London Journal – Day 27 – Summer Time

Daylight Savings Time has kicked in in the US a few hours ago. Not here. In the UK it is called Summer Time and does not start until the end of the month. That is a good thing as tonight is forecast the worst winter storm of the entire season. Winds of up to 80mph, high seasonal tides, an extreme low pressure system, all are expected to combine with snow and “wintry mix” to make late Sunday night and early Monday morning especially miserable. I think were Summer Time to start today there would be an insurection at the sheer absurdity.

The British public have a well honed sense of the absurd. Politics here is much more fluid and constant than in the states. It is somewhat ironic, the Brits marvel at how long our campaign season is, as they have a statutory one month period from the time an election is called until the voting. However, there is a constant state of political activity here as the parties jockey for strength in local councils and such, and keenly aware that an election could be called at any time by the ruling party, the parties have an interest in constantly pandering to the electorate.

This plays out daily in the papers and wireless broadcasts (and I assume on telly as well). There are no end of daft proposals to try to appeal to the common man or specific constituencies. Most often these are bald-face in their pandering appeal, and are seen straight through by the public, who roundly criticise them on frequent radio call-in shows.

An example was a recent proposal to expand capacity on the M24 motorway in the Midlands by allowing motorists to drive on the hard shoulder, in an effort to alleviate rush hour delays. This immediately led to hilarity on the airwaves. Tony Hawks, while a guest on a popular evening radio contest quipped that given the governments proposal to expand motorway capacity in this way we should perhaps think twice about how they intend to expand runway capacity at Heathrow, another hot topic right now.

PS – Some may have noticed that I have re-numbered the past few entries. I managed to get off by one day in my numbering, and have retroactively fixed it. This has nothing to do with daylight savings or Summer Time

Update: This storm, originally forecast for Sunday, has been slipping later and later, and the tail end of it now may straggle on into Tuesday, which could scramble my travel plans.  Grrr.

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