“In what may well be one of the last utilitarian bean-counting exercises performed by New Labour, the Department of Communities and Local Government has reported the results of its latest ‘Place Survey’. This is a comprehensive look at how satisfied Britons are with where they live.
“You and I might well imagine such activity should be confined to the Ministry of Stating the Bleeding Obvious but why make things easy when you can generate great mounds of paper and waste the time of a great many people and the money of a great many taxpayers to discover that, lo! The inhabitants of leafy Richmond upon Thames report an approval rating of 92.4 per cent.
“This made Richmondians only the second happiest bunch in the country, beaten by the nabobs of the Square Mile but that hasn’t stopped the Westside posse declaring victory, on the grounds that the 10,000 City of London residents are a statistically insignificant sample.
“So, London boasts the most satisfied residents in the land but also, doh! the least: the inhabitants of two-stops-short-of-Dagenham (they’re Barking), and Dagenham itself, have recorded a meagre 56.5 per cent approval rating for their own riverside manors; which may, it’s fair to say, find themselves in the Thames, rather than upon it, if the world keeps getting hotter.
“Being a Stockwell resident and while not exactly miserable, certainly not brimming over with the joys of life, I decided to go west for a day to find the secret of the Richmondians’ inner peace.”
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