Census night and the English

 

                   I am against the waste of money on the census. The government tells me they do not like it either, but it was too late to cancel it. They are  still going ahead spending more on sending it out and collecting it in. A picture of dumping the forms would have made better tv for many of us. The government already knows all the things it has asked me in the Census. I have to tell them all those answers time and again – to get a passport, to get a driving permit, to pay my Council tax, to pay my Income tax, to comply with NI rules and a host of others. Why can’t they use the information they have already got?

                I was in a bad mood having to fill in two of these things, one for home and one for my London bedsit. By some quirk of Labour’s bureaucratic mind, fascinated as it was by ethnicity and nationality,  they decided to ask us all who  we are, and to supply us with some of the most likely answers in case we found this question difficult to grasp. They went on and on about these issues apparently in the name of community harmony, but often to such an extent they created tensions where none existed before. On the Census form they forced me to decide was I British or English? I always used to think of myself as both.

                   Ten or twenty years ago I would not have hesitated if forced to choose. I would have put British. I saw that as my nationality and the UK as  my country. I hold a British passport, British is the portmanteau identity which can include all on our main island. I supported then  the Conservative and Unionist party, who were proud of their support for the Union.

                   As I held my pen above the tick boxes on the irritating form ( remembering I was under penalty of criminal punishment if I refused to go along with this infringement of my liberty or failed to answer all the questions) other thoughts tumbled into my mind.  I saw the lop sided devolution, which gives to Scotland a Parliament and to Wales an Assembly and a voice, but prevents England deciding her own affairs. I remembered the Barnett formula and the entrenched requirement for England to have less money per head than the rest of the Union for its public sector. I thought of all those times as an Englishman I had to listen to endless criticism of England for being too rich or too successful or too insouciant for the rest of the Union. I recalled times when English fans faithfully cheered for other Union member teams when England had lost, only to find some fans from the other parts of the Union wanted anyone but England to win if their team had been knocked out.  I resent the way the EU seeks to drive England off the map, wanting to balkanise and break it up into regions that do not exist in our hearts.

              I paused, because I understand it is Alex Salmond’s strategy to get the English angry with the Union. I understand Scottish nationalists wish to radicalise England to secure the end of the UK.

               Then  I ticked the box for English. I suspect many others will do so as well. It will be a fitting curtain call on Labour’s Britain. Their one sided devolution settlement and their relentless pursuit of more power for the EU will produce many more people in England who now see themselves as English and who think the settlement for England is poor. Labour’s devolution, as some of us warned at the time, is undermining confidence in the Union, not buttressing it.

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135 Comments

  1. Andrew Campbell
    Posted March 28, 2011 at 7:14 am | Permalink

    You were meant to tick all that apply! You’ve ruined the census, the data is no longer valid, noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!

  2. norman
    Posted March 28, 2011 at 7:16 am | Permalink

    Completely agree, useless bureaucratic nonsense ill thought out. Filled it out online, chose ‘Scottish’ & ‘British’ (it said can choose as much as you want).

    The difficult decision was what to fill out for this for my 3 year old, I tried asking him what nationality he felt but he didn’t understand the question – he may well be the only one in the country who feels himself as ‘I want coca-cola’! Also asked me if he was married, how well he wrote and spoke english, etc. You couldn’t skip these questions or N/A, computer said the box had to be filled in!

    What a waste of time and money and no doubt my quirky answers will cause a red flag and some bureaucrat will waste more time and money deciphering them.

    • Jonathan
      Posted March 28, 2011 at 1:27 pm | Permalink

      I had the same issue, my 1 year old doesn’t speak and eldest have 3 languages. On the Nationality question I really can’t be bothered to answer it as it makes no difference to me when the EU are forcing most of our laws on us.

    • norman
      Posted March 28, 2011 at 9:01 pm | Permalink

      Also, on the ‘marriage’ question for my 3 year old it said at the top of the question in bold red letters ‘Although you are under 16 in other countries it is legal to marry at younger so we are asking anyway’.

      It led me to wondering today what would happen if I went to country X where the legal age of marriage is, say, 13, married and came back here? Implicit in that statement and question on the census is that the Scottish (and British?) government would be quite happy for me to bring my 13 year old bride into the country, otherwise why say this and ask for an answer? Could I apply for a spousal visa for my 13 year old bride? Could we platonically share a bed?

      The mind boggles at the depths of stupidity our governments now plumb.

  3. Stuart Rose
    Posted March 28, 2011 at 7:23 am | Permalink

    The Scottish census allows you to “tick all that apply”.

  4. Stuart Fairney
    Posted March 28, 2011 at 7:42 am | Permalink

    If Alex Salmond wants to turn Scotland into a Labour/SNP socialist paradise, let him. Ditto my own whining countrymen, the Welsh.

    As a resident of England, a taxpayer here, (and someone who realy doesn’t care who wins football internationals), I say let’s stop funding the ungrateful, surly celtic socialism. Let them make their own beds and lie in them. Time to ditch unionism for those who do not want it.

    As to the census, the form is about ensuring compliance; just as the army does drill to ensure obedience, the government does forms so you get used to intrusive nonsense and the need to justify yourself.

    • Javelin
      Posted March 28, 2011 at 9:11 am | Permalink

      Agree, if you can dump your liabilities why not?

    • APL
      Posted March 28, 2011 at 12:45 pm | Permalink

      Stuart Fairney: “As to the census, the form is about ensuring compliance ..”

      My wife intercepted the form and filled it herself.

      Ditto she always pays the Television theft demand.

      It’s very annoying.

      • Mike Stallard
        Posted March 28, 2011 at 5:27 pm | Permalink

        Do you know what? My wife did exactly the same!
        And there was me all ready to go to prison!

    • rose
      Posted March 28, 2011 at 4:49 pm | Permalink

      Isn’t it for the future billeting officers’ information?

    • Valeman
      Posted March 30, 2011 at 1:22 am | Permalink

      Your understanding of Scotland, the SNP, their aims, and the allegiance you give to the country that spawned you are indicative of what can best be described as the cringe factor, be it Welsh or Scottish!
      That you live in England is surely a blessing to Wales as a mindset like yours will not be missed, the simple fact that you can espouse an anglocentric view on a website run by a politician who was once a member of the most damaging party ever to wield influence over both Wales and Scotland speaks volumes about you and him.
      He, an Englishman who was once secretary for Wales , who sat in a cabinet that once ran roughshod over the countries he now rails against simply because they have a certain degree of autonomy!
      You a Welshman who has no concept of allegiance other than to the country that has subjected your own to an existence of subjugation and penury.
      If I were a Welshman I would surely be ashamed to call you kin, as a Celt I most certainly do!

      Reply: I remember working to improve public services in Wales and to assist in ways government can to attract investors and jobs to Wales. The rhetoric is over the top.

      • Valeman
        Posted March 30, 2011 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

        I remember differently, you worked in a government that in Scotland at least had no mandate from the people. How much of a voice did we have during your party’s term in office? Or during the preceeding 272 years for that matter!
        Yet after little more than a decade of not being in full control of the “union” we now have the English whinging endlessly about the iniquities of devolution, imagined subsidies, and the endless Barnett lie.
        You and your people have very short memories!
        The rhetoric to you may be over the top, but to me it is a product of a lifetime listening to the lies of central government and the people employed in it. It is also driven by an intense anger that surfaces when I see people talking their own country down, a condition that is peculiar to anglicised Celts which I can only imagine is from over exposure to English media such as the Torygraph, Daily Wail and the EBC et al, paragons of such journalistic integrity they must surely be the envy of the world.

