Monday, January 28, 2008

"New" Britian Shows Where Its Priorities Are:

Will Pounds and Ounces Survive in Britain ?

“It’s disgusting. We have knifings. We have killings. And they’re taking me to court because I’m selling in pounds and ounces.”
That’s what Janet Devers, a lady who runs a vegetable stand in London, said about facing criminal charges for selling vegetables by pounds and ounces. She could wind up having to pay fines (possibly up to $130,000) and could lose her business:

Janet Devers, 63, was notified of the criminal counts with a 67-page letter that arrived in the mail, outlining 13 criminal charges relating to the “improper” pricing of goods as well as the offense of selling vegetables in bowls.

Obviously, this has something to do with the European Union, which, according to Section 128 of the Treaty on European Union

shall contribute to the flowering of the cultures of the Member States, while respecting their national and regional diversity and at the same time bringing the common cultural heritage to the fore.

But rather than blame the EU for the whole mess, those who don’t like the EU and forced metrication ought also to blame British leaders for allowing it.

The UK had been slowly going the metric route even before entering the European Economic Community (now European Union) but when the UK entered the EEC, metrication was a condition of membership in the club.

The British continued to postpone the acceleration of metrication but in 2000, the European Union’s “compulsory metrication policy” was enacted, prohibiting the use of non-metric weights and measures for sale of goods in Britain.


bookboy said...

The need for standards in weights and measures has been recognised since at least Magna Carta. For good and sensible reasons the UK chose in 1965 to move towards the metric system. It's much simpler and more logical and is used by 96% of the world's population and 100% of our main trading partners in the EU. The continued use of Imperial by street traders makes it impossible to compare against supermarket prices and this works against the consumer.

TheKnickerblogger said...

a. so people should be fined/put in jail for not using them?
b. It is not much simpler and more rational, since it is completely artificial, imperial measurements are relevant, natural, organic and meaningful. For scientific or other measurements metric might be useful but .5 litres means nothing to a consumer, a pint does.