Pouring over the entrails

The degeneration of the once mighty Daily Telegraph into a fucking comic continues apace:

Government to quiz households on sex lives and salaries

More than 500,000 people a year are to be questioned about their sex lives and salaries by Government inspectors, it has emerged.

Officials will ask for information about former sexual partners, contraception and how long couples have lived together before getting married.

The 2,000-question survey, which will be carried out by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), has prompted fears of further data security breaches as both names and addresses will be logged by inspectors.

Critics also say the £3.5 million-a-year cost will be a waste of money as people tend to lie about their private lives and begrudge intrusion into personal matters.

Believe it or not, what the Telegraph are referring to is the Office of National Statistic’s new ‘Integrated Household Survey‘ which combines five existing statistical surveys; Labour Force Survey and associated boosts; the Annual Population Survey, the General Household Survey; the Expenditure and Food Survey; and, the National Statistics Omnibus Survey into a single survey with a much larger sample size.


Because these existing surveys, and the new integrated survey that will replace them, are used to generate a multitude of key demographic statistics and other statistics used by government, and by the opposition parties, to develop and evaluate public policy.

Far from being some sort of Orwellian intrusion into the privacy of citizens, this is actually the bread and fucking butter of public policy development, the means by which the ONS compiles its statistical evidence base in between censuses, an evidence base without which the whole machinery of government, parliament and the state would be reduced to making policy by pulling numbers out of its collective arses.

It’s a fucking survey. One carried out by researchers not fucking ‘inspectors’ and one in which participation is entirely voluntary – no one is compelled to fill the fucking thing in in the slightest.

And yet, despite the fact that his own party relies as heavily as any other on ONS data, the Tories Shadow Communities Secretary, Eric Pickles, is quoted by the Telegraph as saying that:

“Day by day, the liberty and privacy of the British public is being undermined by Labour’s surveillance state. People will be shocked that taxpayers’ money is being spent on intrusive surveys. Now state spies want to log and record who sleeps with whom and how often. Not even the Stasi went this far.”

The Tory Party has generated its fair share of muppets over the years but never one quite so abjectly moronic as Pickles, whose comments prove only that he is congenitally unfit for government, in fact if this is genuinely his attitude then I wouldn’t trust him to fill in a fucking lottery ticket without a couple of bag carriers to show him which way up to hold the fucking pen.

Tell me Eric, if you don’t propose to collect this kind of data should you ever make it into government then just how the fuck do you think your department is going to generate policy and provide supporting evidence for its decisions?

With a fucking crystal ball and a couple of specially imported fucking augers?

There are times when even the word ‘cunt’ isn’t enough to describe the kind of contempt I feel for morons like Pickles.

Oh, and if you can hear a faint whirring noise in the background, that’s the sound of Bill Deedes revolving in his grave at the thought of what the Telegraph has become – the Daily Mail for dickheads with delusions of grandeur.

7 thoughts on “Pouring over the entrails

  1. The only thing this rant says is that you do not object to this level of intrusion. The Telegraph has its facts entirely right. You admit this is an extension of this sort of intrusion.

    If you can’t see that the state has absolutely no business enquiring about people’s sex lives, that’s your problem. Oh, wait. You want the government to “generate policy” about people’s private lives. No, it’s everyone’s problem.

  2. John Cowperthwaite wouldn’t allow Hong Kong’s GDP figures to be collected for fear that someone whould try to “improve” things.
    Place did pretty well over the decades didn’t it?

  3. Peter Risdon-“You admit this is an extension of this sort of intrusion.”

    seeing as these surveys are voluntary it’s only an intrusion if youconsent to doing it when you don’t want to. Inwhich case it’s your own fault.

  4. “Now state spies want to log and record who sleeps with whom and how often. Not even the Stasi went this far.”

    Actually, Eric, they did. But the STASI did it through covert surveillance rather than voluntary surveys…


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