Friday 13 August 2010


David Cameron has proposed that the clocks be moved forward on a permanent basis to what he calls British Summer Time, but what is, in fact, the time that Western Europe uses. And I totally agree.

It makes sense that the UK should be in line with its trading partners in the European Union. Every day there must be a period of 2 hours (at the beginning and end of the working day) when offices in one or other of the partners are closed... not to mention lunch hours.

Cameron’s plan would be that the time stays the same all the year round and that there would be no move forward (to GMT + 2) in the summer. It would boost the tourist trade and mean that people would have an hour longer in the evenings before the dark set in.

There is of course a problem with the morning rush hour having to be dealt with in the North of Scotland in the dark. And some people are getting themselves into a state over this.

Angus MacNeill, the SNP MP for Nan-Eilean Siar has said that Cameron needs to wake up to the impact that the proposals would have on people in Scotland. But to be honest, I don’t think that the impact will be huge. He says that it is wrong to plunge Dundee into Darkness in an attempt to boost Tourism in Torquay. Nice alliteration Angus, but I live in Dundee and, at the moment in the winter the 5 o’clock rush hour takes place in the dark. We would transfer that to the mornings... Does that make a huge difference? As to your own constituency, with respect I imagine that there will not be a massive rush hour on Nan-Eilean Siar.....

An alternative idea, which has been proposed by MacNeill himself is that the change still go ahead but that it should take place later in the year, and that is certainly worth considering. A time change in December and change back in February would be worth thinking about. Unfortunately Angus then comes out with a totally crazy suggestion that the people “down south” should be persuaded to get up earlier to enjoy the sunshine. I hope that was a joke.

David Cameron has said that the proposal will not go ahead without the agreement of the Scots and that he does not favour a situation where Scotland and England are in different time zones. Clearly that would be bad for trade between Scotland and the rest of the UK so I hope that Scots can be persuaded to consider seriously supporting the change. It seems wrong that 6 million people should hold back the wishes of the majority of Brits.

Additionally it should boost our trade and give us longer evenings at the same time.

One possible problem could come with Ireland, where there is much cross border activity and where the republic still uses GMT and GMT + 1. Unless Eire was minded to change, that might prove a bigger stumbling block than Scotland.


  1. Tris

    so speaks an office boy.........but out in the real world it is a different matter

  2. What do you suggest then Niko...?

  3. Nonsense Tris

    The USA can exist quite happily with three main time zones. In fact some cities which have suburbs in another State also having different time zones.

    There is no need to be in the same time zone as our trading partners as we would need to be working on one or more USA time zones as that is where most of our exports still go.

    If companies want be synchronous with their export customers let then start one hour earlier.

    Complete bollox and in fact illegal under some European Directive as we NEED to change our Summertime changes to coincide with the other European countries.

    Designed to be today's red herring against the budget cuts he is pushing through.

    and you swallowed it!

  4. Tris, I think the man is using the Scots as a decoy to draw the flak away from the EU but that's just me and my cynical nature. I don't like to be lied to or sold a pup - and that's what this is.

    @ Bugger, you & Tris are both wrong - Britain *never* coincides time-wise with Europe - Europe changes it's clocks forwards and backwards too on the same days. What's the betting that *if* GMT is changed Western Europe time will change also so that we all 'harmonise'. Portugal keeps to GMT and manages to lose a day between their border and Spain's so perhaps Cameron will cite them as a model.

    Speaking personally, I can't see what's wrong with getting up with the sun, doing your work and going home at sunset no matter where on the earth you live - but I'm just an incorrigibly old-fashioned girl :-)

  5. I've thought for years that it's a nonsense all this clock changing but that's just my opinion.

    Got to side with GV on this one though. She's right.

    The thing is GV, we never get up with the sun. Here in the depths of winter the daylight doesn't arrive until at least 9am then it's dark again by 3.30pm but would it be better without the clock change?

    Aye, this is just a red herring to reflect what's going on in the EU.

    Lovely next design Tris. Very impressive indeed. Can you do mine next please?

  6. Tris, welcome to club Cammie lol

    But yes, I totally agree, Cameron is entirely and totally correct to propose this.

  7. I'm also with GV as people playing with time for supposed economic benefits. Revert to GMT full time and those businesses can change their working day to suit there market which if one thinks about will reduce the rush hour and become a more liesurely 2 hour travel on less congested roads.

