Liberal Conspiracy have looked at the economic feasibility of chopping the census – I think the more profound problem would be with the actual data lost if the census was to suffer from the ideologically peverse nature of this ConDem government. Social researches often depend on the census for such valuable information, which helps them gain a greater picture of social trends, demographics – all of which helps inform social policy. Speaking as a sociologist, the destruction of the census would be very damaging to social research.
This is the point, the Tories don’t want to have a record of their stretch in government – even if, as it is likely, it will only be for the 5 years they are likely to see out. They don’t like empirical based policies, hence why most of their policies and even their economic budget is shot down by all sides of intellectual debate. To have a census allows for this valuable research, and it allows for people to undermine their ‘policies’.
So whilst there is the doubtful economic feasibility of Maude’s proposal, the more wide-ranging social issues that the census looks at are more of concern for me. This is valued research, it isn’t out of date – it provides a useful track and a future projection of trends – which as I have said above, helped inform research and social policy. It would be a travesty if the census was abolished, as after all, it can help change lives.