  5. Duyfken
    Posted March 28, 2011 at 7:44 am | Permalink

    Why did you not tick both boxes – “English” and “British”?

    • Stephen Gash
      Posted March 28, 2011 at 6:08 pm | Permalink

      I didn’t tick “British” because I regard myself as English not British. This attitude has resulted from being told all of my (almost) 58 years that the English are to blame for all the world’s ills, that the English do not exist (by a Welsh minister of state, for example), that Scots made a “disproportionate contribution” to theUnion and that they ran everything in the UK. We hear less of that sort of thing now since Brown’s shambolic chancellorship and Blair’s equally shambolic premiership, together with Scottish bankers busting our economy, dragged our economy down to near bankruptcy.

      John referred to the balkanisation of England in his article. England was to be dismantled and erased for the sake of the UK. History shows time and time again, that when a nation’s identity is under attack, then those whose nation is being attacked fight back. The first thing they do is assert their identity.

      • Chris Wilkinson
        Posted March 29, 2011 at 9:12 pm | Permalink

        Briliant comment and I totally agree. I always put english on forms, I’m not british and have never considered myself that ( and never will).

        We english get critised by our neighbours but they don’t mind taking english taxes or living and working in england, funny that!

  6. Simon
    Posted March 28, 2011 at 8:02 am | Permalink

    Over recent years I’ve been impressed with how smoothly the information systems with public user-interfaces of some Govt departments run – Revenue and Customs self assessment for example .

    The passport service has really got it’s act together too .

    I filled my census in online but felt a sense of disappointment because I know the ONS can do a lot better .

    The best word I can think of to sum up the census form is drivell .

    Would not even have received good marks if submitted as homework for an O’level statistics assignment .

    • APL
      Posted March 28, 2011 at 12:53 pm | Permalink

      Simon: “The passport service has really got it’s act together too .”

      At seventy seven pounds and fifty pence each bloody time I should damn well hope so.

  7. Bill (Scotland)
    Posted March 28, 2011 at 8:04 am | Permalink

    A generally balanced viewpoint. As a Scot I think I would still have ticked the ‘British’ box (no, correct that, I would definitely have done so), but in my case it is moot because as I am out of the UK, just as I am every year for around three months at this time, I have not been able to complete the form at all. So although I am at my Scottish home for 8 or so months of the year, for census purposes I do not exist – unfortunately I still have to pay my taxes and all the other levies required of me and as you write the ‘authorities’ already know a great deal too much about me with all the other elements of data collection it has available.

  8. CDR
    Posted March 28, 2011 at 8:05 am | Permalink

    I didnt open our census form until Census Day itself. In this household two of us have decided to be bloody-minded and request individual forms; just to hold things up a bit. When they arrive, we will also be putting “England” as nationality, to make a point, just as you have. I suppose we should be grateful that the census designers were actually allowed to use the word “England” at all.

  9. Peter van Leeuwen
    Posted March 28, 2011 at 8:09 am | Permalink

    Intriging issue, so I had an foreigner’s internet look at your 2011 census. To be fair Mr Redwood, you didn’t have to chose but could have ticked more than one box, just like someone from Cornwall might have added being “Cornish” to being British.
    Aren’t the census organisers fortunate that “European” is not yet an offered choice. It might have led to tonnes of torn-up census forms.

    • davidb
      Posted March 28, 2011 at 7:36 pm | Permalink

      I filled European in and ticked it along with Scottish and British.

      The most pointless question was the optional one on religion. What earthly or heavenly reason does the state need to know which skypixie one subscribes to or not?

  10. foundavoice
    Posted March 28, 2011 at 8:15 am | Permalink

    John, for all the reasons you raise above, I’m not filling in the census.

    However, whilst I agree that having to choose between being British and English is revealing in itself, anyone who chooses ‘England’ has played into the EU’s / Scotland’s / Wales’ / Labour’s hands.

    Thanks.
    FAV

    • Euan
      Posted March 28, 2011 at 8:34 am | Permalink

      Good man, if only more were brave enough.

    • waramess
      Posted March 28, 2011 at 10:55 am | Permalink

      Well said but remember, they are at least as barmy as you; they will impose upon you a criminal record and a fine of £1,000 and if you don’t pay they will lock you up with a bunch of hooligans and if you show no remorse they will never release you.

      As for me? They will need first to come looking.

      • zorro
        Posted March 28, 2011 at 5:51 pm | Permalink

        There were a minimal number of prosecutions after the last census and a very large number of household that didn’t reply. One could have endless fun with this one, before eventually filling it in incorrectly….

        zorro

    • Wyrdtimes
      Posted March 28, 2011 at 6:34 pm | Permalink

      “anyone who chooses ‘England’ has played into the EU’s / Scotland’s / Wales’ / Labour’s hands.”

      You are mistaken here.

      There is no England in the EU or Labour (or indeed Conservative) plans for the future. Our England is to be balkanised into regions.

      Identifying as English doesn’t play into their hands – quite the opposite. To identify as English and to demand recognition and representation for England damages the EU.

      It’s also quite clear that the UK parliament will never give us a vote on the EU. An English parliament working in the interests of England will.

      English taxes for England,
      English law for England,
      Home rule for England.

      • foundavoice
        Posted March 31, 2011 at 7:44 am | Permalink

        Wrydtimes – that was my point: to distinguish oneself as English plays in to the hands of the Nationalists of the EU, Scotland and Wales, who seek to marginalise England and destroy the Union (the real one, not the EU).

        I am a Unionist and a localist. The closer the power is to the people and the less laws and bureaucracy, the more accountable and the more dynamic and the more just it will be.

        • Jeremy Poynton
          Posted March 31, 2011 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

          I am no longer a Unionist on account of the disproportionate power that Labour in Scotland in Wales hold over us here in England. Exempla gratia – were it not for 41 MPs from a country that already has its own parliament, the Tories were denied an outright majority.

          Sadly, given the past 12 months, I foresee a total fudge on the West Lothian question which will still leave us at the mercy of the Scots and the Welsh.

  11. lojolondon
    Posted March 28, 2011 at 8:25 am | Permalink

    Touche, John – bang on the nail!

    Just one question – what are the Tories going to do about it? There are lots of actions that would not cost anything, in fact would reduce government spending. Surely we could quickly reduce the government spend per head in all territories and produce huge savings as well as a fairer system.

    • APL
      Posted March 28, 2011 at 1:00 pm | Permalink

      lojolondon: “Just one question – what are the Tories going to do about it?”

      Same as the Tories propose to do about anything else. Sweet FA!

      They are not worth voting for.

  12. Helen
    Posted March 28, 2011 at 8:27 am | Permalink

    Not long ago, you were not allowed say English at all. The choices were Irish, Scottish, Welsh, British.

    When that nasty Welshman, Prescott was questioned about this, the reply was, “there is no such nationality as English.” I kid you not.

    Thousands of people had to complain and campaign to have the right to call themselves English. So that is the box I ticked and never again will I call myself British. Not ever.

    I even correct people who use the word and make sure they know what the “British” are doing to them and their families, via the Barnett Formula and Celtic voting fringes [top up fees, prescription charges, etc].

    I also crossed out British on voting forms. They now send me them with English typed in. A small, but priceless victory for English identity.

    • brian kelly
      Posted March 28, 2011 at 5:36 pm | Permalink

      I remember that buffoon Prescott saying the phrase you quote. I cannot describe the contempt i feel for that man.

