David Cameron has today issued a statement in response to growing rumours that the government currently has no plan in place for how they intend to lose the information gathered from the 2011 census. He moved to reassure the public that the coalition government fully intends to misplace all of the information gathered but that they are in no rush to decide exactly how to do so.
With the date of the census now passed and post boxes up and down the country stuffed full of envelopes slightly too large to fit easily through the slot, many people would expect the government to already have a detailed plan in place for how they will collect, collate and then lose the results. But Mr Cameron is adamant that they are going about things the right way:
“We have to bear in mind that we will have a huge amount of personal information on our hands and we have a responsibility to the nation to ensure that we treat it in the right way. We are looking at a timescale of several months to collate all of the information once it is returned, so there really is no rush here. Over the coming weeks I will be meeting with Nick Clegg and the head of the Office for National Statistics to discuss all of the options open to us and ensure that we get losing this information absolutely right. There is no point in rushing into things and partially losing the information before we have it all together in one neat, compact, easy to lose package.”
Speculation is now likely to surround exactly how the government will go about losing the information. The options include putting it all on a laptop and then leaving it in a taxi or on a train, putting it all on a data stick and leaving it in a coffee shop, or cutting out the middle man completely and just posting the full results anonymously online while tipping off the Daily Mail about the web address so they can be suitably outraged.
Labour leader Ed Milliband is less than impressed with the government’s approach:
“This is yet another example of poor organisation from the coalition. They should already have a clear policy in place for losing information and follow that. There should be no need for several meetings and debates on the subject, the information should just be put on one unencrypted disc and mailed backwards and forwards between two offices by standard delivery until it fails to turn up at one. Then a public statement should be issued blaming the problem on a junior official or a temp. We cannot afford to have this amount of information lost in an inappropriate way, or worse still, kept secure.”