[LEAPSECS] Ce n'est que le premier pas qui co?te ?

Zefram zefram at fysh.org
Sat Jan 21 13:51:01 EST 2012

Rob Seaman wrote:

>But Jacob Rees-Mogg's suggestion

>Was met here with reactions ranging from gentle bemusement to outright

>sarcastic rejection.

The Rees-Mogg amendment was not a complete application of the relevant
political processes, and so is not a counterexample for Tony Finch's
principle. Rees-Mogg erred massively in not considering the issues of
end-user acceptability, which make an important, if informal, part of
the political process.

The amendment sought to return Somerset to the timekeeping regime that
held in the 1830s. It sought to do this by turning back the law. But as
we all know, what changed around 1840 wasn't the law, it was technology.
The amendment wouldn't revert that change, it would only revert the
change to the law that occurred in 1880. This would take Somerset back
to the situation that held in the 1870s: law courts and elections operate
on local mean time, but for almost all practical purposes the people
actually use GMT, for convenience in the presence of telecommunications.
And, of course, this practical issue exerted enough political pressure
to get the law changed to match. *That's* the political process that
Rees-Mogg needs to work with.

To get back to the 1830s, he'd have to not only roll back the law,
but also banish from Somerset railways, motor cars, television, and
the internet. I don't think that's politically feasible either.

On a slight tangent, Ian Batten alluded to Somerset (quite apart from
Rees-Mogg himself) being a butt of jokes. That's not really essential
to understanding the reaction to this proposal, but it's quite fitting
that the denizens of Somerset are stereotypically seen as backward and
parochial. I think the nearest US equivalent, which Batten was looking
for, is hillbillies.


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