11 February 2011

Different Worlds

If a fourteen year old wants to join a rugby club in England he has to register with the RFU There is a form and, being fourteen, he will likely be given the form to fill in himself [when they are seven, their Dad does it]

After the routine of name, address, phone number, date-of-birth, what would you guess is the first thing the RFU want to know?

Did you guess: Have you played rugby before?

Nope, it's : Ethnic Origin (Please tick where appropriate)

These are the options, there are - I am not kidding - sixteen of them 1
  • White: British
  • White: Irish
  • White: Other
  • Chinese
  • Mixed: White & Black Caribbean
  • Mixed: White & Black African
  • Mixed: White & Asian
  • Mixed: Other
  • Asian and Asian British: Indian
  • Asian and Asian British: Pakistan
  • Asian and Asian British: Bangladesh
  • Asian and Asian British: Other
  • Black or Black British: Caribbean
  • Black or Black British: Africa
  • Black or Black British: Other
  • Other Ethnic Group

After evening training last week, one of our new joiners stared at the form, completely baffled.

"What should I put ?" he asked me
"Oh, don't worry about it", I said, "tick whichever you think fits you best"
He thought about it
"I think White-Other... I was born here"

Slightly surprised, I glanced over my shoulder at him, that wasn't the option I had expected to hear, but he was pretty muddy.....I checked the name he had written on his form: Ahmed Mahmood.

"Is that OK?"

Somewhere in the RFU there must be teams of earnest data analysts giving colourful powerpoint to blazered alickadoos, analysing micro trends in the ethnic groups by which they divide their world. Their world comprises sixteen precise and bizarre categories. The the world occupied by a fourteen year rugby players in West London is a different world.

1 - and no option for 'don't want to say'
2 - (obviously no, it wasn't that actual name no)

1 comment:

Bill Quango MP said...

White Irish gets its own category?
Yet the poor eastern/central/southern Europeans have to lump themselves together as White other?
And Italians have no special tick box?
The EU will go potty if it can't track migratory ethnic-religious population movements across Euro areas.

This form already looks out of date. It belongs in the museum with ones that used to say tick for: