The results of the 2011 census published yesterday shed a fascinating insight into the changing face of Britain.
For example, the seaside town of Blackpool has the highest percentage of its population who are divorced – 13.1%.
Our neighbouring council, Rushmoor, has the highest percentage concentration of Buddhists – 3.3% – anywhere in England and Wales.
26.3% of the population of the Isles of Scilly do not have central heating compared with the national average of 2.7%.
Islington has the highest percentage over ove 16s who are not in a relationship – 59.9% compared with the national average of 34.6%.
Kings Lynn has the highest percentage of its population living in caravans – 5.9% compared with the national average of 0.4%.
30% of the population of Blaenau Gwent do not have passports compared with the national average of 16.9%.
Norwich has the highest proportion recording no religion – 42.5%.
People calling themselves Christians fell from 72% of the population in 2001 to 59% in 2011. Fewer than 50% of households were inhabited by couples who were married.
We expect our political leaders to have a vision and the strength of their convictions. They may be wrong-headed but at least they have a sense of where they are going. Our present incumbent, I am afraid, fails this test and trims his policies at the first whiff of trouble.
Take the issue of same sex marriage. The census has indicated that Christianity and the institution of marriage is declining. Our (unwritten) constitution is centred on the separation of church and state. But Cameron having gaily announced that it was going to be lawful for same sex couples to marry, has done U-turn (again) and exempted the major churches to keep the right wing, the antediluvian clerics and the U-kippers at bay.
For a whole host of reasons, mainly to do with inheritance, civil partnerships are unsatisfactory. This is the 21st century for goodness sake. Same sex marriage should not be an issue and the necessary legislation should pass on the nod.
The PM and his party should concentrate on finding solutions to our economic crisis, the surge in youth unemployment, the lack of affordable housing etc etc etc.
At times like these I join Cicero in despairing.