In Western Australia we have our very own version of Ground Hog Day that tradition celebrated in the United States and made world famous by the movie of the same name. The movie starred the comedian Bill Murray who plays a TV weatherman on assignment to cover the annual emergence of woodchucks on the winter solstice, but something goes wrong and he ends up caught in a time loop repeatedly reliving the same day over and over.
Our version of Ground Hog Day also involves television reporters who get caught up re-running the same story annually and it also involves animals. Instead of woodchucks emerging to mark if the northern hemisphere winter will be extended we have our cows that are trotted out to show that daylight saving will make the milk flow and the workers will be blessed with long sultry summer evenings.
We even have our own version of Bill Murray the affable Matt Birney former state liberal opposition leader from 2005 – 2008 who made his mark by championing the last state daylight saving referendum back in 2009. It was voted down just as the ones run in 1975, 1984 and 1992 were also lost but this has not stopped Matt playing the role of Bill Murray and coming out and starring in the latest episode of Channel 7s Monday night TV show Flashpoint as comedy lead no doubt reusing his old script notes.
His script goes something like this, Western Australia has changed, we are falling behind the other states, the enlighten states ‘literally’ are an hour in front of us and we need to catch up. Let’s not have the hysterical debates about cows and curtains instead let’s talk about saving sunlight as an investment in our economy and community. In a nutshell, It’s Time.
With a simple wind back of the clock we can turn dullsville into funsville, our beaches will be filled, the streets will come alive and we can live the perfect life just as Bill did when the perfect day came together on Ground Hog day.
The only problem is this is an urban myth pushed by urban elites just like Ground Hog Day is a myth that has its origins in European folklore.
In the real world people have lives that revolve around families and work, kids that need to sit down and do their homework, go to bed, get up early to catch the bus, parents that have early shifts or work long hot days in the heat. Families need more sleep time not more time to socialise on social media.
Getting up an hour earlier in the morning just adds to the complexity of most family’s days. Families on the whole don’t like the idea of daylight saving, country people don’t want it, farmers can’t stand it and retired people don’t need it so why would we have it?
I suspect just like in the movie day light saving is more about young people chasing an ideal lifestyle be it more time with friends or the perfect relationship. These things take time and what better than more time to catch up in a pub at the beach and enjoy an extended session while waiting for the sun go down? Good for yuppies and dinks not so good for mums and kids.
Bill Murray best sums up what Daylight Savings offers when at the end of the movie after repeatedly reliving the perfect day he simply says, “that was a very long day”.