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Saturday, 25 February 2012


this video can be found here and is alastair campbell delivering birmingham university's 2011 baggs memorial lecture on tuesday 12 july.  in summary what he said is:

- i don’t believe governments can make people happy in the way that families and communities can but they can and they should think about creating the conditions so to do. 

- it is interesting that though we have grown much wealthier as a country and, most of us, as individuals, we are not happier. 

- poverty can certainly cause unhappiness, but it does not automatically follow wealth causes happiness. 

- the New Economics Foundation (nef) brought together research from 400 scientists worldwide to come up with the equivalent of “5 a day” for well-being. they are:
  • connect with the people around you
  • be active
  • take notice – be curious and aware of the world around you
  • keep learning – try something new
  • give – do something nice for a friend or a stranger
- much of our media, most of the time, is now slavishly dedicated to making people feel jealous of others, blaming others for their problems, hating others for their actions and attitudes. 
- the relentless negativity is a relatively new thing. the positive to negative ratio in our national press has gone from 3-1 to 1-18 in three decades.  

- i have one big suggestion for a nice base for happiness – focus more on your own life and experience and put the media largely to one side. there came a day when I genuinely ceased to care what the media said about me. it was liberating. it has helped my happiness.
- for me happiness is not about the good moments – though they can build towards it -  but about fulfilment. 

- i think the pursuit of those things that many people may think make them happy – fame, money, alcohol, drugs, quick hit relationships – are less likely to make people happy than give them a sense of elation the endurance of which is all too elusive.
 - any sense of happiness requires a sense of fulfilment and any fulfilment, worthwhile fulfilment, requires struggle. it doesn’t come easy.

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