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Victory for Britain's metric martyrs as Eurocrats give up the fight
The Daily Mail (U.K.) ^ | September 11, 2007 | BENEDICT BROGAN and PAUL SIMS

Posted on 09/11/2007 12:44:53 AM PDT by Stoat

Victory for Britain's metric martyrs as Eurocrats give up the fight

By BENEDICT BROGAN and PAUL SIMS - More by this author » Last updated at 00:05am on 11th September 2007

  Brussels will today give up the fight to make Britain drop pints, pounds and miles.

The right of Britons to use imperial weights and measures will be enshrined in EU law under plans being announced by the European Commission.

Traditional measures will remain legal "until Kingdom come", the Commissioner responsible for the move told the Daily Mail last night.

Scroll down for more...

Vindicated: The 'Metric Martyr' Steve Thoburn, who died in 2004, insisted on using imperial measures

 

The decision was hailed as a victory for the "metric martyrs" and campaigners who have refused to accept successive governments' attempts to abolish measurements dating back to the Middle Ages.

But the European Commission said it had acted merely to "get the Government out of a hole" and claimed it never targeted Britain's well-loved imperial system.

A directive published today will be put to the Council of Ministers to be approved by EU member states within the next few months.

It will confirm the UK's right to carry on using non-metric measures such as the pint, the mile, and pounds and ounces.

But shops and traders will have to stick to current rules which require those using Imperial weights and measures to show their equivalents in metric as well.

British governments have repeatedly asked for delays in implementing the switch to metric agreed by the EU nearly 30 years ago.

The current delay - or derogation - expires in 2009 and it would have become illegal for UK shops to display the imperial measurements after January 1, 2010.

But a consultation by the Commission found that the UK could carry on using imperial measures without harming the single market, which governs trade across the 27-member bloc.

Gunther Verheugen, the Commissioner for the Single Market, told the Mail he was acting to end "myths" that "the EU was banning the pint and that this was part of a wider plot against Britishness".

Mr Verheugen said: "Let's get one thing straight from the off.

"Neither the European Commission nor any faceless 'Eurocrat' has or will ever be responsible for banning the great British pint, the mile, and weight measures in pounds and the ounces.

"These imperial measures form part of the traditions that are the very essence of the Britishness that all Europeans know and love."

He added: "We at the Commission have decided the time has come to nail these myths once and for all by setting out in black and white what has always been our view: that Britain should continue to use imperial measures for as long as it likes.

"Much as it may dismay those who have peddled the metric myth for far too long, we have now proposed legislation enshrining Britain's right to retain pints of milk and beer, miles on road signs and dual indications of weights and measures from now until Kingdom come."

The agreement to switch to metric was signed by the British government in 1980 as part of the preparation for the introduction of the Single Market.

But its implementation came up against determined opposition from campaigners and the public, who showed repeatedly they were unwilling to give up traditional measurements.

At least 15 consumer surveys between 1995 and 2000 found the British people overwhelmingly rejecting metrification.

Brussels granted a series of derogations, and last night claimed that the decision to go metric had actually been taken by a Tory government and supported by its Labour successor.

A Commission spokesman said: "We have thought long and hard about this and rather than getting periodically slagged off we have decided to solve the problem once and for all.

"We are effectively getting the British government out of a hole. And we are happy to do that."

Last night, the widow of Steve Thoburn - nicknamed the Metric Martyr after he was convicted for selling bananas by the pound - demanded he now be pardoned.

The greengrocer, who worked a local market in Sunderland, became a national hero in 2001 when he refused to abandon his old imperial weights in favour of metric measures.

Until his death three years ago from a heart attack ,the 39-year-old father of two fought against the bureaucracy of the European Commission and inspired the Metric Martyrs Movement.

Led by his friend and fellow market trader, Neil Herron, it continued its work in his name and refused to back down despite the threat of legal action. But his criminal conviction remained.

Now, his widow, Leigh, 33, is calling for his name to be cleared.

Mr Thoburn was prosecuted by Sunderland City Council in 2001 for breaching the Weights and Measures Act after selling bananas by the pound. His imperial scales were confiscated and he was given a sixmonth conditional discharge.

