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ANSWER THE CENSUS OR SUFFER VIOLENCE

By Pete Moore On March 26th, 2011

A 100-STRONG army of census enforcers has been given police powers to gather criminal evidence against householders who fail to complete tomorrow’s national survey.

Oh dear, mine went to instant filing a few weeks ago.

For the first time in the 210-year ­history of the census, a unit of “non-compliance” officers authorised to conduct interviews under caution will visit homes across the country.

Piss off.

Mark me as “non-compliant” on your form if you like, but you can piss off.

I am a free-born Englishman. I do not belong to the state. I am not a piece of cattle to herd. I am not a tax unit to be counted and assessed for auctioning to the highest criminal bidder.

In this life I belong to myself and no-one else and I will not answer your questions.

44 Responses to “ANSWER THE CENSUS OR SUFFER VIOLENCE”

  1. Pete

    Out of interest, are you on the electoral register?

  2. Peter –

    I must be, although I’ve never asked to be on the roll.

    Before each election I receive those exciting little postcards telling me where to vote.

  3. I haven’t been on the electoral roll for at least 12 years, and one benefit is that I never get those postcards.

    My view is that it should not be compulsory to be on the electoral roll unless it is also compulsory to vote.

  4. Peter –

    Interesting. I see there is no obligation to register:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electoral_roll

    I bet you really miss the excitement of voting. Just think, if you’d been on the register absolutely nothing would have been any different these 12 years.

  5. It must be different in Northern Ireland:

    “Do I have to register? I do not intend to vote.

    If you have been contacted by us and asked to complete a registration form it is an offence to refuse to do so or to provide false information.”

    Link “here

  6. >>I do not belong to the state…In this life I belong to myself and no-one else and I will not answer your questions.<<

    Yet in another post you salute a man who gave his life in the service of that state.

    Pete, do you think the state has a right to conscript in time of war?

  7. Isn’t there a £1,000 if you don’t fill out the form and return it?

  8. As I said in my own blog, if you are normally a middle class law abiding citizen and you don’t comply, you will receive a visit. If you live on a sink estate, or in an Islamic ghetto, the probability is that no one will bother. If any prosecutions are of people who are not in my first category, I will be extremely surprised.

    To me the most annoying thing is the waste of money, if the government had done its job properly it should have all the information it is demanding.

    And the possible fine of £1000 for not completing some bureaucratic paperwork shows the government’s priorities when compared with a fine of £50 for burning the National Flag and shouting slogans during the silence on Armistice Day.

  9. Who can really believe that everyone in the country is even capable of filling in such a form? A waste of paper, a waste of money and a waste of time.

  10. I completed it online a few days ago. It took about 15 minutes, so it’s not exactly burdensome.

  11. Why did I have to write my name 3 times. Did they think it was going to change whilst I filled the form in?
    Did my taxes pay for this form to be produced in 56 languages?

  12. Likewise. I don’t see the problem. I wonder if some people like making something out of nothing.

  13. ” and I have an Irish passport to escape if need be….”

    🙂

  14. Noel Cunningham –

    Pete, do you think the state has a right to conscript in time of war?

    No.

    Conscription is slavery, pure and simple. Strip away the “patriotic” propaganda and desultory payment (via the looting of the productive class) and you have slavery.

    Where conscription has been instituted in our world, say for WW1, WW2, Korea or Vietnam, it has been a fig leaf to cover the catastrophic interventions of ruling elites and their politics into civil society.

  15. Geoff Watts –

    I don’t see the problem. I wonder if some people like making something out of nothing.

    Not at all. I like to keep myself to myself, unlike the state which demands to involve itself in every aspect of life. One way it achieves this is by the information you give up to it.

    When the information has been crunched, politicians and bureaucrats will have many year’s worth of “evidence” to intervene in our lives, to re-balance this, fund more of that (by looting us), to shove their politics further into human relations.

    Not for the first time I check the obit of a genuinely great British hero, the (libertarian) colonial administrator of Hong Kong, Sir John Cowperthwaithe:

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/obituaries/1508696/Sir-John-Cowperthwaite.html
    As for the paucity of economic statistics for the colony, Cowperthwaite explained that he resisted requests to provide any, lest they be used as ammunition by those who wanted more government intervention.

