Monday, October 08, 2007

Campaign for Real Time

When I got up this morning it was still dark. This has been the case for at least the last week. There is little more dispiriting than arising before dawn. Nights drawing in means evenings by the fire, toasting crumpets, cosy in your little nest... something to look forward to in the chilly twilight. Dark mornings remind you that although the clock says six, it's really still only five, because we're still on bloody so-called British Summer Time for another three weeks.

Yep. For half the year I have been getting up at five o'bloody clock because some bright spark thought it would be a good idea to set the nation's clocks an hour fast to make sure that we don't take too much advantage of long summer evenings. Now, granted, the hours of darkness at midsummer are so short we might not notice - but it's not summer any more! By the time we get to put the clocks back to their rightful time, dawn will be a whole hour later anyway, so it'll still be dark when I get up.

I ranted about this last year, and I shall rant about it next year (that's what bloggers do, isn't it?). If we want to get up earlier in the summer (and my inkling is that we don't, really) then let's just get up earlier in the summer. If we want to get up earlier all year round (and clearly lots of people do, because there's always a general moan when the glorious day does come when we can put the clocks back), then lets just do that. We could work from 8 to 4 instead of 9 to 5; the BBC could have the Eight O'Clock News ... and OK, I could get up at five - but at least it would be honest.

I was really pleased to see last year that someone (one Andrew Craig) had done what I had been meaning to do for years and written a letter to the Guardian about this. So pleased in fact that I am going to quote his letter in full:

You accuse the government of 'imposing an extra hour of darkness on winter evenings' [i.e. by putting the clocks back] Both sides of the argument must understand that the government can't impose daylight or darkness; only the Earth can do that, by rotating. If we want to enjoy more daylight, why don't we simply do everything an hour earlier? We live on the Greenwich meridian, so let's use GMT all the time.

Well said that man. Oh dear, it's getting on for nine o'clock - I'd better get myself off to bed.

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