    • sjb
      Posted March 28, 2011 at 9:24 pm | Permalink

      I think you may be referring to Prescott’s letter of 11 October 2002, which was drafted by a civil servant. The relevant section is as follows: “[…] I assume you are referring to the [2001] Census form that has no facility for stating English nationality. This is because there is no such nationality as English as laid down by various acts of Parliament and accession [emphasis added].”

      Helen, don’t forget to mention what the “British” are doing to the English vis-a-vis North Sea Oil.

  13. Euan
    Posted March 28, 2011 at 8:28 am | Permalink

    Many good results from Scotland leaving the union. Less Labour voters so end of Labour and never have another Gordon Brown, less spending on public sector so less tax, less pandering to the “Braveheart” mentality, lots of construction jobs rebuilding Hadrian’s Wall, the list is endless.

    • davidb
      Posted March 28, 2011 at 7:41 pm | Permalink

      Hadrians wall is far enough inside modern Englands borders to keep the two nations at war for ever. But if you are willing to cede Berwick and those parts of Cumbria and Northumberland which would thus be in Scotland I can only heartily commend your proposal.

  14. alan jutson
    Posted March 28, 2011 at 8:29 am | Permalink

    I wonder how many illegal immigrants will be listed on the forms to show where they live ?

    Given we have an at present unknown number of such people, (many have guessed at 500,000 or more) surely this will screw the figures for all sorts of services.

    Do not really buy the excuse that it was too late to cancell, the Government has had 10 months, unless of course like so many contracts the last government signed, all companies taking part were promised payment if it took place or not, in a similar way (as I understand) the aircraft carriers contract was drafted.

    This is not just a census for the counting and listing of people, it is far more than that, with more and more personal questions being asked every time.

    • zorro
      Posted March 28, 2011 at 5:54 pm | Permalink

      Alan,
      You can consider yourself assured that it is far, far more than that number, even at the rate which they are being granted under the amnesty programme for the last four years within the Home Office….

      zorro

  15. A.Sedgwick
    Posted March 28, 2011 at 8:38 am | Permalink

    I agree the census is a duplication, triplication……… of already held information. £300 million is the quoted cost, another example of how business and government differ in their approach. The former would instantly recogise this as an unnecessary cost, the latter with the bureaucratic mindset says lets show the plebs we are in charge.

    • John C
      Posted March 28, 2011 at 5:55 pm | Permalink

      “the latter with the bureaucratic mindset says lets show the plebs we are in charge”

      Also, as Labour point out, it “keeps the economy going” by borrowing money to employ people today. Their wages effectively being paid by future generations.

  16. Eric Arthur Blair
    Posted March 28, 2011 at 8:43 am | Permalink

    I think you have your finger on many pulses there, John.

    Only one place we disagree.

    And with that in mind, will you come visit me in Pentonville, complete with cake and a steel file? I’m not filling the damned thing in.

  17. Nick
    Posted March 28, 2011 at 8:53 am | Permalink

    I intend protesting.

    (Detail of how protest might be done left out-ed)We also have the blatant lies about secrecy.

    However, Section 39(4) then states that the disclosure prohibition in section 39(1) “does not apply to a disclosure which” (take a deep breath):

    “(a) is required or permitted by any enactment,

    (b) is required by a Community obligation,

    (c) is necessary for the purpose of enabling or assisting the Board to exercise any of its functions,

    (d) has already lawfully been made available to the public,

    (e) is made in pursuance of an order of a court,

    (f) is made for the purposes of a criminal investigation or criminal proceedings (whether or not in the United Kingdom),

    (g) is made, in the interests of national security, to an Intelligence Service,

    (h) is made with the consent of the person to whom it relates, or

    (i) is made to an approved researcher”.

    About as secure as a HMRC and their leaking of tax details.

    The real reason for it is the same as all reasons. Governments wanting to tax more.

    With fewer people registered, they either have to decide to tax the fewer more, or to plan to spend less.

    Not being on the census means lower taxation and lower spending.

  18. GrumpyBearz
    Posted March 28, 2011 at 8:58 am | Permalink

    John Redwood highlights the inate problem of manufactured nationality.

    The Scottish wherever they live in the world know they are Scottish by birth and inclination but the English have been brainwashed to believe that being ‘British’ rather than English was ‘for the greater good’ … well, they can put that concept where the Sun does not shine.

    I am English and proud of it as I was born in England. I can trace my family history back to pre-Industrial Revolution times and probably further if I wanted to visit graveyards and rub gravestones but that seems somewhat bizarre and unnecessary.

    Britain can have as many British citizens as it likes but England is the home nation of the English and English nationality is as distinct an identityas the Scottish, Welsh or Irish and no amount of ‘political correctness’, printed passport or state-sponsored propaganda can ever alter that fact!

    The next thing you know they will be issuing us with European Passports and telling us that we are all now ‘Europeans’.

    Please tell me that is not so already?

    • John C
      Posted March 28, 2011 at 5:59 pm | Permalink

      The current passport is half way there.

      The first two words on the front cover are “EUROPEAN UNION”.

    • zorro
      Posted March 28, 2011 at 6:03 pm | Permalink

      I am afraid that in law you are actually a European citizen now…yes really…..http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/European_Union_citizen……..you can blame Major for that one, nearly 20 years ago….Read it and weep.

      zorro

    • Jeremy Poynton
      Posted March 31, 2011 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

      Thanks for reminding me to chase up me Irish passport. Whilst they may be even more economically stuffed than we are, at least you do not have the government there prying into your every orifice. We shall be moving there if Labour get in again. Before, probably, if the result looks a foregone conclusion.

  19. John Ward
    Posted March 28, 2011 at 9:19 am | Permalink

    The desire to know stuff about property owned, where and for how long I suspect tells us all we need to know about the original motive for the Census: how to work out the folks to fleece when the next wave of meltdown comes along.

  20. backofanenvelope
    Posted March 28, 2011 at 9:35 am | Permalink

    I used to think I was British but when the government decided to give British passports to almost anyone who asked – I decided I was English. In the same way, my Cornish wife used to think she was English but is now Cornish.

  21. lifelogic
    Posted March 28, 2011 at 9:48 am | Permalink

    Maths tells us the sampling 1 in say 10000 houses at random will tell them with great accuracy all they need to know and cost them 1/10000 of the money.

    Perhaps they do not employ and maths people in the statistics department!

    The questions are political, nonsense, and offensive and it wastes hours of peoples time. In not taking 50% of their earnings enough without wasting their time too.

  22. Paul H
    Posted March 28, 2011 at 9:53 am | Permalink

    The thing that most irritates me is the requirement for a friend and his large family (hence requiring an additional form) to disclose the fact that he was staying with his parents overnight. I also know of someone with 50 friends bedding down overnight after a party! In terms of planning and government requirements I can use no justification whatsoever for this particular piece of intrusion into their privacy, even for the most zealous of social engineers, and have advised my friend to ignore the fact. And that surely is the problem – if you ask too many pointless questions you end up reducing the accuracy of answers people give due to boredom, frustration or sheer bloody-mindedness, including for questions that might be of some real value.
    As for the other points you raise, any idea when your lot are going to sort out the “West Lothian Question” and the other absurdities and unfairnesses? They are in charge now, after all.

  23. Neil
    Posted March 28, 2011 at 10:06 am | Permalink

    You probably should have just read the form properly, it would have stopped you from getting disproportionately furious, ranting about something that was entirely your fault and making yourself look quite foolish.

  24. Boudicca
    Posted March 28, 2011 at 10:06 am | Permalink

    I did likewise and ticked English, and for the same reasons as you. I resent the power the devolved parts of the UK now have over the English, but not as much as I hate the EU.

    I have completed my census form because, by law, I am required to do so. But unfortunately, I seem to have made some mistakes. Whoops; nevermind.

