The government announced today that Britain's clocks are to go forward by four hours from July 27 until August 12 this summer, during the London 2012 Olympic Games. The decision follows last week's announcement that the usual Sunday trading laws would be suspended during the Olympics to allow businesses to cash in on the anticipated spending spree from visiting tourists. The latest measure, for the same reason, was announced from number 10 this morning by Prime Minister David Cameron who stressed it would only be for the duration of the Olympic Games with clocks being put back by the four hours again after the closing ceremony on 12 August.
When announcing the decision David Cameron admitted early morning travellers could find it unusual to have dawn arriving a few hours later than would usually be the case during the peak of summer in Britain but pointed out that in July and August it gets light very early anyway so by making it four hours later it will still be arriving just after around half past eight in the morning.
"The advantages far outweigh any inconvenience," he said. "By putting Britain's clocks forward by four hours will help to maximise profits to businesses by reducing the amount of electricity they'll be using when staying open late. It won't be getting dark until around 2am so the various stores, restaurants, bars and so on staying open late to cash in on the extra Olympic trade won't need to have so many lights switched on to encourage customers through their doors. Usually in Britain it starts to get dark in July and August at around nine thirty. That's far too early.
"Even for health and safety reasons any business staying open after that would need to switch on lights for their customers, otherwise they'd be tripping over steps, walking into walls, or stumbling into chairs and tables ending up with all kinds of nasty injuries. In turn that puts a strain on the NHS, brings lots of claims for compensation, and eventually of course results in increased business insurance premiums. By ensuring it remains daylight outside until 2am will significantly reduce the need for lighting thus saving businesses enormous amounts of money on electricity."
Mr Cameron did however make it absolutely clear this morning that he did not personally come up with the idea of putting the clocks forward by four hours for the Olympic Games period this summer.
"I feel I should make it absolutely clear" he said, "that this was not just another of the many brilliant ideas I've come up with in the past few weeks. Credit where credit's due. My friend Nick came up with this particular brilliant idea. He told me it came to him in a dream he had on Sunday night just after he'd smashed the world record time when beating some chap called Usain Bolt in some sort of race."