The Universal Happiness Pill

Nick Clegg is to make a speech today (yet another! doesn’t he have anything better to do?)  outlining a key plank of the Coalition programme: the universal happiness pill. Yes, you got it right. This is what he is expected to say. ‘Dave and I have come to the same conclusion. People in Britain are unhappy and the children of Britain, according to reliable research, among the most unhappy in Europe- only in Croatia and Slovenia are children more desperate.(shame, on us). We must and can do something about it (pause for applause from key party members). Children live difficult lives: they have to get up early in the morning, scramble into a car to get to the school, and when there they are expected to work, take tests and behave well. Is this really the best we can do? (no, from the audience). No wonder that everyone involved becomes frustrated and angry and there is a growing problem  of ill-discipline undermining educational performance.There are things that can be done. We are considering no-drive zones around our schools so that children can walk and cycle freely to school (applause). We are abolishing tests and will give families complete control over the school curriculum providing only that Comparative Religion, English History, Geography together with  country studies, is taught. (more applause). There will no longer be formal instruction. ( loud applause). Children will be given free movement across the school providing only that they do not hit each other. (loud applause). We are committed to fairness: despite budget restrictions we are to give every child a free breakfast and lunch together with a bottle of milk (louder applause).  And now for our major announcement (ten second silence) At the start of the day every child in Britain is to be given a pink happiness pill, not I hasten to add, containing any harmful chemicals but made entirely from healthy organic materials, and designed to give ten hours of bliss (people on their feet clapping). In this way we can assure the God-given right for all English children to live happy lives. Here is the evidence that our Coalition is giving all people their universal rights. If this experiment is successful we shall roll out this remedy to all involved – parents, teachers, school governors and local education officials. We shall make our little pink pill available to all whatever the expense. (prolonged applause). And we shall continue to pose fundamental questions for all our people (and some who are not). Consider this (fifteen  second pause). Do we really need schools at all? (frantic applause from an audience on its feet).


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