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20 November 2006



I heard an interesting talk the other day by a sociologist who advised a Select Committee on the inclusion of a 'race' question in the Census. After he'd asked a few of the awkward questions, a Tory member of the Committee apparently burst out, "Come on - everyone knows this is about colour!" To which the sociologist replied that if it was all about colour they could stop worrying about how to word the questions - all they'd need to do would be to arrange for a paint manufacturer to equip the census takers with a colour chart ("Could I see the back of your right hand please, Mr Smith? This won't take a moment...") Apparently this wasn't regarded as a serious suggestion, though.

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