Saturday, March 20, 2010

May The Force Be With Us?

Cambridge has the fourth largest number of Jedi in the country according to the Office of National Statistics. There are at least 2,000 of you out there.

The reason for putting the religious question in the 2001 census and again for 2011 is to provide benchmarks so that employers and public authorities, for example, can fulfill their duties under the Race Relations Act.

However, race and religion are not the same thing. You can choose your religion but you can never change your race (ok, only you can define your racial group and there is nothing to stop you from declaring different racial classifications to different bodies should you feel like doing so, which is odd.).

Of course, the state may not always be as benign as it has been historically in the UK or it may be infiltrated by extremists who use the data for their own purposes. For your civil liberties, you may wish to be a Jedi next year...


  1. I onc had to put down clients' ethnic backgrounds in a job, and many people expressed frustrations that there were no categories for "black British" or "black Asian".

    What the Diversity trainers in my present employer are telling us is that there's no such thing as race. So where does that leave us in regard to a definition of racism?

  2. We need to focus on making sure there is no unfair discrimination and ensuring we've got a society based on equality of opportunity and meritocracy.

    I think monitoring, as in the census, is dangerous and results in misguided efforts by public bodies.

    When I'm confronted with a form from the state asking what colour I am sometimes I take a look and write "mostly pink".