Coffee House

Why 2015 might well be mankind’s happiest new year

26 December 2014

1:29 PM

26 December 2014

1:29 PM

Journalism usually focuses on what’s going wrong, not what’s going right. As a result, newspapers can give an unduly negative view of the world. I try to remedy this in my Daily Telegraph column today by pointing out that 2014 has been the best year ever – just as 2013 was, and just as 2015 will be. It is something that is, now, true every year but the point cannot be made enough. We’re living through a period of amazing progress – in medicine, prosperity, health and even conquering violence.

One of the most significant studies I’ve seen in this is in the current edition of The Lancet showing how the world has been since the end of the Cold War. The above graph, taken from the Lancet article, shows the waning of disease. The below chart, from a WSJ article by the Canadian academic Steven Pinker, shows the waning of war. And some more graphs below it.

God knows that there are enough people with enough problems – and people for whom 2014 has been a tough year, with more misery in store. But in the round, for the average human, this is the best year to be alive. There has never been more reason for people world over to expect, as well wish each other, a happy and prosperous new year.

Screen Shot 2014-12-26 at 08.58.08

 

[Alt-Text]


The waning of hunger…

Screen Shot 2014-12-26 at 09.51.34

The waning of infant mortality…

Screen Shot 2014-12-26 at 09.55.54

And the waning of excess British winter deaths…

Screen Shot 2014-12-26 at 09.04.00

 

 

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Show comments
  • http://radical-moderation.blogspot.com/ TheRadicalModerate

    It’s a nice set of important graphs. I’m happy that they’re all still moving in the right direction. But they’re all trailing indicators. By the time you see things moving in the wrong direction, things have been off the rails for some time.

    Some suggestions for leading indicators: Percentage of outlays devoted to entitlement programs in developed economies (I’m American; not sure what the proper term is in UK budget-speak), debt-to-GDP ratios in developed economies, arable land, cereal yields per arable land, fresh water reserves, and various indices of freedom. Some of these are still going in the right direction, some not so much.

  • Davey

    The very last place you want to visit if you’re looking for an upbeat and optimistic world view is………..Spectator Blogs!! Happy New Year – you miserable old gits!

  • Richard

    Africa has many, many, many, many more starving people because more of them are surviving. In other words, if survival equals happiness, there is increased happiness. I tend to think along the lines that there are far more unhappy people and so the general result of greater survival is a far greater amount of unhappiness.

  • Mike

    Mankinds happiest year-2015 ! Not for British Ex-Pats living in France or Spain it wont.

    That Tory clown Ian Duncan-Smith has stated that under new WFA rules, Brit ex-pats in these two countries will no longer be recipients of WFA even though Northern France is far colder over the year than South West England. But hey, lets look at this, Northern France is on EXACTLY the same latitude as a large part of the UK but is excluded under the new WFA rules. Last time I looked, North East France is bitterly cold in the winter worse than Newcastle or Edinburgh so I can see this one heading for the European Courts in double quick time.

    UK contribution to the EU is around £11.3bn a year. UK benefit costs just for Poland with wives & kids living there is around £20 million. UK WFA costs to British ex-pats who have paid 40 years worth of tax & NI contributions and will lose it, around £15 million. The Tories are well and truly the nasty party when IDS could stop payments to Poland and still be left with £5 million in change by leaving WFA alone.

    Pathetic, vindictive, fiscally pointless and a slap in the face for Brits. If you want to really save some money IDS, stop the WFA or better yet, roll it into pensions and tax it as people like Fred the Shred would pay 40% TAX on it. But, we don’t want to upset our banker mates do we Ian Duncan-Smith !!!! Just what planet is IDS on or is he on drugs !

    Of course, we could leave the EU and then you can scrap WFA for ALL expats.

  • travelfree

    Thank you for this Fraser Nelson. Some much needed perspective on the headline news that causes skewed thinking in many. The more positive and accurate picture is much appreciated

  • Swanky

    I don’t know where else to put this — the Spec’s articles are like a kaleidoscope ever moving — so I’ll put it here. People complain about procedures less dreadful than some (all?) women’s experience of childbirth, and that’s called ‘torture’. Yet I read tonight in a book about obesity*: ‘Experiments in animals emphasize that stress or cortisol administration** (particularly uncontrollable stress) increases the likelihood of abusing drugs such as cocaine’.

