The government is being challenged today to consider a referendum on the proposed experiment to align the UK timezone with Central European time, starting on 30th March. The change would put clocks forward to BST plus one hour in summer and GMT plus one in winter. Public response to the proposal for 'Parisienne' time has been decidedly mixed, although the new acronym for Central European Normal Time seems widely popular.
Cross-channel hauliers and Euro MPs tired of fiddling with their watches are said to be fans of the scheme. Meanwhile A&E departments are looking forward to a bumper season as the early morning commute is blighted with grumpier, sleepier drivers forced onto darker, icier roads.
A distinct lack of enthusiasm is reported in leafy middle England, where early risers will be robbed of lovely dawns hitherto enjoyed in private serenity when the rest of humanity was still abed. Doug Pittick, 46 a plasterer from Bromsgrove, patted his pitbull and reflected, 'I used to have the promise of a fragrant, misty sunrise where I could take Philomena here out for a walk, with only the sparkle of dew and the sweet trill of awakening songbirds for company. Now I need to load the van an hour earlier and the dog will have to shit in the yard.'
In London, there has been an unaccustomed show of unity between old Conservatives and UKIP followers squatting on the Greenwich Meridian line, cheerily waving patriotic flags and tubes of hemerroid ointment. Nigel Farrage, in fishnets, heels and lipstick, quipped that changing the clocks would be, 'just a step to the left'. On being complemented on his Frankenfurter outfit he replied 'Pardon?'
Meanwhile it is unclear that all of the UK will agree to the same time zone. Alex Salmond is confidently promising to put the clocks back 30 years, to align Scotland with her new economic soulmate, the Isle of Wight.