|LETTERS FROM LONDON
|REASONS TO BE CHEERFUL
20 March 2016
|Happiness is a Warm Gun
Well no, unless you are 13th on the fourth World Happiness Report and that
would mean you live in the US. No, really.
Denmark is, for the third time, the world's happiest nation while Burundi ranks as
the least happy. Have they not been watching Nordic Noir? Borgen, The Bridge,
The Killing, The Legacy, Follow the Money, and then there’s Lars von Trier, but
let’s move on from him.
Denmark has now topped the rankings almost every year since the report's
inception – only beaten by Switzerland in 2015. 5.6 Danes are happy, happy,
happy. Really? Addicted to Nordic Noir, after watching an episode of dark,
dreary, desolation – and that’s just the weather – you could find yourself
climbing out of a well of melancholia, misery, moroseness. Yikes.
157 countries were involved. The criteria: life expectancy, health, access to
medical care, family relationships, job security, social support, political freedom,
government corruption, generosity, the GDP. No mention of weather or lack of
The UK was ranked in 23rd place, slipping two places from 2015. They possibly
have watched every episode of This is England – or EastEnders on a regular
basis. While the US moved up two places to come 13th. Huh? Have they been to
Detroit, Baltimore, etc? Oh the list goes on.
Last year's leader drops to second place, followed by Iceland, Norway, Finland,
Canada, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Australia and Sweden. Oh those happy
Scandinavians. Really? They must be hiding that from non-Nordics.
Making it into the top ten appears to be a distinct lack of inequality. Now could
that lead us directly to the posh Tory toff, Chancellor Georgie-Boy and his
proudly delivered Budget.
The Master’s Master Plan
A few days ago it was, yes, yes, ‘the sugar makes the medicine go down in a
most delightful way’ blah, blah. Loads of sugar references I won’t repeat. You’re
Chancellor Georgie-Boy had put on his pricey trainers to race to the finish line
and grab the Prime Minister crown. See him run. Well, not quite as he can’t
actually run can he? Oh oops, George. Not only would he have been stepping on
those disabled peasants whose benefits he’d stopped, ouch, but Georgie is
about to make yet another of his forced U-turns.
The disabled would lose an average of £3,500 a year. It’s a loss of £3.5 billion
Personal Independence Payments to those who need it most, money to help the
disabled/chronically ill with life - you know - dressing, eating and washing. No
surprise Boy-George is giving the top five percent of his wealthy friends a £2.7
billion cut in capital gains tax over the next four years. Not nice. But then again,
he knows the poor generally don’t vote Conservative do they?
Oh dear. Is that a knife in his back? Yes. Avid Brexit advocate, Work and
Pensions Secretary, Iain Duncan Smith has done the et tu Brute deed. As we all
know, IDS has quit over and after he had approved Georgie’s Budget cuts. As
we all know, IDS spent tens of thousands of pounds to fight a court ruling that
the bedroom tax should not apply to victims of domestic violence and the
severely disabled. Curiouser and curiouser. Well, possibly not.
Tory Party split, in disarray, in chaos, a mess? Yes. Yea! Deferred satisfaction
in regards to that crown, Georgie? Yes. Yea! Georgie predicted to be moved to
the Foreign Office in July? Yes. Yea! OK. I’ll stop. Time to enjoy the bedlam.
Georgie has now created a £55 billion black hole – which can’t be filled with
sugar. G-B ignored the economists’ warnings as he has literally no experience
of life without unlimited personal cash. You have two years to rot your teeth on
fizzy drinks until the tax comes in.
The fun bit: other than imagining PM CallMeDave’s berating with an ‘f’ word
tirade at IDS – what’s not to like? - Georgie doesn’t disappoint. It was all to play
for when the ball was in Georgie’s court. While visiting a Leed’s school –
presuming pre-privatisation – where children were playing netball, Georgie was
left waiting for the ball as pupils refused to pass to him. Expressing their
response to the sugary drink tax?
There’s a video clip. G-B attempts to speak to the ball-passing children saying:
"Come and gather round and tell me..." Tell him what exactly? We don’t find out
because but they continue to ignore him and throw the ball to each other. Future
Tories? Possibly not.
G-B doesn’t give up – naturally – and tries to join in by signalling for the ball to
be thrown to him. You guessed it. The children again appear to ignore his
desperate calls. Finally, a teacher instructs one of the children to pass the ball to
You could feel sorry for him when all those playground memories flood back as
you watch the video. He’s lucky they didn’t hit him with the ball I’m thinking.
There is now a mass Tory rebellion over the disability cuts. Tory backbenchers
are refusing to play ball with G-B. Oh dear me.
Playing unfairly, Georgie plans to cut £4billion thinking this is his winning
strategy move next door to Number 10. No worries. Conservative economists
have warned us: taxes will go up.
We’re not happy. Happy Valley is over and the writer, Sally Wainwright, isn’t
immediately working on another, which surely will follow this second episode.
Other than not understanding, OK, trying to translate all that Northern mumbling,
and yes, subtitles were necessary at times, the humour, subtlety and innate
understanding of human nature, was just brilliant. Oh let me repeat: brilliant! No
need to mention the acting really: superb!
Pete Lawson, who attempts ‘female feelings’ on EastEnders seriously needs to
watch this series – over and over and over again. He never, ever gets it right –
or even close. While Sally’s writing is just so simply perfect.
Happy, Bring Me Down
Madonna not happy – obviously. Has she been acting out with her messy loss of
control in regards to son, Rocco, we’re thinking? Oh dear oh dear. Madonna
desperately trying to shock; so last decade. Wanna-be model plus set-up. Oh
Madge. Go home.