    Hello? What is this saying? That animals are tortured till they will accept cocaine? If that’s not what is meant, what is it then? Sounds pretty d-mn cruel to me, whichever way you slice it.

    Surely, after our millions of years*** of being cruel to one another, humans would know what ‘stress’ is, without making innocent animals miserable! There oughta be a law.

    Fat Chance: Beating The Odds Against Sugar, Robert Lustig

    **cortisol is a hormone released by our bodies when we encounter unpleasant or threatening incidents

    ***Ardipithecus ramidus, our earliest postulated ancestor, lived about 4.4 million years ago.

  • Hegelman

    good. that means revolution. people get hope when things get better.

  • stm12

    this piece of so called journalism and the one just before it written by the same author..”2014 was the best year ever…..” is a bunch of complete rubbish, hogwash and bullshit. All in the real world…is nearly the complete opposite…This is mainstream media talk for and by the rich and their talking heads of whom this author is….and I have decided whom is not worth my time to email or have a sensible conversation with…He lacks the intellect for such!

  • davidofkent

    Well-being is a relative term. To have been well-fed in the mediaeval world would have been a cause of well-being. Presumably, these days it is more a matter of the size of your TV.

  • Tom M

    Interesting article. The Waning of War caught my eye and reminded me of a similar set of statistics used in the 1960s to show the decline in accidents since motorways were built. There indeed was a reduction in the number of accidents but when they did happen they were much more severe. I hope the same doesn’t apply to the war statistics.

  • greggf

    “But in the round, for the average human, this is the best year to be alive.”

    Tempting fate Fraser ?
    Sounds like famous last words…..

  • http://twitter.com/WinstonCDN WinstonCDN

    Amen

  • Hippograd

    Don’t forget the Renaissance Man Sajid Javid, Mr Fraser. He may well find a cure for cancer and perfect cold fusion en route to his well-deserved premiership. In fact, it would be racist to say he won’t.

  • AverageGuyInTheStreet

    Our country is invaded/occupied, our capital city fallen, and we’re supposed to feel chipper?

  • JM Dearden

    Still trying to rally as much support as I can before Jan 7th http://openletter2thestate.blogspot.co.uk/2014/12/an-open-letter-to-david-cameron-prime.html

  • Ambientereal

    Where are the drug consumption statistics and the related criminality. Where is the number of criminal organizations, the burglar and rape cases. Where is the number of people dead or injured in car crash. Where is the number of people that are afraid of walking in the street at night, the ones that are afraid of leaving alone their houses for fear of intrusions and burglar? Where is the number of cars branded in the streets?

  • London Calling

    well said Fraser……………and about time to………..Happy New Year!!…..:)

  • ManOfKent

    As ever that dimwit Nelson comes out with his tiresomely predictable gushing globalist news year’s ‘reasons to be cheerful pt 666’ guff (he does it every year) which all equates to one simple reality that the already out of control explosion of the human infestation on this planet is able to grow with even more abandon.

    So for people like Nelson let us make it very clear that the greatest long term threat to the progress and prosperity of the human race is its uncontrolled population growth. Meanwhile how many other species went extinct this year as a result of the globalist insanity of idiots like Nelson? How many resources have been exhausted in our ever increasing stripping of this planet of all it has to offer?

    The reality is that one day those resources and those other species will be so rare and so in demand that the morass of humanity swarming this planet will have no choice but to decimate itself over and over again just to survive and save what is left.

    We have two choices facing us in the future, either let nature control our infestation (through disease, famine, natural disaster) or let humanity be forced to implement its own ‘final solutions’ The former because of its relative randomness and absence of human relative privilege, prejudice and bigotry is far preferable to any of the numerous human ‘controlled’ solutions (war, genocide, widespread enforced birth control etc).

    PS And just because people are alive does not make the quality of their life worth living or better than their lives in previous years or better than that of those now no longer with us. Sadly that is a point lost on the British political and media classes. and particularly Fraser Nelson in 2014. All they care about is living forever or as close to it as they can get….

    • Damaris Tighe

      Re your first two paras, it’ll be interesting if this comment stays up or goes the way of the two censored posts.