Mr Thoburn was one of only four shopkeepers ever prosecuted for using pounds and ounces - an offence which carried fines of up to £5,000.

b.brogan@dailymail.co.uk


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Front Page News; Government; News/Current Events; United Kingdom
KEYWORDS: britain; england; eu; eussr; greatbritain; imperial; imperialweights; measurement; metric; socialengineering; uk; unitedkingdom; weightsandmeasures
But the European Commission said it had acted merely to "get the Government out of a hole" and claimed it never targeted Britain's well-loved imperial system.

Translation: "We Socialist pantywaists aren't honorable enough to gracefully admit when we're beaten, so we'll just try the 'we were just kidding all along' ploy and hope that the people who weren't paying attention will buy it."

1 posted on 09/11/2007 12:44:57 AM PDT by Stoat
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To: Stoat

Why is it that whenever a news article about something the EU is going comes out, it makes the EU look sillier than it already is? I mean—CONSISTENTLY, these decisions make the EU look like a joke.


2 posted on 09/11/2007 12:51:34 AM PDT by Darkwolf377
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To: Darkwolf377
Why is it that whenever a news article about something the EU is going comes out, it makes the EU look sillier than it already is? I mean—CONSISTENTLY, these decisions make the EU look like a joke.

LMAO!

I'm guessing that when you take a mammoth Marxist / Socialist bureaucracy and distill sections of it down into bite-sized, coherent chunks, the ludicrous, illogical nature of the totality of it all becomes more apparent.

Sound good?   :-)

 

3 posted on 09/11/2007 1:01:38 AM PDT by Stoat (Rice / Coulter 2008: Smart Ladies for a Strong America)
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To: Stoat
That's as good an explanation as any. Whenever I read stories like this, I imagine a bunch of mangy reporters waiting for some rumpled Brit or German to wander onto a HUGE stage with a massive "EU UBER ALLES" flag as a backdrop, with microphone feedback at every gap in the announcement.

I keep waiting for someone to tell me, "You actually thought they were serious? Oh, no, poor boy, you misunderstand--this is just a little play we let the socialists put on so they think they won."

4 posted on 09/11/2007 1:06:09 AM PDT by Darkwolf377
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To: Darkwolf377
Whenever I read stories like this, I imagine a bunch of mangy reporters waiting for some rumpled Brit or German to wander onto a HUGE stage with a massive "EU UBER ALLES" flag as a backdrop, with microphone feedback at every gap in the announcement.

I think that vision still holds true in many ways.  Our British Friends still have to contend with many insane laws forced down their throats by the EU.  Did you know that the EU forced a law into being that requires the curvature of a banana to be regulated?  Yes, they have to conform to a specific, legally specified degree of curvature.  The pic of the banana seller in the Daily Mail article was no accident, I'll reckon, but was chosen as a reminder.

I keep waiting for someone to tell me, "You actually thought they were serious? Oh, no, poor boy, you misunderstand--this is just a little play we let the socialists put on so they think they won."

hehe!  They're trying to tell you that right now, as well as blaming it all on the Tories:

From the article:

"Brussels granted a series of derogations, and last night claimed that the decision to go metric had actually been taken by a Tory government and supported by its Labour successor."

 

5 posted on 09/11/2007 1:17:19 AM PDT by Stoat (Rice / Coulter 2008: Smart Ladies for a Strong America)
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To: Stoat
Did you know that the EU forced a law into being that requires the curvature of a banana to be regulated?

Known as The Bubba Rule? ;)

6 posted on 09/11/2007 1:20:15 AM PDT by Darkwolf377
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To: Darkwolf377

Back In The EUSSR...


7 posted on 09/11/2007 1:26:25 AM PDT by weegee (NO THIRD TERM. America does not need another unconstitutional Clinton co-presidency.)
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To: Darkwolf377
Did you know that the EU forced a law into being that requires the curvature of a banana to be regulated?

Known as The Bubba Rule? ;)

Would this be the Bubba Rule that you're talking about?:

 Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

"Bill Clinton demonstrating banana curvature requirements in his Bubba Rule legislation"

 

((((snicker)))))

8 posted on 09/11/2007 1:26:44 AM PDT by Stoat (Rice / Coulter 2008: Smart Ladies for a Strong America)
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To: Stoat

I loathe the metric system. At work, I am forced to use it. I constantly remind my associates that:

When we Americans walked on the moon nearly 40 years ago, we didn’t get there through use of the metric system...

