Stalker was tickled to see the headlines in the national and international press on the subject of the Economist Intelligence Unit's index of 111 states, which combines data on incomes, health, unemployment, climate, political stability, job security, gender equality as well as what the magazine calls " freedom, family and community life."
Little old Ireland came top of the pile. The forgot to take into consideration the ever-elusive "crack" and Ireland still leads the world for quality of life. But somehow the combinatory conflation of stats on all the measures mentioned above do not really reflect the actualité of life on the "Oul Sod".
Two recently reported indicators that seem to have eluded the Economist tally throw some doubt on the result. The Irish residential electricity market is one of the most expensive in Europe according to a new report which monitors the deregulation of the energy markets. In Ireland charges for customers are in excess of €12 per 100kWh.
Funnily enough in the Netherlands and Poland the charges per customer are at the €9 per 100 kWh. Stalker's sure the supply price differential to the commercial sector wouldn't be much different. Makes ya think.
The other wee stat that Stalker noted was the excessive profits by the mobile phone company mmO2 – in the region of 40% up on the previous year. Something in that stat tells you you're being ripped off even more so than is usual! Sure there are many more minuses and pluses that weren't taken into account – but the general consensus throughout the country, in the wake of the top billing for Ireland was one of "catch a grip". Just ask anyone in the mushroom industry whether they'd like to up sticks and move to sunnier climes. Or maybe it's just Stalker?