    • Swanky

      First two paras: pure paranoia. No evidence. I’d say you’re a candidate for misanthropic Gaia-worship and animism, but it sounds as though you’re there already. Man is not nearly capable of ‘stripping…the planet of all it has to offer’, though I admit that the Left’s wind turbines do a great deal to blight it without any compensation whatever (anything tubines can do, gas, clean coal, and nuclear plants can do better, with less harm to the landscape and wildlife, never mind humans).

  • Mister Rible

    I missed ‘Islamization’ on that chart

  • http://paulweston101.blogspot.com Paul Weston

    Chrstianity was born in the Middle East, yet 2015 will see the virtual extinction of Christianity in its birth place.

    The people carrying out this religious genocide are set to become the majority in England amongst those of fighting age (18-30) within a bare few decades. What will we see then?

    The evil alliance betwen the Left and Islam tries to cover this up whilst actively criminalising those who tell the truth about it.

    Enjoy your 2015 Mr Nelson, but do try to think of the future……..

    • Guest

      Welcome to Judaism mate.

      • Damaris Tighe

        Welcome to the bunker mate.

      • davidofkent

        Why are guests allowed onto these comments to parade their prejudice?

    • http://www.zpub.com/notes/idle.html TNT

      Men of fighting age, yes – but borne of inbreeding, so not that sound of body, and certainly not of mind.

  • Frank

    I am probably being dense, but just what is the definition of “excess winter deaths”? Is there an acceptable level of winter deaths? If so, what is it?

    • Aberrant_Apostrophe

      The definitions vary, but it is commonly defined as the difference between the number of deaths recorded in the Winter months (December to March) and those in the rest of the year, sometimes excluding Summer. It is supposed to distinguish non-seasonally dependent deaths from seasonally dependent ones, i.e where deaths arise from cold weather viruses such as flu. It is often used, as here, as a measure of poverty, caused by lack of fuel and/or food, poor housing, etc.

  • Lady Magdalene

    Yes it certainly appears that there is a considerable improvement in the statistics Fraser cites. Which in turn means there must have been a significant improvement in the 3rd world.

    However, in the West we are being swamped by an avalanche of immigrants who don’t want to work to build up their own countries: they want to gain a free pass in the ones our forefathers worked to build. And many of them then want to turn our country into a mirror image of the one they abandoned.

    We have the least trusted political class for a century or more, who are busily working to destroy the independence, Democracy and stability of the country our forefathers worked and/or gave their lives to build.

    Life chances for the working and lower middle classes in the UK are regressing. Whilst the Elite accrue more and more power and money and use both to further their own enrichment and that of their allies.

    • http://paulweston101.blogspot.com Paul Weston

      A thousand up-ticks Lady Magdalene! Particularly so for your penultimate paragraph.

    • victor67

      Its Fraser trying to defend neo-liberalism.
      Google Dennis Curren loaves and fishes/ food banks for the truth about Tory Britain.

    • victor67

      Also I think the wealth of our forefathers was built on the exploitation and persecution of many of the people of those countries.

      I agree with you however that it is the rich who benefit from globalization , while those in the middle or at the bottom pay the price.

  • Alexsandr

    Nice to see some good news.
    But there are dark clouds.
    Drug resistant disease is one. Antibiotic resistant TB is on the increase and today there is news of a strain of whooping cough that the vaccine does not prevent.
    But the biggest threat is from an mysogenistic, intolerant and anti learning sect. We have to find a way to counter their bleak tenets.

    • NewToTheGame

      Presumably you consider yourself “pro-learning”, yes?

      Have you considered learning to spell?

      • anyfool

        An E instead of a Y, that is the sum total of your mindless nit picking, you are not new to any game, you attitude is old hat, it is used by people with nothing to say, they have nothing to say, because they have not got the mental capacity to come up with something original.

      • gerontius

        Why don’t you hold off posting until you have something worth reading?

      • Aberrant_Apostrophe

        How would becoming a warlock help?

      • kittydeer

        Have you considered learning some manners?

