My MP John Penrose is Minister of Tourism. His office tells me that he believes in the Lighter Later bill that is coming to a vote on Friday, which would give the country an extra hour of sunlight by settting our clocks to GMT+1 in winter and GMT+2 in summer. We would still put our clocks forward in spring and back in autumn, but the sun would rise and set one hour later throughout the year, which would mean that more people are up and around when there is daylight.
John Penrose accepts that this would indeed be good for tourism, but [his researcher told me] that he feels we need more debate on the issue. [I took this to mean that he would vote against; it turns out that in fact he voted for, for which I thank him, and apologise for the error in the original post].
I responded that given the crap media we have in this country a sensible informed debate is not possible, but that is his position, as [provided to me by his office].
[There is, in certain quarters, a call for "More Consultation" on the DSB. I hope this does not mean long delays, that prevent changes happening in autumn 2011].
Delaying this decision for a year means:
- 500,000 more tonnes of CO2 in the air
- 100 lives lost due to road traffic accidents in dark evenings
- which will cost the NHS £140,000,000
- higher electricity bills
- 70,000 new jobs lost
- more crime
- More SAD
[The only substantive objection to Lighter Later is that the Scots and Northern Irish would have very dark mornings. The blindingly obvious response to this is for them to have a different time zone. It is ridiculous for them to continue to hold the country to ransom as they have in the past. Especially the Scots, with their fabled desire for independence].
[With all the updates, this is a pretty clunky post. I have written a full letter to John Penrose, and will put it up if he agrees.]