Search This Blog

Monday, 12 May 2008

Reasons to be cheerful . . .

Oh, so that's it. We now know why we're miserable. It's a lack of religion and love of God in our lives, that's what. How do I know? Because a group of religious MPs have told me so, that's how.

Well, they've told everybody so, because it's in no less an organ than The Times (probably elsewhere, too, but I couldn't stand the thought of reading it twice). The paper's superstition and religiousness correspondent, Ruth Gledhill, says,

In a new report on wellbeing, a crossparty group of Christian MPs echoes concerns raised by the Conservative leader, David Cameron, who has emphasised repeatedly the importance of action to improve society’s sense of “wellbeing”. They say that the Christian voice is not being respected properly because it comes across too often as “negative”.

And the "Christian voice" is what will provide the answers, negative or not?

One of these MPs, Steve Webb, a Liberal Democrat, is quoted as saying, “Over the years, many of us who are MPs rooted in the Christian community have been concerned that our voice in the public square can come across as being too negative. We are easily identified by what we are against, but less clear what we are for.”

He goes on to say that, despite material wealth, society lacks a sense of wellbeing. He "argued" (The Times's word, not mine) that this had been caused by the erosion of religious values.

Britain is becoming increasingly miserable, says this report (paid for by us, presumably), in spite of the fact that they now teach "happiness" studies in some British schools (oh, God, give us strength!). The authors say in their foreword, “Given all the advances of recent years, we seek to understand why a sense of human wellbeing – happiness if you like – is not more widespread.”

They go on:

Our solutions, therefore, do not involve yet more law or increased taxes, but rather a call to reexamine the decisions taken in every sector of society in the light of crucial life-changing principles.

No one argues that material wealth is everything, and we know there are lots of miserable rich people. But there are also many miserable poor people whose unhappiness can be laid firmly at the door of their lack of material wealth and who might stand a chance of at least seeking happiness and wellbeing if they weren't at their wits' end wondering whether they can afford the rent or the mortgage; so talk of how material wealth isn't important sounds rich (if you'll pardon the pun) coming from people who get enormous salaries and even better expenses packages and get to vote themselves even more money every year.

Yes, of course wellbeing has to be taken into account, but MPs could make a start by improving people's material lives to give them the chance of raising their own sense of wellbeing. Quite how MPs can bring about a sense of wellbeing without providing amenities, good education and good healthcare, goodness only knows.

Do they propose a sermon instead of Prime Minister's Questions? (Come to think of it . . .)

No comments: