Tha cuid de cheistean a’ chunntais-sluaigh gun fheum, tha Murray MacLeòid ag ràdh

Leis a h-uile càil a tha a’ dol air adhart an-dràsta (An Ucràin, cosgaisean connaidh is eile) chan eil e na iongnadh mòr sam bith cho beag a dhaoine a tha air a dhol an sàs anns a’ chunntas-shluaigh. Tha rudan eile air an aire.

Tha iomairt poblachd a’ dol son toirt air barrachd dhaoine a’ chunntas sluagh a dheànamh.
Tha iomairt poblachd a’ dol son toirt air barrachd dhaoine a’ chunntas sluagh a dheànamh.

[English-language version below]

Ach, ‘s e rud a tha ann a tha air leth cudromach. Tha am fiosrachadh a thathas a’ cruinneachadh air a chleachdadh airson cuideachadh le poileasaidhean poblach a dhealbhadh, eadar slàinte is sòisealta, sìos fiù ‘s gu dè an t-airgead a thig a thoirt dha comhairlean ionadail.

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Tha a’ mhòr chuid dhen t-sluagh a’ tuigsinn sin glè mhath agus sin as coireach gu bheil e cho tàmailteach cho beag ‘s a tha air a lìonadh gu seo, 80%.

‘S dòcha gum biodh cus ann rannsachadh-sluaigh iarraidh air carson nach eil an cunntas-sluaigh ag obrachadh ro mhath, ach gu deimhinne, feumaidh beagan de thuigse a bhith ann air dè a tha air a dhol ceàrr.

Tha a bhith gluasad air-loidhe air buaidh a choireigin a thoirt air, tha fhios, ach leis na tha de dhaoine an-diugh a tha cofhurtail le sin, tha fhios nach tug e droch bhuaidh sam bith air.

As aonais rannsachaidh choileanta, feumar a dhol leis an eòlas a th’ againn fhèin, agus na tha na daoine air a bheil sinn eòlach ag ràdh rinn. Air a’ bhun sin, tha e soilleir gu bheil cus na lùib agus gu bheil pàirtean dheth do-dhèanta a thuigsinn, le tòrr de thaghaidhean air am foirm pàipeir agus tòrr a cheuman a dh’fheumas thu dheànamh air-loidhne.

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Tha Murray MacLeòid ag ràdh gu bheil margaidh an fhearainn a-mach à rian

Le bhith ag iarraidh air an t-sluagh a dhol an sàs ann an rud sam bith, tha e cudromach gum bi e sìmplidh agus nach toir e cus ùine. Air a’ chiad cheum shìmplidh sin, tha an cunntas-sluagh air fàilleagadh, fiù ‘s dhuinne a tha cho eòlach sa ghabhas air foirmichean air-loidhne.

‘S an uair sin, tha ceist mhòr nan cùisean gnèitheach. Tha fios aig daoine gu bheil iad fireann no boirean no ‘s an là a th' ann, tar-ghnèitheach.

Ach, nuair a tha an uimhir de thaghaidhean ann, tha e ga do chur dheth – gu h-àraid nuair a smaoinicheas tu nach eil rian ann ach gu bheil cuid dheth a’ bualadh air àireamh fìor bheag a-mhàin.

Tha fhios gur e dòigh a tha ann a bhith cothromach dhan a h-uile duine agus ‘s dòcha g’ eil cuid againn air dheireadh air a' chòrr dhen t-saoghal air an seo a thaobh tuigse, ach tha gu leòr fhathast nach eil idir a’ tuigsinn a h-uile càil a tha seo.

Chan eil e idir ag obrachadh ma tha thu a’ cur a’ mhor-chuid dheth le bhith feuchainn ri bhith cothromach do dh’àireamh cho beag.

Tha fios gu ìre carson a tha do ghnè cudromach a thaobh poileasaidh poblach, ach carson fon ghrèin san là a tha ann a thathas a’ faighneachd mu fheise (sexual orientation)?

Chan eil ann an sin ach rud a tha gu tur prìobhaideach agus chan eil gnothach sam bith aig duine eile ris. A-rithist, cunnart daoine a chur dheth.

Agus tha ceist eile ann mu bhith a’ cur “Breatannach eile” an àite Cuimreach no Sasannach. Cò fo shealbh a bha a' faicinn sin iomchaidh no glic agus e cho follaiseach sa ghabhas an sgaradh poileataigeach a tha ann an Alba an dràsta.

Le iomairt mòr poblachd, tha an ceann-uidhe air a chur air ais mìos, ach mura tig an targaid de 95% a choinneachadh, bu chòirear tòiseachadh a-rithist gu tur agus le sìmpleachadh air cùlaibh a h-uile càil a tha ann.

Tha an saoghal troimh-cheile gu leòr mar-thà agus tha an gnothach seo ro chudromach fhàgail ann an suidheachadh far a bheil mì-chinnt.

Given everything that’s going on in the world (Ukraine, cost-of-living crisis, etc), it’s not too surprising that the current census exercise has failed to gain the necessary public traction.

It is an issue, of course, of vital importance. The information it provides helps to inform and shape much of public policy, from social and health issues down to local government funding allocation.

That much is well understood by the public at large which is why the current completion rate – as things stand only 80 per cent have been returned – jars so much.

Maybe it’s a bit much to say we need a census on why the census isn’t working, but clearly we need to understand what’s at the root of the problem.

The move to an online system may well be a contributory factor, but given how much of the population are now computer literate, it’s unlikely to be significant.

Without proper research, we can only go on anecdotal evidence and our own experience. And, though granted this may well be more a reflection on me, some of it seems all together unnecessary and off-putting.

The crucial aspect in any public engagement is that it’s not going to be too much a burden and won’t take up too much time. In this first basic test, it falls down, with a vast array of choices on the paper version, complete with extensive guidance notes, and the usual online identity confirmations.

Persevering nonetheless out of a sense of duty, comes the minefield of gender. We all know instinctively whether we are a man or a woman or trans, or fluid, or whatever we wish to call ourselves.

But for an awful lot of people, whether behind the societal curve or not, this modern array of choices is utterly confusing and simply serves to alienate those of a let’s say more traditional view of the world.

Undoubtedly, it’s an attempt by the Scottish Government to be as inclusive as possible and that’s an entirely laudable intention. However, when placating a minority alienates the majority it becomes counterproductive.

In fairness, someone’s gender can be important in identifying changing trends, a crucial part of the census.

However, what on earth in this day and age has anyone’s sexual orientation – an entirely private matter – got to do with anything surrounding public policy?

And that’s before we even consider why English and Welsh are lobbed together as “Other British” under the sub-section of white ethnicity. Surely, someone with even a basic understanding of Scotland’s divisive politics could have foreseen this as a problem.

With a major publicity campaign, the deadline has been extended by a month, but if the stated target of 95 per cent is not reached, then the whole thing should be scrapped and started afresh. This time with simplification for the majority very much in mind. It’s too important for it to be left under a cloud of uncertainty.

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