Thursday 23 August 2018


The census man came round and said

what are you? I said that I don’t fill in that

bit because it’s always used against people.

He said that’s not true, he said he always

filled it in and look at me. I looked at him.

He was black. I said, no I don’t fill it in and

he said that he would fill it in for me. I said,

you can’t do that because that would be

you defining me. He said that he could do

that, if the occupier would not say what he

was. I said, what will you put me down as?

He said he would put white. I said, well actually

I’m Jewish. He said that comes under religion. I

said I know it’s a religion. He said I can put you

down for that under religion, then? I said, well

you can’t actually because I’m not a religious

Jew. He said, then you’re not Jewish. I said,

I am and he said, I don’t have Jewish under

this other part of the form. No, I said, that’s

because someone somewhere decided that

I can’t call myself Jewish on the form. Well,

he said, I’m afraid that’s nothing to do with me.

No, I know it’s nothing to do with you, it’s do with

people who don’t want me to be counted as Jewish.

He said, Mmm. I said, have you got Irish there?

He said, Yes, are you Irish? I said, No, I’m not

Irish but some people who are not Irish say they are

Irish even though they’re not born in Ireland,

it’s a bit like that with me, only I’m not Irish. Oh, he

said, where were you born, because we could put

that. I said I was born in Harrow, I don’t think that’s a country.

No, he said, it’s not, but I thought if you were

born in Israel I could say you were Israeli. Yes,

I said, but I wasn’t born in Israel. No, he said,

you were born in Harrow. That’s it, I said, Harrow.