  • Bonkim

    But do you really want disease and war deaths to go down particularly in failed and failing societies? Do you really want world population to double or triple in the next few decades and all people on earth reach levels of consumerism and waste reach existing levels in the West? Does our earth have sufficient resources to fuel such a mad overpopulated over-consuming billions for ever? It is utter madness – scientists would be better engaged in reducing world population, politicians in cutting off overseas aid and medicos not engaged in combating disease and deaths in failed and failing societies. Think also of all the extra billions saved from disease and starvation trying to cross the Mediterranean trying to find work in Europe/Britain. Let disease, famines, and wars continue their natural ways of controlling population growth and eliminate the unfit.

    • the viceroy’s gin

      …let’s start with you and your ilk.

  • starfish

    This is news?

    Bjorn lomborg said this decades ago

    Despite politicians’ best efforts the human race advances

    • Bonkim

      ………to its early extintction.

      • starfish

        I see no evidence of that

        The biggest problem is human inspired habitat destruction which will affect the whole ecosystem

        Falling birthrates and effective governance could solve that

        • Bonkim

          habitat destruction is a consequence of increasing population and consumption rates – falling birth-rates – need to start from year zero – look at the African and Middle-Eastern cultures that value numbers – the more the merrier and useful to dominate the world. Regards Governance, not many have heard the word and even if they did don’t know what that means. Even in Britain – the more information that is spewn out the less people are interested in understanding and making considered choices. The world is numbed by the information explosion and have shut their eyes and ears. Most people on earth have no control over their future.

  • Lo Bin Sun

    Yes, but who’s going to pay for it? The working class, I suppose. By working class I mean me: small business owner, in the office, Christmas Day, Boxing Day, today, trying to make up for staff on maternity leave, administering the MPF, checking company accounts, writing cheques for business registration certificates. And on Monday, we start work again . . .

  • JohnCrichton89

    How exactly is squeezing more people on this overly populated planet a recipe for happiness. Given the population explosion isn’t happening in the ‘developed’ societies, you would expect the scientific output per head to have dropped. Again, not a recipe for happiness.

    I can understand many of the people living in ‘developing countries’ are measurably happier being subsidized by our tax money.

    Here’s a question, what are these countries supposed to be ‘developing’ in to ?
    To me, it looks like they are just developing into countries with more people. They are not developing the social infrastructure to maintain these people either with are ‘aid’. So we will be paying them welfare cheques for the foreseeable future, so will our children and our children’s children etc.

    I find your enthusiasm for the situation very, very depressing…………

    • J Li

      What do you mean by ” giving these ‘developing countries billions and billions….feed them and educate and etc.” ?

  • Sean L

    The “average human” is purely statistical, actuarial. John Gray reckoned the only unqualified good, that’s to say progressive measure, in human history was modern dentistry, anaesthesia. All these millions who aren’t dying. . . but until quite recently there were fewer people in the entire UK than now reside in London alone. The most apparently contented people I’ve ever witnessed have been in Africa, without a pot to p*ss in, who are statistically in dire poverty. Whereas people here living in luxury spend thousands on camping holidays emulating the nomadic way of life, looking to escape the woes that are the counterpart to their material wealth. I’d guess that the relative proportions of joy and suffering remain more or less constant throughout time. My father used to say his generation got more joy out of getting a few sweets at Christmas than we did with all our toys. . .

    • Swanky

      He forgot to mention freedom. Legal, actual, practical freedom. I’d kill myself without it.

      Also: joy is overrated. Contentment — and more than that — lack of heightened self-consciousness — is what it’s about. The fact that your father got joy from a few sweets says a lot about the privation they normally lived with: not always a good thing. I know what it’s like to hike, canoe, and portage all day in wilderness and savour a milk-less tea, but all the same, I like my life better when I am not wearing an insect-veil over my face and I can enjoy a real tea, with milk.

      • Sean L

        Yeah I believe you Swanky. But those freedoms you rightly value come at a cost, are not unqualified.

        • Swanky

          All freedom comes at a cost. Happily paid! All things considered, America is probably the best country to live in in the world in this era (unless you are so rich and privileged that you can have the best, anywhere).

          • Bonkim

            best, rich, privileged, etc, all relative terms; there are many in the US that don’t think US is the greatest – it all depends on the hand you have been dealt.

            • Swanky

              Well where would they be happier — Botswana? Cuba? Indonesia? I doubt it.

              • Bonkim

                Botswana and Cuba many happy people there. Cuba – their community health services superior that in the US/UK for the average Cuban. Botswana lovely country, small population and most are well looked after. Look around the poorer parts of US Cities – not many happy people there.

