10/07/2009

Nice place to visit, shame about the UN ranking

Interesting to see the UN's latest chart of countries according to quality of life, with Britain ranked all the way down at No. 21 with Norway, Australia and Iceland taking the top three positions. Interestingly enough, Ireland comes in at No. 5. Maybe I should go and live in Dublin instead of Glasgow. It's only a boat ride away, and they have tax breaks for writers (or did last I heard). Hmmm ... and it's not like we'd lack for people coming to visit ...

Two mildly annoying caveats about the list: it would have been nice to see Scotland in there, since I'd be interested to know how its perceived 'quality of life' ranks compared to England, but that's just for the sake of sheer curiousity. I honestly couldn't guess whether it would be ranked higher or lower, though one suspects if one wanted to make the survey even more granular, there are a couple of bits in Glasgow which might fit right in with Sierra Leone at the bottom of the chart. Somewhere in Glasgow, there's a bridge - I think it might be on the way to Easterhouse - with the words 'WELCOME TO BEIRUT' spray-painted on one side.

Genuinely taxing, however, is the omission of Taiwan, which the UN treats as being part of China, which is ridiculous, given that Taiwan is an independent democratic state with free speech, and China ... isn't and doesn't. I strongly suspect if it had been included, it would have been ranked very high up that list indeed. What a shame.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

My favourite graffito was on the sign outside Cumbernauld about its French sister city: 'Twinned With Bron' - to which an 'x' was always appended.

Bob Lock said...

Gary,
Perhaps you've mentioned this before but if you have I can't remember and that is - why did you pick Taiwan as the place to go and live? It seems the exact opposite of Glasgow (ahh! is that the reason?)
Cheers,
Bob

PS I notice Neal Asher mentions on his blog he's reading Nova War :)

gary gibson said...

I didn't pick Taiwan, Bob, so much as it picked me. When I met the wife - before she was the wife - she was committed to going home to return to her job after completing her postgrad in Edinburgh, so I followed her over. It does have the advantage of being a lot cheaper than the UK - but then, pretty much anywhere is cheaper than the UK, unfortunately.

Bob Lock said...

Ahh, a similar story to mine, just change Taiwan to Italy (although my wife wasn't a postgrad student) We spent some happy years there but being relatively poor in the early years we couldn't afford to get onto the housing ladder and most of our wages went on apartment rent.
At the time it was cheaper to live in the UK!

The times, they are a changing...