Friday, 28 October 2011

A classic deflection technique.

On Sunday morning we go back to GMT from Summer Time. For the next six months the clocks will be right, then in March we'll put them all an hour fast again.

Recently there was talk of keeping the clocks an hour fast all the time, and perhaps making them two hours fast in summer.

Oh, there was much wailing and gnashing of teeth at that. "We don't want that garlic-scented foreign time! We want PBT (Proper British Time)." The idea was howled down.

Well, it's back. This time with the old psychology trick - if you want people to demand something, tell them someone else says they can't have it. So the permanent summer time is to come into force next year, except you lot can't have it if the Scots veto it.

Look at the comments now. "Those Scots? What does it have to do with them what time we set our clocks to? They want independence anyway so why can't we have our own time zone? Dammit, if we want to be permanently an hour ahead we will be, and no kilted haggis-muncher is going to tell us otherwise."

And so popular support for the first stage of EU time has begun.

In summer, in Scotland, it really doesn't matter if the sun rises at 3 am or 4 am, or whether it sets at 10 pm or 11 pm. It doesn't affect all that many people. Actually, it used to be really disturbing to leave a pub at 11 pm and find it still daylight.

In winter we hardly see the sun at all anyway. So permanent GMT or permanent summer time makes little difference here. In summer it's never properly dark and in winter it's never properly light and what the little hand points to makes no real difference.

The underlying argument is not about the Scots. It's about EU time standardisation. Only it no longer looks like the EU have anything to do with it.

It's now become an English/Scottish argument. Who will win?

The EU, of course.


Anonymous said...

This has been tried, for 2 or 3 years in the early 70s. Remember, this was before Elf'n'Safety really took off, but there was a notable increase in road accidents, and people were concerned (even then!) about the safety of children (i.e. me, at that time), so the scheme was ditched.

How odd that the EU bureauclots (i.e. the French and the Germans) think that all continental time should be set to their time; why should it not be set to OUR time (or the Greeks, or the Irish)? Are we not as important as they are?

Oh... I forgot... No, we aren't.


Leg-iron said...

I remember the 70s experiment. The results will be the same this time too.

But then, as you note, it's not for our benefit. Those French workers using the channel tunnel to commute to jobs in South-East England will appreciate it.

timbone said...

Without reading up on it, there are several theories as to why "British Summer Time" was introduced.
One is that is was during WWII to cut down on enemy bombing raids.
Another is that farmers liked it (after the WWII reason). This does not make a lot of sense, as most farmers don't like it.
Another theory is that it has metamorphosised into a light saving exercise, and it is true that it has been adopted in many European countries and some US states.

It is important to remember that 'time' as far as what the clock and calendar say, and 'time' as far as the universe is concerned are a little different. It does not really matter what timepieces and calendars say, there is daylight, darkness, the bits in between, warmth, coldness, blossoming, dying, natural things which cannot be changed by a clock or a name given to a month.

timbone said...

I did not realise that it was in the 1970's, neither did I realise that it was for more than one year. Well, 60 is old enough to not remember detail. I do however remember that there was a time in my life experience when the clocks were left alone. Now, as far as I remember, this is that we kept GMT, we not have British Summertime. Sorry to shout, but WHY CAN'T WE JUST STAY WITH THE TIME WE HAVE IN THE WINTER.

Anonymous said...

Reasons I've heard for us doing it again are reduction in carbon emissions and opportunity to exercise. Nuff said.


Zaphod Camden said...

To answer timbone's comment, we can't just stay with the time we have in the winter because the EU won't let us. Summer time is an EU directive.

So the choice is to stay as we are, or go to CET — but either way we'll still be "springing forward & falling back".

Given the geographical position of Iceland, this directive will start to look very silly indeed if they ever join the EU…

(messrs) ant and benn said...

british summer time has become, in a very long-winded and thoroughly tedious manner of speaking, a cherished national institution - and, as in the case of the recently rejigged and revamped royal laws of british succession to the throne of england, i believe that the subjects of this wonderfully windy, wet and woolly-minded realm of fantasy should have the traditional feudal right to a referendum on the matter. you may now resume involuntary rapid-eye-movement.

vlad the jobseeker said...

speaking as a veteran labour-market analyst, i do not expect that the proposed european community clock changes will affect me a very great deal - as, in the winter-time, i tend only to get up in time to catch a glimpse of god's life-germinating sunshine about once a fortnight...

...i do, however, have my suspicions that the expedient time-shift could, in fact, be some form of dastardly delaying tactic designed to wangle our inestimably inept leaders a shade more time to unpickle the eurozone enigma and to transfuse the funds from all our bank-accounts into a huge safety-deposit-box hewn out of the rock-wall of a vermin infested vault located deep beneath a spooky-looking castle somewhere in darkest dodgiest transylvannia.

Slamlander said...

I never bought into the daylight savings time scheme. Sidereal time is correct, all others are false. This just jostles us in order to demonstrate control, that is all. I was with the Zonies (Those from Arizona) who rejected DST.

dr flu said...

o stop fucking whinging

Furor Teutonicus said...

XX The underlying argument is not about the Scots. It's about EU time standardisation.XX

Except it is not.

Because Germany is discussing not chasnging the clocks at all, Sweden and Finland, are thinking of double summer time all year (!), or not changing at all, Denmark wants something else, Holland Belgium and France seem to want their own time zone (Probably something to do with Napoleon). As with Italy and Spain. Poland, Lattvia, Lithuania, Lettland and Slovakia want to go to Moscow time (Commy shits will always stick together).

So WHICH "EU time standardisation" are they going to choose from?

The Boiling Frog said...

Only it no longer looks like the EU have anything to do with it.

Not quite...

swiss cuckoo time said...


oh dear, europe's really got it's knickers in a twist, hasn't it? best stay well out of that tawdry time-tangle, i'd say - and go neutral like us...even if it's only by a few thousandths of a nano-second, it still counts.

so...well then, it seems to be a simple choice between either break-up time, or, by virtue of becoming downgraded to the technical credit-rating of 'totally skinted', being collectively cornered into importing 'cheap' chinese time - a move which may, as in any hire-purchase agreement, prove to be pretty costly in the long run...although, assurances have apparently been given by beijing that, on the face of it, europeans would notice no appreciable difference in their day-to-day lives...except in one minor respect...namely that the clocks would start to run anti-clockwise, thus necessitating the mass-procurement of revolutionary recalibrated timepieces from errr...the far-east.

personally, i consider the only sensible solution (other than being bought lock, stock and basket-case by the people's republic) is for europeans to begin beating the living-crap out of each other - a tried and trusted traditional remedy, dating back to ancient times, which generally ensures that the rest of the world keeps wisely clear.

germans allegedly 'discussing not changing the clocks at all'...? they really are boring fucking arschlöcher, nicht wahr?

das emmentalische editor said...


even if it's only [determined] by [a difference of] a few thousandths of a nano-second, it still counts.

Leg-iron said...

Furor - so everyone's tied up in arguing the time? What an opportunity for the EU to step in and 'save' everyone from their bickering governments.

Furor Teutonicus said...

XX Furor - so everyone's tied up in arguing the time? XX

Only at this time of pun intended.

Strange how nobody appears to bother when the clocks go foreward.

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