  8. Oopps sorry Bugger.

    Of course you're right, the US does manage across 3 time zones (I don't know if Hawaii is on yet another, I'm sure Danny will know!!) and Russia acorss 5. Although I think China only has one time zone internally.

    I'm not saying it doesn't work, I just think it works better if you are on the same time zone as your trading partners for obvious reasons.

    The US is not our biggest trading partner though. I don't know about England, but I think I'm right in saying that 60% of our trade in Scotland is with the EU.

    Wem are always out of line with the Western part of teh EU as each country has light saving... why, I don't know.

    It is a bit early to be pushing through things to deflect from the spending review in October don't you think? I mean we'll all ahve forgotten about it by the time October comes around and Osborne does his littel number!

  9. Hello GV. Not had the pleasure of your company on the Republic in yonks, and it's lovely to see you.

    What aspect of the EU is dave trying to draw flack away from... have I missed something? He hasn't signed up to us being a dominion of Turkey has he? LOL

    I have to say (and it's just a personal opinion) that I prefer dark mornings and light nights (well obviously I'd prefer light mornings and light nights....:-) ) so I'm hoping it goes through.

    The trade side of it doesn't bother me ...just being able to get some light at the end of the day would be really nice... I've said it for years; I think since I was a kid wanting to go out to play.

    LOL... I bet if you lived in the north of Greenland you wouldn't be saying that.... You'd be doing loooooong shifts in the summer... Still, it would be neat in the winter! :-)

  10. You're right there SR...

    It was brought in in wartime to make the day longer, but as Bugger says...we could just get up an hour earlier!!

    I don't see the need for changing the clocks and there is evidence to suggest that a sudden change to darker nights causes up to 80 deaths a year...although I'm not sure how they measure it and I read it in the Daily I take it with two pinches of salt.

    We only need one time for the whole year. I'd rather it was GMT +1. I guess not everyone agrees!!

    Glad you like the new design. It took ages to get it right, and I was thinking about you when I did it. I remember the last time we changed it you said it was nice and easy to read... and I hoped I hadn't spoiled that.

    He he.... Tris the computer consultant...? erm, I don't think so. Remember you had to show me how to do links and Dean had to show me how to put in pics.... I think I'll pass on that!! :¬)


    Oh Dean....

    You'd better get me signed up as a member of the Camerclegg club....

    I fear I may be cast asunder after mocking Angus's alliteration.

  12. Well Cynical, I've kinda said it all now... :-)

    I'm personally not that interested in the trade part of it a;though I thought it was a reasonable argument for it. I just want it for selfish reasons.

    I think the thing about offices changing times is that there would be all manner of problems with kids and childminders and schools...which again doesn't affect me directly.... at least not at the moment.

  13. Tris...My two cents.....from a country that has to deal with six time zones (apart from the daylight time issue). I would be OK with Cameron's proposal. But whatever is decided, I would just like the politicians to quit fiddling with the issue. Just decide what they want to do and DO it. Here in the states, the politicians like to fiddle with the dates. They tell is that it's an energy saving issue. Never mind that no study has ever unequivocally shown so much as a dollar's worth of energy savings. Daylight time probably has more to do with the triumph of urban commercial interests over rural farming interests. Beyond that, it's simply a matter of personal preference. (Personally, I like the sun in the morning and darkness in the evening.)

    Here in the US, Washington actually leaves it to the states. The federal law only sets the dates that must be observed for any state that chooses to observe daylight time. Amazingly, 48 of the 50 states have actually agreed on this. Only Arizona and Hawaii do not observe daylight time. (Presumably the last thing that the citizens of Phoenix and Tucson need is another hour of daylight, after baking all afternoon in the desert summer sun.) But the portion of Arizona that is a part of the large Navajo Indian reservation (and is subject to the tribal sovereignty of the Navajo Nation) has chosen to observe daylight time.

    Until 2006, utter madness ruled the issue in Indiana. You start with the fact that eighteen counties in Indiana are in the central standard time zone, and 74 counties are in the eastern standard time zone. But before 2006, individual counties in Indiana could make the choice about daylight time. So individual counties in both of the standard time zones chose daylight or standard time....a total of four different timekeeping areas in the state.

    So there's certainly a lot to be said for Scotland and England to agree on the issue....LOL.

