Wednesday, 10 August 2016

Census Debacle

Australian Bureau of Statistics logoAustralian Bureau of Statistics logoAustralian Bureau of Statistics logoAustralian Bureau of Statistics logo

I used to think that the Census was bullshit, just the government having a perv into my private life and making it compulsory to boot, making sure I answered all their fucking questions or else go straight to jail, do not collect 200 dollars. They used to employ actual people to walk the streets to deliver the surveys and then collect  em back up like they were primary school test papers and the collectors were grumpy teachers having a quick look to make sure that no funny business had gone on and all the blank spots had been filled in.

But then when I was a girl teacher, barely older than my students, accessing this ABS (not stomach muscle 6 packs - Australian Bureau of Statistics ) was vital to the Urban Geography unit. It all became very interesting and so then I thought insisting on the info was sort of OK.

But last night's debacle makes me question it all again.

I mean there is no need for your name to appear anywhere, so if I were less compliant, I might have made up a name, and I hand wrote the reference number so I didn't give 'em my email address, cos god knows I get enough bullshit every day, without adding wear and tear to the delete button for government crap.

But all my objections to the need for my details was overshadowed by my irritation about the lack of options in the answers.

I was married in 1979, and divorced in 1990, so when it came to asking for my marital status, I rather figured they wanted some more contemporary data.

There was no de-facto option so the fact that it is a recognised legal 'arrangement' here in this bloody marriage backwater of a country, I had to put divorced. Now don't get me wrong, I am not ashamed of being divorced, but that was 26 years ago! I have been living with my fella for 13 years, and surely if the bloody government was really interested in collecting statistics, the current state of play would be more relevant than what happened before it would have even thought about making the collection of the fucking data via a big fuck off computer.

And so I can easily appreciate how gay couples might feel about the lack in inclusivity in the fucking form. I have mates who would need to tick, SINGLE - never married, even if they have been happily partnered up for decades. The fucking form gave me the shits in it's old fashionedness.

Don't even get me started on the religion question cos I had to put NO Religion and I am not at all convinced that that is the same as Athiest. It seems possible that the questionnaire was put together by some right wing christian committee, and maybe they were plucked from the same employment pool, who put their faith in the fucking useless government computer system. Excuse my cynicism about the government's spin, that a big bad boogie man attacked their system, so they shut it down to save us all. Bollocks!

Dr Chris, the TV vet put out his own little pet census this morning, cos there were no questions about who owns a little fury friend, and I reckon that would be pretty important for planning of dog parks and the like. Maybe they should have invited him to be on the census committee. I hope that his data can be somehow included, although honestly, given the complete failure of the collection process to date, I imagine that it would be included as a tally of blonde haired blue eyed rubbish bins.

Anyone who doubts the extent of the utter incompetence of Public Servants, probably is one.