Smile and the whole world smiles with you!
That at least is the view according to Nanny. She has decided that if we all smile inanely, just as our soon to be departed leader does, then the world will be a much better place and we will forget all our troubles.
Therefore, in keeping with the "smile all the while" policy, Nanny intends to introduce "happiness" lessons in schools.
Yes, that's right, Nanny intends to teach children to be happy; so that the rise in cases of depression being reported is contained and pushed back.
Nanny's new "feely touchy" lessons will include subjects such as; how to manage feelings, attitudes to work and money, channelling negative emotions and how to take a critical view of the media.
This master plan has been devised by Lord Richard Layard, a Labour peer and professor of economics at the London School of Economics.
He wants school pupils to receive tuition in "how to be happy", up to the age of 18, and their progress in the subject should feature in university applications.
Does this mean then that universities won't take applications from miserable bastards?
That would have been a bit of a blow to wee Gordon Smiler Brown, back in his days as a student.
Lord Layard, the director of the wellbeing programme at the LSE's Centre for Economic Performance, said that his theory works something like this:
"Learning hard things takes an enormous amount of practise.
To play the violin well takes 10,000 hours of practise.
How can we expect people to learn to be happy without
massive amounts of practise and repetition?
I believe it can only be done by the schools.
Parents of course are crucial.
But if we want to change the culture,
the main organised institutions we have
under social control are the schools."
Errmmm...a few points m'lud:
1 You cannot learn to be happy from a formal lesson
2 You are either a happy person by nature, or you are a miserable git
3 It is the role of the parents to teach children to appreciate what they have, and as such give them some contentment in their lives
4 Learning to play the violin is totally different to being happy. Indeed, creativity often comes from a very tortured and troubled soul. Van Gogh could hardly be called a "happy" person could he?
5 M'lud just about manages to include parents in his "grand plan". However, it is clear that he doesn't really think that they have much of a role. Nanny hates biological parents (must have been something that happened to her in her childhood)
6 M'lud wants to "change the culture", why? Doesn't this sound rather sinister?
Frank Furedi, a sociology professor at Kent University and author of Therapy Culture, thinks that it is a load of bollocks.
"In pushing emotional literacy, what some teachers are
really doing is abandoning teaching.
They are giving up and talking about emotions instead,
so that children value all this non-discipline-led
activity more than maths, English or science.
What is amazing about this is that time and time again,
research says that it does not work."
People are "unhappy" because they are dissatisfied with their lives.
They are dissatisfied with their lives because they are constantly told that they should achieve "X, Y and Z" (wrt love, health, money etc).
They do not achieve "X, Y and Z" because the targets are often unattainable; and the quality of the education system leaves many falling far short in the basic standards of reading, writing and social/cognitive skills that would enable them to at least have a sporting chance of achieving "X, Y and Z".
The children who "endure" Nanny's education system know full well that the system is failing them, hence they are depressed (as they see that they will never achieve what they are told that they should be achieving).
Here's a radical thought, how about teaching children to read and write first? Then, later, they can be challenged with "finding their feelings".