Friday, 13 December 2013

Need to Know Basis Only

I'm slightly gobsmacked.

Blue Eyes wanted suggestions of nice paces to emigrate to.  So, as you do, I googled "happy places to live".  The top result that wasn't along the lines of "nicest places in the UK", which would rather have defeated the object, was this site:

Yes, that's an article by the BBC on the happiest places in the world in which to live.  So it should be perfect for what I'm looking for.  So I followed the link.  To be told this:
We're sorry but this site is not accessible from the UK as it is part of our international service and is not funded by the licence fee. It is run commercially by BBC Worldwide, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the BBC, the profits made from it go back to BBC programme-makers to help fund great new BBC programmes. You can find out more about BBC Worldwide and its digital activities at
Errm, pardon?

That part of the website is not funded by the licence fee, so I can't read it if I'm in the UK?  Whereas non-UK readers, who have also not paid for it, can read it for free?  That is odd enough logic on its own.

But wait - what is going on here?  The Beeb has worked out where in the world to live if you want to be happy, and won't tell UK residents where it is?

Get your tin foil hats out...


  1. Could it be that the top recommended place is the UK, complete with advice on how to claim benefits, etc?

  2. Easily bypassed with an anon proxy.

    Though the results are a bit suspicious. Top spot is Denmark, then Norway, Switzerland, Netherlands, with Sweden last of the top five.

  3. Yes, I gave up thinking about reading the article when I saw a precis which said all the top countries were in Northern Europe....

    Give me heat and low taxes.

  4. Lynne at Counting Cats20 December 2013 at 12:07

    BBC Worldwide is wholly owned by the BBC. The British public fund and therefore technically own the BBC. Ergo the British public own BBC Worldwide.

    1. I think the staff of the BBC might disagree with you, Lynne. I think that they think they own the BBC. And you have to admit, it does rather seem to be run for their convenience.

    2. Lynne at Counting Cats20 December 2013 at 23:35

      If the Beeboids want to take sole possession then I'm more than happy to quit paying the telly tax. All they have to do is give me the nod and I'll cheerfully oblige them.

  5. I read something about the northern countries a while ago. Got charmed by Finland and Switzerland's social policies. Must be nice to be free to try new things out, while financially independent, at least for the necessities.