August 13: prefer not to say

We did a survey from the Office of National Statistics. They pay you £30. It’s worth it. There was a simple flow-chart telling you about its usefulness. You do it – you send it – we look at it – we collate the information – we use the information for decision-making. Basically, if you do the survey you’re almost running the country. First question. Gender. Three options. Male. Female. Prefer not to say. You imagine some boffin at the ONS dealing with the recent gender debate. I suppose we’d better put something in for all those people stuck in between somewhere. Prefer not to say should do it. As you go through the questionnaire prefer not to say figures greatly. You wonder why. Might one feel that information might be used against you in certain cases? Is this the worry? Or is it the fear of treading on the toes of the hyper-squeamish? In which case why are the hyper-squeamish banking £30 for the survey? Am I being anti-hyper-squeamish discriminatory? Further question – the survey was mostly about mental health attutudes to coronavirus – : on a scale of one to ten where 0 is not at all and 10 is greatly, how depressed did you feel yesterday? I got toothpaste on my clean t-shirt again. I prefer not to say. It could well be that Boris Jonson is running the country on the basis of my tooth-brushing ineptitudes.

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