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A census is a snapshot

The state of the place at a certain time:

The deadline for the Scottish census has been extended again after it recorded the lowest-ever response rate in the modern era.

National Records of Scotland said it would continue to accept returns until June 12 after admitting that more than 400,000 households had failed to fill it in, even after a previous four-week extension.

Stretching it a bit, no?

15 thoughts on “A census is a snapshot”

  1. People are sick and tired of SNP wokery and prod-nosery. The census should have been done UK wide in 2021 and been nothing more than a head-count.

    But Nippy Sweetie has to put herself in direct opposition to BoJo and the government at Westminster, so the UK wide census couldn’t possibly take place in Scotland at the same time as everywhere else because of…reasons (the use of COVID-19 was merely the chosen cover).

    I haven’t filled mine in and have no intention of doing so. Given the vast number of refuseniks there’s little in practice that they can do. Talk of £1,000 fines for wilful refusal to complete the census is weak, simply because the vast majority, if challenged, would simply say “I never received anything”.

    Sure, they’ll fine (or try and fine) those that stand-up and make a fuss, but 400,000 households are simply too many for the Scottish Government to handle.

  2. Harry Haddock's Ghost

    Such blatant tosspottery, yet the SNP win election after election after election.

    Independence is inevitable I fear.

  3. Such blatant tosspottery, yet the SNP win election after election after election. Independence is inevitable I fear.

    Nope, because support for the SNP remains a marginal activity. Sure, they can deliver a big chunk of members of the Scottish parliament, but they don’t even have a simple majority anymore (being propped up by the Scottish Greens).

    As always with politics, momentum is everything and the SNP looks like the Tories in 1996, tired, corrupt and simply repeating the same old squanch about “Independence” as they did back in the 1990’s.

    Yet, for all of this, the %age against Independence remains roughly the same as it was back in 2014 and no amount of Nippy Sweetie’s scolding has moved those numbers forward.

    An Independence referendum in 2023, which is Sturgeon’s goal will fail in the same way the 2014 on did. Too many Scots know how dependent they are on UK taxpayer funds that would vanish post-referendum. They have relatively comfortable lives and have no desire to throw that away for the sake of a bunch of tired old tropes about “Muh Freedom!”.

    It ain’t 1297 any more.

  4. I dispair for future historians as governments mess about with the census and increase the incentive not to bother or actively refuse, destroying its usefulness to my sociological descendants. In contrast the census returns I research up to 1921 are hugely valuable as the information is plain and straightorward, a single A4 per household, a single line per person, 15-ish plain simple bits of information. Today’s 20-odd 30-odd pages and pages of nonsense just makes it a barrier to completion and useless to the future. From sample forms, the 1971 is the last one that made any sense.

  5. As always with politics, momentum is everything and the SNP looks like the Tories in 1996, tired, corrupt

    Or the Tories in 2022.

  6. Bloke in the Fourth Reich

    Interestingly we just had a census in Germany.
    The full extent of the questions were something like:
    How many people live in your house?
    How many of them are adults and how many children?
    What type of house (flat, terrace, detached, …)?
    Do you own it or rent it?
    What’s the floor space of the house (you can guess if you aren’t sure).

    That last one a very obviously un-German attempt to increase participation, especially as everyone in the country now needs to procure official measurements from somewhere to make the property tax supposedly more fair.

  7. The part of Scotland that I grew up in had had a Roman census. Nearly two millennia later the tartan fascists can’t manage it. Bring back the legions!

    Cynical thought: will the absence of a decent census make it easier for the tartan fascists to steal money?

  8. @jgh
    +1. And, furthermore, the census has lost all pretence at accuracy. GP registrations (and other supportive data) suggest a true population roughly 15% higher than the numbers recorded in the census, which would take the population density of Central England well over 800/km².

  9. “Talk of £1,000 fines for wilful refusal to complete the census is weak, simply because the vast majority, if challenged, would simply say ‘I never received anything’.”

    I didn’t. I remember something coming in a couple of years ago about the dry-run (which of course I didn’t do anything about), but there’s been nothing for the real one. I was actually wondering when the thing was supposed to happen.

    Honestly, as the saying goes round here, they couldnae run a menodge. (From the French ménage – no, really – a sort of raffle-cum-Christmas-club often organised in times past by the housewives of urban tenements. Maybe they still do. I wouldn’t know.)

  10. Snapshot? In the sense that it is data collected at the same time. But given the data collected, it is not that interesting a picture. I can’t believe it adds anything to the sum of human welfare.

  11. Her Maj has been Queen of Scotland for just as long as she has of England or the UK. And I understood the SNP have promised she would remain such in an independent Scotland (they have to say that or half their support would evaporate, but everyone knows Nippie fancies herself as President-for-life). Surely they don’t want to replace her with the Duke of Bavaria?

  12. @ Chris Miller
    It hasn’t lost the pretence – just the credibility. That went after the 2001 census when the City of Westminster won in the High Court because they had more Council Tax Payers than the Census said they had resident adults …

  13. The Census sex & gender stats have just been published. Less than 0.4% of the population are Trans. Can we now stop ignoring the screaming tantrums of a tiny tiny tiny tiny tiny irrelevant minority.

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