How happy are people in your country? Check out where your nation comes in this list of 158.

April 27th, 2015 by Roger Darlington

For three years now, there has been an attempt to rank nations by how happy they are. In the latest report, the UK comes 21st, while the USA is 15th out of 158. It is noticeable that, all the top 13 countries, have small populations.

Where does your country come in the list?

  1. Switzerland (7.587)
  2. Iceland (7.561)
  3. Denmark (7.527)
  4. Norway (7.522)
  5. Canada (7.427)
  6. Finland (7.406)
  7. Netherlands (7.378)
  8. Sweden (7.364)
  9. New Zealand (7.286)
  10. Australia (7.284)
  11. Israel (7.278)
  12. Costa Rica (7.226)
  13. Austria (7.200)
  14. Mexico (7.187)
  15. United States (7.119)
  16. Brazil (6.983)
  17. Luxembourg (6.946)
  18. Ireland (6.940)
  19. Belgium (6.937)
  20. United Arab Emirates (6.901)
  21. United Kingdom (6.867)
  22. Oman (6.853)
  23. Venezuela (6.810)
  24. Singapore (6.798)
  25. Panama (6.786)
  26. Germany(6.75)
  27. Chile (6.670)
  28. Qatar (6.611)
  29. France(6.575)
  30. Argentina (6.574)
  31. Czech Republic (6.505)
  32. Uruguay (6.485)
  33. Colombia (6.477)
  34. Thailand (6.455)
  35. Saudi Arabia (6.411)
  36. Spain (6.329)
  37. Malta (6.302)
  38. Taiwan (6.298)
  39. Kuwait (6.295)
  40. Suriname(6.269)
  41. Trinidad and Tobago (6.168)
  42. El Salvador (6.130)
  43. Guatemala (6.123)
  44. Uzbekistan (6.003)
  45. Slovakia (5.995)
  46. Japan(5.987)
  47. South Korea (5.984)
  48. Ecuador (5.975)
  49. Bahrain(5.960)
  50. Italy (5.948)
  51. Bolivia (5.890)
  52. Moldova (5.889)
  53. Paraguay (5.878)
  54. Kazakhstan (5.855)
  55. Slovenia (5.848)
  56. Lithuania (5.833)
  57. Nicaragua (5.828)
  58. Peru (5.824)
  59. Belarus (5.813)
  60. Poland (5.791)
  61. Malaysia (5.770)
  62. Croatia (5.759)
  63. Libya (5.754)
  64. Russia (5.716)
  65. Jamaica (5.709)
  66. North Cyprus (5.695)
  67. Cyprus (5.689)
  68. Algeria (5.605)
  69. Kosovo (5.589)
  70. Turkmenistan (5.548)
  71. Mauritius (5.477)
  72. Hong Kong (5.474)
  73. Estonia (5.429)
  74. Indonesia (5.399)
  75. Vietnam (5.360)
  76. Turkey (5.332)
  77. Kyrgyzstan (5.286)
  78. Nigeria (5.268)
  79. Bhutan (5.253)
  80. Azerbaijan (5.212)
  81. Pakistan (5.194)
  82. Jordan (5.192)
  83. Montenegro (5.1922)
  84. China (5.140)
  85. Zambia (5.129)
  86. Romania (5.124)
  87. Serbia (5.123)
  88. Portugal (5.102)
  89. Latvia (5.098)
  90. Philippines (5.073)
  91. Somaliland region (5.057)
  92. Morocco (5.013)
  93. Macedonia (5.007)
  94. Mozambique (4.971)
  95. Albania (4.959)
  96. Bosnia and Herzegovina (4.949)
  97. Lesotho (4.898)
  98. Dominican Republic (4.885)
  99. Laos (4.876)
  100. Mongolia (4.874)
  101. Swaziland (4.867)
  102. Greece (4.857)
  103. Lebanon (4.839)
  104. Hungary (4.800)
  105. Honduras (4.788)
  106. Tajikistan (4.786)
  107. Tunisia (4.739)
  108. Palestinian Territories (4.715)
  109. Bangladesh (4.694)
  110. Iran (4.686)
  111. Ukraine (4.681)
  112. Iraq (4.677)
  113. South Africa (4.642)
  114. Ghana (4.633)
  115. Zimbabwe (4.610)
  116. Liberia (4.571)
  117. India (4.565)
  118. Sudan (4.550)
  119. Haiti (4.518)
  120. Congo (Kinshasa) (4.517)
  121. Nepal (4.514)
  122. Ethiopia (4.512)
  123. Sierra Leone (4.507)
  124. Mauritania (4.436)
  125. Kenya (4.419)
  126. Djibouti (4.369)
  127. Armenia (4.350)
  128. Botswana (4.332)
  129. Myanmar (4.307)
  130. Georgia (4.297)
  131. Malawi (4.292)
  132. Sri Lanka (4.271)
  133. Cameroon (4.252)
  134. Bulgaria (4.218)
  135. Egypt (4.194)
  136. Yemen (4.077)
  137. Angola (4.033)
  138. Mali (3.995)
  139. Congo (Brazzaville) (3.989)
  140. Comoros (3.956)
  141. Uganda (3.931)
  142. Senegal (3.904)
  143. Gabon (3.896)
  144. Niger (3.845)
  145. Cambodia (3.819)
  146. Tanzania (3.781)
  147. Madagascar (3.681)
  148. Central African Republic (3.678)
  149. Chad (3.667)
  150. Guinea (3.656)
  151. Ivory Coast (3.655)
  152. Burkina Faso (3.587)
  153. Afghanistan (3.575)
  154. Rwanda (3.465)
  155. Benin (3.340)
  156. Syria (3.006)
  157. Burundi (2.906)
  158. Togo (2.839)

You can read the full report, with the explanation for the rankings, here.