  25. startledcod
    Posted March 28, 2011 at 10:19 am | Permalink

    Having commuted to work in Scotland for 14 years I became very accustomed to the constant anti-Unglish moans. I have been entering England and English on everything that requires it for some time now.

    Being English is like being the successful elder brother in a fractious family with resentful, less successful, younger siblings. Over time it matters less and less that your (Scottish) brother’s most successful time was when you played on the same rugby team, you have to turn your back on him and stop providing him with a constant financial ‘hlping hand’ for the sake of your own family.

    • Stuart Fairney
      Posted March 28, 2011 at 10:17 pm | Permalink

      The Scots have never forgiven you for Culloden whereas the smarter Welsh realised by 1284 that fighting a richer, larger neighbour was pointless, hence the Statute of Rhuddlan. Only 500 or so years ahead of the Scots!!

    • Chris Wilkinson
      Posted March 29, 2011 at 9:30 pm | Permalink

      Well said!

  26. zorro
    Posted March 28, 2011 at 10:39 am | Permalink

    John,
    Your sentiments and experience are completely similar to mine. The questions are impertinent and repetitive and the answers are already known. People treat it as a joke, and I’m sure that the the answers are far from accurate and millions do not complete it anyway. The threat of prosecution is minuscule and would make the government a laughing stock. The Beast already has the data but is incompetent in using or extrapolating it.
    The farmer needs to count the sheep so he knows when and how best to shear them. The main people salivating over this have been the councils because if they can count more people they get more money to waste or spend on grossly inflated CEO salaries…..Oh no sorry they use it to plan effectively for the future…..oh please……
    As for me, I shall complete it as my great grandfather would have completed it….with the minimum of information. Let’s see if they waste time sending someone round. As for the government saying it was too late to cancel, it hasn’t stopped them wasting money already spent in cancelling other contracts.
    Last point……what use will this inaccurate data be?….Tesco completed a survey on population data based on what we eat and excrete compared to other similar countries. Do you know what the answer was?……..77 million…….says it all really.

    Zorro

    • Dr Bernard Juby
      Posted March 28, 2011 at 4:18 pm | Permalink

      According to Arthur Dent it should have been “42”!

  27. English Pensioner
    Posted March 28, 2011 at 11:21 am | Permalink

    The government is cutting (so we are told) public services, and yet they can afford an army of 30,000 enforcers to chase up non-returns, together with a hundred more with “police powers” to question people under caution. If I refused to answer the questions on my form, what questions would they want to ask me under caution that I am likely to answer? Will they go to the “sink estates” where the police won’t go without backup and body armour? Will they go to the ethnic enclaves and question people there under caution? I doubt it.
    The whole attitude of the census gestapo is illustrated by the specified fine:
    1. Failure to complete a bureaucratic form – Fine £1000
    Compare that with:
    2. Committing public order offence by burning the Union Flag & shouting slogans on Armistice Day and offending millions – Fine £50

    The most stupid question – “How is your health”
    Compared with who or what? For my age, I’m probably in very good health, but compared with how I was when 25, I’m in quite poor health. Which should I have picked?
    And of course, the most important, but unasked question – “Do you want Britain to remain in the EU?”

    All in all, a total waste of time and money.

  28. Cliff.
    Posted March 28, 2011 at 11:29 am | Permalink

    John,

    I agree with everything you say above however, the thing that really makes my blood boil is the fact that the confidential data is being processed in the USA by a foreign company; I wonder why we don’t have British IT companies that could handle the job or could it be that Labour prefers to send our work overseas?

  29. Doppelganger
    Posted March 28, 2011 at 11:35 am | Permalink

    I too used to be proud to be British and English. I noticed however as I was growing up the left never seemed to waste an opportunity to slag Britain off. And then their Gramscian attack seemd to turn on the English. For these and associated reasons I no longer consider myself British as I once did, but but do consider myself far more English than before.

  30. acorn
    Posted March 28, 2011 at 11:37 am | Permalink

    I ticked just the English box. Why does this post remind me of UDI and Rhodesia 1965?

    Census question. “Visitors”; if such persons are comatose showing little signs of life and sprawled at various angles over various pieces of furniture, floors etc etc; do they count as “visitors” under the terms and conditions of the census?

  31. FaustiesBlog
    Posted March 28, 2011 at 11:52 am | Permalink

    I’ll wait for a reminder to two before filling in my census form. Anyone who pays a visit for the purpose of bullying me into completing it, will have a hard time finding me in.

    Should I decide to fill it in, at some point, it will be largely illegible and will contain some ink blots and coffee stains – probably on the bar code and other strategic areas, such as the signature box. Where I can obfuscate, I will.

    I will certainly not post it online and make Lockheed Martin’s job any easier.

    Sod the lot of them. The government should be ashamed of itself, but it won’t be. When it suggested that this might be the last census, many breathed a sigh of relief. What the government didn’t tell us, was that the next census will emanate from the EU. Lies, omissions and deception.

  32. Johnny Norfolk
    Posted March 28, 2011 at 11:54 am | Permalink

    The dissapointment to me is the Tories, Where are they, but as I suspect its all a stitch up by the political elite. No matter what you vote nothing changes. The state rolls on taking more and more away from the individual. I voted Labour in my first election but quickly learned the error of my ways. I have voted Tory ever since. But I will vote UKIP next if nothing changes and we just sink further into the EU mire.

    • Mike Stallard
      Posted March 28, 2011 at 5:29 pm | Permalink

      Bingo!

    • Jeremy Poynton
      Posted March 31, 2011 at 12:39 pm | Permalink

      Aye. Certainly I will never vote again for any party that does not at least offer us a referendum on the EU. Mind you … offering is one thing. Brown should be strung up.

  33. Martin
    Posted March 28, 2011 at 12:12 pm | Permalink

    Might I suggest some answers to the race/nationality questions :-

    “Angle” “Saxon” “Jute” “Pict” “Gael” “Viking” “Roman” and of course for the aristocracy “Norman”.

  34. lifelogic
    Posted March 28, 2011 at 12:14 pm | Permalink

    Just had to call the Census line as no form received and web site cannot order one in my particular case cannot email them either so call left on hold eventually hung up!
    With even more determination to pay my taxes elsewhere in future.

  35. Michael McGrath
    Posted March 28, 2011 at 12:53 pm | Permalink

    “The government said it was too late to cancel”

    Why?

    The money spent to date is gone…so forget it

    The money as yet unspent can be saved…this is the real meaning of reducing the deficit. The Chancellor must ask the fundamental question “Is it essential?”

    If not JUST DON’T DO IT!!

    • lifelogic
      Posted March 28, 2011 at 7:52 pm | Permalink

      Of course it was not too late to cancel I assume it was too late to cancel the costly – you cannot retire anyone laws too!

  36. zorro
    Posted March 28, 2011 at 12:56 pm | Permalink

    John,
    I’ve found something that will really tip you over the edge……Mr Posen of the Monetary Policy Committee is giving us the benefit of his wisdom in the Guardian Business section (link to follow later)….His recipe is more ZIRP and more QE. I won’t spoil your fun but some of his quotes are absolutely priceless….I can give him a few suggestions on what to do if his world view fails….I should state that Mr Posen is an American.

