Thursday, 24 October 2013
The Secret of Happiness
Happiness is the Holy Grail, the pursuit of which is deemed so essential to human life that it is central to the US Declaration of Independence as an unalienable right bestowed on mankind by its fantasy creator. Well if there ever was a god he’s left you to it now and the jury is very much out on whether he ever really intended you lot to be happy in the first place. If anything the evidence suggests that humanity – made in his likeness, remember - is an avowed seeker of misery and this is bad news for national unity. So we intend to bring about new legislation to make you happy.
As good socialists we know the danger in relying on observation, lifelong experience and that much discredited instinct ‘common sense’. No, socialism just isn’t socialism (the caring philosophy we remind you, on pain of re-education) without the injection of some good intellectual rigour. From our party mansions in Primrose Hill we have undertaken many post dinner analyses of the plight of the downtrodden workers we used to represent. Polly Toynbee has typed up our proposals and checked for spelling mistakes and we are certain of our findings because they are endorsed by no less a person than Edolphe Ralphson himself.
What, we asked ourselves, makes people unhappy and what, therefore, should we address to reverse that unfortunate state? And it turns out that poor health, despite the glorious workers’ NHS, is principle among the cause of unease. People are plagued by obesity, suffer with dreadful hangovers brought about by drinking away the misery of heaving their bulk about and suffer greatly from lung cancer caused by the smoking which goes hand in hand with alcohol consumption. We know these weaknesses are not your fault – they are proper medical conditions and we have experts to confirm this.
What can we do, we wondered, to regulate the intake of excessive food, alcohol and tobacco? And then it struck us that we should seek not just to eliminate unhappiness but to increase the sum total of sunny joy luck wherever we can. What makes you happy, we asked? It turns out that helping others comes high on the list of human pleasures so a greater serendipity would be hard to imagine. We can both reduce the misery of the addictive indulgences and simultaneously boost sub-minimum wage glee in one easy move by doubling the tax on food and booze and tobacco and using the revenue raised to help the poor, just like we do with the green levy. Everybody wins and that should put a smile on your face. Or else.
Despite those very effective green serenity taxes we know the uncertainty of climate change also makes some of you glum so we will solve that problem for you by the twin actions of making AGW an absolute FACT by decree and slapping a 100% tax on fuel, air travel, holidays and all other leisure activities such as eating out, going to the cinema, football, etc, etc. But to help you cope with all that we will FREEZE the TV license fee for ten years… just as soon as we’ve factored in a big enough pre-freeze price rise to cover the cost. £500 per year should do it.
This has the extra benefit that given you will choose, of your own free will, to no longer take holidays or go out we will know where you are at all times; at home, in front of the telly. And because we know your favourite television programmes are reality shows we can help here too. You just love to keep an eye on each other so your glorious government will fund a two-way telescreen in every room of every home so we can all monitor that our national happiness targets are being achieved.
Wake up Comrades, there is much joy to be had!
In the future you will have Big Brother morning, noon and night. Happiness, comrades. Not just a right, now a legal responsibility.