Don’t get me started.


9 posted on 09/11/2007 1:28:08 AM PDT by Paisan
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To: Paisan
I loathe the metric system. At work, I am forced to use it. I constantly remind my associates that:

When we Americans walked on the moon nearly 40 years ago, we didn’t get there through use of the metric system...

Don’t get me started.

Agreed on all counts.  Although the metric system has advantages in some areas, those who try to force it down the throats of vast numbers of people who have been accustomed to the Imperial system (or others) for generations or more overlook numerous advantages of leaving well enough alone....among them being that it's really no big deal to mathematically convert from one system to another, and to force such a change and all associated retooling on a multi-trillion-dollar economy would tend to wreck things, but hey, Good Socialists don't need to care about such mundane things as destroying an entire nation's economy.......

10 posted on 09/11/2007 1:35:13 AM PDT by Stoat (Rice / Coulter 2008: Smart Ladies for a Strong America)
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To: Stoat
He [the Eurocrat] added: "We at the Commission have decided the time has come to nail these myths once and for all by setting out in black and white what has always been our view: that Britain should continue to use imperial measures for as long as it likes.

Yeah, right. Obviously, that's why they've been granting all those delays over the years that held off forcing metric on Britain against its wishes. Lyin' POS.

11 posted on 09/11/2007 1:47:37 AM PDT by Bob
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To: Bob
He [the Eurocrat] added: "We at the Commission have decided the time has come to nail these myths once and for all by setting out in black and white what has always been our view: that Britain should continue to use imperial measures for as long as it likes.

Yeah, right. Obviously, that's why they've been granting all those delays over the years that held off forcing metric on Britain against its wishes. Lyin' POS.
 

Indeed, and it's also why people have actually been PROSECUTED for daring to stand tall against the Socialist leviathan.  From the article:

"Mr Thoburn was prosecuted by Sunderland City Council in 2001 for breaching the Weights and Measures Act after selling bananas by the pound. His imperial scales were confiscated and he was given a sixmonth conditional discharge.

Mr Thoburn was one of only four shopkeepers ever prosecuted for using pounds and ounces - an offence which carried fines of up to £5,000. "

Notice also that even in the Daily Mail article, they say "Mr Thoburn was one of only four shopkeepers ever prosecuted......"

Four people prosecuted under an utterly insane law is four people too many, and their suffering and harassment shouldn't be minimized by saying that "it was only four"..  It would still be wrong to have such prosecutions possible, even if the laws were never invoked for a single prosecution.

"an offence which carried fines of up to £5,000"

That's an awful lot of money for someone who sells apples and bananas for a living.  Here is the current conversion rate to provide a little perspective:

Live rates at 2007.09.11 08:59:16 UTC

5,000.00 GBP

=

10,146.86 USD

United Kingdom Pounds   United States Dollars
1 GBP = 2.02937 USD   1 USD = 0.492763 GBP

 

 


12 posted on 09/11/2007 2:01:40 AM PDT by Stoat (Rice / Coulter 2008: Smart Ladies for a Strong America)
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To: Stoat

My car gets 40 rods to the hogshead, and that’s how I like it.


13 posted on 09/11/2007 2:56:28 AM PDT by tlb
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To: tlb
40 rods to the hogshead?

Sheesh, are you driving something like this?


14 posted on 09/11/2007 4:04:57 AM PDT by AnAmericanMother ((Ministrix of Ye Chase, TTGC Ladies' Auxiliary (recess appointment)))
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To: Stoat; Paisan
Speaking as a sometime carpenter, I can tell you the metric system does not work for measuring out lumber, calculating rafter angles, etc.

The English system based on 12 and fractions is divisible in more ways, more quickly, and can be calculated in your head. Once you get to decimals in the metric system, you are lost.

15 posted on 09/11/2007 4:06:51 AM PDT by AnAmericanMother ((Ministrix of Ye Chase, TTGC Ladies' Auxiliary (recess appointment)))
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To: tlb
My car gets 40 rods to the hogshead,...

That's driving at how many furlongs per fortnight?

16 posted on 09/11/2007 4:11:41 AM PDT by FreePaul
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To: AnAmericanMother

I don’t know what it is, but I want one!


