I am now abslutely certain that it is Whitehall dogma to ignore the European working time directiove as much as possible and to keep the UK employed population working as many hours, days, weeks, months, years, as possible.
just so as they don't have time to think, or get engaged in politics in the slightest regard
once upon a time, there were alanded gentry, who had lots of time, and they were tories, then there was the English working class movement, which a bunch of self-educated and principled people who engaged in society and cared about things that matter in their segment, formed - partly churchmen, but also womens movements and other movements - these two elements of british society meant we had serious engagement with both self interest, and interest in the larger pictiure for these two mutually dependent facets of a complex whole.
now, noone has time to engage, except a bunch of overpaid, overcompensated career politicians (and many of them are part timeers) and civil servants - how many people actually know a local councillor, or have ever been to ther MPs surgery or even written?
we need to break this down to the way it used to be and one surefire way to do it is to give people time and inventives to use that time, to engage in running things for ourselves....