So, the boffins at ONS maintain that Barrow-in-Furness in Cumbria is the least happy place in Britain, do they? What nonsense.
Barrow, my home town, is industrial, predominantly working-class with a high proportion of inhabitants on some form of benefit. It’s true as well that the district is hardly the most aesthetic around. But that’s because it’s a hard-working location, dominated by a shipyard that produces Trident submarines.
There’s no doubt the area is isolated, stuck on the end of a peninsula, 40 minutes from the M6. That sense of distance does get to the locals. Despite “the yard” as it’s known, continuing to be busy, jobs are hard to come by.
But unhappy? No way. Where the researchers may have been mistaken was in interpreting a natural grumpiness for dissatisfaction with life in general. They should have realised that staring into the bottom of a tankard, putting the world to rights is when the good, solid folk of Barrow are at their happiest.