Census Day came and went. I had TWO forms to complete, as I presently own two houses, my home and the Cottage. Neither took long; that for the Cottage required little more than a few ticks in boxes.
I thought the questions about myself and my home could reasonably have been much deeper and more extensive. In a modern, complex society a government genuinely interested in demographics and social planning absolutely needs a broad range of information, and this Census - although clearly more useful than a straightforward head count - seemed way too simplistic to me. I'd have happily provided much more information, for example about my actual use of local services, my use of the Internet, and how well served I felt by public transport in my area. I think the government missed an important opportunity here.
Perhaps it was felt that the public would revolt if too many questions were asked. Well, there are always those ready to get up on their favourite high horse and wave a sabre against burocracy and needless intrusion. Have they no vision? Or is it a matter of fashionable cynicism? Trendy and clever to complain about a task that, after all, is imposed only once in a decade.
I don't believe I'm naive and idealistic in supporting the notion of Good Citizenship. I am very proud to have the right to vote in parliamentary and local government elections. And the forthcoming referendum. It's not a right 'they' let you exercise very often, and so I absolutely make the most of this personal morsel of democratic power. I never miss a chance to vote, and I scorn those who - from whatever motive - sneer at the process and stay aloof, or do their bit to wreck it, or treat it as a bad joke. Such people deserve a bad joke government as their just reward. Unfortunately all too often that's what we've ended up with, because people didn't care. Or didn't look at the full consequences of their acts or omissions. Sigh.
Of course, I photographed each completed page of my Census Forms. And now, looking at those shots today, I see that I Did Not Follow The Completion Instructions In Every Particular. Where entering words, I didn't split a word as required. For example, instead of entering 'INSPECTOR OF TAXE' on the first line (this was describing my former job) and then 'S' on the second line, I put the entire word 'TAXES' on the second line. That left a big gap after 'OF', and the machine that will scan the form will doubtless baulk at this, and flag my form up for a human phone call. How careless of this conscientious Good Citizen!
How very awkward if I'm dilating when the call comes.