Sunday 31 October 2010

Putting the Clock Back

The debate about altering the clocks surfaces twice a year on the operational dates and then faces away. I am in two minds.

On the one had I am persuaded by the novelist, humorist and parliamentarian A P Herbert. He pointed out that, because of Britain's naval and navigational expertise, it was internationally agreed that the zero meridian should pass through our country, from which all others would derive their time and longitude. He argued that we should be proud of this and so stick to GMT throughout the year.

On the other hand, in Germany shifting the clocks back and forth is, I understand, referred to as "energy saving time." If this is accurate then, since I wear vests in the winter, only boil just sufficient water in the kettle, walk, cycle or travel by public transport as much as possible and do all sorts of other things to save the planet, I suppose I ought to be in favour of shifting the clocks on and back too.

But it is a faff. Perhaps a suitable compromise would be for businesses, factories, shops and schools to shift their working hours back or forward on a given date, so that from today, for example, standard office hours would become eight to four instead of nine to five. That would permit the rest of us to potter along as our biological clocks dictate and preserve the planet a the same time.

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