                • Swanky

                  The Cuba claim is a) not true and b) not relevant, since the Cubans pay with their freedom, their human rights and often their lives. The fact that there are some dismal places in the US (and the UK) and an underclass mainly fed by atrocious vicious-cycle Leftist policies says nothing about the justice of our nation overall or the rights that we ALL enjoy here!

      • Bonkim

        You don’t miss what you didn’t have. Much of today’s wants are man-made creation.

        • Swanky

          Perhaps, but that in itself ought to tell you something: man keeps creating more. Man needs to create: it’s what he does. And, of course, she.

          Anyway, I must be different because I certainly DO miss what I don’t have, and I hope this year to make progress in getting it. Mind you, the American Founders wanted the citizens freedom in the pursuit of happiness — they said nothing about what happiness actually IS or whether one can achieve it. On the other hand, the clue is in their emphasis on freedom.

          • Bonkim

            The founding fathers wanted all to have food, shelter, good neighbours, family life and able to worship in peace – nothing about XBox or holidays in Hawaii.

            • Swanky

              Ah, but they didn’t impose limits, either. They knew that there were known unknowns and unknown unknowns. Happiness for future people might reside in unknown unknowns, as well as the goods you mention. Frankly I’ve got far more out of the invention of the Internet than I’ve had from ‘family life’. I’m feeling distinctly anti-family — and, given the crew I’m stuck with, fortunately at a distance so I can get on with my life — that’s not going to change.

              • Bonkim

                we have much in common – like challenge, change and argument. I suppose each generation can only see so far ahead and major changes and events hit once in a while that alters the whole perspective. Then again if you don’t expect too much – will never be disappointed.

                • Swanky

                  Mmm, and if you don’t ever ask for more, chances are you won’t get it, either. I’m prepared to take my lumps in that department. As you suggest, some people are more venturesome and speculative than others.

      • gerontius

        Sorry swanky, but i really do appreciate a bit of joy every now and then.

        • Swanky

          Lucky if you can get it!

          • gerontius

            My favorite American singer, Lucinda Williams, wrote a song about a guy who stole her joy, and she wanted it back. Good for her. Demand yours back.

            • Swanky

              Hmm, I’ll have to look her up. Lovely name. I find that joy is not for the demanding. Anyway, it depends what you mean by ‘joy’. Some of my best times have been the triumph of creation and the discussion of a point of philosophy, and a really wonderful transporting book. Not necessarily ‘joy’ as most people think of it, but something less visible to the naked eye and possibly more rewarding.

              • gerontius

                I might have been using the term a little ambiguously. but i trusted that you would just be amused.
                I’ll dig up some Lucinda for you, though she might be a man thing.

                • Swanky

                  ‘might be a man thing’ — that’s what they said about the Pinot Noir….

  • Hexhamgeezer

    Can’t someone invent a graph showing the decline in value/influence of an Englishman/woman’s?

    • Bonkim

      Value of their vote is proportional to the interest they take and the intellectual content of the discussion taking place both in the country and in Parliament.

      • Lo Bin Sun

        I wish.

  • beenzrgud

    Strange that the first chart shows almost no change in deaths related to nutrition yet another chart shows hunger falling. Has McDonalds started feeding the starving millions? As far as I can see there are only several causes of death that have seen significant improvement, the rest staying almost unchanged. I suppose we should be grateful for any improvements no matter how small, but I don’t agree with the assertion that the press focus on things going wrong, at least not the things going most wrong. I’ve seen dozens of reviews of events in 2014, as is usual for the end of the year, but nowhere have I seen any comment on the thousands of children who have been abandoned by our authorities and social services to be preyed upon by groups of vicious paedophiles. Some things it seems are only fit to be swept under the carpet.

  • http://www.cebr.com/ Douglas McWilliams

    Well done Fraser. When I made a similar point in my Gresham lectures, the poverty industry ignored it!

    Sadly too many people have a vested interest in pretending life is worse than it is….

    Merry Christmas

  • Iain Hill

    Copies need to be provided to every food bank so they can give thanks.

  • rtj1211

    Well, you tell your wife once a year how wonderful she is and for the other 364 days a year, whinge and whine interminably.

