Friday 2 December 2011


The Office for National Statistics has cheered everybody up today by publishing the first official study into how happy we are (see the story here). This works in two ways. People who take the study seriously take heart at the fact that three-quarters of us seem pretty happy thank you very much; the rest who think it's a pointless farce for the government to spend money in this way are enjoying satirically the fatuous commentary and daft conclusions being drawn by pundits from these meaningless statistics.

Individual citizens know much better than government what happiness really means to them and would prefer to be left to work things out for themselves. Least of all do citizens need mental health organisations (yes, including Hafal) to start telling them how to be happy; and government would do better to concentrate on its duty to assist those who really need help by reason of their mental illness.

We already have a potent means of telling politicians whether we are happy - through the ballot box. Meanwhile we should all take time to share with each other what makes us happy and to start the ball rolling I will mention squid tempura, fried foie gras slices with piquant cold pickle, and this. I'm not proud.