Tuesday, 4 January 2011

The national mood.

 How sad to be French. Well according to a Gallup World survey The French are the most pessimistic nation state  followed by the Icelanders, Romanians, Serbs and then the British.
The happiest were Nigeria, Vietnam, Brazil, Ghana, China and Kosovo.
It would seem that in no small measure those with the rosiest outlook are people living in the fast-growing emerging powers. The most miserable of nations, those that face a bleak economic outlook. Such an outlook is what currently prevails throughout the Western world.
Alas, there was not a direct survey of Wales. So we know not whether we are a happy or sad little Celtic nation. But it would be surprising if we were in the ranks of the happiest.
A Wales that faces billion of pounds worth of cuts over next four years, a capital programme  that is slashed by 40 per cent, the benefits of large numbers of its population reduced and with little prospect of growth in its economy is hardly a country where the population walk around with a smile on their faces.  A recipe for happiness it is surely not.
It is only in Hollywood legend that adversity brings up smiling miners, gloriously singing their way to the pit. 
No, gloom and doom is likely to be the outlook of a population that faces such an uncertain economic future.
And it is against such a background that a referendum on more powers for the Assembly has to be conducted. Those hoping for a positive outcome will have to convince a dispirited Nation that it is worth bothering to go out and vote.
The challenge for them is can they build enough enthusiasm to motivate the voters. Is it possible that a referendum campaign can be conducted that helps us shake off the bad national mood and make us a can do nation?
We shall see in the next couple of months.

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