Guernsey Press

The pursuit of happiness

IT SEEMS a long time ago now – eight years, in fact – that an optimistic Deputy Gavin St Pier declared his desire to see Guernsey become ‘the healthiest and happiest community in the world by 2026’.


He wanted a ‘community where no one gets left behind’, a ‘place where people aspire to live, prosper and raise their families’.

While such a lofty but laudable aspiration was never going to be easy to measure, most people would agree that the direction of travel in the years since has taken us even further away from that goal than we were to begin with.

Certainly, the new mental health and wellbeing strategy report suggests the island is a very long way from hitting the mark.

With more than 10% of islanders on mental health drugs, rising suicide rates, and increasing housing deprivation and income inequality, we have to accept that our beautiful and prosperous island is failing some of its residents.

The Covid pandemic will have played its part in the situation we now face, but the primary concern of many islanders now is the cost of living and affordability of housing.

Without properly tackling these important issues, how can our children have any hope for a future here?

The States has done little so far this term to improve life for the average islander, although some ambitious plans have been unveiled in recent weeks.

With less than a year until Guernsey’s next election, you can expect to see plenty of positive-sounding pledges on manifestos in future months.

Whether you believe them is another matter.