CHEER up lovelies, why so blue? Scotland has slumped sadly yet again to the bottom of the official wellbeing statistics, languishing our way into the pit to make us the most unhappy country in the UK.

While our Northern Irish, Welsh and English cousins all reported a decrease in happiness over the past year - during a pandemic? Who would have guessed? - Scotland is the most morose.

The hot, and fairly evenly split, take across social media was that Scotland is disconsolate from living shackled under the constraints of a Tory regime it didn't ask for and from living under an SNP regime desperate to split the nation.

Both can be true but only half of the time.

A less nattered about detail of the annual wellbeing survey was that Glasgow, poor old green place, ranked as the unhappiest place in Scotland for the third year running. The unhappiest place in the unhappiest place.

Mother Glasgow, why so maudlin?

Those surveyed are asked how satisfied they are with life, how anxious they are, how happy they are and the extent to which they believe the things they do are worthwhile.

One of the suggestions put forth to explain residents' misery was our lack of access to nature, which is a controversial punt. The city is jam-packed with parks - country parks, local parks, woodlands, rivers, urban meadows.

Loch Lomond is just up the road and the seaside just down it. We're pretty well positioned in Glasgow.

Scots in the Outer Hebrides and in Orkney were the happiest and we're told that people are generally happiest in the countryside. Access to nature is vital for good health and mood but community ties are stronger in smaller places. While same may revel in the anonymity of a city, others need people to lean on.

Glasgow's great benefit is its community pockets, areas of the city that feel like villages where everyone knows everyone and if there's a problem, well, there's a community group set up to tackle it.

More likely an explanation is the city's deprivation and it's years of suffering cuts. Glasgow has a unique and complex make up and the city is more affected than elsewhere by political decisions.

In discussing wellbeing, unemployment is a critical factor, with people who are not in work feeling an increased sense of anxiety. Being surrounded by people who are unemployed also has an effect, making a person feel their work might also be precarious.

Glasgow was the worst affected by unemployment in Scotland during the pandemic. Scottish Government figures show that, while the Universal Credit caseload rose in all local authorities, the largest increase was in Glasgow - an additional 39,000 people.

When David Cameron launched the wellbeing survey in 2013 he said that finding out what people believe would improve their lives would influence public policy. He said wellbeing was the serious business of government, as has Nicola Sturgeon with her plans for Scotland to become a wellbeing nation.

That might have been Mr Cameron's plans but they would now appear pie in the sky, given the falling levels of reported happiness and the persistence in making miserable legislative decisions.

There's a unique frustration to Glasgow's ills. When Boris Johnson's government makes a pig's ear of it, the frustration comes from a sense that his MPs don't really have an empathetic or nuanced understanding of the issues they're legislating for.

Glasgow's local authority does seem to have a good grip on the unique and complex make up of the city, as does its MSPs who represent it at Holyrood and legislate there.

Its this obvious insight that made the leader of the city council Susan Aitken's recent STV interview such a car crash. When she said that all Glasgow needed was a "spruce up" she must have known that to be a line that would infuriate residents - or she is inexplicably suddenly out of touch with residents.

We are approaching COP26 and the city's issues are reaching a pressure point due to explode during the climate summit. Residents have long been complaining about the state of rubbish on the streets while cleansing workers complain about pay and conditions - now they've pledged to strike.

The transport system is unfit for purpose and a pledge for a Glasgow Metro is not moving fast enough; during COP26 the system will be under scrutiny as bus drivers and rail workers plan to walk out.

Another interesting survey this week showed people in Scotland are more concerned about social justice than their English peers, an oft-punted notion usually put in its place with a scornful cry of "Scottish exceptionalism".

But this comes from the British Social Attitudes survey, which turned up the figure that three quarters of people in Scotland believed the distribution of income in the UK was unequal. It was two thirds in England.

In Scotland, a quarter of people said they live in an unequal society while in England that number was one in six.

Not only does Glasgow suffer from higher rates of inequality, perhaps the people here feel it more too. Which means those people who insist Scotland is unhappy due to the elected government, the most venal, hypocritical, shamelessly corrupt government in living memory, would be backing the right horse.

Glasgow's high levels of deprivation would in turn give it the greatest concerns about the governments' abilities to tackle inequality. No wonder we're down.

In 2013, in the same year the annual wellbeing survey was launched, a great global crowd sourced appeal rung out from the city marketing bureau for ideas about what makes Glasgow great.

Would it be the culture? Would it be the shopping? The parks? Sport? Fashion? We didn't have a castle to punt or a world famous tower or bridge, nor were we a capital city.

Resoundingly, the response was that Glasgow is worth visiting for its people. Friendly, gallus, gregarious, kind, you name it. Now Glasgow smiles lesser. 

If people make Glasgow and Glasgow's people are miserable then what is the city now? It is a place of impending change, a city morphing towards a greener, more equitable future, we're told.

But change can't come fast enough.