Today Weekdays 6-9am and Saturdays 7-9am

  • News Feeds
Page last updated at 09:51 GMT, Friday, 20 June 2008 10:51 UK
Are the British miserable?

Labour MP Tom Harris has been criticised for asking why Britons are "so bloody miserable" despite the current economic problems.

The Glasgow South MP and transport minister first made the comments on his blog.

He told the Today programme he was comparing this generation with previous ones, who were not so healthy or wealthy.
If you read the full article I hope you'll understand that what I'm trying to do is actually make a serious point
Tom Harris MP

In his blog, he wrote: "Are our crippling levels of cynicism and pessimism simply part of the human condition?

"Were we always like this? Or is a consequence of the 'instant gratification society' that, having been instantly gratified, we must resent the society that manipulates our desires in this way?"

But the Daily Mail newspaper, which called his remarks "incautious", also said the message was "astonishing" at a time of rising prices and falling incomes.

Do you think Tom Harris was right? Listen again to his comments and tell us what you think using the form below.

This minister has said the population is bl**dy miserable. Could it just be that the country is in a bl**dy mess and we have a "I'm sorry I haven't a bl**dy clue" government in office?
Dr. John M. Budd

The trouble is that we are not miserable enough. Only when we become so miserable that we become seriously angry will change happen. Until then, we shall ensure that our children inherit a society in Britain that is characterised by shallowness, greed, hypocrisy and fantasy.
Dr Stuart Newton, East Sussex

When we see our Government giving the Governing of our Country away to foreigners yet at the same time want to have their wages and vast expenses at OUR EXPENSE, what on earth does this excuse for a fellow being expect? At least I have not ignored HIM in the same way HE and his Government have ignored all the people of this Country.
Anne Palmer, Wolverhampton

Tom Harris is right to talk about people always looking at the negative side of everything. If we look back to our childhood most would agree that we are materially better off now. If we stop looking for the instant fix for everything our stress levels would go down. Well done Tom (an MP that talks sense what next?)
Stephen Beck, Greenock Scotland

Optimism will shine on us all if we listen less to the financial industries' bureaucrats, Wall Street gamblers and tabloids and pay attention to more balanced and holistic views about the world, society and economy.
Neil Barnes, Glasgow

So the English are miserable? Maybe it's because despite being told that global warming will make this country a hotter sunnier place to live, all we seem to get is rain! Maybe it's because England never got to the European Finals! So Tom Harris tell me what you and you lot at Westminster have got to be happy about? Then again perhaps I'm looking for an instant fix!
Steven Aston, Staffordshire

Your E-mail address
Town & Country

The BBC may edit your comments and not all emails will be published. Your comments may be published on any BBC media worldwide.

Minister defends 'miserable' jibe
Friday, 20 June 2008, 06:37 GMT |  Glasgow, Lanarkshire and West

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific