Someone tell the BBC there are 24 hours in the day ...

The government is consulting on whether Britain should move our clocks permanently forward of GMT - aligning our clocks with Europe.

There are valid arguments both for and against this, particularly as affecting road safety. Certain types of road casualties may be more likely under each of the possible time regimes: this can be a highly emotive issue because some opponents of any change are convinced that more children would be killed on the way to school if clocks are moved forward.

There are also some highly ridiculous arguments floating around on both sides, reflecting the kind of muddy thinking exemplified by in a BBC headline today to the effect that mornings might be longer. WTF ?

There will be exactly the same amount of daylight regardless of how we set our clocks. People like farmers, who have to set their hours of activity to reflect weather and sunlight, will be getting up at exactly the same time whether we call it 5.00 am or 6.00 am (or any other time.)

There are arguments for and against this, but let's focus on the real ones.


Lee said…
I don't understand why we have to change the clocks twice a year: why not just change opening times and shift patterns to coincide with the seasons?
Chris Whiteside said…
I've pondered this one myself. In theory it's possible, and there are some people - e.g. farmers as per my comments above, or sailors who have to catch the tide - who have to and do operate on precisely this basis.

The challenge is co-ordinating with things like bus and rail timetables.

It would be possible in principle to tell the railways and bus companies to plan their timetables on the assumption that the government will not fiddle with the clocks and that all organisations will be encouraged to set their opening, closing, and shift times to fit the periods of light.

But getting us all on to that mode of thought might be easier said than done!
Tim said…
Is it me, or are all farmers just pathologically stupid ? If you're self employed like they are, then the response to darker mornings is to get up an hour later - no need to square it with the boss. Additionally, why DO farmers go on fuel protests when they can get fuel for 30p per litre ?
Chris Whiteside said…
Most farmers are not stupid, will get up when they need to get up whatever time the clock says, and are far too busy keeping their farms afloat to go on fuel protest marches.

There are of course sensible people, and some who are not, in all professions.
Tim said…
Funny that, whenever there's a fuel protest, we are reliably informed that farmers are in the vanguard. If farmers can get up and start work any time they choose then why do the bellyache so much about the loss of GMT ?
Chris Whiteside said…
The point that GMT won't affect farmers because they can get up with the light regardless of what the clocks say is exactly the argument I was making.

I suspect that most farmers do realise this, and it would not in the least surprise me if the people who are claiming that changing the clocks will hurt farmers have never been anywhere near a farm in their lives.

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