Monday, March 14, 2011

Boycotting the 2011 Census?

I was sent this rather graphic video advocating boycotting the 2011 UK Census which has been outsourced by the Government to Lockheed Martin the multi-national arms manufacturer.
It always concerns me when the Church cosies up to Government and the Government cosies up to multi-national corporations. As my old grandad used to say, "You tell a chap by the friends he keeps".

As for boycotting the census, well, I think I might be staying with friends that night, so it will be their responsibility, for myself I am not sure about whether I should be concerned about the morallity of this census, Lockheed Martin strikes me as being thoroughly immoral.


The Bones said...

It would be amusing were it not true.

pelerin said...

Oh dear - I had no idea that firm was behind the census. I was naive enough to think that some Government department of civil servants was responsible. This is dreadful especially knowing that the government have paid them this enormous sum for it to go to producing arms to kill and maim in such horrific ways.

I filled in my form when I received it presuming I would still be around on the date mentioned. I am tempted to put a comment on the bottom before sending it now - any suggestions anyone?

Maria said...

Excellent work for exposing this on your blog. Boycotting would harm future social planning not the arms trade unfortunately.

Anonymous said...

So, are you advising us to boycott the Census on the strength of Lockheed Martin's reputation? But Isn't failing to respond to the Census against the law?
Are you saying we should break the law?

Fr Ray Blake said...

My superiors would be very concerned if I encouraged anyone to break the law, "render unto Caesar...".
I simply ask whether we can co-operate with arms manufcturer.

For me, I dissapprove of L/M and shall not be at home on census night.

pelerin said...

Father Ray - It does look as though you cannot legally get out of it even by being elsewhere on that night. On page 2 it states: 'Visitors who usually live elsewhere in the UK must also be included on a census questionnaire at their usual address.' And on page 31 it states:
'Anyone who is temporarily away from their permanent or family home on 27 March 2011 should be included at their home address in Household questions and individual questions.'
Short of emigrating it does not look as if you will be able to avoid having to fill it in.

Dilly said...

Lockheed will be paid up front regardless of whether you fill it in or not. The door-to-door collector, who is probably someone on a low income trying to earn a little extra by trudging round, will be the person who will not get their money (which is paid piece-rate), and will have to keep coming back till either they have got it, or referred your case. Maria is correct - in that local government uses the information to apply for government grants etc; planning for retirement benefits, school places.... My friend does this kind of work for elections etc.

Jonathan said...

I don't think your plan holds water Father. Your friends have to include you on their form as a visitor but you also have to submit a form for your household.

"2011 Census requires everyone to be counted at the address where they usually live. Anyone away from home on census day, Sunday 27 March, must be included on the household questionnaire for their usual address."

1569 Rising said...

Thank you, Father, for alerting me to the movement to boycott the census. I have just spent a couple of very productive hours looking at the various web sites of the organisations behind the boycott. This convinces me that possibly you are unaware of the myriad bodies pushing this proposal.

The Bones has a good link to Indymedia UK - can I suggest that you examine that site in detail.

Thank you Father, I will now complete the form with great relish, and do my bit for good planning and good government.

Anyway, if your post isn't advising people to boycott the census, then I am a canary!

nickbris said...

It is not advisable to refuse to fill in the census form.

There are so many impertinent questions that it will probably put off so many that the statistics will probably be worthless,in my house there are 6 flats and we only received a single form and I would bet that that one gets lost in the post.

Fr Ray Blake said...

I am advocatng nothing, merely pointing out an armaments company is involved and there is a campaign.
I am not sure what good boycotting it will do, but I do think protesting L/M's invovement is a good idea.

pelerin said...

I have just learnt we are all protesting ten years too late. Apparently the 2001 GB census was carried out by the same firm.

It is only now that so many people have a computer that information like this comes to light.

Michael Petek said...

Lockheed Martin's operating units are organized into broad business areas.

Aeronautics, with approximately $13.3 billion in 2010 sales, includes tactical aircraft, airlift, and aeronautical research and development lines of business.

Electronic Systems, with approximately $14.3 billion in 2010 sales, includes missiles and fire control, naval systems, platform integration, simulation and training and energy programs lines of business.

Information Systems & Global Solutions (IS&GS), with approximately $9.9 billion in 2010 sales, includes C4I, federal services, government and commercial IT solutions.

Space Systems, with approximately $8.2 billion in 2010 sales, includes space launch, commercial satellites, government satellites, and strategic missiles lines of business.

As long as soldiering is a lawful occupation for a Christian, I see no problem. If King David had met Lockheed Martin he'd have been like a kid in a candy store.

"He who has no sword should sell his cloak and by one . . . ."

shane said...

"The great tragedy of Spain [leading to the civil war of 1936-1939] was that in the nineteenth century the working masses apostatized from the Church, as Pope Pius X once remarked. And, it is well to remember, it was poverty, destitution and injustice which made them apostatize. They got to hate the Church because they hated the friends of the Church, who exploited them and whom the Church did nothing to rebuke or correct. The words of Pope Leo XIII 45 years ago went unheeded and his great encyclical Rerum Novarum was neglected. The lesson of all this for us is that we should meet the evil of Communism not merely by denouncing it, and not at all by stigmatizing as communistic all fundamental reforms. We must attack the main causes of Communism. Among these are poverty, insecurity and inequitable distribution of wealth and income. Failure to remove these evils will domore to strengthen Communism than all the propaganda and all the "boring-in" methods of the organized Communist movement."

Rev. Wilfrid Parsons, S.J. ca 1936, author of Mexican Martyrdom, editor of America magazine from 1925 to 1936, lecturer of political science at Georgetown University.

Peter Simpson said...

Mary and Joseph were obedient to the decree issued by Caesar Augustus that a census should be taken. It is our duty to follow their example.

Fr Ray Blake said...

Ah Peter,
See 2 Samuel 24:1. God hates a census.
Bandying scripture doesn't generally help, certainly not when citing a single case.
I am more concerned with the morality of L/M rather than that of census taking.

gemoftheocean said...

FR. Ray, with all due respect, bagging on 'evil' Lockheed-Martin is the dumbest thing you've ever said.

Next time you need someone to get rid of people like Hitler just go down to the ocean and hold hands with Kumbaya singers and see where that gets you. Where do you think Flying Fortresses came from? Cracker Jack boxes?

mikesview said...

Father, How do you square your attitude to the government's census friends (L-Martin etc) with your acceptance of government 'generosity' in the way of tax rebates on contributions to your church expenses (among many other priests'), school grants etc?
Isn't there a little inconsistency here. Methinks thou dost (just possibly) protest too much.

Fr Ray Blake said...

I don't see your logic, I think it quite right to question where our "tax pounds" go.
Can you suggest L/M is a proper recipient of our taxes, anymore than the Pakistani government ignore the repression of Xtns?

Red Maria said...

@Maria2 I think Father Ray is gently suggesting that we, as moral agents, should think carefully about the moral implications of Lockheed Martin's involvement in the census. I happen to agree with him. That said, I tend to agree with Father Ray on everything.

@Shane If only the late Rev Wilfred Parsons knew what Communism actually is ...

@GOTO You should read Elizabeth Anscombe especially Mr Truman's degree.

@Mikesview The notion that tax rebates on schools and religious buildings is comparable with governments giving contracts to LM and that acceptance of the former precludes criticism of the latter baffles me. Perhaps you can explain.

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