Scotland’s census will be continuing for many weeks after “Census Day” (Sunday 27 March). Reminders from the Register Office will be going out soon. If you haven’t yet filled in your census from, here are 7 reasons to do so:

  1. You are sure that governments over the next decade will give us the services we need, so long as we give them the information they want.
  2. You don’t mind that the General Register Office of Scotland (GROS) gave CACI the census contract without properly looking into CACI’s history of involvement in human rights abuses at Abu Ghraib or properly looking into EU procurement rules. Hey, anyone can make a mistake.
  3. You are sure that GROS has taken adequate measures to stop CACI’s US parent company getting its hands on personal census data (which would then be available to the US Government under US law). Hey, they wouldn’t make a mistake about a thing like that.
  4. You think that you ought to respect the census law, even though it’s unenforceable. But you think there is no need for census contractor CACI to respect international human rights law and international humanitarian law. After all, these laws are unenforceable.
  5. You are sure that governments and officials will for the next 100 years abide by GROS’s promise to keep your personal data confidential for that length of time.
  6. You don’t mind that GROS has been repeating CACI’s misleading spin on its involvement in the abuse of prisoners at Abu Ghraib. It’s only right that if CACI works for Scotland (for £18.9 million), Scottish public servants should work for CACI (for free).
  7. You agree with Scotland’s Registrar General, Duncan Macniven, that Abu Ghraib is “an irrelevance.”

If this hasn’t persuaded you to fill in your census form, you can find advice on how to avoid co-operating with the census at www.ethicalcensus.org.uk/non-cooperation.php

Some people have called our non-cooperation campaign a “silent protest.” It isn’t. Tell everyone what you think about the census scandal. Contact the media. Write to GROS. Contact your candidates for the Holyrood elections. Talk to friends, neighbours and work colleagues.  For some points you might raise, see  Questions for the Scottish Government

But unless you particularly want a day in court (which could be expensive and tedious), don’t tell GROS whether or not you have filled in your census form. This is a campaign everyone can join in, whether or not they can afford a fine.

We hope that GROS won’t dare take anyone to court. But we’ll do our best to support anyone they do take to court.

 

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