    He well knew that every bit of information the people gave up was a bit of information to be used against them.

    Given the astonishing flourishing of post-war Hong Kong he is one of mankind’s true giants. No wonder government text books have no mention of him.

  16. Pete,

    Sometimes you do spout the most idiotic rubbish! – and in the most juvenile way.

    Do really believe all the crap you write? – do you even understand what you say and what you imply with you false interpretations of reality and actuality.

    I have no love of socialism nor of those that espouse its cause, but boy! if you represent the alternative, – heavens help us! you do nothing to promote your (our) cause, other than cause embarrassment…

  17. Ernest Young –

    At least be polite enough to explain why you disagree.

  18. I googled this question, and delved into the figures, best shot i can come up with, the last census saw just a tad over 580,000 people summoned for ‘non-compliance’ 100 were actually taken to court, out of that 100, only 4 were fined, out of that 4, only 1 actually paid the fine.. which was £50 ?

    £50, sounds a bargain for ‘freedom’

  19. Pete,

    Let’s just say that you seem to have no concept of community, or of the value of unity of purpose, prefering the ethic of an anarchical, gang style culture, where respect is only gained by ‘getting your own way’ and being beholden to no-one.

    Yes, the rights of the individual are to be respected, as are the rights of the community at large.

    The fact that a cohesive, and succesful community is more than just the sum of its parts, i.e. the ‘whole’ is worth more than the costs of some of the very petty grievances you regular rant about. As much as the community owes the individual, so does the individual owe the community.

    While there are some areas where the individual’s rights are supreme, there are also occasions where some of those are to be sacrificed for the good of the ‘whole’, – i.e. the community, and in this instance, the State.

    The balance between state and individual rights is one of commonsense, and will fluctuate as conditions require. Your obsessive and often petty ranting do nothing to encourage people to see your point of view. Dare I say you, are little better than yesterday’s Oxford St anarchists…

    I found your remarks re the reasons and value of conscription in WWI, WWII and Korea to be ignorant, unnecessary and particularly offensive! – but then ‘Essex is as Esex does!’

  20. Peter,
    Can’t agree with you I’m afraid.
    I do believe the balance between the rulers and the ruled has moved too much towards political “dictatorship”, but to say,
    “Strip away the “patriotic” propaganda and desultory payment (via the looting of the productive class) and you have slavery.”
    is a bit like saying that children are slaves of their parents because their parents won’t give them total freedom.

    You and I are born into a society in which we given both responsibilities and privileges. We can’t escape them, and for the most part they’re not particularly onerous.
    Let’s face it Peter, we in the West have a really good life compared to many in this world.

  21. Go Ernest!

  22. Pete I thought only adults ha to fill out the census form, so what is your worry?

  23. Since some of us make a constant fetish of the US Constitution, it is noted that the conducting of a census is one of the ” state ” functions specifically called for by it.

    I guess that we can now say that the US Constitution is unconstitutional!

  24. You want to be in the club, then you will have to pay the dues!…

  25. A US Constitution “fetish?” Phantom. really?

    Just like our law and order “fetish” and our conservative principles “fetish.”

  26. Correct, sir.

  27. I call it that since the talk radio windbag types approach the entire subject from a perspective of utmost bad faith. They want the Constitution as a straitjacket, not as a governing document.

  28. Do you mean that you think that the Constitution is a “living” document?

  29. To an extent, yes. But only to an extent.

    I think that there have been many times when judges put in rulings from law made out of thin air ( Roe vs Wade, not that I want to touch abortion as an issue here ) to the detriment of the law.

    All parties and all strains of thought have stretched the definitions when it has suited them. The ludicrous ” Citizens United ” ruling makes no sense from a Constitutional basis, but the righties like it because their rich right wing friends like the Koch Brothers will have an easier time sending cash to the GOP and its minions. This would be the ultimate example of the constitution ” as a living document ” – and its just fine with Troll and the Tea Party!!

  30. Interesting Phantom.

    Of course the Citizens United ruling was an example of activist judges- and indeed a good example of the consttitution being intepreted as a living document.

