There's official confirmation today of something that most Midlanders have suspected for a long time - the streets of London are not paved with gold.
Britain's first well-being survey found that middle class people living in the South-east of England are the most miserable in the country - outstripping even Yorkshire.
And the capital's woes were further compounded by a report to the Conservative Quality of Life policy group, describing London as a "frightful mess".
Design guru Stephen Bayley told the Tories that London was lawless, in crisis and not the sort of place where civility could flourish.
The well-being survey by the regional development agency Cornwall Enterprise pulled no punches.
Residents of Surrey, Sussex and Surbiton in the A, B and C1 social categories may be well-heeled and the beneficiaries of generous amounts of Government spending, but they are fed up with life in general and admit to being the most stressed at work.
Birmingham and the West Midlands, however, rank as the best place in England to live outside of the holiday paradise of Cornwall and Devon.
The West Midlands scored the highest marks for happiness at work and the lowest levels of personal stress in the survey, which was carried out by YouGov for the development agency Cornwall Enterprise.
In fact, the West Midlands would have beaten the South-west to the title of England's happiest region if it was not for our capacity to work long hours.
The poll quizzed 2,568 people about their happiness with home life, work life, personal stress levels and work-life balance.
All agreed that access to open spaces and the countryside were the most important factor to personal wellbeing.
Almost one-third of Londoners consider themselves to be not very or not at all happy compared with 90 per cent of West Midlanders who were content with life.
When asked what would bring them the greatest sense of happiness, the majority of people said being with their family, followed by enjoying good health and having enough money to buy anything they want.
The South-east propped up the bottom of the index largely due to low scores for happiness at home coming in sixth place, happiness at work in sixth place and having the highest overall stress levels.
The Northeast and Northwest came joint sixth in the table.
Yorkshire and Humberside took eighth place with the overall poorest happiness at home levels.
Well-being expert, psychologist Dr David Lewis said: "Living in a nice part of the country, having a sense of self-worth and, above all, enjoying a stable family life and supportive friends are the true sources of well-being."
The survey did, however, reinforce the difficulty of overcoming the West Midlands' image problem.
Asked where in England people thought the highest levels of wellbeing might be found, only five per cent suggested the West Midlands.
West Midlanders, across all social groups, themselves were equally dismissive of their region, with only 15 per cent believing they were living in an area of well-being.