    Zorro

    • zorro
      Posted March 28, 2011 at 6:16 pm | Permalink
    • Stuart Fairney
      Posted March 28, 2011 at 10:30 pm | Permalink

      Hilarious quote from your link

      “He said so-called “core inflation”, which strips out the effects of fuel, food costs and taxes such as VAT, did not suggest that the economy was overheating”

      Lucky I don’t eat, power the house/car or pay taxes of any kind and therefore do not suffer from inflation!! Another one…

      “Posen added that the real debate inside the MPC was whether the increase in inflation to 4.4% would lead to consumers and businesses believing that there had been a permanent upward shift, and thus have knock-on effects on wages and prices”

      So apparently, it’s not fundamentals, it’s all about what we believe, ha ha ha ha…..

      Thanks for a brilliant link, so funny until you realise this bloke seems to have some sway with ‘policy’ makers.

      Can’t we have Peter Schiff instead?

      Incidentally, contrary to the brainstrust that the Guardian is proffering, anyone care to wager that even official inflation tops 10% before Mr Cameron leaves office (and I think, way, way, way more)?

      • Jeremy Poynton
        Posted March 31, 2011 at 12:42 pm | Permalink

        Core inflation is way over 10% for us proles.

        Witness.
        Filled the van up in December – £100.
        Filled the van up again the other day – £110.

        So – petrol inflation is 10%. Energy inflation must be way above that, and food maybe a bit less. So, for those who can only afford the bare necessities, we are suffering inflation at around 10%.

        Thanks Gordon you miserable idiot.

        • Jeremy Poynton
          Posted March 31, 2011 at 12:42 pm | Permalink

          Doh. 10% in 3 months. Annual inflation, 40%.

  37. Peter Richmond
    Posted March 28, 2011 at 1:15 pm | Permalink

    My thoughts precisely and exactly why I ticked ‘english’ too!

  38. Andrew Shakespeare
    Posted March 28, 2011 at 2:02 pm | Permalink

    While they’re abolishing the census, why don’t they, for the same reason, abolish birth registrations? When we registered my daughter’s birth in December, the clerk simply handed over the form, with all the information already filled in, and asked me to sign it.

    I asked why it was necessary to come in at all if they already knew everything they needed to. She replied, “Well, we have to make sure everything’s correct,” which sunds like a pretty silly reason to squander the public’s time and money. Why not just make sure that the information is correct when it’s collected in the first place?

    • foundavoice
      Posted March 31, 2011 at 8:19 am | Permalink

      Andrew, do you really trust the state to get your details correct? Do you really want to hand over power of naming of the legal fiction of your child to a third party with whom you have no relationship.

      Beware of the law of unintended consequences…

      • Jeremy Poynton
        Posted March 31, 2011 at 12:43 pm | Permalink

        Précis

        Andrew, do you really trust the state?

  39. forthurst
    Posted March 28, 2011 at 2:21 pm | Permalink

    I would suggest that those who constructed this Census form were rather more conversant with Cultural Marxism than Ethnology and had a desire to pander to certain groups who do not wish to be explicitly identified and counted, although we are continually told how important they are.

    What is the point of a voluntary question about anything? This is a Census.

    How on Earth can ‘Irish traveller’ be construed as an ethnic group? How can someone who is neither English, Welsh, Scottish or Northern Irish and who is not Southern Irish also be described as belonging to an ethnic group called British? In point of fact the latest DNA analysis conducted by Professor Stephen Oppenheimer suggests that the British are the only identifiable indigenous ethnic group in the British Isles, the other divisions are political. (see Prospect Magazine Issue 127, “Myths of British ancestry”).

    This Census does not reveal, on behalf of exactly how many, we recently attacked Iraq. This form will not assist the government in determining whether the BBC employs enough homosexuals or those who are transgendered,(etc)

  40. REPay
    Posted March 28, 2011 at 2:25 pm | Permalink

    I always assumed that devolution was a way of entrenching Labour in power in part of the UK. The Westlothian question has to be settled at some point…is this part of the Clegg reform program?

    • Stuart Fairney
      Posted March 28, 2011 at 10:32 pm | Permalink

      It would hurt the Lib Dems.

      So….

      No.

  41. Electro-Kevin
    Posted March 28, 2011 at 3:01 pm | Permalink

    Agreed on all you say, Mr Redwood.

    Would the Americans allow a British company to collect such intrusive information from them ?

    • John C
      Posted March 28, 2011 at 6:09 pm | Permalink

      No they wouldn’t

      That is the major difference between the UK and the USA.

      Our elite seem to truly believe in globalisation. We allow any Tom, Dick or Harry to come here and buy our companies. Rupert Murdoch had to become a US citizen before he could expand his empire there.

      In many respects, the USA are really protectionist in nature.

  42. Palepete
    Posted March 28, 2011 at 3:28 pm | Permalink

    Same feeling – but I ticked British. And “Human Being” for ethnic identity – whatever the latter is. The English are proud to be British, and are the most tolerant people on earth. But the Welsh, Irish and Scots now curiously deny their joint role with us in building our magnificent empire, which took the rule of law, and the English language to the four corners of the globe. I refuse to be Balkanised. When I an English born boy was educated (very well) in Scotland from 1947 to 1965, only nutters were nationalists. How easily are we corrupted by nonsense!

  43. Edward.
    Posted March 28, 2011 at 3:54 pm | Permalink

    English.

  44. Dr Bernard Juby
    Posted March 28, 2011 at 4:06 pm | Permalink

    Well said. Solve the Midlothian Question once and for all by keeping Westminster for the English and let us run our own country without let or hindrance! With French TV totally backing the celts every time they played the English in the Six Nations why shouldn’t we. They made their bed – let ’em get on with it.
    The Census is rubbish now. Last time around I stated that I was a Jedi Knight!
    Same applies to businesses – as long as you put something down it doesn’t matter whether it is accurate or not. This totally skews the figures but stops you from being prosecuted for not filling in the form.

  45. James Matthews
    Posted March 28, 2011 at 4:15 pm | Permalink

    Welcome to the club John. Another few years and you will be joining the Campaign fo an English Parliament.

  46. Anne Palmer
    Posted March 28, 2011 at 5:22 pm | Permalink

    This time, the 2011 Census was very different, for the information we give is going to be shared, guess who with? The European Union. This information is in the “Official Journal of the European Union” 13.8.2008 page L 218/14. No wonder there are far more intrusive questions to answer and now we know why. How dare our British Government accept this? This was passed by the EU in 2008 for goodness sake, but why were Labour and now the LibDemCon’s afraid to tell the people of this Country that it is not exactly purely a National Census form? What are they afraid of?

    All of you that put English, Welsh or Scottish etc are you wrong? Surely you are all EU Citizens and even the Queen is, so Sir John Major told us, was an EU Citizen after they signed Maastricht. So, will the forms come bouncing back to you all? Ah no, because our Government forgot ‘European’ on the paper. Tut! tut!

    See how easy it is to make a mistake?

  47. brian kelly
    Posted March 28, 2011 at 5:29 pm | Permalink

    John Redwood, I agree with you bit it took me much less time to put tick ‘English’. I resent very much this collecting of unnecessary data about us all and was very tempted to tick ‘wrong’ boxes just to say ‘confusion to you all’. However, the ‘threats’ made me do my duty – such as the state made cowards of us all.

  48. Mike Stallard
    Posted March 28, 2011 at 5:33 pm | Permalink

    We are starting a new school here in wisbech and part of me wants to embrace the european aspect with Swedish Proposer, International Universities, immigrants all welcome with their several languages and customs – a sort of European International School. My grandson is going to one liek that here in Saudi and he patiently explained to me that ‘in sh’Allah’ and ‘waAllah’ are quite diffferent. He has just been on a tour of Oman for his DofE too.

    Then I remember Marta Andreasen, Dan Hannan and what they said about the EU. I also remember how, once, we were as dignified in adversity as the Japanese are today.

