"It is no secret that Tories in the south want to leave Scotland in darkness, but fixing the clocks to British summertime would mean that dawn wouldn't break until nearly 9am."
With all of the sardonic candour that only an opposition politician could muster SNP MP Angus MacNeil public denounces David Cameron's support for moving the clocks forward by an hour in order to align with Central European Time. And many, many people agree with him.
The announcement that the government has backed a bid for the UK to move its clocks forward for a three year trial period has been met with dissenting voices, especially from the devolved powers. So with these doubts ringing in Parliament's ears Cameron has backed the plan with Business Secretary Edward Davey stating that, "as the prime minister has made clear, we would need consensus from the devolved administrations if any change were to take place".
So what's all the fuss about you may ask. Well the pro-time change lobby would inform you of the practical benefits that such a change will bring. Lower road deaths and reduced carbon dioxide emissions in the lighter evenings (although nothing said of the darker mornings) and of course the catch all of 'improved health'. It will also reasonably allow for more time when many of us are in bed to be spent in extra daylight in the evenings being just generally more active (I am also aware that I write this as I cower from the glaring sunshine shining into my dimly lit office).
Now I am obviously not fully informed of the benefits or drawbacks, and neither is anybody seemingly. The current consensus amongst those in the know seems to be discordant at best. The main opposition can be found in the form of the Scots parliament with the SNP denouncing the changes as dangerous and sometimes (as Angus MacNeil oh-so-subtly insinuated) anti-Scottish.
This may just seem like they are jumping on a bandwagon that helps smooth the path to independence but there is some evidence to back up their opposition. When a similar trial was carried out from 1968 to 1971, Northern Scotland saw a net increase in the number of people seriously killed or injured on their roads. Though this may be quite a small and relatively sparsely populated part of the United Kingdom it seems politically unfeasible to go ahead with the proposed changes without unanimous enforcement. The majority of the UK it seems would hardly notice the change, with the novel prospect of watching Newsnight in daylight and eating breakfasts in the dark being more odd than anything more threatening, but the consequences at the northern extremes of our country really should be taken into account.
The response of many has been, so what? It's not like Scotland is going to be plunged (a somewhat ominous word used all too often in the coverage of this story) into some sort of nuclear winter, foraging around for fried mars bars and haggis amongst the panic induced glassings that would surely claim all but the most savage. Scotland isn't some sort of arctic leper colony, at the whim of a tyrannical English parliament intent on their unpleasant and sunlight deficient demise. Let's remember that (as the government has said) Scotland will get it's say and that those Scots are not too different from the English. Why can't we all just get along?
Anyway, let's just hope that they say no because firstly I am currently grievously underwhelmed by the proposed changes, but most importantly I do like a nice dark evening sitting in front of the TV ignoring the overblown party politics of the SNP.