Plunged into chaos

A cat and a dog

Cats and dogs living together, mass hysteria! (Photo by PT, CC 2.0 by-nc-nd)

You know those adverts for household gadgets where they make squeezing toothpaste or putting lids on pens look like some impossibly laborious chore? I think the the Daily Express watches them and thinks “We could do better than that!

BRITONS face a day of chaos tomorrow as the clocks turn back an hour, plunging the country into evening darkness.

WE’RE DOOMED.

Now, a disclaimer. If there was sufficiently strong evidence that double summer time would be beneficial to the country, then I’d be all for it. The problem is that when Portugal, a country in the same time zone as the UK, tried moving to European time during the mid-90s, the sun set so late in the evening that it interfered with sleep cycles, and insurance companies reported a rise in accidents, not a fall (PDF, p. 13-14). There may still be a case for changing the time zone, but it’s certainly not as clear cut as the Express would have you believe.

So anyway, CHAOS.

A third of us will oversleep, 20 per cent will wake up to a cold house after forgetting to change the central heating timer and one in eight will arrive at work late over the coming days.

Better start preparing that bomb shelter!

Research by energy company npower also found that almost half of parents say the change in daylight hours will affect their children’s sleep patterns.

It will take an average of three days to readjust, with 40 per cent of people polled saying it would be harder to get their children to school on Monday.

That’s all very good and well, but pushing the UK forwards a time zone won’t change that. We’ll still have a clock change and, as Portugal saw, double summer time is more disruptive to children’s sleep patterns.

In fact, everything the Express has said so far is just as bad for its own Crusade for Change as it is for the current scheme. These aren’t arguments for changing time zone, these are arguments for scrapping summer time altogether.

The warnings come as growing numbers of politicians, businesses and families back the Daily Express Time For Change crusade.

29 million of them, in fact. If you include the imaginary ones.

And as Tabloid Watch points out, yesterday the Express claimed 58% of people supported the change. Before the campaign began, 60% of people did. Growing numbers indeed.

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  1. #1 by Press Not Sorry on Saturday, 30th October 2010 - 13:42 UTC

    How do people manage to oversleep when the clocks have gone back? Isn’t that already an extra hour in bed? And surely they should be getting to work early, not late, if they’ve forgotten to change their clocks. The Express argument doesn’t make any sense, and calling it ‘chaos’ is a complete exaggeration too. Tsunami; earthquake; volcano; those cause chaos. Changing the clocks just causes minor inconvenience.

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