From out ever popular series, Questions In The Guardian We Can Answer:

The pursuit of happiness: could a ‘happy city index’ end Bristol’s blues?

Obviously not, it’s sodding Bristol, right? Nothing’s going to work, is it?

49 thoughts on “No”

  1. Isn’t there an eponymous “Law” about this? That the answer to any question in a head-line is “No!” ?

  2. Oh I dunno, don’t do Bristol down. It’s cleared a lot of the hip young (and middle-aged) things out of swathes of the rural south west.

    Cheaper than a gulag.

  3. Do I recall that the author of this piece hails from a town not a million miles from Bristol ? And that such “doing-down” comments between rival cities such as this are not unknown ?

  4. Isn’t there an eponymous “Law” about this? That the answer to any question in a head-line is “No!” ?

    That would be “Betteridge’s Law of Headlines” which states that “Any headline that ends in a question mark can be answered by the word no.”

    As for Bristol’s proposed happiness index, given that you don’t fatten pigs by weighing them I doubt that this would provide any measurable value in and of itself.

    If the people of Bristol (hi RAB!) want to be happier then they could do worse than smoke some wacky backy and crack a smile now-and-again.

    The fact that the logo for “Happy City” seems to be the ISIS single digit sign is probably indicative of the sort of happy clappy bullshit that we might expect from the sort of woolly minded Liberals that pick taxpayers pockets for such crap.

  5. @Doug

    Yep, I was thinking along similar lines. I was there for a few days recently and it was full of trendy, hipster types.

    Typical Guardian-reader (even if online no-payer) types, really.

    So maybe it’s miserable because the folks there are miserable, lefty fakes.

    Or maybe the bloody hipsters have made everybody else miserable.

  6. Bristol’s a nice enough city with some good pubs and restaurants, but you do have to i) know where to avoid and ii) resist the urge to chin people pretty much 24/7.

    As someone else says, I think Tim’s animus might be more to do with his own origins.

  7. @Mr Ecks,

    Neutronic irradiation from space would surely be the best solution to everywhere except your little patch?

  8. Sorry guys, I am 110% with Tim on this.

    Having travelled from the age of 11 to 18 on the 339 from Bath to Bristol (well actually Brislington which is of course NOT the top end of the place) I can assure you that those of us who won the lottery of life have a truly real perspective on our neighbouring city.

    Absolutely objective, we are, right?

  9. Bristol is a remain-sucking mini-London clone filled with London Bubble trash. The actual criminals–the non-migrant ones–are more likely patriots than the middle-class leftists that abound there.

    Why do you still bother with the UK Biggie? Now that you have embraced the cosmopolitan Islamic future of your fellow Teutons, what interest–apart from your liking for dispensing patronising advice to supposed hicks–has the UK for an EU mover and shaker like you?

  10. Some wards, such as the multicultural inner-city neighbourhood of Easton, were even “resilient” to the unhappiness that their [low] income levels would usually suggest. Researchers speculate that tight community bonds and high diversity of age and ethnicity may act as a buffer against low wellbeing

    Tight ethnic community bonds may well maintain happiness for members of those communities, but presumably to the detriment of outsiders. And even the Guardian must balk at the idea that having more Islamic schools would create more happiness.

  11. So Much For Subtlety

    Andrew M – “Tight ethnic community bonds may well maintain happiness for members of those communities, but presumably to the detriment of outsiders.”

    As everyone knows, immigration makes people, especially poor people, miserable. A lack of immigration makes them less miserable. The Guardian says so.

    Even if they are too dumb to realise it.

  12. Quite so, quite so, and other readers here should know that B Boy and I grew up some few hundred metres, if even that, away from each other. Not that we knew each other at the time.

    But this does make us right about Bristol of course.

  13. I bet they were probably yards rather than metres? And can it be coincidence that you both moved rather far away from the beloved city?

    Not that I hold any special brief for Bristol – worst drivers in the UK.

  14. Bloke in North Dorset

    “Neutronic irradiation from space would be the best solution to Bristol.”

    Not until Sunday, please, as I’m attending a festival there. Or if you must, do it after 10pm and before 9am as I’m staying in Bath and travelling the same route s B Boy.

  15. “Isn’t Bath full of “Look-at-us-we’ve-moved-to-the-countryside” Londoners these days?”

    Isn’t everywhere nice these days.

    Another reason to hate the Bubble trash.

  16. @Cynic

    Yes, I’ve never met a ‘hipster’ with a sense of humour unless it involves mockery.

    I know a few young ‘hip’ folks who’ve moved to Bristol from the rural south-west and this makes me very happy.

    So please Tim, don’t knock it – extol its street cred and we’ll get rid of the lot from around here.