    See what she says to you!

    It won’t be complimentary, believe you me.

    Trust me, if you want the authority to criticise and be respected for it, you have to be equally fulsome with praise where it’s due.

    If you can’t do that, then you are contributing considerably to emotional dysfunction in UK society. Pandering to prejudice is nothing to admire – it’s the emotional equivalent of drug dealing, encouraging alcoholics to continue boozing etc etc.

  • john king

    And what exactly is going so well or the British population?
    More draconian laws and the removal of our liberties? more ethnics to dilute the European race?
    Absolute tripe.

    • telemachus

      Why not instead start a crusade to make life for ethnics better
      *
      In spite of significant advances in the diagnosis and treatment of most chronic diseases, there is evidence that racial and ethnic minorities tend to receive lower quality of care than nonminorities and that, patients of minority ethnicity experience greater morbidity and mortality from various chronic diseases than nonminorities. The Institute of Medicine (IOM) report on unequal treatment concluded “racial and ethnic disparities in healthcare exist and, because they are associated with worse outcomes in many cases, are unacceptable.” The IOM report defined disparities in health care as “racial or ethnic differences in the quality of health care that are not due to access-related factors or clinical needs, preferences, and appropriateness of intervention.” Since the publication of the IOM report there has been renewed interest in understanding the sources of disparities, identifying contributing factors, and designing and evaluating effective interventions to reduce or eliminate racial and ethnic disparities in health care.

      • Bonkim

        Their own fault – genetic diseases, inbred, over breeding, poverty inducing cultural traits and coming from disease-ridden parts of the world..

        • telemachus

          I guess it is difficult to educate them out of jungle habits
          *
          Quite

          • gerontius

            “I guess it is difficult to educate them out of jungle habits”

            Particularly the grooming and rape of children. Still what does that matter to man of your honesty and integrity eh telemachus?

      • Lady Magdalene

        Generation after generation of in-breeding in certain communities makes them more susceptible to disability and genetic weakness.

        Stop the causes: make cousin-marriage illegal.

      • Mister Rible

        It’s not just high levels of illiteracy coupled with indoctrination of non-science, non-education and non-development, but since IQ points are hereditary, ‘certain’ (cough cough) communities in the world, drop IQ points nearly every generation, due to extreme inbreeding, which is also cause for genetic mutations.

        If you draw a certain cartoon, you will clearly see all these phenomena coming out all at once.

      • disqus_KdiRmsUO4U

        Re making life better for ‘ethnics’:
        The more skilled ‘ethnics’ who leave their homeland to take advantage of the developments that have occurred in the UK the worse off the ethnic homelands will be.

        Dennis Skinner seemed blithely unaware of this when he was boasting about the Syrian doctor who had treated him
        Believe me children in Syria need treatment far more than he does.

        As for the unskilled ‘ethnics’ they add very little that unskilled non ethnics couldn’t achieve

        As for the ‘skilled’ immigrants like Alibhai-Brown the sooner the decide to return to the homeland utopias the better.

      • Malus Pudor

        Go back to Private Eye, Dave Spart…

    • EricHobsbawmtwit

      “And what exactly is going so well or the British population”

      How can you possibly ask that question when you have no rational conception of what constitutes progress in Human affairs? I mean you’ve asked it in the context of an article that shows a slow, steady increase in “Human well-being”.

      • Jan Rokkjær

        Old Scriptures no one but me can see any meaning in says that britain and germany is hold outside… any reason? search for yourself i will not comment more on it

        • Damaris Tighe

          Eh?

      • Bonkim

        not human well being but increase in population arising from reduction in deaths from starvation, disease and wars. Numbers do not equate to well being.

      • ManOfKent

        I mean you’ve asked it in the context of an article that shows a slow, steady increase in “Human well-being”.

        No what it shows is fewer people are dying in certain categories. It says nothing of their actual ‘well-being’ unless of course you adhere to the imbecilic idea that well-being equates to survival?

    • Bonkim

      he British are not European – they are unique and international.

  • Stereotomy

    I’m not really sure how to interpret that Years of Life Lost statistic. It’s calculated by the average difference between somebody’s age when they’re killed by the disease and their life expectancy at that age, multiplied by the number of people it’s killed.

