Friday, 25 March 2011
"If You're Not Religious, For God's Sake Say So" - The 2011 UK Census
The UK Census is a nationwide questionnaire that gathers information about the people that live in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. From obtaining details of the nation's population and the proportions of its gender and sexuality, to recognising the makeup of the country's age groups and differing ethnicities, the UK government [through the country's local authorities] uses the figures amassed within the Census form to best deliver the relevant services to the people through spending of tax money. The Office for National Statistics (ONS) is the executive office of the UK Statistics Authority, a non-ministerial department which reports directly to the Parliament of the United Kingdom. The ONS is the office that is charge of the UK Census, and rolls it out every ten years (it started in 1801) in order to keep up to date with the country's social trends.
2011 sees the time for the Census to once again to be braced amongst the people. Religious belief is a core area that's been heavily targeted within the campaign from the British Humanist Association (BHA), the ONS' chosen organisation to promote the awareness of this year's Census. At this time when faith in God is currently at its weakest, the BHA aims to galvanise upon the UK's denial of His existence and His Word by making it attractive to claim it so on the Census form. Their main propaganda slogan is "If You're not religious, for God's sake say so":
This already extremely intrusive form has now been stepped up a gear by seeming to encourage one's belief... in not "believing" at all.
The ONS has made filling out the UK Census a compulsory matter, meaning there could be a fine of up to £1,000 for not returning it in completion to a satisfactory manner. The Daily Express reports that "In 2001, 3 million people refused to fill in the forms but there were fewer than 40 convictions".
Apart from the questionnaire asking for very personal and private information and urging for us to declare affirmation to atheism and its friends, there is also much cause for concern regarding the security and care of the form's results provided. For the 2011 occasion, the ONS has hired American company Lockheed Martin to handle and manage all the data accumulated from. The aerospace, defence and security firm is infamous for its involvement in trading for arms with the US Department of Defence during the Afghanistan and Iraq wars, of which millions around the world oppose to this very day. The relationship between Lockheed and the American government is so tight that many feel that the collected material could be used as intelligence against those of us that aren't in total compliance and servitude to the state's laws and regulations.
So the 2011 UK Census; big brother's way of ensuring we're all looked after.