We yearn for the return of longer days and shorter nights, important for those of us who work outdoors. I suppose for the unfortunate individuals whose employment is mostly confined to working under cover, illuminated mostly by artificial lighting, it is perhaps less of an issue.
The London stock market is coming under pressure to reduce its trading hours. According to Daily Telegraph columnist Matthew Lynn, 8am to 4.30pm is now too much for today’s traders to handle.
The Association of Financial Markets in Europe and the Investment Association have written to the London Stock Exchange and other European exchanges asking for the working day to be reduced to 9am to 4pm.
Matthew Lynn clearly has a healthy disrespect for certain ‘City’ workers who he says have a problem with hard-drinking, lap-dancing and a laddish culture which he believes is out of place in modern Britain. He considers this has more to do with the kind of people the brokers have traditionally recruited, who he somewhat colourfully brands as, “brainless oiks with the ethics of psychologically damaged sewer rats, in the main”, than the actual hours they are expected to work.
Mr Lynn suggests that the London Stock Exchange should be open for business for longer not shorter hours, as London has a key advantage due to its trading day overlapping with both Asia and New York. As he says, the shorter hours might work well for someone in Bishopsgate, but won’t work for anyone based on a different continent, who will be forced to trade into so called “dark pools” – largely unregulated trading systems that allow big funds to trade equities while the official markets are closed.
Rather than introducing shorter hours, he suggests the London Stock Exchange should operate from 7am until 7pm, so they can trade with Hong Kong and Shanghai markets, then running in sync with New York towards the end of the day. This would give London an edge over Frankfurt and Paris; perfect timing as we leave the European Union.
There are many different forms of flexible working including shifts or job share, the same as they do in many other professions where employers and employees create a workable system. There is no need to shorten the day for the whole exchange.
There are once again suggestions that the working week should be reduced to four days. Only politicians could come up with such an impractical idea which would be bad for the UK, bad for business and decidedly very bad for the health of whole population, for obvious reasons.
I suppose if one is committed to bringing the country to a grinding halt, it would be worth considering. However, anyone living in the real world with a proper job, rather than the privileged and rarefied atmosphere of Westminster would understand how impractical and destructive this would be.
As the population is being ‘blackmailed’ into going digital, electricity dependent and battery operated, I think we should ask, “what happens when the power fails”? As one day it certainly will.
When the power fails and battery operated cars, buses, ambulances, police cars, bin and delivery trucks can no longer be recharged, and our homes so reliant or electrical power, including signals from our mobiles fail, who and what will pick up the piece?
It is no doubt a case of when not if the UK central power system is knocked out, either by accident or more likely by enemy forces. Perhaps it is time to ask which department is making contingency plans for such an outcome or are they just going with the flow, following the so called ‘environmentalists’ demands, some of whom have questionable motives.