The Welfare State We're In, The website of the book by James Bartholomew
January 02, 2008
Wednesday
Has 'selfish materialism' made the British unhappy

I appeared on the Today programme on Radio 4 this morning. I was up against Oliver James who has a new book arguing that Thatcherite "selfish capitalism" has made British people unhappy. Unsurprisingly I didn't agree. But actually, though I think his economic premises in his new book are utterly wrong, I do have respect for Oliver James as a psychologist. I quoted him in The Welfare State We're In and met him while researching the book. He kindly directed me towards research indicating that British people are less happy than in previous generations - something on which we agree.

Over the next week, it might be possible to listen to the interview on the BBC website. The link is here. The conversation was at 8.48 on Wednesday 2nd January.

He has some good lines. I liked the one: "You can't pull with a Ferrari in Copenhagen". This is a claim which should be tested.

Posted by James Bartholomew • Indexed in Behaviour & Crime

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Comments

Nice satirical article here

http://custodian-online.blogspot.com/2008/01/mediocracy-is-bad-for-our-mental-health.html

Posted by: Peter Horne at January 5, 2008 01:36 PM

My gut instinct is that people aren't less happier than they were previously. Today they are able to live more meaningful, less controlled lives. They are able to fly to Rome on Easyjet and stay a couple of nights there for a week's salary - and still pay their rent at the end of the month.

Posted by: Alex at January 26, 2008 01:47 AM

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