Don't you think that's a bit simplistic also KWilliams? (Think that's the first comment of yours I've ever disagreed with).
By what measure is "quality of life" higher in France? And surely it's up to the individual to decide what gives their life "quality" not a statistician. At the end of the day a slum is still a slum whether it's in Paris on the French Riviera or in Birmingham or Glasgow.
Perhaps. It depends on your outlook, I suppose. I agree that quality of life rankings can be somewhat subjective but different bodies measure different things so by comparing different rankings, I think you can get a picture that is clear enough.
The UK's economy might be doing better and may have a more promising economic outlook but the figures vary a little when you look at Nominal GDP versus PPP GDP per capita. France ranks higher for HDI, education and healthcare (and life expectancy 79.6yrs v. 78.4yrs) France also ranks highly on these "happiness" indexes which are becoming more and more common. They carry less weight with me (I think they are really quite subjective) but are not completely irrelevant. Also, if, as you say, you think it's up to the individual to assess the quality of their own life, then, collectively, the French would seem to have a better quality of life as they are happier.
So, Britain's economy may be better but is it benefiting the people as much as it should be? Is the royal family benefiting the British public or are they a burden in some ways? Some British people are happy to have them either way, which is fine but what if that tax money could be pumped into education or the NHS? Wouldn't that be better for everyone?
As you say a slum is a slum but you've got a better chance of working your way out of the slums if certain services are of a higher standard. Good education and healthcare promote social mobility.