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back to article UK.gov uses purple-panted-berk to get 'young men' to do census

Attempts by officials at the 2011 census to increase participation by the young male population in this weekend's UK headcount exercise – aka the Census – appear to have reached desperation point over the last couple of weeks, with the launch of Census-Man, the online game. Those wishing to experience the census gaming …

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27 March deadline?

According to the form, that is the *earliest* date you can fill it in.

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Anonymous Coward

Unless you're Uni student...

And studying at one of the establishments that were asked to fill the form in almost a month ago.

Curiously, the form they were distributing was significantly shorter that what you can get online, with questions asking for overnight visitors etc. omitted. Oh well, even despite that, almost no-one filled it in.

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WTF?

How very,

very odd.

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deadline?

27th is the day you're meant to fill it in - not the day it has to be back by... You've got a few days after to fill it out.

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Silver badge

Heh

Yeah, and I privately wonder just how many forms arrive BEFORE that date and have to be invalidated, and a new form sent back (I presume). If you can *only* fill in the census on that date, what advantage does distributing them so far in advance get, except lost/mislaid forms, early invalid completions, etc.

And, to be honest, I'm going to do mine online. So the paper was a complete waste of time and money and postage. Would have been much better off sending out a single page mailing describing your legal obligation to complete the census and then a way to request a paper one to be delivered nearer the time, if necessary.

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Early doesn't matter

The census asks questions about march 27, you can fill it in early if you know what you expect the answers to be on that date.

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Re: Early doesn't matter

I don't know what the daily birth and death rates are in the UK, but if *everyone* submitted a week early then the results would surely be wrong.

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Technically "wrong"

But let's face it, an error of a few days out of 3652 or so really isn't going to massively impact the data is it?

Unless of course everyone changes their circumstances massively over this weekend, it'll still be pretty valid data. A few people dying, a few more being born, out of a population of millions it's not really going to change the actual results drawn from the data.

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Pint

You can do it early online

I filled mine in online a week ago, it took the answers and gave me a receipt number, so I assume they submit to the right people on the 27th for me.

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Deadline much more fluid than that..

According to the Census website[1]

"Census day is Sunday 27 March. Your answers should be about your household on this day. Please submit or return your completed questionnaire before, on or after this date."

So, whenever you like then basically...

[1] http://help.census.gov.uk/england/help/help-and-information/Gettingstarted/Returningyourquestionnaire/Topics/Whentoreturnthequestionnaire_F0008A.html"

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xyz

More like Pantsman

And 27th is the earlist date you can fill it in and then you have weeks...Sounds like that bloke used to "work" for a safety camera pratnership.

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So they want

People under the age of 12 to complete the census forms?

P.S. for anyone who has a problem with their TAX money being given to a company that supplied torturers to the American Military check online for a guide to ensure your form requires several expensive hours of processing by a human being rather the a couple of seconds by a computer (basically get it filled in by a person under the age of 12).

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Black Helicopters

Head of the queue

The sooner you file, the sooner MI5 can start watching you.

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Megaphone

Government fails again

Here's what you do with the 10 grand;

Collect all the young men together in a church hall, with a stack of censuses and a keg of stella at the front. You have a topless woman shout out the questions and the first person to shout out their answer gets a pint.

That's how I filled in mine...

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WTF?

£10,500 for a dead-simple flash game?

Seriously? For that kind of money, I'd want... actually, if I was wanting people to fill out a census, I'd probably not make a game at all. Buy a commercial during Saturday morning cartoons instead.

Meanwhile, if games of that... er... quality... can be purchased for that kind of cash, I might be willing to change jobs. Not bad money for a weekend worth of effort.

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Black Helicopters

they just want to get the job done early (and badly)

Well, I think the Census are wrong in suggesting that the form can be sent back early as I commented:

http://www.francisdavey.co.uk/2011/03/dont-return-your-census-form-early.html

but to suggest you *have* to send it back early is truly barking. I've emailed them about this (which must put me on their peacock pen list) and their response was to explain how helpful it was to have the forms back early. I bet. But that doesn't mean its either a good idea or legal. Sigh.

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Anonymous Coward

I've already done mine 2 weeks ago online

No complaints were registered when I filled it in. Not that anything is likely to change anyway. Who's honestly going to fill in the overnight visitor part if their teenage kid has some friends staying over.

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Headmaster

berk?

watch you language, me old china

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Headmaster

One-dimensional

A one dimensional game would be pretty hard to see.

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Grenade

I wanted to be cynical

But the game's actually not that bad. There are plenty of worse Flash games out there.

Although whether it'll help at all with the Census is an entirely different matter - still got us talking about it today though didn't it? :)

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Black Helicopters

Census-Man? Extraordinary-Rendition-Man, more like!

I'd like to see his legal authority for these multiple apparent acts of kidnapping and false imprisonment. Or is it all part of a Sinister Goverment Consipiracy(TM) to soften us up for the idea that secret police will be coming in the night to take people away who haven't filled in their forms?

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Go

I call

this the senseless. A lot of the questions are nonsensical. I mean, if you are a 90 year old and last worked in 1950 at the Acme Widget factory which is now a motorway, (in this fictional scenario) what purpose would this information serve? Personally I can't wait 'til this nonsense ends up online. All our censuses are gone....

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Pint

Am I the only one?

When I read the part in the article about a "purple pants berk" encouraging people to fill out their census forms, The first thing that flashed through my mind was "FILL FORM! OR HULK SMASH!"

Oh well, back to the recreational beverages...

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Actually it made me think of this ....

http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4122/4923643851_41711d2e5a.jpg

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FAIL

Purple helmet berk...

I'm hard pressed to understand why such a huge swathe of cash is being spent on such a pointless exercise - not the game, the entire census.

We're tracked and counted already - postcodes, bank accounts, birth certificates, death certificates, school records, health records - the list goes on and on.

If I had my way, I'd dump the damn form in the trash, alas, the missus is the diligent sort and keeps reminding me we need to fill in the form.

Right, on the day this census represents, I had 12344344 people around for dinner, have 3341234 people living permanently in my house, I'm 1132346 years old, have 5321732 children and I'm a Jedi. That'll screw with thier stats...

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Stop

Wont be doing mine

Should i get asked I'll just tell them i did it online, im not responsible for their systems.

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Then don't complain

If your local hospital, doctor etc gets shut down because they think nobody lives there.

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Anonymous Coward

Thanks for that hint...

I *think* I only ever appeared on any census form that my late parents filled in, and I've always told anyone filling in the forms for anywhere I've stayed at census time *not* to include me in any way.

Of course, a bit of cross-referencing of the census returns and electoral rolls/bank account details will flag up the obvious...and I suppose that nowadays that would make me a potential POI to at least one branch of the crazy fsckwits that run the show behind the scenes.

Passing the buck to their computer systems sounds like a good wheeze.

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Happy

No Census in Scotland

Apparently (and I am only going by the start screen on the game) there is no census in Scotland.

The screen says "Census in England and Wales March 27th 2011" -so living in Scotland I don't need to complete it because Census Man says I don't.....? will this stand up in court?

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Different census

Scotland has its own Census on 27th March which you can find here - http://www.scotlandscensus.gov.uk/ . The fact that the English Census Man is only talking about the one in England and Wales doesn't help you.

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Coat

So, has anyone...

... completed theirs with a job role description along the lines of:

";DROP TABLE(*);COMMIT();

BOFHs everywhere, your census awaits!

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