I’M IN a quandary over the census.
Tomorrow’s the deadline and I’ve got to send it back soon or face a £1,000 fine.
But I can’t even work out how many bedrooms we have at our house – never mind what religion I’m supposed to put down.
A simple form filling exercise has somehow turned into an existential nightmare.
Should I put myself down as Christian because I celebrate Christmas and went to Catholic school?
Or should I tick “none” because I’m a non-baptised non-believer?
I don’t really believe in God – but I don’t want him to know that just in case...
The Humanist Association says those who profess to have no religion rose from 31% in 1983 to 51% in 2009 and believes that many who ticked ‘Christian’ in the 2001 census did so for cultural rather than religious reasons.
The census back in 2001 was the first to ask about religious belief and recorded 390,000 British people were Jedi Knights. (Have you ever met one?)
Following an internet and Facebook campaign Jedi became Britain’s fourth biggest religion.
Maybe I should give up on all the soul-searching and put myself down as Jedi and be done with it.
What does the Government need all this information for anyway?
They say it’s to help plan community services like transport, education and health.
But I don’t see why they need to know who may or may not be staying over for the weekend – what good will that do? The nosey parkers.
I’m going out in town later – if my friends come back for drinks and end up crashing on the couch will I have to wake them up tomorrow morning with a cup of tea, bacon sarnie, and the 2011 census? That can’t be good for a hangover.
The Government assure us that by law our details will be kept confidential for 100 years but I’m betting by next month it all ends up on a CD left behind on a train.
It seems to me that if the census isn’t asking you and the rest of your family for your inside leg measurements then it’s questioning your philosophical reasoning.
And am I the only one pondering over the bedroom question?
The one that asks: “How many of these rooms are bedrooms? Include all rooms built or converted for use as bedrooms even if they are not currently used as bedrooms.”
I don’t know what the rooms in my house were built to be – I wasn’t even alive when the house was built.
There’s a room we use as a study – I suppose if we put a bed in there it would be a bedroom – but how can you tell?
There used to be a bed in there for a brief period – how long does a bed have to remain in a room for it to become a bedroom?
If the room question is not enough of a mind-boggler then question 17 is bound to get you.
It simply reads: “This question is intentionally left blank”.
For those of you still confused, according to the lovely people behind the census, question 17 is blank because it only applies in Wales and is about the Welsh language
I’m not entirely sure why they couldn’t have just said that in the first place.
With all the confusion surrounding the census– coupled with the fact that many people have started filling out fictional answers – I wonder whether any of this information will be of any use or relevance.