothing that the state can do if large numbers of people simply refuse to cooperate.

In the USA, there are many people whining about the census, its intrusive nature and unconstitutionality. All they need to do is simply not do it. If they do this, nothing will happen. There is no need to give (perfectly correct and proper) explanations about why the census is immoral, illegitimate and illegal. All you have to do is simply refuse to answer or respond in any way. All that will happen is that a note will be made, and everyone will move on.

This is what it sounds like:

He appears to be heading outside the city.
Repeat, he is heading outside the city.

All I can do is note your information.

Stand by.

Please come back.
You have nothing to be afraid of.

The THX account is 6 percent
over budget.

The case is to be terminated.

Discontinue operation.

Report to thermal station 62.

Discontinue operation.


From THX-1138

“Economics make it necessary to terminate any operation which exceeds 5 percent of its primary budget.” This is the absolute truth of this matter, and the matter of your liberty. Unless they have your money to enslave you, they cannot enslave you.

Mr Maude said the Census was “out of date almost before it has been done” and was looking at ways to count the population more frequently — perhaps every five years — using databases held by credit checking firms, Royal Mail, councils and Government.

And so, what they will have, if people are careful, is a data set that is always inaccurate to a certain degree, but which is always up to date.

Anyone who is not stupid enough to vote, will not be counted. Anyone who uses more than one name will not be counted. Or may be counted twice. In short, anyone who is aware of their privacy and how to protect it will never be counted by this new system of real time census taking. It also means that you can get out of the count at any time by taking yourself off of the electoral register, and using shield identities for all your activities. We wrote about this ages ago.

“This would give you more accurate, much more timely data in real time. There is a load of data out there in loads of different places,” he said.

The first part of this is not true. The data will not be more accurate, and if this is not correct, I would like to know how it would be more accurate than the traditional census. There may be a ‘load of data’ out there, but there is no guarantee that that data is clean. Its an interesting problem!

Mr Maude said he hoped that the new way of counting the population would be less intrusive.

Translation: “We can do this in a more stealthy way, without the citizen knowing what we are collecting, storing and sorting on him.”

Questions for next year include the name, sex and date of birth of any visitors staying overnight.

The majority of people that I know and have ever known do not fill out census forms on principle.

He was also examining ways to save money on the 2011 Census, which will be organised by the Office for National Statistics. However, Labour had already spent £300million on the project.

Ah yes, I remember now; its going to cost so much because Lockheed Martin, arms company, won the contract to run the UK Census! File under $500 hammers and $2000 ‘toilet seats’.

It is common practice around the world for governments to carry out a census and the Government is required by European Union law to count the population regularly.

“Everyone is doing it, so its OK.”
“The EU says we have to do this.”

Makes you want to puke doesn’t it?

Geoffrey Robertson QC, a constitutional barrister, said the news was “regrettable” since some sort of count had been carried out by the monarch or government for almost 1,000 years.

Geoffrey Robertson QC

Oh dear me…

“Tradition is the illusion of permanance.”
Woody Allen (American Actor, Author, Screenwriter and Film Director, b.1935)

“A tradition without intelligence is not worth having.”
T.S. Eliot (American born English Editor, Playwright, Poet and Critic, 1888-1965)

“Tradition becomes our security, and when the mind is secure it is in decay”
Jiddu Krishnamurti (Indian Theosophist Philosopher, wrote The Future of Humanity, Songs of Life, Kingdom Happiness. 1895-1986)

“Tradition is an explanation for acting without thinking”
Grace McGarvie

“Tradition is a guide and not a jailer”
William Somerset Maugham (English short-story Writer, Novelist and Playwright, 1874-1965)

“Tradition is a prison with majority opinion the modern jailer”

Nuff said.

“Future historians will be less able to interpret Britain in the Cameron/Clegg era as a result of this decision — maybe that is the reason for it,” he said.

Utter rubbish.

David Green, a director of the Civitas think tank, said the decision was “a terrible mistake”. “It is a question of whether the alternatives are reliable,” he said. “The Census is expensive but I think it is worth the money for the historic continuity.”

“Worth the money”? Where is and what is the source of this ‘the money’ that David Green speaks of so freely? If he thinks it is ‘worth the money’ why does he not gather up ‘the money’ himself, all £482m of it, and conduct his own census for posterity? He could even charge people for access to his priceless data… now there’s an idea.

These people really are beyond belief. What do you expect from a ‘think tank’ run by an ex Labour councillor? A basic understanding of economics?!

Under the 1920 Census Act, citizens can be cautioned under the Police and Criminal Evidence Act and fined £1,000 for failing to answer questions. However, the powers have not been properly enforced previously. In 2001 just 38 people were fined for not filling in forms.


What on earth does the census have to do with Police and Criminal Evidence? That aside, do you see what I mean? one and a half MILLION people did not fill out their census forms, and only 38 people were fined. That means only 0.000253333333% of people who did not fill out ‘their’ census forms were prosecuted, or one out of 394,736 This ratio would continue to get smaller as the number of people refusing to comply increases. According to this article, 3,000,000 people refused to obey, so the ratio is smaller than we realize.

What these numbers say is that if you do not fill out a census form, no matter where you are (in fact, in America, the number of people prosecuted for not complying is even smaller than that of the UK) nothing will happen. There is nothing they can do to make you comply, and you have to be very unlucky to win the lottery of those vanishingly small number of people who are chosen as examples to the population of disobedience.

The power of the state is an illusion. The only people who suffer from it are the very unlucky. The state cannot and never has been able to resist a mass refusal to obey on any matter.

If you do not want to fill out a census form, just don’t do it.

Or as Nick Clegg has wisely advised the people of the UK, Don’t Accept it!

One Response to “UK to abolish decennial census”

  1. The data and the metrics of civilization Says:

    […] UK just had it’s last conventional census, from now on they are going to do data mining to get… instead of the 210+ year old traditional door-knocking every ten years. Don’t expect the US […]

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