Northern Ireland. We’re happy, happy, happy, apparently…

I loved the report on UTV last night where they went to Antrim town to interview the happy inhabitants there: ‘Happy? Sure there;s nothing here!” Phew, that’s what I thought too. At guess I would say there’s two factors. One, people in Northern Ireland still adhere to family and friendship structures in a way that’s less common in Britain. And, notwithstanding what’s about to happen, the cuts agenda has been much kinder to NI than elsewhere.

Greater stability in social structure and in economic outlook doesn’t necessarily equal greater happiness, but it cannot not help Northern Ireland be the happiest place in the UK

  • Jag

    “new figures show a 44% increase in cannabis factories across Northern Ireland.”

    Apparently, we’re all to get scratch and sniff cannabis cards so we’ll know where to find the stuff.

    http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/local-national/northern-ireland/psni-launches-scratch-and-sniff-cards-to-whiff-out-cannabis-farms-in-northern-ireland-30614606.html

    Personally I think our politicians are already overusing the stuff. “Hey man, look at all the pixies and lemons, or pygmies and lemmings”

  • Jurassic Parke

    I disagree with your conflation of unhappiness with a “cuts agenda”, and ergo happiness with suckling the taxpayer’s teat.
    However, regarding family structure I totally agree. Is this linked to greater religiosity (both Catholic and Protestant) than in GB?
    I would argue that a strong local/national identity forms part of it and contributes to these structures- not that a blow-in like myself need miss out on this.

  • Biftergreenthumb

    I agree that strong ties with family and friends are a key factor in living a happy life but I would be sceptical of the claim that religion and a strong sense of national identity help reinforce these bonds.

    I would be even more sceptical that there is any necessary connection at all between religion and national identity on the one hand and happiness on the other. Look at Pastor McConnell. I seriously doubt that a man filled with that much religiously inspired hatred is genuinely happier than your average easy going secular liberal. Similarly I’m sure the fleg protesters all have a very strong sense of national identity but I never see too many smiles on their faces. Similarly with members of the EDL or the Golden Dawn. They don’t exactly look full of inner joy.

  • Nevin

    Dig a little bit deeper, Mick:

    2011/12-2013/14, by Local Authority, for United Kingdom

    Please note that although these maps only show Great Britain, comparisons are made to the United Kingdom as a whole which includes Northern Ireland.

    Northern Ireland mapping is unavailable due to licensing restrictions.

    Should we blame those miserable sods in Cookstown? 😉

  • Superfluous

    Apparently ignorance is bliss…

  • Nevin

    On further reflection, it would seem that this deficit can be put down to a failure of joined-up government at Westminster. The Office of National Statistics has a UK remit whereas Ordnance Survey just has a GB one.

  • Mister_Joe

    I can’t help but wonder whether the assumed security of a Government paid job (or benefits?), directly or indirectly, contributes to that apparent “happiness”.

  • Mister_Joe