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Bill To Replace GMT With Berlin Time

People in Britin would soon be living their lives on Berlin Time, an hour ahead of GMT in winter and two hours ahead of GMT in summer, if a Bill is passed in Parliament, report

Updated on: November 15, 2010 9:22 IST
bill to replace gmt with berlin time
bill to replace gmt with berlin time

People in Britin would soon be living their lives on Berlin Time, an hour ahead of GMT in winter and two hours ahead of GMT in summer, if a Bill is passed in Parliament, report Daily Mail.Berlin is 580 miles and 15 degrees of longitude east of Greenwich, which means that the sun rises and sets there an hour earlier than it does in England.

For the people of the North of England and Scotland, Berlin Time (to be named Continetal time)  will mean black darkness till around ten o'clock in the morning in the winter months.

According to Rebecca Harris, a chirpy, enthusiastic young Tory MP, this is a price worth paying for the many sparkling advantages of living in step with Berliners. She believes that later, lighter afternoons in winter – and even later ones in summer – will make the roads safer, make old people less lonely, reduce crime, save energy and boost business.

She has all kinds of studies that appear to prove this, and is supported by a mass of pressure groups that agree with her.

There was an experiment between 1968 and 1971, when Britain stayed on Summer Time all the year round – and lower road casualties for this period are often cited as an argument for the change. But the same years saw the introduction of roadside breath tests and the 70mph speed limit, so it is hard to claim that lighter evenings and darker mornings are solely responsible – or even to be sure that they are responsible at all.

Evenings, the report says,  are more dangerous than mornings on the roads, especially in these days of cheap alcohol and all-day opening, and of sparse police patrols, because ¬drivers have had more time to drink too much. Light and dark make little difference to that.

But Mrs Harris's well-supported Bill is well on its way anyway, unlike several similar efforts on the subject over the past dozen years. These all ended in defeat, as did the 1968-71 experiment.

But this one is different. An active and busy lobby seems to have got behind this measure. It goes before Parliament on Friday, December 3, and if passed it will trigger the first steps towards this momentous change, possibly separating Britain for ever from Greenwich Mean Time which she invented.

Clocks and times, the report says, are not arbitrary. They measure the objective passage of time, which is governed by the rotation of the Earth.

Why Berlin time, anyway, asks The Mail. Why are Sweden, Germany, Slovenia, the Czech Republic, Croatia and Sicily, and everyone else on the Berlin time line, not required to experience the alleged benefits being offered by Rebecca Harris and her friends?

But it is easy to see that since 1893, when Kaiser Wilhelm II's arrogant and expansionist new German Empire adopted Mitteleuropaische Zeit (Central European Time), German power has been forcing its ideas of time on the rest of the Continent.

First in 1914, and with redoubled force after 1940, the conquered nations of the Continent were instructed rather sharply to shift their clocks forward to suit the needs of German soldiers and German railways and German business.A map of the present Central European Time Zone looks disturbingly like a map of a certain best-forgotten empire of 70 years ago.

Would it really be silly to suspect that the neatness and standardisation fanatics of Brussels and Frankfurt, who have abolished almost every border in Europe, devised the European arrest warrant and the Euro passport and the European number plate and the European flag – and imposed a single currency on almost every state – would not also like a single time zone, asks The Mail.

The newspaper is running a campaign against imposition of Berlin Time. It says, it is not too late to stop Mrs Harris's curious Bill if enough MPs – more responsive to the public than they once were since their recent embarrassments – can be persuaded by public protest to vote against it.

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