3 Apr 2011

Census

As its been a week since the census has taken place, I suppose its time I got mine sent off.  This time (as has been reported) the work is being done by Lockheed Martin UK, a subsidiary of the US arms company who are ranked number one in terms of military sales.  They might say they do other stuff too, but arms selling represents 97% of their total business, based on 2006 figures*.  They've been responsible for selling F16 fighter jets to friends of ours such as Bahrain, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, UAE, Pakistan, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand, Greece and Turkey.  There's also a nice sideline in missiles, ballistic missiles, and the odd nuclear weapon**.

My obvious first instinct would be to have nothing to do with it, and potentially face a £1000 fine, although out of an estimated 1m people who did not complete it in 2001, only 36 were successfully prosecuted.  And as well as that, the census is useful for local authorities to apply for funding for vulnerable groups, so not filling it in could actually be counter-productive.

Those dangerous bastards, the Quakers, however, formed a useful guide in staying compliant whilst costing Lockheed more money in administrative costs, and I've used that as my inspiration for how I and my housemate, The Independent Scholar, have completed ours.

The general gist is to prevent the automation of data gathering, so where possible, we have fucked up this process royally by writing outside of boxes, giving lengthy answers that won't fit in the allocated spaces, putting permanent marker over the barcodes (there is no instruction that says 'Please do not write below this line') and finally, sending it back in a plain envelope, rather than one that can be scanned.  Chopping off the spine of the form so that the sheets are loose is optional.

In terms of my job description, I started the 'brief ' overview with the words 'I suppose..' and then the actual description is out of the box, including some of my day to day tasks such as "Filling in forms".  I've also thrown in a couple of scribbles and the odd 'woops sorry' and pointy arrows to the correct boxes.

*From their 2006 annual report
**From Flight International

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