Wednesday 11 September 2013


Ranking of happiness: Top 20


The top five happiest countries in the world were Denmark, Norway, Switzerland, the Netherlands and Sweden, according to the report published by the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network. Denmark also took top spot last year.

1. Denmark 
2. Norway
3. Switzerland
4. The Netherlands
5. Sweden
6. Canada
7. Finland
8. Austria
9. Iceland
10. Australia
11. Israel
Costa Rica
12. Costa Rica
13. New Zealand
14. United Arab of Emirates
15. Panama
16. Mexico
17. United States
18. Republic of Ireland
19. Luxembourg
20. Venezuela

Ranking of happiness: Bottom 10


1. Togo
2. Benin
3. Central African Republic
4. Burundi
5. Rwanda
6. Tanzania
7. Guinea
8. Comoros
9. Syria
10. Senegal


  1. Tris

    Surprised that the UK isn't in the bottom 10 given how many people are now scraping by and living hand to mouth. Savings, now there is a concept of the past.


    1. They turned out to be 22nd, which amazed me.

      Prices go up and up, wages go down and down. I've just had my gas bill... despite it being the end of the summer, I am only £12 in credit. Looks like I'm going to be hit with a massive increase. I'd expect to be well over £100 in credit by now.

      Everyone's standard of living is dropping, except of course those at the top.

  2. I've never been someone who is greedy so I'd like to suggest that an independent Scotland would actually make it into the top 10 Tris. Whilst the top 5 would be great I'd be happy with anywhere in the top 10, at least as a starting point. To be honest I don't think the UK would be able to hang onto its number 22 slot either. Post independence I think you'll see the rUK slipping further down the list perhaps as low as number 30 or even lower.

    1. I wouldn't mind the lifestyle of any of the top ten countries Arbroath... They are all better off and more equal that we are.

      That said, these things are only a bit of a laugh... There must be people in Denmark who are inconsolably miserable and I bet you there are people in Togo fair brimming with happiness.

  3. Mmm.

    While I don't adhere to the notion of national stereotypes, I am distrustful of those who are overly cheery, not to mention the dreaded; bubbly *shudders* characters.

    I reckon we should be mid top 10, but Scotland's natural character might artificially depress (ha ha) our position somewhat - so low teens I suspect.

    Although, it may be wise to say things are a bit crap, you wouldn't want loads of people coming 'up' to spoil the peace and quiet...

    Or have I just been a bit xenophobic ;-)

    1. Lord yeah, bubbly people... Jeeeeez. Nightmares.

      I guess what you're saying is that we are door Pa?

      I don't think I'm xenophobic at all, but we don't want all of England and Wales decamping here leaving just Charlie and Cameron and their mates in England...

  4. Israel at number 11?
    I wonder how many Palestinians were asked?

  5. How can we be a 'happy' or 'contented' country when the Tories are imposing the viciousness of the bedroom tax?

    Reading in my Guardian the UN inspector calling it "shocking". Rather harsh language from a diplomat. Goes to show how evil it is.

    Another reason why the only vote is Labour, only Labour can eject the Tories from power in Westminster!

    1. But Labour introduced the bedroom tax back in 2008 and refuse to say that they will scrap it as they are red Tories so please explain how changing the colour will change anything. #deluded

    2. Anas Sarwar has made clear Labour would reverse it I thought? He said it... so ... what is your point?

    3. Trouble is Dean Anas does not make Labour policy, what's more as the number TWO in the leadership of Labour in Scotland you'd think he'd have passed this idea passed his boss, Johann Lamont. Unfortunately he hasn't because she apparently has no idea about what will happen about the bedroom tax. Apparently no one in Labour HQ in London has any idea either as no one will make any commitment. They 'claim' they'll have to wait to see how the finances work out before making any commitment to removing the bedroom tax. It has to be financially viable before they'll remove it. NOTE financially viable NOT anything to do with it being right or wrong or protecting the innocent poor, underprivileged, infirm, disabled etc.

      More over he only made the 'claim' that Labour would reverse it during the latest 'debate' on STV. This man will say anything to make himself look good.

      He doesn't care about the people of Scotland he's only interested in what's in it for himself. If he was really concerned about what was in the best interest of the people then he would answer some of the questions that were put to him but he never did. Why is that?
      It wouldn't be because he has no answers would it?

      Anas Sarwar is very good at shouting and talking over everyone but he's not so good at providing answers.

    4. It was a debate on welfare. He should have been prepared for it, but clearly he hadn't checked that out, Dean, because, on the same day, at pmqs in England, his boss's boss refused to be drawn on it.

      Liam Byrne said that it would be their wish to do away with it, but it would depend on how much it cost (very feeling!)

      Ms Lamont hasn't said what her opinion is.

      I seriously don't think they let deputy leaders of branch offices make the decisions.

      In fact the one certain way to get rid of the bedroom tax is to vote yes, and then vote SNP in the first election. As soon as the power to get rid of it is in Edinburgh, it's gone. And that would work for Anas too, if that's what his party in Scotland believes.

