I think that it was famously waspish commentator and former Conservatory MP Matthew Paris who said that you can measure the
Today, Mr Balloon announced that he would like people to be HAPPIER.
Think about it.
What we need is some PRACTICAL ideas that would improve happiness and Mr Balloon telling people "be happy" is not one of them. His suggestion that people should tell their bosses that they want more money for less time at work is not much of a goer either. Fluffy Mr Sir Alan has a reply to that sort of talk.
Anyway, Mr Balloon obviously needs HELP, and so I will try to help him out with some ideas and that will make HIM happier too.
1. STICKY BUNS
Give out free sticky buns to everyone. Especially ELEPHANTS. People always like something for nothing, especially if it has sugar icing on top. This would improve happiness. Except for people with diabetes.
I'm sure that Mr Balloon and his other rich friends could not mind spending some of their own money on buying sticky buns for people. If they want to improve happiness.
2. INVENT SOMETHING GOOD
A car that was not bad for the environment would be a good start, then people would have more CHOICE and could save the world and not melt the ice caps drowning all the husky dogs.
If you cannot invent anything yourself, Mr Balloon, maybe you could help out the clever people who do invent things. People like the world and probably don't want it to be destroyed so it would be a good happy making idea to support inventors and manufacturers that are good for the environment. Maybe by cutting their TAXES paid for by people who are BAD for the environment.
3. STOP SCARING PEOPLE
If people were not frightened of crime all the time then they would be happier and they could go out and enjoy the sunshine and the park more often. So Mr Balloon should tell his
4. PROTECT WORKERS
Being in work makes people happy, believe it or not. Except that bit in the morning when Daddy has to get out of bed.
Money may not be very important to Mr Balloon, but there are some people who have to think twice before they buy a Howie's Tee-shirt or an Innocent smoothie. Like, maybe, will they feed the kids this week, instead.
They might be happier if they were not worried that the big company that they work for could take their job away if they spend more than twenty-nine seconds going to the toilet. That really cuts into the time you can spend on your lifestyle of hope and ethical consumerism. Packaging "getting the sack" as "greater job mobility" is NOT the way to greater happiness.
Mr Balloon ought to go into big supermarkets and give the managers a good talking to – like he did to his pals from media and technology at the Google Zeitgeist Europe conference 2006 – about how they should concentrate on their workers' happiness rather than on their productivity.
If only there was some way to give the workers a say in company behaviour. Mr Balloon would be sure to give his backing to that suggestion!
5. ADVERTS SHOULD ALL BE MADE BY EASTENDERS
People are made UNHAPPY by seeing adverts all the time which are full of shiny beautiful people who are younger and richer and free-er to dance all night drinking sickly sweet flavoured rum drinks while roller-blading in first class with reclining vibro-massage beds. With very loud music. This makes people feel WORSE OFF than the rest of the world and so UNHAPPY.
If Mr Balloon had his chums in the PR business make all adverts be made by the MISERABLE PEOPLE from EastEnders then everyone would think that they were much BETTER OFF than the rest of the world and they would be much happier.
PEGGY: 'Ere, do you fancy a drink, Pauline? Try this alcopop stuff.
PAULINE (most miserable woman in the WORLD): Oh, all right. The sickly sugary tastes might offer some temporary distraction from the ongoing agony of Sonia's break up with Martin. Ta!
You see, you are happier already!
6. DID I MENTION STICKY BUNS?
With these simple and practical suggestions I am certain that Mr Balloon could make lots of people happy.
It is a BIT of a pity though, that the FIRST person that Mr Balloon decided to make happy was Lord Blairimort by supporting him in his bid to INCREASE CHOICE by DENYING parents the, er, CHOICE of whether their children's school gets turned into a McAcadamy.
Oh well, you can't blame him for trying, I suppose.