    But it was ok then, because the gullible teaparty believe it is ok for corporations to buy US elections for them.

  31. ( and i don’t say this for effect )

    There is a huge childish component to being opposed to things like the Census, or to pretending that it is in any way an oppressive thing.

    Some of the lads have lost the plot big time, and are choosing all the wrong fights, when there are real fights that might be waged.

  32. I love the bravado they display when stomping their mary-janes in temper ( with escape passports in pocket, of course).

  33. A census could possibly be a bad thing if they asked for way too much information beyond which is reasonable.

    But the concept of a census as a reasonable thing is as old as civilization.

  34. You do realize, Phantom, that the “living” document argument is the argument used to rationalize ignoring the Constitution when it suits?

  35. Yes – and I have a problem with it too.

    But the fact is that -anyone- who supports the Citizens United decision is absolutely a supporter of ” living document ” philosophy, and that includes people like Mark Levin and half the Tea Party members.

    Even those who claim to be strict constitutionalists will stretch the document beyond all recognition when it suits their interest.

    Not good.

  36. I don’t know enough about the Constitution to comment on the Citizen United ruling – but Mark Levin is a principled constitutional scholar – so I’ll go with his opinion on the matter over yours.

  37. s/b mark levin is a constitutional LAWYER – not just scholar.

  38. He knows a lot of things – plus he agrees with you!!

  39. Ernest Young –

    Let’s just say that you seem to have no concept of community

    There they go again, confusing the state with society.

    or of the value of unity of purpose, prefering the ethic of an anarchical, gang style culture, where respect is only gained by ‘getting your own way’ and being beholden to no-one.

    Or, being left alone to live my life in peace as I leave others alone. What an upside down view of society you have, where violence and bullying are just a moment away. Clearly you are a danger to others without the state to keep you in check but you shouldn’t project your failings onto others.

    While there are some areas where the individual’s rights are supreme, there are also occasions where some of those are to be sacrificed for the good of the ‘whole’, – i.e. the community, and in this instance, the State.

    Sometimes it must be everything in the state, nothing outside the state and nothing against the state, eh? What piffle you’ve come out with.

    Dare I say you, are little better than yesterday’s Oxford St anarchists…

    Switch your brain on. My clear reverence for property rights seems to have avoided you entirely. If you’re going to comment on my opinions have the grace to wake up first.

  40. Modern Britain has had a census since 1800 or 1841 depending how you choose to look at it. But there is a history of census in England as far back as 1086.

    See from the Office of National Statistics

    For someone who claims to respect British tradition, you sure oppose a lot of it.

  41. Phantom –

    What are you talking about? 1841 is mere recent history while the Domesday Book was a Norman imposition on the Saxon people, one simply to collate, count and assess so taxes could be forced form them.

    Happily, the English resisted (something government history books fail to point out).

    My opposition to the census is well withing the English tradition.

  42. !!!

  43. >>While there are some areas where the individual’s rights are supreme, there are also occasions where some of those are to be sacrificed for the good of the ‘whole’, – i.e. the community, and in this instance, the State.

    The balance between state and individual rights is one of commonsense, and will fluctuate as conditions require. <<

    Well said, Ernest.

    In an ideal world, of course, no state would introduce conscription, even in time of war. But there will always be one that does, and you can bet your bottom Reichsmark it will be the bad guy who does first, who does it to conquer and destroy democracy in other countries. These other countries then have no option but to conscript armies to resist, otherwise evil wins every time.
    One of the few times I agreed with Mgt Thatcher 🙂 was when she said democracies must be at least as strong as their enemies. That includes keeping concription on the statute books and taxing for the military. I can't see how anyone in a democracy, left or right, could disagree with that.

  44. Noel,

    I was always taught that ‘defence of the nation’ was a prime duty of government. I believe it was originally also the first legiimate reason for raising a tax.

    Of course the extension of that is the possible need to use conscription in times of threat, as in 1939, when the number of volunteers was insufficient for the purpose in hand.

    Small wonder that there were not enough volunteers after the loss of so many men in WWI, the birthrate between the wars was considerably lower than previous.