Historian slams 'absolutely crazy' UK time zone
Switch to Euro time, stuff Scottish farmers
Noted historian Sir Alistair Horne has described as "absolutely crazy" Blighty's refusal to fall into line with the continental European time zone.
Speaking to the Beeb's Today programme, Sir Alistair admitted that while putting the clocks back an hour this Sunday might benefit Scottish dairy famers, giving them some extra daylit milking time of a morning, it was of no use to the rest of the UK.
He said: "The Scots do have a problem because, being that much nearer the North Pole, they do have a very short day. But when you look at the map of time it is absolutely crazy. European time stretches from the eastern frontier of Poland to the Western frontier of Spain and the only country which is on Portuguese time* is Britain."
Sir Alistair - a self-professed "99 per cent" Scotsman - dismissed the traditional argument that putting back the clocks "made it safer for children going to school in the morning", not unreasonably suggesting that "more children were run over when they were returning from school tired and in the dark".
Sir Alistair concluded by suggesting that if the Scots didn't like the idea of falling into line with Europe, they could adopt their own "tundra time" and carry on milking their cows in peace. ®
*Portugal is an hour behind the rest of Europe, in common with Blighty. Or, as one of my Spaniard mates uncharitably put it, it's actually ten years behind Europe, so an hour or so either way makes no odds.
I've got news for you. There's no-one over here who's ever heard of CEST either, they always refer to it as CET.
As you say though, it's the land borders. I reckon they're terrified of what would happen to road safety as thousands of drivers changed the clock settings in their cars as they crossed borders every day while also attempting to maintain control in the motorway rush hour.
The same thing happens on the continent. They go from CET to CEST (Central European Time to Central European Summer Time) - at the same time as us in fact! So what is the issue here? Is he saying we should be changing the reference time so that we aren't GMT any more? Or that we shouldn't move the clocks forward/backward, in which case, it'll be a bit more confusing when half the year we're on the same time as France/Germany and half the time we aren't. Or is he saying nobody in the world should move the clocks for daylight saving (DST is also used in most of America, Canada, Russia and many other places)?
The article is all over the place. Blighty falling into line with the rest of Europe has nothing to do with Scottish dairy farmers! And as others have said, GMT is the reference time (although now called UTC). There is no need to fall into line with the rest of Europe - for example we shouldn't have the same time as Poland and everything East of it. If anything, France and Spain should fall into line with us, and the reason they don't is because they are joined to the rest of Europe with land borders and it is convenient for them to keep the same time.
On the subject of DST, I don't see why more light for farmers necessitates changing the clocks. They can get up at whatever time they like, they aren't forbidden from setting their alarm an hour earlier. Though, I suppose it would suck a bit for them if they have to go to bed an hour earlier than their non-farmer friends.
I have also discovered that most of the UK have no idea what BST is and always call it GMT when arranging meetings.
Would that be centre or are you American or German. Is that a thought on changing the design? Or how you assume it works? You would be wrong on both accounts The merdian is zero. Every 15 dregrees of longitutude either adjusts by one hour in addition going eastwards or reduces by one hour going westward. As there are 24 15 degress in 360 degrees of a full circle. Each degree is subsequently divided by 60 mins and these minutes by 60 secs. A knot (one nautical mile) per hour is equal to travelling 1 sec either longitudinally or latitudally.
The French vied over the ownership as we were both large navies at the time - though we built the accurate ship's chronometer and told them where to go and 5 days and 204 years ago we backed that up and began the end of their little empire building jaunt at Trafalgar.