    But that means it’s a function of life expectancy, which is itself a function of these various causes of death. So it seems like the overall slope downwards says more about which causes of death are and aren’t included in the list than anything else.

  • Chris Morriss

    Happiness is not just about whether you are are going to die young or not. For me, happiness is about the quality of life I have. This is something that has been deteriorating year by year. Partially because I am getting old, but mainly because the roads get more clogged up every year, prices are rising far faster than the official statistics state, my cultural heritage is being trashed in front of my eyes, house prices are out of reach of even a reasonably well paid person, and I have to watch everything I say to any sort of official in case the thought police deem me guilty of a ‘hate crime’.
    And then I have to read this sort of risible panglossian inane propaganda.
    Fraser Nelson: Are you some sort of wazzock or what?

    • the viceroy’s gin

      Be fair. The Speccie kid is just here doing his job. The NWO knows what we need, even if we’re too thick to know it, and he’s helping make sure that need is rammed down our throat . And meanwhile, even if the children of Rotherham are brutally abused over the Holidays, repeatedly, they’ll at least have his splendid blogpost to cheer them up, and remind them of how wonderful this year has been for them, with hopes that the new year will be just as wonderful.

      • Damaris Tighe

        Why has Chris Morriss’s completely innocuous, but not on-message, post been deleted?

        • Swanky

          I didn’t see it, D., but I take your word for it. And Chris is a good chap.

        • gerontius

          What did he say?

          • Damaris Tighe

            Hi G. He said that happiness isn’t just about longevity but about quality of life which for him has been going down – clogged roads, property prices, cultural heritage being trashed, having to watch what he says due to pc. He was dismissive of Fraser’s article but not rude given the general cut & thrust of political debate. He also used a Yorkshire dialect term for the author which is used in light banter & isn’t obscene.

            • gerontius

              Sounds like these prissy kids at the speccie can’t cope with Yorkshire dialect.
              A month or two back the telegraph removed a very popular contribution that was highly critical of an article but contained nothing obscene or libelous. Several people, me included, had a copy on disqus and we re-posted it, and when that was removed, re-posted it again, and again. Finally the Telegraph shut down the whole thread. Moral victory for the good guys I thought as more people read it than if the moderator had just left it be.

              Nothing wrong with longevity, by the way. I wholeheartedly approve of it. I think it was Woody Allen who said”I’m not frightened of death, I just don’t want to be there when it happens.”

              • Damaris Tighe

                Yes, so warning to all speccie commentators: don’t use the w .z …k word even though 99.9% of readers won’t have heard of it! Happy new year to you & all here. Let’s keep our sense humour even though the ed seems to have lost his!

                • Swanky

                  Wozoniak? Warinzinnyock? Hmmm…..

                • gerontius

                  W-u-z-z-o-c-k. I presume.

                • Swanky

                  Hmm. Not very suggestive, is it? Less inflammatory, I’d say, than ‘Paddington Bear’.

                • gerontius

                  There was a time when real Yorkshire men would demand satisfaction over such an insult.
                  I’m going to bed – goodnight

                • Swanky

                  Goodnight — see my other replies in the morning!

              • disqus_KdiRmsUO4U

                It’s quite depressing what in my experience is censored on this site. NO reasoned post should be suppressed.
                Posts trying to be reasoned and failing will be exposed.

                re future happiness I believe there exists a massive under examined danger : backing the soviet Union into a corner.
                Systematically reducing the Soviet quality of life by sanctions could well cause an almighty backlash..
                I dont recall moral outrage at the Basques trying to free them selves from Spain.
                When directly effected our elite responded with force. I speak of Ireland.

                Surely our political leaders should recognise by now that trying to make other nations behave in an approved way can have unforeseen consequences. ?

                Re longevity: the real problem is the failure of body ‘bits’

              • Swanky

                I was there when it happened. Mind you, it was my f-i-law, not me. As you might have guessed!

  • Christian

    The idea that these stats are reliable is hilarious

    • the viceroy’s gin

      Yes, they don’t include India, for example. I guess India is too small a population to be of much consideration. Nice to see the Speccie kids are closing out the year like they started it.

  • Robert Allen

    Tell that to Welby, the old grouch.

    • Airey Belvoir

      I think that Welby has his own problems right now!

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