My family are the happy recipients of the national Labour Force Survey (compulsory).

The process involves an extensive initial visit by their staff, said to last about 15 minutes but actually lasted around 45.

This is followed by three monthly follow-ups involving 15-minute phone interrogations and going on for a couple of years.

Obviously this survey could be really valuable to gauge labour demands, etc.

In our case however we feel that it has to be of limited value.


We are after all over 15 years retired and have no plans to return to the workforce or retrain.

The questions demanding (yes demanding) to know if we had sought or refused work in the last few weeks or initiated further action to enhance qualifications, seems futile.

The ones asking for the gender of my wife and daughter who have female names, seem controversial by international standards.

It seems they do not have categories for people beyond the black and white former norms.

I am glad they didn't ask for my religion as I was born in Belfast.

I know that this survey is a very small random sample of our population.

I am surprised to find that at least two other families in our street have been involved, which is a remarkable statistically speaking.

I have to wonder how good the statistical scientists are at spending your money to find out what?

Maurice Mckeown
Welcome Bay

Case for 1080

I challenge Russ Hawkins (Letters, February 5) to read the other side of the argument.

The book he refers to The Quiet Forest is written by a rheumatologist, not a scientist involved with conservation or wildlife.


It is full of anecdotal, unproven so-called "evidence".

I personally do volunteer work in local conservation and have spoken to a lot of people involved in conservation work.

After a 1080 drop they have struggled to find any dead native birds at all and after a short time the bird population booms due to the lack of introduced predators.

Please look at the evidence from both sides, as many of us have, before attempting to influence people. Read Dave Hansford's book Protecting Paradise which references actual scientific evidence.

The reason we need 1080 is because it is, at present, the most cost-effective and practical method of controlling pests over large areas.

It is impractical and in many cases, impossible, to use traps everywhere.

John Begley
Welcome Bay

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