  49. i albion
    Posted March 28, 2011 at 5:43 pm | Permalink

    Good on you Mr. Redwood! now have a word in Camerons ear. The English want a Parliament, the one he is residing over is a “British” establishment.

  50. Stephen Gash
    Posted March 28, 2011 at 5:48 pm | Permalink

    One slight disagreement with you, John. I actually like the census. It has proved to be a useful tool for people researching their ancestry and also for historians. Not everything is about what the government wants, it is also about what the people want. I’m afraid I do not trust politicians anymore, when it comes to releasing information. They are good at losing it, but I’m afraid the usual manipulation comes into play when they want us to know something, or more importantly, not to know.

    However, the rest of what you say I broadly agree with. At last, a politician with a seat in England questioning why it is that England is compelled to have less spent per capita than other nations of the UK.

    Why can’t a cross bench committee be set up to look at offering a referendum on an Engish Parliament? The Welsh have had three referenda on their assembly, yet we have not yet had one, as a nation (importantly). Secondly, can the process looking at the West Lothian Question be speeded up? Some of us are fed up with the obfuscation.

    I don’t know why the Scottish census permitted “Black Scottish” etc ethnicities, but the English version allowed only “Black British” (yes with the choice of English nationality). Baroness Warsi and others moan about how the English identity is “not inclusive”. Well that is less to do with us English who have been banging on for years about English being inclusive, than the politically correct fiends pushing Britishness down the throats of those born in England, though not in Scotland, Wales and N. Ireland. They can be as Scottish, Welsh and irish as they like.

    You are right about Labour stoking up tensions, but devolution is here now, so many of us would like to here the words “English” and “England” spoken more times in the House of Commons, seeing as that is the chamber deciding domestic matters for England only.

  51. Anoneumouse
    Posted March 28, 2011 at 6:03 pm | Permalink

    Mr Redwood are you aware that Lockheed Martin being a US-based companies they are subject to the Patriot Act, which allows the US government to have access to any data in the company’s possession. In other words, the US government will have legal access to detailed and highly personal data on the UK’s entire population.

    • zorro
      Posted March 28, 2011 at 8:16 pm | Permalink

      Yes indeedy…very handy for undertaking research into some of our more recently acquired British citizens…..The USA has been concerned for some time about the people to whom we grant citizenship. They can use a nice data mining tool to gain access to a treasure trove of information….allegedly

      zorro

  52. Stephen Gash
    Posted March 28, 2011 at 6:10 pm | Permalink

    I’ll say one thing. If this census reveals that “White English” comprise a minority group, it gives that minority considerable rights under international law. Expect them to assert those rights.

    • zorro
      Posted March 28, 2011 at 8:17 pm | Permalink

      If the census gave a true indication of the ‘diversity’ of the UK, I think that people would be truly shocked….

      zorro

  53. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted March 28, 2011 at 7:09 pm | Permalink

    I have a slightly different problem. I am Glasgow born but left Scotland when I was 4 years old; I am now 64. Whenever Scotland play England at sport I support Scotland but the fervour has diminished every single year; it is now at vanishing point. “British” it is and will always be.

    If someone were to destroy the Holyrood Parliament overnight I would shed not a single tear. England could unilaterally reduce the Scottish public expenditure premium from 17% to a more reasonable 5%. Why don’t you do it? That would wipe the smug, self satisfied smile off Alex Salmond’s face.

  54. Stephen Gash
    Posted March 28, 2011 at 7:09 pm | Permalink

    OK John I have split my long post into two

    One slight disagreement with you, John. I actually like the census. It has proved to be a useful tool for people researching their ancestry and also for historians. Not everything is about what the government wants, it is also about what the people want. I’m afraid I do not trust politicians anymore, when it comes to releasing information. They are good at losing it, but I’m afraid the usual manipulation comes into play when they want us to know something, or more importantly, not to know.

    I don’t know why the Scottish census permitted “Black Scottish” etc ethnicities, but the English version allowed only “Black British” (yes with the choice of English nationality). Baroness Warsi and others moan about how the English identity is “not inclusive”. Well that is less to do with us English who have been banging on for years about English being inclusive, than the politically correct fiends pushing Britishness down the throats of those born in England, though not in Scotland, Wales and N. Ireland. They can be as Scottish, Welsh and irish as they like.

    You are right about Labour stoking up tensions, but devolution is here now, so many of us would like to here the words “English” and “England” spoken more times in the House of Commons, seeing as that is the chamber deciding domestic matters for England only.

  55. Stephen Gash
    Posted March 28, 2011 at 7:10 pm | Permalink

    At last, a politician with a seat in England questioning why it is that England is compelled to have less spent per capita than other nations of the UK.

    Why can’t a cross bench committee be set up to look at offering a referendum on an Engish Parliament? The Welsh have had three referenda on their assembly, yet we have not yet had one, as a nation (importantly). Secondly, can the process looking at the West Lothian Question be speeded up? Some of us are fed up with the obfuscation.

    • Jeremy Poynton
      Posted March 30, 2011 at 9:32 pm | Permalink

      Similarly, the withdrawal of Public Sector ads from the Guardian, as was promised. Why has this not happened? It’s not as if it has to go before the House, is it?

  56. wonkotsane
    Posted March 28, 2011 at 7:41 pm | Permalink

    I was also forced by Mrs Sane to complete the census. I carefully read the introduction on the front of the form that said I must participate, I mustn’t provide false information and I should write in capitals with a black or blue pen and one letter in each box. Should doesn’t mean must so I declined the suggestion and scrawled my answers across the boxes. I looked for a red pen but couldn’t find one. I answered every question although some of my answers didn’t fit in the boxes – a tick box isn’t big enough to write “Ask the Land Registry” or “Ask HMRC”. I also listed my children by the names they’re usually known as at home and school rather than the names on their birth certificates. It doesn’t say on the form that you have to give their full names from their birth certificates – it’s only a small amount of privacy. On the marital status I wrote child as there isn’t an option for that. I answered the questions they wouldn’t know the answer to already and reminded them where they could get the answers that they already had. Nothing I did contradicted the instructions on the front of the form.

  57. Home Rule for Englan
    Posted March 28, 2011 at 7:49 pm | Permalink

    Any chance you mighty sign EDM 1618 John or even better introduce a private members bill to set up an English Parliament?

  58. Susan
    Posted March 28, 2011 at 7:49 pm | Permalink

    I lived in Scotland for a while, and after this experience, I would never call myself British again. The anti English message which is ever present in both its people and the Government, was evident in every aspect of my life while living there. It was blatantly obvious, in everyday life, that more money is provided to Scotland for the welfare of its people than in England. When is this unfair situation going to be resolved, when are the English going to be able to decide their own destiny by having a Parliament of their own? Also, when will England get the political party it votes for, actually in power?

    The people of the devolved Governments should be given the choice; either in or out of the Union. If they want to remain part of the Union, then all the layers of Government which devolution has caused should be cut, which is costing so much money. This would indeed, help to eliminate the UK debt much quicker at this time of need.

    I have lost faith in the Conservative Party as the only people that are actually suffering in this financial crisis are those who have worked hard and saved for their future. Those who spent beyond their means and have not saved, are now the very ones who have been protected by this Coalition. The Conservatives need a new leader and to cut the Lib/Dems loose before it is too late and life long Conservatives such as myself vote for another Party.