      Unfortunately there are far too many people in the richest parts of the UK who simply don;t want their taxes used to keep poor people in houses any large that the absolute minimum size.

      Mind you, the humiliation of being told off by the UN should do something, although from what I could gather it was the usual reaction. "We don't need foreigners coming over here telling us how to run our country".

      Pity we never think of that when we get stuck into a lecture to other people.

  6. Milliband made it very clear in the House of Commons when challenged by Cameron, that he wouldn't say.

    Anas must be aiming high .........leader of the British Labour Party is he?

    1. Exactly David. He simply can't afford to upset anyone in teh south by espousing radical policies like fairness.

      I wouldn't mind the tax so much if it were not for the fact that THERE ARE NO OTHER PROPERTIES AVAILABLE

      Duh! The stupid policy is costing more as homeless people are having to be housed in bead and breakfasts.

  7. Sarwar trained as a dentist.
    He knows all about novocaine of the brain.

  8. tris#

    Youse Nats have made an art form out of being miserable chip on me shoulder old gits !
    That is your definition of happiness the more whingy whiny sad you seem the more happier you lot are. why you wouldnt know what to do wid yerselves if it weren't for your imaginary subjugation by the English state.

    About Norway now its become a Nazi leaning state any comments thereof

    Arbroath 1320

    You keep doing that and we will have to start calling you Tony two times
    you got hiccups or sommit ???

    1. Don't know what's causing the repetitions Niko as I only hit the publish button once. I guess someone in the ethershpere is a but Mutt and Jeff and has to be told something twice, perhaps it doesn't sink in first time around. lol

    2. One has to keep reminding Dean numerous times as it seems to only sink in very very slowly. There must me a reason.

    3. Arbroath Arbroath, so good they named it twice....?

      Anyway. I'm not miserable Niko. When I come round on Saturday to collect Taz to take him on the march you will see for yourself just how happy and smiley I am.

      I think you'll find right wing politics in Norway is wayyyyyyyyyy left of left wing politics here.

      Sweden has a right of centre government.

      It's the UK that has Nazis.

    4. Ah yes... but it is sinking in Cynical...

      Give the lad his due. He's not afraid to change his mind when he thinks he's been wrong.

    5. "One has to keep reminding Dean numerous times as it seems to only sink in very very slowly. There must me a reason" -Cynical

      You could always try spanking me. Now I know that can work wonders for having things sink into me :D

  9. Niko,

    Living in a part of the UK that is classed as the very opposite of being miserable I never whinge about anything but the death of the real Labour party and their unholy alliance with, and adherence to, Tory policies.

    I think it is up to former Labour voters to not sit back, forelock tugging and compliant and accepting things but to fundamentally whinge, complain and make your voice heard in order to change the party that you blindly follow whilst they are getting more and more like the Tories you profess to hate.

    Having spent years travelling in some of the less-fortunate countries in the world I was always amazed by the courage and the fortitude of the residents of these countries and one in particular devastated by your pretendy Labour "comrades".

    1. Bravo... just yeah, bravo!

    2. That is a bit exaggerated, but I take your point on macroeconomic policy. However this 'third way' social democracy syndrome has been the blight of all leftwing democratic parties in the developed western world.

      Labour has proud successes between 1997-2010, that you conveniently ignore, ones which give a lie to your suggestion that we somehow 'sold out'. Lets talk social policies:

      -Over 1m kids raised out of poverty
      -EMA, working tax credits and a major expansion of social security
      -LGBT rights
      -minimum wage
      -devolution (something the SNP opposed, which we delivered for Scotland)
      -ECHR sign up
      -successful reduction on how much of EU budget goes to CAP (something the Tories talk about, yet have never achieved)

      I think that is a pretty progressive set of accomplishments!

    3. Dean,

      I'm not dismissing things that Labour have done. However, having worked for them I can tell you that most, if not all, of them were done to appease their trade union paymasters. It would be extremely naive not to recognise that if the majority of voters are right-wing, and they are, especially in regard to the belief of subsidising Scotland, then Labour will have to change their policies in order to appease and accommodate them. As an optimist I would hesitate to say that in the event of a NO vote that we are dooomed but I really am concerned about the consequences.

    4. Now that the Trades Unions are sick of them...will Labour continue to do things to appease them? After all if the payer is no longer paying, will the piper continue to pipe?

    5. Over 1m kids raised out of poverty? By lowering the bar by which such things are measured.

      LGBT rights? Labour vetoed gay equality 13 times (

      Minimum wage? In real terms its worth less now in your pocket than it ever was back when it started. Its actually gone down.

      Devolution? The SNP did not oppose devolution, they just didn't, they wanted full indy but took what they could get which at the time was, devolution. They campaigned for a yes/yes. Can't really say any more.

      Reduction in CAP payments? A drop in the ocean, a sop to the anti-EU crowd, not worthy of mention.

