Following Cameron's statement last year that he wished to consider the Gross Domestic Happiness of the nation the Office of National Statistics (ONS) has been working on working out how to measure happiness. Earlier this month the ONS published their initial thoughts on what they call the 10 signs of happiness:
- Are you satisfied with life?
- Are you satisfied with your husband, wife or partner?
- How satisfied are you with your mental and physical health?
- Are you happy in your job?
- Do you feel involved in your neighbourhood?
- Are you happy with your personal income?
- Are you satisfied with your education?
- Data on how many voted and trust in Parliament will also be measured
- Statistics on the economy will also be included
- As will environmental factors, including greenhouse gas emissions and air pollutants
Whilst I have some issues with government telling me to be happy, I must say I have even more of an issue with the general response to this initative. This all reminds me from a Scottish trait that can be rather annoying - when asked, "how are you today?" the stock response is more often than not "not bad thanks". So the steady state is bad is it?! OK so this may be political nonsense - but surely anything that raises awareness of "well being" is better than nothing? After all we all know what GDP stands for dont we?