Yesterday Christopher Chope MP (aka The Chope) along with a small group of co-conspirators managed to talk the Daylight Saving Bill out of parliament.We know that this is not the first time he has done it either. It is just the latest illustration of how our outdated Private Members Bill system is not fit for purpose. It is fundamentally undemocratic that a Bill can scuppered by just a handful of MPs. Any MP who has ever been involved in this should be deeply ashamed. It only adds weight however to Caroline Lucas MPs call for modernising parliamentary procedure.
Daniel Vockins, the campaign manager for the Lighter Later campaign, summed up the nature of the problem when he commented, “Today’s result is yet another damning indictment of our broken private member’s bill system. Even with over 120 MPs staying in Westminster to vote in favour of the bill today, the support of 90 national organisations, the UK government, and strong public opinion polls, it’s not possible to get a bill passed a couple of MPs determined to talk it out of receiving a proper vote.”
It is an outrage that our supposedly democratic system can have such a failure built into it. Not only are we left with the lighter later campaign de-railed but we are left with a parliament operating in the dark ages. We need reform.
David Mitchell backs the lighter later campaign
People have written the idea off as a mad environmentalist plot that should be dismissed and ignored. The idea being…that the UK should work on GMT+1 in summer, and GMT +2 hours in winter. It’s pretty simple. We would get more sunlight during the day – it would be great. So why are people opposed to this idea when it has so many potential benefits?
It would mean we would all experience more sunlight (making us happier – I think), reduce our electricity use (which is why this move is backed by the 10:10 campaign) , reduce crime (you know, the lit up areas argument) and reduce road deaths (remember that over 3,000 people die every year on our roads – which is why it’s supported by the RAC). It overwhelmingly seems like a great idea.
Ahh I hear you cry…what about those who have to get up early and suffer the long dark mornings? Will these people not suffer because of it? For most of these people no…They could just get up at the same time as they do now (in relation to dawn). David Mitchell very eloquently goes through the example of a Scottish farmer to illustrate this solution.
In fact I cannot (off the top of my head) think of any reason we wouldn’t do this. Other than of course the British people’s opposition to change and things they don’t really understand. I am genuinely interested…is there a good reason the UK should not move forward an hour?