David Cameron has recently announced and, due to widespread scepticism, defended the coalition government’s decision to introduce a national £2m government funded ‘happiness-index’, to gauge the happiness of the British people. The Office for National Statistics is to formulate questions for a household survey, to be carried out up to four times a year. Cameron has previously hinted at such an ambitious project. In 2005, soon after becoming Conservative leader he said: “It’s time we admitted that there’s more to life than money, and it’s time we focused not just on GDP but on GWB – General Well-Being”.
One could dismiss the government’s happiness-index proposals as woolly, blue sky thinking, politically calculated to coincide with the continuing instability of the Euro Zone, the winter student riots or the new year VAT rise. Alternatively, one may insist quite the reverse – that these factors render the proposals an even more Continue reading “The Pursuit of Happiness”