I’m waiting to vote on the second reading of the Daylight Saving Bill, a private member’s bill introduced by Rebecca Harris MP and promoted by Lighter Later. With considerable scepticism, I will be supporting the bill.

It seems to me that good arguments can be made either way on this Bill because the offset we use from solar time is fundamentally arbitrary. Solar noon is when the sun is highest in the sky. Some people prefer lighter mornings and some lighter evenings. Those who have a preference either way can find the arguments either way. I note that we live in a world where solar midday comes early in most people’s waking day and that this is the choice which has emerged over time. It tends to suggest people prefer lighter mornings…

Many of the more appealing benefits – someone lobbied me on the basis that I would be able to enjoy an extra hour’s sailing in the autumn, should I ever have another boat and escape Parliament – are ones which could be achieved through more flexible working. Flexible working, widely adopted, would for example, reduce congestion and therefore save CO2 (discuss). The point is that when we do the things we want to do is a matter of choice against a subjective scale of preferences.

Right – I think I shall go and listen to the minister in person.

Update: Having heard the minister, I would willingly vote it down but let’s have it in committee for public discussion. I may vote against at third reading.


  1. I think this proposal is complete nonsense. If people want more daylight get they should get up earlier. This silly tinkering with the clock is just an absurd bandwagon rolling out of control.

  2. We should properly involve the people, and achieve a proper democratic mandate and hold a referendum! As we know, where ever possible, decisions should be made by the individual, where they directly involve everyone or large sections of society we should deal with it in the most democratic manner possible, which is surely referenda, thereby keeping the vested interests out of policy making.

    Loving your blog and the Cobden Centre, also your talk at the Libertarian Alliance conference which I attended was first class! – Good luck to you and Douglas, many are willing you on!

  3. My day starts at 0530 consistently (0630 weekends) although my working day varies between summer and winter – mainly so i can fit in some exercise during daylight. So in summer I get up and go for a run or cycle, whereas in winter I drive straght into work so I can get my working day over by 3:30 and still get some daylight at the end of the day. I’m lucky in that I’m self employed and often work from home, so have a very flexible boss!

  4. I am so disappointed with our MP’s negativity.There is little we can do which is independent of the EU nowadays and let’s face it we are all governed by our work hours and the BBC.Children get killed when playing home from school ( they are often driven to school in the mornings, Animals don’t clock watch so don’t care, many people suffer from tiredness and ‘sad’ and retailers and entertainment would benefit.If you are retired get up when you like but for the rest of us let’s go for it.The real truth is that to keep the Lib/Dem pact going we the people will have to sacrifice our comfort, well-being and in some cases lives!