      When put in the balance, in terms of civil rights, new labour gave with one hand and shoveled it back with the other. They were responsible for the worst attack on freedom than any other government before or since. I mean, it took the Tories to scrap ID cards, how does that work?

      Meanwhile, Tony Blair, leader and figurehead of the New Labour con job, in his capacity as Peace Envoy to the Middle East is busy going about the business of suing for war. Plus ca change...

      I suppose it was progressive, if you're including taking one step forward then three steps back.

    6. That's fair comment.

      Labour in the past has done great things. The only decent government the country ever had was Labour... but the Blair/Brown years were lacking in lustre!

      The gap between rich and poor grew and they brought back a minimum wage at the same level as it had been for lower end jobs when Thatcher got rid of the then equivalent.

      I always had the impression that they were trying to be more Tory than the Tories.

  10. Thanks to Moradura for the transcription of what Anas and Nicola talked about:

    Nicola question: "Give me three specific examples of welfare cuts that Ed Miliband will reverse?"

    Anas answer: No answer

    Nicola question: "Will you reverse the £250m cut to disabled benefits?"

    Anas answer: No answer.

    Nicola question: "What's Labour's policy on the savings credit for low income pensioners?"

    Anas answer: No answer.

    Nicola: "The fact is - you won't reverse ANY of these Tory welfare cuts."

    Nicola question: "What universal benefits will be protected by Labour?"

    Anas answer: No answer.

    Nicola question: "Free prescriptions - Yes or No?"

    Anas answer: No answer.

    Nicola question: "Tuition fees - Yes or No?"

    Anas answer: No answer

    Nicola question: "Free personal care - Yes or No?"

    Anas answer: No answer

    Nicola Question: "I'll give you another chance- free prescriptions, Yes or No?"

    Anas answer: No answer

    Nicola: "Free tuition - Yes or No?"

    Anas answer: No answer, but effectively a no.

    Nicola: "I don't understand how you came here tonight defending the right of the Tories to impose welfare cuts on Scotland ... You haven't answered a single question you've been asked."

  11. Brownlie

    Seems to me the Labour party have put up a big sign saying
    Old Labour just feck of and die....................

    And as the years flow by we are just doing that soon we will all be gone
    to that old socialist graveyard in the sky.


    yep Nicola and the Free Scotland mantra
    perhaps someone should ask her how is it all going to be paid for
    and she can tell us how the snp will tax the wealthy.

    Or Not !!

    1. We pay for it, I suppose, Niko, in the same way that most European countries pay for the better services they have.

      We stop having the forth largest military spend in the world. For the UK, a small island off the coast of Europe, it is a joke. But fair enough, for some people, it is hard to give up the position and status that once you had...empire, commonwealth, sun never sets, quarter of the world is red... blah blah.

      Obviously in Scotland's case we would save all that money.

      Whatever they say, the oil is here from another 40 years...even Cable and Cameron have said that (in fact they are counting on it. Look at what Norway has done in 40 years with oil money. Turned it from a relatively poor northern country to super rich.

      If we had that money to spend we could do what they have done.

      At the moment we also pay form many things that our people never see any benefit from.

      The Olympics obviously comes to mind. That was paid from UK funds, whereas the Commonwealth games is funded by Scotland alone. We got no benefit from the Olympics. We put money into London; the building contracts were mainly local; very few contracts came here.

      The HS2 is another project that we will be helping pay for. But it will run initially as near to us as Birmingham...about 250 miles from the border, and even when it is finished... and as Willie Hague once said, we'll all be dead by then... it's only going to Yorkshire. After that it's a horse and cart...but we are paying for it.

      That money can be spent on Scotland.

      The Common Weel... the Jimmy Reid Foundation...talks about higher taxation and higher spending. It terrifies the shit out of Tories, but it works so well in Greenland, Iceland, Faroes, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Denmark...

      But, you know... as I have said before, it's not down to the SNP to say what will be done. The Scottish people will vote for a government in 2016 (either a full government or a semi government) and there is nothing to stop them voting overwhelmingly for Labour.

      Without Miliband and Balls and Harman and the need to appease the Tories of SE England, maybe Scottish Labour would be able to come up with policies that we could be proud of.

      Why wouldn't they? We all know Lamont was anti bomb, pro trade unions, and a bit of a firebrand, before she was told that she'd to tow the London line.

      What I want is a fair decent state...yeah, rich if possible. And we have no earthly chance of it, when there are 5 million of us, and 30 million people in the South of England calling for hard right policies.

      They have already changed so much in the past ten years. Private companies benefiting from making a mess of looking after the sick and the old and the welfare system... and they won't stop till everything is run like that.

      Grand. I'm sure the well off will do very nicely from it. But the huge numbers of poor will lead lives of misery, lurching from one miserable crisis to the next. Everything can make a profit for these people. No compassion.

      I don't want to live like that.

      So I dunno exactly where the money will come from. That will depend on which party forms the government. That's down to electors. But it's possible. It can be done. It's just that while there is a top table London will always want a seat at it. Edinburgh never will.