    • Peter Holttum
      Posted March 30, 2011 at 11:28 am | Permalink

      I have some sympathy with Susan, having been educated in Scotland from 1947 to 1965, before nationalsim was made uber fashionable. This nationalism was helped by Mr Heath and all later leaders of the conservative party who feared the underlying hostility to English people mainly centred in the working class. Conservatives have got their own reward – wiped out in Scotland by a tsunami of anti English sentiment. Mr Cameron was and is hopeless at fighting new labour propoganda. How different in Australia – where under Abbot nationally the liberals continued the fight and have wiped out the NSW labour party in Saturdays election. And this under A/V!

    • brian kelly
      Posted March 30, 2011 at 7:00 pm | Permalink

      Well, I agree with you Susan. I think it was a disgrace in the first place to grant devolution to Wales and Scotland based on a simple majority of the votes cast – an abrogation of duty – it gave the advantage to the activists. The test should have been much higher. I much admire the Scots and the wealth of talents they brought to the Union. In the armed forces I met many and was struck by – and admired – their fierce loyalties and staunch friendships. So devolution, to me, was a sad event. However, it has now happened, though, i would support an in/out referendum. If in the final analysis, they want to go their separate ways then I see no sense at all in giving them our financial support. They should stand on their own feet as we must do ourselves.

    • Jeremy Poynton
      Posted March 30, 2011 at 10:05 pm | Permalink

      What’s the rate of public sector employment in Scotland? 40%? See this article from 2006

      http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/article657700.ece

      Public spending, £1,503 per Scot above the English average

      As the Scottish National party extends its opinion poll lead over Labour the broad picture is uncontested. More than £20 billion of Treasury funds come to Scotland from Whitehall each year, providing total public spending per Scot of £8,265. Scotland’s net deficit, that is spending that benefits Scots but is not raised in Scotland, amounts to 13% of gross domestic product (GDP), more than four times the figure for the UK as a whole.

      One recent calculation estimates that just 163,000 Scottish taxpayers, from a population of 5m, make any net contribution to the British exchequer. The rest receive more than they pay out in reliefs, subsidies and benefits.

  59. Iain Gill
    Posted March 28, 2011 at 7:53 pm | Permalink

    my religion is of course jedi on that form, the only protest i am allowed

    if i had charlie watts (drummer) money id just do what he does and refuse to talk to them and let them fine me

    • Jeremy Poynton
      Posted March 30, 2011 at 10:08 pm | Permalink

      Anyone who comes to harass you for not sending the form in will be privately hired. They have no right of access to your land. Shut the door in their face. Same for the TVLA (which is Capita).

      We have no TV – we refuse to fund New Labour propaganda, so when we get the inevitable letter, I reply that we have no TV. To the next letter, “What is it about ‘We have no TV’ that you don’t understand’ and to the next, “If you believe us to be lying, please state so on paper, and we will take legal action against you”

      That shuts them up.

      Civil disobedience is the order of the day, and start with the lackeys. They don’t want trouble, so will move on if you refuse to budge.

      Reply: Yes the bombardment if you do not have a tv is unacceptable and typical of the authorities. I have had the same in London where I do not have a tv.

  60. Alex
    Posted March 28, 2011 at 7:58 pm | Permalink

    As a Scot, I ticked both Scottish and British as my nationality. I dont see a problem with that. I do think the English sensitivity to the Celtic regions is rather overwrought however and I think if anyone can remember their Samuel Johnson they will realise that prejudice has always flowed both ways. More recent examples come from Churchill, a man I admire, but who went to war for England, not Britain. Nationality is a thorny issue on all sides.

  61. Johnny Zero
    Posted March 28, 2011 at 8:34 pm | Permalink

    Under the US Patriot Act the details of over seventy million British Souls will be subject to the scrutiny of their Federal Government. Our details may well finish up on the computors of all the major US Marketing Companies for US Goods and Services. We may even be subject to US Law via this tortuous route.

  62. Richard
    Posted March 28, 2011 at 9:05 pm | Permalink

    Mr. Redwood

    Two of your parliamentary colleagues, Frank Field and Simon Hughes, support an English parliament. Is it possible for the three of you to work together towards this aim? All three of you are parliamentary heavyweights, and could be very influential in this worthy cause.

    • Richard
      Posted March 29, 2011 at 5:14 pm | Permalink

      Are we related?

  63. Kenneth
    Posted March 28, 2011 at 9:46 pm | Permalink

    I find the questions asking if I am white or black as even more divisive and childish than English/British.

    My skin happens to be a bit pink but there was nowhere on the form to state this. I have never met anybody who was white nor anybody who was black. If I did I would rush them to hospital.

    It is about time we just accepted who we were and stop being so childishly obsessed by our skin pigmentation.

    • Jeremy Poynton
      Posted March 31, 2011 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

      “We are all coloured or you would not be able to see us”

      Don Van Vliet (Captain Beefheart), RIP

  64. Jedibeeftrix
    Posted March 28, 2011 at 10:02 pm | Permalink

    ” Then I ticked the box for English. I suspect many others will do so as well. It will be a fitting curtain call on Labour’s Britain.”

    I ticked “other” and specified “British” in the space provided.

    It was not so difficult.

  65. Richard
    Posted March 28, 2011 at 10:31 pm | Permalink

    To add to my frustrations at having to fill in the census form on Sunday, I was on my way back from posting it at our soon to close village post office this morning, when I was stopped by at a Police roadblock and sent into a layby where a local Council official aided by the Highways Agency was conducting a traffic census.
    Loads more questions from a very nice man and Iwas on my way to work.

    My first telephone call when I arrived at work was from the Environmental Agency who were conducting a census on companies and their attitudes to environemental laws…….I resisted the desire to scream…..

    PS I too decided to put English

  66. John B
    Posted March 29, 2011 at 9:37 am | Permalink

    Questions I have never seen answered: perhaps Mr Redwood could oblige.

    1) What advantages – social, economic, security – are there to England being part of the United Kingdom where it is a net donor to the rest?

    2) What terrible thing(s) would befall England if it were to leave the UK or if one or all the others were to leave?

    3) Would there be any advantages to England if it were independent of the UK, and if so what?

    Theses questions may be repeated replacing UK with EU.

    Home Rule for England?

  67. Coeur de Lion
    Posted March 29, 2011 at 10:16 am | Permalink

    “When did you arrive in UK?” This to trap illegal immigrants, is it? Born in India under the Raj, I loved putting in “February 1935”!

  68. alan
    Posted March 29, 2011 at 1:17 pm | Permalink

    Where is england I live in CORNWALL and was very happy to write that as use to do my mother and father and most of the people i know LOVELY

  69. John
    Posted March 29, 2011 at 5:29 pm | Permalink

    English and nowt else.

    Havn’t been British for about 15 years.

  70. Tom Long
    Posted March 29, 2011 at 9:24 pm | Permalink

    Memo from Dave Donald McCameron to the Libyans….

    When you become a democracy you must follow the English model and allow your neighbouring countries politicians to sit in your Parliament and vote on Libyan only policies.

    England- the last British colony……………………

  71. JoolsB
    Posted March 29, 2011 at 10:28 pm | Permalink

    John,
    If you really feel this way and I suspect a lot of Tory MPs feel the same, why are you not shouting out loud and clear from the rooftops on behalf of the downtrodden people of England who have been treated with nothing but contempt since devolution and have been constantly discriminated against. Not only does England get much, much less per head than anywhere else in the UK, £9,000 tuition fees will only apply in England, EMA will only be abolished in England, hospital parking and prescription charges free everywhere else except England and to add insult to injury, they will even rise in England. The list is endless. David Cameron has even admitted the cuts will be greater in England – why? England has no voice and yet we never hear our elected MPs standing up for us and demanding that their constituents be treated fairly and given the same status as the rest of the UK, i.e. it’s own representation with no outside interference from non-English MPs making decisions which affect only England. England is crying out to be heard and yet disgracefully our MPs are afraid to even mention the word England trying to imply the whole UK is affected and that we are all in this together which clearly we are not and by doing so hoping they will not upset the so called Union. Well the Union in it’s present form is not working for England and England is slowly but surely beginning to wake up to this fact and there is growing resentment and anger that no-one is listening and in the end the Tories will be the biggest losers because it was the English who overwhelmingly voted for them last May, nowhere else.

