Wednesday 22 February 2012

Have you got a minute...?

So, I arrived home last night to find a sorry-I-missed-you card: Something called the "Active People Survey".

It says, "Active People Survey is a nationwide survey for a government agency sponsored by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport. It is about people's leisure and recreational activities and the results will help shape local services in the future."

A bit of digging - I Googled it - and I discover that, far from being an isolated, flash-in-the-pan piece of idiocy, this has been going on for some time. It is in fact the sixth annual Active People Survey and it has been spending my money to fuck-knows-what end since two-thousand-and-bastard-five!

Here are the highlights (highlights!) from APS 5:

Highlights from Active People Survey 5:
  • During the period October 2010 to October 2011, 6.927 million adults (aged 16 and over) participated in sport three times a week for 30 minutes at moderate intensity;
  • 14.759 million adults (aged 16 and over) participated in sport at least once a week for 30 minutes at moderate intensity during the period October 2010 to October 2011;
  • Comparison of the 2007/8 (Active People Survey 2) and the latest results to October 2011 (Active People Survey 5), shows four sports (athletics, boxing, table tennis and mountaineering) have seen a statistically significant increase in participation rates.

OMG. Who gives a flying fuck? And they want to waste MY valuable, personal time asking me what I do with MY valuable, personal time, when I'm not working my butt off trying not to become another tragic penniless retirement statistic? It's got nothing whatsoever to do with the government. Any government. And why has funding for an utterly pointless initiative which began under the failed Labour lunatics been continued by the current administration? Mr Osborne? Hey, Gideon George? You've missed a few million quids-worth here. Small change, I know, but this could be just the tip of the iceberg. What other socialist data-gathering horrors lurk beneath the lapping waves?

  • SOWS - Staring out of the window survey. To assign a number to the time spent, er... sitting.
  • IPS - Inactive people survey - how many people could not be arsed to fill in the APS questionnaire.
  • IRS - Inappropriate response survey - counting the proportion of people who greeted our interviewers with a cheery "fuck-off" and a coating of egg.
  • OIYA - Oh, it's you again - a sub-survey investigating the degree of hostility proffered when a subject inadvertently answered the door thinking it was the postman, bringing them something they wanted.
  • TNHS - There's nobody home survey - an investigation into how many people no longer answer their door because of the possibility it could be a survey-goon, armed with a questionnaire.
  • ITYTFO - I told you to fuck off go away already - measuring hostility towards survey interviewers.
  • F&HS - Fear and Hate Survey - an attempt to measure the degree to which violence in our society has increased in line with government's insistence on measuring things rather than actually doing things.

Of course, it's entirely possible I'm misjudging the public mood here and that people actually like to be approached by uninvited strangers, probing their personal behaviour and taking up their time. So, in order that I may best judge the way forward, vis-a-vis your preferences regarding the utilisation of time which might otherwise be spent in active leisure pursuits, I have a short questionnaire here. It won't take long... do you mind if I come in? Tea, please... two sugars.

1 comment:

  1. One day last year I was sitting on the sofa with a glass of wine and a packet of walkers finest cheese and onion crisps while lusting over carol Vorderman who was on the television.

    The door opened and Mrs H came in and said, "I'm off to the gym, do you want to come?"

    My reply to her was the same as it would have been if one of those shaven headed tribades knocked on my door asking me to complete a survey.