Why is the ONS bowing to trans orthodoxy?
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has suggested it may no longer require census respondents to say if they are male or female, deeming the question ‘irrelevant, unacceptable and intrusive’. It’s a reminder of how far officialdom will go these days not to be seen to offend minority groups.
Of all the things we inherited from antiquity, the census has proven to be one of the more durable. These statistics allow us effectively to allocate resources for health, education and so on. But one thing the census sadly doesn’t measure is sense. If it did, we might have foreseen the deluge of offence-seeking and thoughtpolicing that has led us to a point where asking someone’s gender is deemed ‘irrelevant’ to a national census.
It’s deeply worrying that an institution devoted to gathering facts objectively feels the need to bow to the perceived needs of a tiny minority. If this is permissible, then what else might the ONS be tempted to fudge? Will the criteria for crime stats be changed lest they reveal uncomfortable correlations to ethnicity, gender or class? Should academic attainment be measured differently so as not to irk low achievers?
For the ONS, rationality and accuracy should be paramount. In the realm of reason and science, it is facts, not feelings, that matter. It speaks to how quickly officialdom has bought into transgender orthodoxy that this principle can be so casually discarded.
Benedict Spence is a writer based in London.