The Judge RANTS!
Opportunities To Be Knocked
Time to criticise my local Council again, chums. I mean, I don't
want you to think that they can buy me off just by putting in a central heating system for me, you know?
Anyway, the other day I had a form from them. It was headed
something like "Equal Opportunites Monitoring" and asked me to
tick the appropriate boxes to say what gender, race and colour I was
(and, in fact, still am).
I do resent this. I mean, it's not for any sinister
reasons. I'm not remotely racist (at least, not consciously so, apart
from a thing against people from Liverpool which I could explain in the
context of my own formative life experiences, but won't bore you with
now), not ever since I saw an episode of The Goodies sending
up Apartheid in which discrimination by colour was replaced by
discrimination by height. I was about 12 or 13 then and, although I
didn't consciously get the message (that discriminating against people
on the grounds of their physical appearance is irretrievably stupid),
looking back I can see that it did influence me. For the better.
Where was I? Oh yes. Something inside me screams when I get one
these questionnaires. Even if the intentions may be bona fide,
I find myself marvelling once again at the seemingly endless effrontery
of public officialdom. Why do they think that they have the right to
know? Or even ask?
The form said that it would help the Council deliver its
to me, the taxpayer. I, the taxpayer, find it difficult to believe
this. For a start, how could the Council better empty my bin by knowing
whether I was male or female? Would it speed up the process by which I
get my tatty front and back doors replaced (hint, hint) if I gave them
reason to believe that I was Chinese? What, in short, do they really
want to know for?
Certainly, I don't suspect any sinister motives, but all the
I believe we should yield as little of our private life and information
to the Apparat as possible (which is why I am totally against the
current plans for a national ID card - see here for details of the campaign
So, once again, just like I did last year (only the poor dears
don't seem to have taken the hint yet), I have sent the form back
uncompleted, but on the reverse side have written:
Do not send me one of these again!!"
If you get something similar, I warmly suggest you do the same.