I received the Census 2011 form through the post last week. Rather than waste even more time on this I decided to use the online form – which was extremely quick and far easier than faffing with the paper version which newspapers were reporting this morning had baffled 61% of the population.
You will be able to complete your census online questionnaire any time between 4 March and 6 May 2011
I completed my Census form online before Census Day on 27th March 2011. (The paper form does state that one should fill the form in “on the 27th or as soon as possible afterwards.”) It would appear that this advice is also wrong…. see: Census (England) Regulations 2010, regulation 10)
Francis Davey, a practising barrister, I now discover, is advising today in a blog post…
Briefly…I won’t bore you with the minutiae of Census law…. life is just too short… save for this….
10.—(1) Every prescribed person to whom a household pack has been delivered or on whose behalf delivery was taken under these Regulations must, on the day after census day or as soon after as is reasonably practicable—
Technically, filling in the Census form early is a criminal offence under section 8 of the Census Act 1920. Davey notes: “There doesn’t appear to be, in the regulations or the act, any power for the ONS to disapply these provisions or vary when the census returns may be made.”
Have I been duped by The Office of National Statistics into committing a criminal offence by the advice given on their website? It would appear so.
What a curious state of affairs…. even more curious, arguably, than arranging for Lockheed Martin, an arms manufacturer, to conduct it on behalf of the government.
Am I bothered about being prosecuted? No. Will I be prosecuted? Surely not! What if I am prosecuted…along with countless others?
Hahaha…. I think it would be a most amusing morning in court. I shall arrange for Dr Erasmus Strangelove of leading City niche boutique firm Muttley Dastardly LLP to represent me.
EXCELLENT…. This from The United States…via @Windypundit