2011 Census – Campaign to rally the Siths of England & Wales

by Jake McMillan

The 2001 UK Census notoriously recorded the many Jedis that reside across England and Wales, with a total of 390,127 people (0.7% of the population) stating they were Jedi Knights or followed the Jedi religion.  With the 2011 census being carried out on Sunday 27th March, I call upon people to declare they are a Sith (the evil version of Jedis, e.g. Darth Vadar, Darth Maul), or a Sith Lord and/or follow the Dark Side in the optional Religion question of the census.

The result of this action will mean that the 2011 Census will show that British people in the last ten years have turned evil, recording that we have converted from being good Jedis to following the Dark Side of the Force.

Don’t worry, you don’t have start dressing up like Darth Maul or Darth Vader, but you might want to give yourself a Sith Lord name, Darth [Whatever you like].

Remember this will not have any negative impact on the census itself and so you can decide to do this for any of the following reasons:

  • Just for fun
  • Rebelling against the government/bureaucracy
  • Objecting to or do not wish to disclose your religion
  • Want to baffle and confuse future historians
  • Have an impact on a historical event
  • An intellectual desire to record the impact of popular culture in today’s society
  • You are actually an evil Sith Lord

So, whatever your reason, please state you are a Sith or following the Dark Side for the 2011 Census religion question.

Related Information:

Facebook Group Campaign
2011 Census Web Site

7 responses to “2011 Census – Campaign to rally the Siths of England & Wales

  • Joe

    I have started a similar campaign on facebook. Join the group called SITH LORD FOR NEXT CENSUS! and invite everyone. The time is almost upon us.

    • jakemcmillan

      I beg to differ! You need to read the info on that link more carefully. That campaign is a good campaign and one that I support. It asks people to not say they are Christian (or another religion) when in fact they are not really and don’t practice that religion.

      The 2001 Census which recorded 400,000 Jedis made no impact whatsoever on government policy or money invested in faith schools as people who examine the statistics realise that it is a fun joke. This is very different to someone saying they are Christian when they are not really.

      I am also someone who respects the Census and think it is very important we fill it in. Having a historian background, I know the importance the information the census gathers since it was first introduced in 1801.

      Whether something is childish or not is somewhat subjective. A wise person(!) once said that maturity is just knowing when it is okay to be immature. This, for me, is definitely an okay way to be immature.

  • Soapie

    If you support the campaign, you should do what it recommends. Its recommendation is clear:

    I did indeed read the link carefully (patronising to suggest that I didn’t). I put it to you that you haven’t read the details of this good campaign that you supposedly support. If you had, you would have seen the following:

    What you are suggesting will have an impact at some point: be it just on making the life of some poor Census Quality Assurance person a little bit harder; or perhaps those organisations that may disaggregate the data have an influence on processes or developments that you haven’t even considered yet. Or perhaps when your personal census information becomes available in 100 years, your descendants will just think you were a bit of an idiot for writing a silly response on a form that represents a process that lot of people spent a lot of time and money putting together. It would be arrogant to believe that you’ve considered every possible repercussion of the action. Ever heard of the ripple effect?

    There are moments for silliness, and there are moments for seriousness. Writing rubbish on a census form shows a lack of respect for a government-run process that is deemed important enough to be required by law, with fines being issued for non-completion.

    As an historian, one would think you would be more respectful of the need to keep records as accurate as possible. As a conscientious individual, one would think that you’d just fill it in accurately because it’s in your nature. As a responsible member of society, one would think you wouldn’t encourage others to partake in this so-called “joke”.

    • jakemcmillan

      Let’s be clear, the main message of the other census campaign is about preventing the many people who claim they are religious who are not actually really religious as it will skew how government policy and funds are decided/allocated. I fully agree and support this. However, I do not go along with all of that campaign’s ‘recommendations’.

      In the FAQ section it does cover the campaign’s view on putting down Jedi (the link you provided) and outlines nicely what happened in the 2001 Census and the reasons why some people (including myself) did it. Although the campaign recommends not to put Jedi, it does make it clear the Office of National Statistics will interpret Jedi response as not religious, i.e. they know it is a joke/protest.

      I have not and am not arguing that putting Jedi/Sith will have no impact whatsoever, quite the opposite. I’m saying it will have no negative impact on government policy. If it would impact this, then it would indeed be irresponsible to do it.

      In 2001 nearly 400,000 people in England and Wales recorded they were Jedis. This is important. That is now part of history. It wasn’t just ten or twenty weirdos, but 400,000 people felt compelled to do it. Ask yourself why? Future historians will ask why? Using your analysis/interpretation you will say that there were 400,000 irresponsible people in England & Wales in 2001. I disagree with that interpretation, but for the sake of argument say you are right, it has actually enabled the census to reveal much more about the population than just pure demographic data.

      As an economic and social historian, I find this intriguing, fascinating and important. People writing Jedi/Sith on a census form is not irresponsible silliness. Drawing a cock on the census form would be disrespectful and irresponsible, but putting Jedi/Sith isn’t. The religious question is purely a voluntary question and is not compulsory by law. It is not contradictory to think the census important and respect it but also be able to make my own protest and have fun in a safe way. This is part of who I am. Others are like me too and I actually think it is really good that the census is capturing this about people of this country.

      I am not trying to start a revolution or throwing stones through windows. It is a peaceful protest and a harmless bit of fun. The fact that so many other people want to do it too must be respected and cannot be regarded as simply irresponsible and childish behaviour.

      As for future descendants of mine (assuming I have any), I expect they will be more silly than me and not mind at all. Actually, I would be very pleased if my descendants saw my response as they would see that I was not just a drone who complied with all government stipulations, that I had some personality and a sense of fun and was exercising my right to protest. I’d like to think they were proud or at least had a smile on their face.

      The census is all about capturing information about people and the fact that so many people want to put Jedi/Sith is important and will be studied by historians in the future. It gives greater insight into the mind of the nation than simple statistics ever will. As a historian I very much appreciate this.

      I am not demanding or forcing others to do the same as me. I know many friends who will be putting down Jedi/Sith, but if others do not want to, then that is their choice and that is very cool with me. I feel very strongly that others and myself are not being irresponsible or childish in wanting to do this. I am not doing it on a whim, it is my considered response. I respect your decision to put what you want, I expect others to respect mine.

  • Soapie

    It’s clear that I don’t agree with you, and you don’t agree with me. So let’s leave it at that. From this “drone” (nice!), it’s over ‘n out.

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