It started with the Babylonians half a dozen millennia ago when they wanted to plan for how many mouths they had to feed.

By 2AD the Han dynasty in China used it to find out they had a population of 57.67 million people living in 12.36 million households. By then the Greeks were already onto it and it allowed the Romans, under Servius Tillius, to put the number of arm-bearing citizens available to him in 6BC at more than 80,000. The Romans so liked it they did it every five years and even gave it a name. The census.

We were supposed to have a census in Scotland in March last year. That was postponed, allegedly because of Covid, but that cannot be true since in June of the previous year the First Minister Nicola Sturgeon claimed to have almost eradicated the coronavirus.

The fact that she did not manage what would have been a unique feat amongst world leaders against a global pandemic was put down to one thing – the English. Apparently, she suggested at the time, Westminster’s changes in travel restrictions stymied her efforts.

So, because she can, the First Minister decided that Scotland would have its own census this year, with a wide choice of genders and ethnicities that the Scottish Government tailored to our different needs.

Want to see more SNP fails? – Education Matters

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