  72. simple soul
    Posted March 29, 2011 at 10:43 pm | Permalink

    I don’t buy the argument that it was too late to cancel the census, with its enormous cost of nearly £500 million. After all, this government has only just cancelled the contracts supporting all our armed services, in a speedy and perfunctory Defence Review.

    The reason for this odd sense of priorities is that our rulers regard a planned economy and society as far more essential than national security and independence.

  73. Maria
    Posted March 29, 2011 at 11:13 pm | Permalink

    Such a good point via sjb in these comments:

    “don’t forget to mention what the “British” are doing to the English vis-a-vis North Sea Oil.”

    Absolutely. The Continental Shelf Act of the 1960s placed previously English waters in the Scottish sector! Well done, sjb!

  74. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted March 30, 2011 at 11:50 am | Permalink

    A tip for any of you unlucky enough to find yourself in a room full of Scot Nats. Sooner or later you will be subjected to the mantra “It’s Scotland’s oil, it’s Scotland’s gas and it’s Scotland’s tidal power.”

    The riposte is simplicity itself: “Yes, and it’s England’s City of London.” After delivering it, you will be able to hear a pin drop.

  75. Beren
    Posted March 30, 2011 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

    Since devolution legislation, I have come from the position of not considering the rightness or otherwise of the Union to being an English nationalist. The EU has also fed my nationalism.

    I am incandescent with rage at the contempt shown to English citizens by our “representatives” over both the Union and the EU. We are despised and given away by those whose primary duty it is to protect us and our sovereignty. Yet they all want our money. Politicians are no longer our “representatives” but rather our “masters”.

    England’s MPs should be standing up in parliament and shouting constantly about the lack of democracy in England. All I see is the occasional polite question and a meek acceptance of evasive answers. As for the commission on the inappropriately named “West Lothian” Question, with Nick Clegg in charge of the agenda and presumably the selection of the commissioners, England will disappear in to regions of Europe. England is not in safe hands with Nick Clegg.

    I too will never vote Conservative again if, as appears likely, they do nothing about either England or Europe. To put my rant in to perspective: I am a sixty year old tax payer who, like my parents and grandparents before me and my children after me, work hard, pay taxes and generally keep the law. I now feel like an enemy of the state.

    • Jeremy Poynton
      Posted March 30, 2011 at 9:29 pm | Permalink

      Beren

      Aye. 60 years here as well, and quite definitely an enemy of the state – for it is clear, the state is my enemy. I have no responsibilities to children any more, so am thinking of becoming a Freeman on the Land, if only so that I can be a bloody nuisance.

      I’ve had enough of it. I too have been a responsible citizen, paid a large amount of taxes, and had my pension destroyed by way of thanks. And by way of thanks, I intend to be a thorn in the side of the state whenever I can. Enough.

    • foundavoice
      Posted March 31, 2011 at 8:29 am | Permalink

      I feel like that in my mid 30’s.

  76. Another Box Ticker
    Posted March 30, 2011 at 5:30 pm | Permalink

    “I hold a British passport,”

    Mine says: European Union, so that`s what I put….

  77. Jeremy Poynton
    Posted March 30, 2011 at 9:23 pm | Permalink

    I have no doubt how it happened, but a bowl of macaroni cheese got spilt all over our form. Nor are we completing it until we have some answers from the Census people re questions we are unsure about, and the security of our data. After all, the government has previous regarding losing data. Yes, some 70 questions for the Census people.

    Nor will anyone from a private company have any discourse with us unless they too have answered a form with some 20 questions on it.

    Time to give them some of their own. They want forms? By God, we have given them some.

    (Ethnic origin – awaiting DNA test)

  78. bigyin
    Posted March 30, 2011 at 11:51 pm | Permalink

    Wow, what an interesting read, with the added bonus of being educated as to the dreadful state of the politics on these islands.
    I agree with so many of you that the crop of Politicians we have leave so much to be desired. Actually they are awful.
    I, like so many intend to vote for ‘other’ parties rather than the corrupt established ‘British’ parties who so obviously put their parties, themselves and the imported (how many of them will feature in the census!) unknown ‘British’ before us Home State Nationals. Support our National States: Wales, N.Ireland, Scotland and hopefully a National England too!

    • Jeremy Poynton
      Posted March 31, 2011 at 12:54 pm | Permalink

      The dumbing down of the nation (part of the process of destroying the education system?), reflected by the dropping turnout at elections, means that more and more scoundrels, ne’er-do-wells and ideological maniacs now get to be MPs.

      When the kids yell “Revolution now”, I tell them, unless you can turn off all TV signals, forget about it. Gimme EastEnders, Pizza & Carling and all is well.

  79. Barbara Stevens
    Posted March 31, 2011 at 10:28 am | Permalink

    I too thought the whole saga of filling in the censor was silly, for those here illegaly wouldn’t bother as they would be found out and deported, so what’s the point? Just to count those who have a right to live here? Today we have the ‘Localism Bill’ which as far reaching powers for the EU, which can inforce councils to collect fine payments etc; we are being eroded and we will soon be a district within the EU, nothing more. Cameron, for all his promises as broken faith with those who voted for him. I would implore Mr Redwood to help us fight this desecration of our country with these over powering laws that keep coming. The simple fact is, we don’t want the EU, we want to rule ourselves as we’ve always done. We should be given the democractic right to detirmine our own destiny. Cameron as spoken of the right of the Libyian people to do just that, why not us? I really cannot understand the ‘true blues’ not fighting like they have in the past for our country, are they now so weak they’ve lost the knack or the will? Where are you all? Where are your voices of anger at what is happening? Do you care? You’ll never be forgiven if you fail us now.

  80. Anne Palmer
    Posted April 1, 2011 at 11:37 pm | Permalink

    From reading the above comments and remembering what I put on mine, I should imagine this must be the worst and least factually correct Census form ever.

    There WAS plenty of time to cancel it, because the EU Directive for it was in the “Official Journal of the European Union” 13.8.2008 page L 218/14. The last three pages held all the questions the EU wanted answered-that is why there was many more of them.

  81. Neilyn
    Posted April 3, 2011 at 10:45 am | Permalink

    Wales gets a modicum of home-rule for the first time in 700 years, having being colonised and annexed by England. We have the temerity to start feeling a bit better about ourselves and about the future prospects for our (relatively) impoverished country, once so rich is natural resources, but still so rich in spirit. Our native British or ‘Welsh’ language starts to recover ground lost after centuries of Anglicisation.

    And some of you English moan about it? That’ll be a case of a ‘bad conscience’ I suspect. The more enlightened English folk understand well enough that Wales (and Scotland) are not enemies of England, just neighbours that want to be just that, neighbours.

    It’s time for Mr Cameron to answer the West Lothian question.

  • About John Redwood


    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, and graduated from Magdalen College Oxford. He is a Distinguished fellow of All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has set up an investment management business, was both executive and non executive chairman of a quoted industrial PLC, and chaired a manufacturing company with factories in Birmingham, Chicago, India and China. He is the MP for Wokingham, first elected in 1987.

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