  17. DocBud

    Beverley and Hull? Spent my uni years in Cottingham next to the train station. Up the line to Beverly for a ‘good’ night out.

    Lordy, today is a real trip down memory lane!

  18. @Fecks,

    “Why do you still bother with the UK Biggie?”

    I ask myself that question every time I stumble across your psychotic dribblings.

  19. Bilbaobiy,

    Our youngest daughter was born in Cottingham Hospital. We had 6 special years in Beverley. It has great pubs and some excellent restaurants. Back in our time, the Playhouse also had some real good concerts, including Peter Green. We still have a house overlooking the Westwood as one of our retirement options.

  20. Check your privilege, guys. Some of us dream of coming from Bristol. I was born in Luton, brought up in fucking Stevenage. And we used to go on holiday to Hull. Seriously.
    No wonder I’m bitter and twisted.

  21. On the plus side, Widdershins, you’re still not living in Luton, and it sounds like you didn’t go to Milton Keynes or Reading.

  22. Thanks for trying, Doc, but it’s too late. I never stood a chance. If I’d been born in Bristol, I coulda been someone, a contender….

  23. Bridgewater conjures up visions of seemingly endless traffic jams in a hot car with no aircon as we made our way to Combe Martin for our summer holidays. Despite living in Uganda for three years, our parents were terrified of venturing oop North. My eldest brother was the first intrepid adventurer, going to Sheffield uni. I took it a step further, marrying one of the natives 36 glorious years ago.

  24. Biggie–“@Fecks,

    “Why do you still bother with the UK Biggie?”

    I ask myself that question every time I stumble across your psychotic dribblings.”

    Ask yourself more forcefully Biggie. Take the step so few others have made: actually listening to your own nonsense. And then take your own advice.

  25. Must say, this general antagonism to Bristol arouses confusion. Always rather treasured the place when it was on our away-day prowling list. The nurses from the Frenchay were incredibly hospitable.
    The best thing I remember about Bath was the by-pass.

  26. BiS

    The future young ladies from the rather posh Convent School in Bath helped young fellahs like me to learn all sorts of things.

    And for nurses, caring is a vocation, wherever.

  27. Compared to Luton, Peshawar is like Beverly Hills.

    (Unless you’re referring to the hills near Beverley q.v.)

  28. Bloke in North Dorset

    Just spent a couple of hours between sessions wandering round and can’t say I’m impressed, apart from St Nicholas Markets. The food stalls all look very interesting.

  29. Shame to read this. I have been to Bath which I liked a lot, but never Bristol, which was on my bucket list, but probably no longer.

    I was also disappointed to learn that natives of bath are Bathonians and not, as I had hoped, Bathers.

  30. Bloke in Costa Rica

    Bristol Uni had/has an excellent physics department and was one of my UCCA fallbacks after Imperial and Cambridge (I ended up at the former). Back then it probably was an OK place for a student. My nephew lived over the suspension bridge from Clifton for a while, which apparently was very nice although grotties would periodically maraud from Bristol proper. In a pinch I suppose you could have put a pillbox either end of the bridge and shot anyone who looked like they were up to no good. From the map it would have been hard to flank it, too, especially if you blew the A3029 bridge. Mind you, said nephew also lived in Portishead and he said that really was a shithole.

  31. “The Happy City Initiative in Bristol is one of the most well-known wellbeing research centres in the world. Founded by Liz and Mike Zeidler in 2010, the community interest company sees itself as something of a happiness activist: ”


    Tudor Trust
    Joseph Rowntree Charitable Foundation
    Innovate UK
    West of England Growth Fund
    Quartet Community Foundation
    Big Lottery Awards for All

    Evidently also sucklers at the teat.

  32. If you remember that just across the bridge you have Newport then Bristol doesn’t seem quite so bad, but anyone choosing to go there over Bath is mad

  33. When I was a young airman on the prowl, Bath had two teaching hospitals and a teacher’s training college.

    It also had some pretty good pubs including one with live jazz every night as well as some pretty bad pubs.

    Somehow Bristol was never mentioned as a place to go out of a night.

  34. Don’t want to come across all ‘Westminster bubble / metropolitan media elite’ or anything, but why do some cities have a problem with accepting their innate God-given crapness? Embrace mediocrity, Manchester! You’ll be happier in the long run….

  35. Both cities have one decent uni and one “new” (post-1992) uni. Bristol, along with Durham and St Andrews, has more former public-school students than Oxbridge. You can always ask a Bristol student “Which college rejected you?”. Bath Uni is decent but it mainly offers male-dominated subjects, so perhaps not the most enjoyable place to spend three years.

    The new universities haven’t distinguished themselves.

  36. “Researchers speculate that tight community bonds and high diversity of age and ethnicity may act as a buffer against low wellbeing”

    Only the Guardian could write that.

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