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PETER HITCHENS: Can Anyone Stop Kaiser Bill’s Foolish Interference with Clocks?

Credits: Wikipedia

People sometimes do strange things if they think it’s normal. For example, many of us follow a tradition every year without questioning it. We suddenly pretend it’s an hour later than it is.

We call it one o’clock at noon, and mornings seem darker. The evenings, which were slowly getting brighter, suddenly changed faster. By June, it won’t get dark in London until ten o’clock.  Imagine if the government changed other things, such as making car speedometers show faster speeds or higher temperatures.

The Kaiser of Clocks (Credits: Watch Repair Talk)

It might seem silly, but some people in the early 1900s suggested changing all our clocks. They thought it would be good to have more daylight in the mornings.

One important person pushing for this was William Willett, a property developer who didn’t like that others slept in while he got up early. Most people ignored him until World War I broke out in 1914.

People were desperate for any idea that might help end the war quickly. So, when the German Emperor, Kaiser Wilhelm II, decided to change the time, others followed.

Various Clock Type (Credits: The Economic Times)

Since then, we’ve been changing our clocks every spring, even though it might not make much sense. Some people even want to keep this shift in time all year round. But it’s caused problems, like heart issues, for some people after the clocks change.

Critics, like writers C.S. Lewis and P.G. Wodehouse, have spoken out against it. They didn’t like losing sleep or missing out on the romantic twilight of summer evenings. It’s time to rethink this tradition and put an end to it.

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