Wednesday, 18 January 2006

Setting light to Nosy Parkers

I was about to prepare a post on why I will be burning my census form come Census Day -- just as I've done in previous years -- when I find that a pretty enlightening debate on that very subject has been taking place at DPF's. Get a job with The Man, says Dave, and earn a little extra money helping th Nosy Parkers. " Go piss up a rope," respond commenters including LibertyScott and Libertarianz Leader Bernard Darnton.

Go and join in the fun, and let me know how you get on. My money's on the guys with the matches.

Linked Post: Census Collector Jobs - DPF


  1. I shall carry out my usual tradition of creating yet another work of fiction.

    Tinker, tailor, soldier, sailor, ploughboy- what's it to be this time?

    BTW,for the uninitiated, running a company- you get these forced on you several times a year.

    Resistance is never futile!

  2. Perhaps you could get a bit of a bonfire going up at your house Peter, then we could all pop around and chuck our census forms in!

    I've just put my 2 cents worth in on the thread at DPFs:

    "Logix - No-one disputes that we are mutually interdependent, or that the web of interdependencies has grown more complex as time has evolved. But for us to deal with this web, it is absolutely imperative that government step back.

    Governments cannot possibly know even a fraction of what there is to know about the web of interdependencies. That's why regulation almost always produces unintended consequences.

    The web of independencies reflects our growing knowledge about the laws of nature. It is a consequence of this knowledge that our adventures today are far from "pallid imitations" but in fact voyages into realms our ancestors could scarely have imagined.

    Freedom is not something to be taken lightly - it reflects a truth about how the world works. To compromise freedom is to deny this truth. And this truth is far more important than any "truths" to be learned from a compulsory census. If government is willing to compromise your freedom over an issue like filling out a form, then it obviously doesn't take freedom seriously and is in denial of a fundamental truth."

  3. Oddly enough, I've never answered the questions concerning race or religion and haven't had a jackboot through the front door yet.

    And didn't Sandra Conehead and her coven camp out on census night so they could claim to be homeless or some such balls? The only time I've felt a flicker of warmth for the woman.

  4. PC, out of curiosity, what could Nanny State possibly glean from your accurately filled-out Census form that they couldn't otherwise discern from your blog or from currently existing records in various government departments?

    The libertarian anti-Census stance appears to be blind railing against 'being forced to do something,' rather than genuine worry that the government may come into posession of some damaging personal information.

    As the Privacy Commissioner wrote in 1996;

    "The census, despite the legal compulsion to complete the form is, in fact, an exercise in national cooperation since there is no effective legal way to stop people giving false answers."

    I am confounded as to why you have such a resistance to cooperation with the Census; if the answer is 'Because they're MAKING me,' that seems a little thin.

    If had a concrete concern about privacy then I could understand, but making a stand on an ephemeral principle is a bit, well, silly if you ask me!


  5. Den, you asked, "PC, out of curiosity, what could Nanny State possibly glean from your accurately filled-out Census form that they couldn't otherwise discern from your blog or from currently existing records in various government departments?"

    It's not the point, Den. It's not that I necessarily have anything to hide, it's that my own business is my own business, to share or not as I choose. The correct answer to all the questions is this: MYOB.

    You yourself may not have anything in particular to hide, Den, but I bet you have curtains and blinds and a lock on your toilet door to ensure some privacy.

    And it's not like the information isn't already available through other, voluntary, means; in fact, it might be said that the census is, as you quote the Privacy Commissioner, "an exercise in national cooperation" -- though not despite the compulsion as the lackey says, but because of it: an exercise and a not-so-gentle reminder that the state can issue instructions, and we sheeple all have to comply.

    Here's a link to some of what census rebel Bill Weddell said in court in 1978 in defending himself for not filling out his form. Here's part of what he said :

    "In failing to comply with a government order to disclose private information concerning my private life and private property, my intention is not to flout the Law as such, but to lodge formal protest against the Statistics Act, and to register my rejection, on moral grounds, of the widespread practice of State expropriation of private property and related information under threat of forcible punishment.

    "I hold, as a moral absolute, the conviction that in a civilised society all relationships between men must be voluntary; that compulsion abolishes morality altogether, and must be outlawed; that no man shall gain a value from another by the use or the threat of force; and that it is the only proper function of the Law to protect men against those who do.

    "I have declined to plead or to offer any legal defence since the very existence of the Statistics Act abolishes objective justice, the only legal principle that could defend me..."

    Read on...

  6. For those who live in fire ban areas, I've been informed by Jeremy Greenbrook, who works at Stats NZ and started this whole flap by asking for people to work collecting the forms, that

    ... all questions other than those Bernard mentions* are voluntary, and you are more than welcome not to fill them out. In fact "no response" is an option.

    *Name, address, age, citizenship.


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