I have been reading this week about David Cameron’s plans for a national happiness audit.
You have to wonder how this came about. Was Cameron sat at his Very Important Desk one day, fiddling with his iPad, thinking to himself “You know what, I’m just not sure how people are feeling about the slashing of NHS budgets, mass redundancy across the public sector and brutal welfare reform – I know! I’ll spend millions commissioning a survey to ask them!”
Seems a bit weird doesn’t it?
The survey would apparently be designed by an independent national statistician, but this is the bit I really don’t get – how exactly do you measure happiness? Isn’t happiness ultimately subjective? How can you possibly come up with a single numerical value that quantifies the complex emotions of a nation full of men, women and children of all ages, beliefs and motivations?
Besides, I thought we had already established that the secret of happiness was moving to East Anglia and eating pizza?
What do you think – is happiness something we can measure? Could an index of happiness be a useful tool to inform government policy, or should Cameron scrap the survey and just give everyone Dominos vouchers?