  14. It's okay Tris. I know you think Scotland's future lies with the EU rather than England so didn't expect you to take my points seriously. I don't blame you. The point remains that Cameron is making Scotland the scapegoat for a European project. And, no, I'm not bonkers - unless there's a 'y' in the date :-)

  15. Tris

    Possibly the USA has 5 time zones, 3 on the contiguous US, Alaska and Hawaii. Not really sue about Alaska.


    Having checked out the USA, they have 9 time zones

    The United States uses nine standard time zones. From east to west they are Atlantic Standard Time (AST), Eastern Standard Time (EST), Central Standard Time (CST), Mountain Standard Time (MST), Pacific Standard Time (PST), Alaskan Standard Time (AKST), Hawaii-Aleutian Standard Time (HST), Samoa standard time (UTC-11) and Chamorro Standard Time (UTC+10).

    Canada has 6 time zone viz
    Newfoundland Time Zone, Atlantic Time Zone, Eastern Time, Central Time Zone, Mountain Time Zone, and the Pacific Time Zone.I think Newfie Time is a half hour out on Atlantic Time.

    The one about Portugal has me. I thought it was obligatory to change the clocks across at the same date and the same time. We used to be in sync with the USA and for about 3 or 4 weeks. twice a year were exactly the same tie as Continental Europe or 2 hours out. Bloody great fun trying to work out plane timetables which I think, is why we moved to the European dates.

    I still can't get my head around Portugal and Spain having different synchronisation of time changes.

    On the point about starting earlier I think ost people in the City of London start 1 hour earlier to be on top of the European Bourses although the LSE opens 1 hour later.

  16. Bugger....Very cool to find the Samoa and Chamorro time zones. Let me add a bit about the US time zones.

    If by "United States" you mean the 50 states and the District of Columbia, it spans six standard time zones. From east to west, they are Eastern, Central, Mountain, Pacific, Alaskan, and Hawaii-Aleutian....UTC-5 through UTC-10.

    But if you include American territories in the Caribbean and far Pacific....there are at least 4 more. Puerto Rico and the American Virgin Islands are in the Atlantic Time zone, UTC-4.

    Then in the Pacific west of Hawaii you have Samoa standard time, UTC-11, and that cool Chamorro Standard Time, UTC+10...(which includes Guam and the Northern Marianas). Then there is Wake Island time at UTC+12. This makes a total of 10 zones.

    The sharp eyed observer will note that we haven't mentioned UTC-12. This includes the American possessions of Howland and Baker Islands. But no human beings live I don't know if that should count as American time zone number 11 or not...LOL. (Wikipedia reports that Baker Island has a wildlife refuge, and is visited annually by officials of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.)

    Now if I could just figure out the technical difference between Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) and Coordinated Universal Time (UTC)....which seem to actually be the same clock time. Very confusing. ;-)

  17. Danny....

    You once told me a long time ago that if I asked you the time, you would tell me how to make a clock...

    I think you just proved it there mate ....LOL

  18. Now if I could just figure out the technical difference between Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) and Coordinated Universal Time (UTC)....which seem to actually be the same clock time. Very confusing. ;-)

    click on link on date/time.

    London 1hour in front I would question that as they are still living in the dark ages.Lol

  19. Oh no no no no no GV..... Not at all.

    I think Scotland's future may lie with the EFTA.

    It most assuredly will have links to England, but it will not be ruled by them as at present, and its economy will not be run by SE England's economic needs.

    Nor will it be run by the EU [well, in my version anyway ;-)]. I'd no sooner it was run for the benefit of the German eceonomy than for the English one.

    I do not hate the EU; no more do I hate England, but I do believe that the nations of Scotland, Wales and Kernow should be free from English interference... like the other Celtic nation of Man.

    If I don't show very obvious dislike for the EU like many do on these blogs, it is not because I think that Scotland should be run by them. It is rather that I think that they are a break on the most American leaning tendancies of the English and UK government.

  20. Crikey Cynical....

    That's awfy complicated and technical..... phewwwww

  21. Universal time 2 is a filtered version of UT1 and can easily be found by...
    UT2 = UT1 + 0.022\cdot\sin(2\pi t) - 0.012\cdot\cos(2\pi t) - 0.006\cdot\sin(4\pi t) + 0.007\cdot\cos(4\pi t)\;\mbox{seconds}

  22. LOL @ wee swotty.....

    You've just reminded me why I ditched anything science based...

    But mille mille grazie anywho!!