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The truths they don't want you to read....

Monday, November 22, 2010

Daylight saving

As the (re)current debate on daylight saving moves towards a decision, I must confess to having moved from a position of opposition to one of considered ambivalence.

I admit that living in town means that I am less affected than those in the country, but I am probably more unconvinced by the status quo due to the business issues I have experienced.

Time is a nebulous concept, and with numerous clients operating in Norway and other parts of Continental Europe, we are well used to receiving business calls at what seem like odd hours, but are actually just the effects of the time difference.  And I've made a few of these too, getting answering machines in the Dutch tax administration telling me that they are closed, and me thinking whether I need to choose option 1 or 2.

Reykjavik is in the same time zone as the UK and sunrise tomorrow is 10:19am - 9:19 if it were in the 'right' time zone - and there seem to be few issues there about the dark mornings.

Last Thursday I got a business call from a new client in Australia (don't ask!) who was just leaving the office, and need me to do something that day, so she could pick it up the next morning to deal with the matter.

Time is no longer about the hens and the cows, nor is it ruled by the business needs of New York or Frankfurt, but it as about how each of are going to respond to the demands of our employment or profession.

Such has life changed.

And now a message from our sponsor sent on by a correspondent who wishes to remain anon....

As you know, I'm writing to ask that the [name] joins the growing number of Scottish organisations backing the Daylight Saving Bill. The bill itself calls for a cross-departmental government analysis into the effects of moving the clocks forward by one hour. It is only if this review concludes in the positive that a 3yr trial of any recommended clock change would then be enacted. In other words, this bill operates along the principle that any claims about clock change must first be independently proven before any trial could take place. This fail-safe mechanism has finally moved this issue forward, and it is on this basis that we have garnered support in Scotland from as wide a spread of Scottish organisations as the National Farmers Union Scotland and VisitScotland. 

That said, the reason our Lighter Later coalition are working so hard to secure this bill (including heavy hitters like the AA, the FA and the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents, Age UK and 10:10) is because the research into the benefits is so overwhelming. Last week the Policy Studies Institute released the attached report which shows that in Scotland (which stands to benefit disproportionately in comparison to the rest of the UK) the move would invest £300m into the Scottish economy annually with over 7,000 new jobs in the tourism sector alone. Wider benefits would include a fitter, happier population and better alignment with European and Far Eastern trading partners. Furthermore, as you'll see from the attached two-pager, it is a move now favoured by the majority of the Scottish population. 

As a strong voice for the industry the support of [name] could make a big difference in the run-up the bill. The more Scottish voices that call for us to investigate this matter once and for all through the Daylight Saving Bill, the better the chance we've got. 

If you need anything else on the issue from my side, please do get in touch. As you can imagine, with the vote just one month away, time is of the essence and your voice could make all of the difference to this crucial issue. 

Many thanks



Anonymous said...

I have never come across a bigger load of bovine excrement than that expoused by "Sion"! Where do these people get their "facts" from? And why is the justification (for whatever crappy idea) always based on projections of £millions injected into the economy, thousands of new jobs created, and on this topic, a fitter and happier population? Let's face it, this is all about the folks in the south of England (where it might make some sense) BBQing into the later hours. Business can and does carry on with the world beyond the shores of the UK at whatever time.

And BTW, who made up the line about the majority of the Scottish population being in favour of it? Were you asked? I know I wasn't!

Anonymous said...

A few points.
8:51 most people have BBQs in the summer. During the summer Scotland already has a longer period of light, an extra hour wont make any odds.

The safety argument is well known and proven, the week following the retarding of clocks to Zulu is one of the worst for accidents. People are more t6ired in the evening and that is when most of the accidents happen (granted cyclists dressed in black without lights shouldn't be out without their nannies).

The UK used to have DBST which enabled the farmers etal to work longer outside. Nowadays with the availability of portable lighting it's not an issue.

The argument for a fitter happier population comes from the evidence that SAD (Seasonal Acquired Disorder) become more commom when the clocks have come come back. If it is lighter, then people are more likely to go out rather than stay in the house.

The sooner DBST is introduced and we move to CET the better for all of us.

Anonymous said...

Angus and 11:09 I could not agree more - most of us have to get up in the morning and do some thing irrespective of light. When in our free time in the evenings we should welcome an hours extention of light.

The issue of safety is so very true too. Most kids get delivered to scholl - not so many collected. Light is more necessary therefore in the afternoons.

One hours less lighting etc in the evenings across the whole country not just we few here will save the economy millions.

Dr Evadne said...

When the clocks go back in October one is graced with about 20 minutes of extra light in the morning for about 10 days...if that. For this we are plunged into darkness at 5.00pm or earlier.

No one will be BBQing at this time of the year...down south or up here. But we may want to have a mooch around the garden, go for a walk/run or simply not have to drive home in the dark with some 'bovine' brained tradesman driving up your jacksie with his fog lights on.

Anonymous said...

I'm with 8.51, it's them ruddy English again. I will gladly shoo the kids indoors an hour early if it stops the English enjoying sausages. Swines!