The time it has a changed

The clocks if not the times they have a changed (one of the best Dylan songs along with Blowing in the wind; both sung here by Joan Baez). Once again the lighter evenings are upon us. This year and last there has been renewed interest in changing our time zone with the Daylight Saving Bill going through parliament. This bill (if passed) will require the government to assess the costs and benefits of shifting the clocks so that we would be on Central European time. This has been tried before during the war and also from 1968 to 1971. The government are not currently keen on the change.

The arguments in favour are centrally to do with increased road safety and increase in business whilst those against tend to be about how dark it would be well into the morning in Scotland and Northern Ireland. Whilst there may be more support for the change in the Midlands and South of England and less in Scotland and here it is not a simple north south spilt issue.

Surely one central objection, however, is the simple factual one. If we decide to get up and go to work, leave work etc. etc. an hour earlier that is fair enough but why pretend that it is actually an hour later than it is? At noon in Greenwich the sun is at its highest point: that is one thing we cannot change, even if we pretend it is 1pm in the winter and 2pm in the summer.