It’s official: Croydon is the most miserable part of London.
So much for the view through rose-tinted glasses of the self-appointed “Glee Club”, who choose to ignore the area’s many short-comings, or the dissembling work of PR agency Grey Label and their mates on the council, or the guileless propaganda of Gary Barlow MP and the “Sage” of Selsdon, who all claim it is sweetness and light in our borough, where there are pots of gold at the end of rainbows and everything is just tickety-boo.
To borrow from that Penguin Classic author Morrissey, Heaven knows, we’re miserable now.
And don’t take Inside Croydon’s word for it: the miserableness of Croydon has been determined by the “happiness index” commissioned by Prime Minister David Cameron.
According to the Office for National Statistics, London overall is among the lowest ranked towns and cities in Britain for “life satisfaction”, with Londoners giving an average score of just 7.2 out of 10.
And within our city, Croydon has the lowest rating of all boroughs, scoring just 7.0. The London boroughs with the “happiest” ratings were swanky Kensington and Chelsea on 7.68 and our next-door neighbours Bromley on 7.73.
According to the ONS survey, Londoners are also among the worst in the country for high levels of anxiety.
Today’s edition of the Evening Boris says, “Statisticians said the low levels of well-being in inner London stood out because most of the other ‘unhappy’ areas were in less wealthy parts of the North-East and North-West with low disposable income and life expectancy.” And those inner London areas have a better sense of well-being than we do in Croydon.
But maybe the people of Croydon and London have plenty to be miserable about: overall, the city has the greatest inequality of income in Britain, the highest crime rates and the lowest proportion of people aged over 65 (who tend to be associated with relatively high levels of contentment).
We can fully expect the lacklustre rag, the Croydon Sadvertiser, to take great umbrage over the outcome of the ONS’s polling, and in a week or so publish a four-page picture special of people kissing babies and school children smiling on the command of the photographer, all somehow to “disprove” the statistical findings and demonstrate what a thoroughly cheery place Croydon truly is. They will probably run a very defensive, self-fulfilling poll of their own, using inappropriate capitals for unnecessary emphasis: “Do YOU think Croydon is a happy town?”
Of course, that would all carry a good deal more weight had that same newspaper not got so miserable about Croydon that they moved their sports desk operation to Tunbridge Wells, their subs desk to Essex and their editorial offices to Dorking…
Coming to Croydon
- Lakes Playground group’s fundraising Zumba-ween: Oct 26
- PJ’s enterprising look at Black History Month: Oct 29
- The Railway Children: Oct 30-Nov 2
- St Giles School open morning: Nov 13
- Secret Love at the Ashcroft Theatre: Nov 14
- Future Tech City: Nov 30
- Inside Croydon: Croydon’s only independent news source, based in the heart of the borough – 262,183 page views (Jan-Jun 2013)
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- Met Police figures show muggings in Croydon up by 12% (insidecroydon.com)
- Boy, 17, dies after stabbing in Croydon (london24.com)
- Council faces massive compensation bill over housing failings (insidecroydon.com)