Could a government dare to set out with happiness as its goal? Now that there are accepted scientific proofs, it would be easy to audit the progress of national happiness annually, just as we monitor money and GDP.
One in six people suffer depression or a chronic anxiety disorder. These are not the worried well but those in severe mental pain with conditions crippling enough to prevent them living normal lives.
Inequality makes everyone unhappy, the poor most of all, and that is well within the remit of the state. More money gives less extra happiness the richer we get, yet we are addicted to earning and spending more every year.
So what really works? Treatments in jail do some good, but it's mostly too late: finding a family and a job or just growing older make most prisoners eventually give up crime.
My Lords temporal, today is the day to rise up against the regiment of Lords spiritual and proclaim the values of enlightenment, compassion and common sense.
People want the right to die at a time of their own choosing. Too many families have watched helplessly as a relative dies slowly, longing for death.
This is indeed a clash of civilisations, not between Islam and Christendom but between reason and superstition.
The strongest predictor of unhappiness is anyone who has had a mental illness in the last 10 years. It is an even stronger predictor of unhappiness than poverty - which also ranks highly.
It is now possible to quantify people's levels of happiness pretty accurately by asking them, by observation, and by measuring electrical activity in the brain, in degrees from terrible pain to sublime joy.
My mother begged doctors to end her life. She was beyond the physical ability to swallow enough of the weak morphine pills she had around her. When she knew she was dying I promised to make sure she could go at a time of her choosing, but it was impossible. I couldn't help.
Working lives are for the state to influence. Unemployment makes people unhappy. So does instability.
But how odd that in this heathen nation of empty pews, where churches' bare, ruined choirs are converted into luxury loft living, a Labour government - yes, a Labour government - is deliberately creating a huge expansion of faith schools.
There is all the difference in the world between teaching children about religion and handing them over to be taught by the religious.
But instead of standing up for reason, our government is handing education over to the world of faith.
Happiness is a real, objective phenomenon, scientifically verifiable. That means people and whole societies can now be measured over time and compared accurately with one another. Causes and cures for unhappiness can be quantified.
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