Down in dumps about Europe


…or what is NOT happening nearly frequently enough!

I had missed it, and I bet you had too! But in 2003 the European Parliament passed legislation for the collection of statistics about housing conditions in the E. U. Only they didn’t put it quite like that. They put this way… “regulation ( E.C. ) No 11772003 established a common framework for the systematic production of European statistics on income and living conditions, in order to ensure that comparable and up- to- date cross-sectional and longitudinal data on income and on the level and composition of poverty and social exclusion are available at national and Union level.”

Apparently article 15 of this regulation laid down that measures were to be adopted every year “to specify the target secondary areas and variables to be included in the cross-sectional component of EU-SILC [ i.e. the regulation concerned ] that year.”

Consequently the time has now come- so I read on the EUR-Lex web site- for “ implementing measures specifying the target secondary variables and their identifiers for the 2018 module on material deprivation, well-being and housing difficulties [ to]… be adopted.”

The statistical variables involved are set out in an annex to implementing regulation in the form of the questions that a representative sample of the Union’s population are to be asked. The annex states that “the mode of collection is [a] personal interview with the household respondent.” (So be warned, your privacy may be about to be invaded!)

Some of the questions are merely designed to elicit the sort of information about living conditions that government statisticians have always loved collecting. Do you have a washing machine? Do you have a colour T.V? Do you have a telephone? The only oddity here being that there is apparently no reference to internet access which I should have thought was important. But no doubt it will be included next year!

The longer section of the proposed survey concerns well-being. Here the questions become broader, much broader…far too broad.

“…overall life satisfaction, from 0 (Not at all satisfied ) to 10 ( Completely satisfied )”

and goes in much the same vein…

“ Perceived social exclusion?”

“Satisfaction with financial situation?”

Satisfaction with amount of leisure time?

“Trust in others?”

“Feeling lonely?”

“Feeling calm and peaceful?”

“Feeling downhearted or depressed?”

“Feeling down in the dumps?”

….and so forth, and so forth..

Me? I’m feeling down in the dumps about Europe. I’m feeling down in the dumps about a bureaucracy which can produce such nonsense with apparent equanimitye u parliament 2 and even pride. I am feeling depressed about a system which apparently has no understanding of the proper role of the state in a free society. And, above all, I am angry that the European Parliament is incapable of stopping this idiocy.


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