Posted in World current affairs | Comments (0)


Feeling for the people of Nepal

April 26th, 2015 by Roger Darlington

Nepal has suffered its worst earthquake in more than 80 years with at least 1,500 deaths. One always feels more acutely for the tribulations of a country, when one has actually been there.

In 2003. Vee and I made a visit to Nepal, staying in the capital Kathmandu. We met some lovely people but the nation is one of the poorest on the planet and this earthquake will set them back still further.

You can obtain a flavour of life in Nepal from my account of our visit here.

Posted in My life & thoughts, World current affairs | Comments (0)


A review of the 2011 film “Carnage”

April 25th, 2015 by Roger Darlington

I’ve seen two films this week and they could not be more different.

The first was an action movie called “John Wick” with fast and furious combat and shootings [my review here]. The second was the film of a play set entirely in a small apartment – it is called “Carnage” and you can read my review here.

Posted in Cultural issues | Comments (0)


The crisis in the older democracies

April 25th, 2015 by Roger Darlington

Many of the trends that we have seen in recent British General Elections – such as lower turnout, differential turnout, less support for the established parties, more support for an extreme party, and greater volatility in the electorate – are common to several other older democracies in Europe and North America.

I have written a short essay setting out my thoughts which you can read here.

Posted in British current affairs, World current affairs | Comments (0)


My 7th short story: “A Moment In Time”

April 24th, 2015 by Roger Darlington

Continuing my Friday practice of linking to one of my short stories, today I invite you to read my seventh which is entitled “A Moment In Time” - you’ll find it here.

Posted in My life & thoughts | Comments (0)


Five English things that are not actually English

April 23rd, 2015 by Roger Darlington

So many traditions that people think define a nation originated outside that particular country. On St George’s Day, here are five things that most people think of as quintessentially English that came from abroad.

We should embrace and celebrate multiculturalism and not spend so much time trying to separate ourselves from ‘the other’. Once upon a time, we were all Ethiopians.

Posted in Miscellaneous | Comments (0)


A review of the new Keanu Reeves movie “John Wick”

April 23rd, 2015 by Roger Darlington

If you like your films fast and furious with plenty of bullets and bodies, then “John Wick” is for you – my review here.

Posted in Cultural issues | Comments (0)


By George, it’s still a popular name

April 23rd, 2015 by Roger Darlington

In England and other places, today is St George’s Day since 23 April is supposed to be the date that the saint died in 303 AD. The name is still very common in this country and currently stands at 10th in the popularity charts for new babies as you can see here.

The family in the other half of our semi-detached house consists of father, mother, and young boy. Both the father and the boy are called George.  We have a close female friend whose father was so keen to have a son called George that, when instead he had a daughter, he called her Georgeanne. As my American friends would say: Go, figure.

Posted in Miscellaneous | Comments (0)


When will Israel have a new government?

April 22nd, 2015 by Roger Darlington

If the opinion polls prove correct, following the General Election on 7 May, British voters might be waiting some time before they learn who is to form the next Government and on what basis.

Meanwhile, spare a thought for Israeli voters. They went to the polls on 17 March but, more than a month later, still do not know what Government they are going to have. This week the “Times” of Israel had this report:

“With a resounding election victory last month, Netanyahu seemed to have an easy path toward quickly establishing a coalition government with his traditional nationalist, religious and ultra-Orthodox Jewish allies. But after weeks of negotiations with potential partners, Netanyahu is finding the task harder than expected and is reportedly — at least according to threats from Likud officials — flirting with the idea of reaching out to his main dovish rivals in Zionist Union to form a unity government.
Throughout the heated campaign, Netanyahu ruled out the possibility of joining forces with Isaac Herzog and his center-left Zionist Union and vowed to rule from the right.

Election results gave his Likud party 30 seats and secured him a potential 67-seat majority with his traditional allies. In negotiations, however, these allies have made demands to head powerful government ministries.

Under Israeli election rules, if Netanyahu fails to form a coalition at the end of 42 days — the first 28 plus the two-week extension — Rivlin can assign someone else the task of doing so. While this is technically possible, it is unlikely that Zionist Union would have an easier time establishing a coalition. If no one succeeds in forming a coalition, the president would be left with no choice but to order a new national election.”

You can read my short guide to the Israeli political system with a summary of the election results here.

Posted in World current affairs | Comments (0)


British general election (11): some of the constitutional questions that might arise

April 21st, 2015 by Roger Darlington

This General Election may be a nightmare for political parties and a bewilderment to the voters, but commentators and pundits are loving it because the outcome is so uncertain and potentially all sorts of new issues might need to be addressed.

In a piece entitled “The politics of legitimacy”, the BBC’s deputy political editor James Landale has identified 10 constitutional questions which might arise if neither the Conservatives nor Labour win an overall majority on 7 May. You can read his thoughts here.

Posted in British current affairs | Comments (0)