The Curmudgeon


Friday, January 20, 2012

Mean Times

Greenwich may lose its status as the world's horological hub thanks to a Conservative back-bencher who has betrayed her party's traditionalist instincts with a proposal to move the country's clocks forward an hour throughout the year. This would place us in the same time zone as the rest of Europe, doubtless to Europe's profound relief at having finally been allowed to catch up with the mainland.

The benefits, according to supporters, would be nearly as numerous as those once claimed for New Labour's ID cards: lower electricity bills, fewer accidents, lower carbon emissions, more sports participation in the evenings by those few who still have the use of a playing field, and up to eighty thousand leisure and tourism jobs in the middle of a global recession when simply everyone is going on their hols. A reduction in seasonal affective disorder would even provide a pretext to slash mental health services yet further, should the Government feel the need of a pretext for doing anything so self-evidently virtuous. The sole unfortunate side effect would be "reduced fear of crime", although it is certainly arguable that Daveybloke and his Cuddly Coalition have done more than enough to ensure that a replacement programme of structurally sustainable fears will be fully installed and functioning by the time any legislation comes to pass.

Fortunately for the soul of the Conservative party, a Rees-Mogg is on hand with the traditional dose of reactionary inanity. The MP for north-east Somerset has proposed an amendment to the bill which would allow the county to set its own time regardless of anything else, thus transporting it back to the early nineteenth century when there was no public transport and everyone knew their place.

Update In accordance with the revered democratic traditions of our Mother of Parliaments, the bill has been talked out by a handful of MPs. Among the bill's opponents, interestingly enough, was Christopher Chope, whose debating skills have been noted by your correspondent before, and who was worried that the proposed changes would play into the hands of the fiendish Alex Salmond. No doubt this is only the first of many instances, between now and the referendum, of principled Government concern over the comfort and welfare of people in Scotland.


  • At 1:01 pm , Anonymous TheJudge said...

    I can only assume that so many Tories refused to back it because - just like with such civilising measures as the Poll Tax and mandatory minimum sentences - it didn't go anywhere near far enough to send the right 'message'.

    A motion to put the clocks back to, say, GMT -80 years would doubtless gain a swamping majority, supported as it would be by most of the Tribe of Eds as well.


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