Broccoli Headed Brits

This evening I am feeling even gloomier about civilization than Mark Steyn. It began last evening when Mr. W. was reading me something he'd written about Jeffrey Sachs and the happiness quotient (it's in a new book). We were having fun mocking the return of Jeremy Bentham, but then I happened to run across this post at Secondhand Smoke and learned there's a movement afoot to have the government monitor --and try to provide-- your personal happiness.Even then I could still laugh because Peter Singer was behind it, and in spite of his having an Ethics chair at Princeton, no one really takes him seriously, least of all himself.

But lo and behold, David Cameron's government is taking a quarterly "happiness" survey.
Starting next month, the government will pose the following questions and ask people to respond on a scale of zero to 10: How happy did you feel yesterday? How anxious did you feel yesterday? How satisfied are you with your life nowadays? To what extent do you feel the things you do in your life are worthwhile? Scarcely extraordinary, but Andrew Oswald, a happiness economics expert at the University of Warwick, suggested the questions were a good start, although he would have added, “How well have you been sleeping?” — an important mental health indicator — and “How pressurized do you feel your time is?”
Just a wee bit more:
The important thing, he argues, it to shift “from the concept of financial prosperity to the idea of emotional prosperity.” Perhaps that’s the 21st-century indicator we need: gross emotional prosperity, or G.E.P…Clearly, happynomics is no precise science, and how the happiness index will link to policy remains to be seen. But the idea is to put value on things that don’t have price tags…
No it isn't. The purpose is to 1) plant the idea that the function of government is to make you happy and 2) collect a database that suggests people who are unhappy with the government are mentally ill. How could you not be happy? We're giving you everything you need to be so!

Think it's not about spying on citizens? Submitted for your approval: The Daily Mail reports that the government has collected a database of more than 20,000 children -- ages 3 to 11-- who have uttered "racist" comments. It's supposedly part of an anti-bullying campaign, but know what counts as a racist comment? A little kid calling another one a "broccoli head."

Yeah, I can see how no child could ever recover from that. Why don't they just have the children turn their parents in while they're at it? I like how Britain is going after the three-year-olds, but has little to say about looters in the street. I liked the old-fashioned government program against bullying that was known as the cop.

As Peter Kirsanow reports at that link, the U.S. Dept. of Education is considering the same policy. Because playground discipline is a function of the federal government. And taking your kids from you if they happen to call another child "broccoli head" will be the next move.