Thursday, September 29, 2011
UK Life Might Be a Bit Crap, But I Wouldn't Swap it
I was struck today by an article claiming that the uSwitch quality of life index, shows us 'bottom of the pile'.
The UK emerged as having the second lowest hours of sunshine a year, the fourth highest retirement age, and the third lowest spend on health as a percentage of GDP.
Despite above average household income – the fourth highest in Europe – Britons have 5.5 fewer days holiday a year than the European average and endure a below average government spend on education. UK households also struggle with a high cost of living, with food and diesel prices the highest in Europe, and unleaded petrol, alcohol and cigarettes all costing more than the European average.
The upshot? 12% say they would like to emigrate and only 5% said t hey were happy in the UK. Pretty serious one might think. Yet, on a rare late September day of glorious sunshine, with everyone I passed on the road to the shops remarking with huge smiles on the beauty of the day, I couldn't really see why I should be depressed about this. Rain? Sure I hate it but complaining about it is like sailors railing against the sea. We can't do anything about it so why not just be cool about it? The previous weekend I visited the Yorkshire Dales and enjoyed the kind of beauty my picture represents.
I'd be the last to deny our quality of life could be a lot better and I do get depressed with our climate. But when the sun shines? I forget about the rain and the fog and think that if only we had 5-6 weeks guaranteed sunshine a year, I'd not b other to go abroad so much. We have a beautiful island here, and should value it as highly as it deserves. And the standard of living? Well, it may not be Europe's highest, but I can remember what life was like in the fifties when life was drab, austere and boring. We have so much more to enjoy in the present day. I'm sorry but I really can't be bothered to worry about our poor quality of life on one of the most lovely days of the year.
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