17 posted on 09/11/2007 4:16:49 AM PDT by jusduat (I am a strange and recurring anomaly)
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To: AnAmericanMother

LOL!!!

What is that?


18 posted on 09/11/2007 4:25:53 AM PDT by sergeantdave
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To: Stoat

A pint of Guiness, please.


19 posted on 09/11/2007 4:31:46 AM PDT by ConorMacNessa (HM/2 USN, 3rd Bn. 5th Marines, RVN 1969. St. Michael the Archangel defend us in battle!)
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To: ConorMacNessa
Crowns & Pounds. One thing worse than Going Metric is to go Ha-fast metric like the US auto industry has. the wrench artist has to have dual calibrated eyeballs.
barbra ann
20 posted on 09/11/2007 4:44:42 AM PDT by barb-tex (Why replace the IRS with anything?)
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To: Tribune7; SoCalPol; Lil'freeper; mrsmel; wideawake; chasio649; expatpat; HanneyBean; goose; ...

PING


21 posted on 09/11/2007 4:49:47 AM PDT by UKrepublican
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To: Stoat

Hooray! The metric system is for idiots.


22 posted on 09/11/2007 4:51:42 AM PDT by bvw
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To: jusduat

It’s a german strawberry harvester.


23 posted on 09/11/2007 4:53:02 AM PDT by bvw
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To: Stoat

Excellent !!!
I hate grams, liters and kilometers. Too French.
Pounds, miles and pints rule the day.


24 posted on 09/11/2007 4:58:41 AM PDT by BuffaloJack (Before the government can give you a dollar it must first take it from another American)
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To: Stoat
The problem with the Metric system is that the units are not "right" sized for humans. The supposed wonder of the meter was that it is some number of measures around the "planet." Which was later cast as some number of wavelengths of a specific color of light, as if you couldn't do that with a foot measure.

But, having a yard as a basic measure of length doesn't seem all that stupid until you pair that with the Newton, the basic measure of force to get a derived unit for the physical property called pressure. The meter is "too big" and the Newton is "too small" and this creates absurd consequences. In the English system, one atmosphere pressure, a basic necessary quantity is approximately 15 pounds force per square inch. But, because the unit of pressure in the metric system is the Pascal (1 Newton per square meter) you get a bizarre number for just one atmosphere, 101,000,000 Pascals. (101 Mega-pascals).

The implications for engineering of this "little" problem are stupefying. The great downfall of the metric system turned out that real world situations impose "constants" that have to be multiplied into almost every calculation. Gravity, Atmospheric pressure, the Speed of Light are all such constants and they take away the easy multiply by 10 or divide by ten aspect of metric work. Worse, often one synthetic unit forces another synthetic unit to be difficult. The English system grew out of "practical" units growing in popularity for their ease of use.

The ever popular "Furlongs per fortnight" criticism of English units repudiates two units that made sense for horse drawn times but not in modern times, where as miles per hour is quite handy and no one looked back except for the metric mind police. But, the Mega-pascal is a curse to all of engineering as well as its still too small sized companion the Newton per square centimeter. You must use a calculator for all work in these units because you aren't doing it in your head. And thats the base problem. Right sized units help you around the impacts of the physical constants rather than you up against them like shoals. The slug, much maligned as a unit of mass allows the pound mass and pound force to co-exist and saves the mental gymnastics of dealing with this problem in every calculation. The rightsizedness of the pound leads to the rightsizedness of the BTU (British Thermal Unit) which is the amount of heat needed to raise the temperature of water 1 degree F.

Yes, you have to mulitply by 12 frequently in the English system, but the deep reality of the English system is not 12 but instead 2. At the core of the English system is binary, pints, pounds, ounces, gallons and feet often fit together in relationships of powers of 2. A square foot of water is 8 gallons. A gallon of water is 8 pounds. A pound of water is 16 ounces. And folks used to dealing with binary, find these conversions just as swift as the base 10 relationships that metric was supposed to provide.

25 posted on 09/11/2007 4:59:43 AM PDT by dalight
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To: barb-tex

You got that right - I have more wrenches than I can count.


26 posted on 09/11/2007 5:00:19 AM PDT by ConorMacNessa (HM/2 USN, 3rd Bn. 5th Marines, RVN 1969. St. Michael the Archangel defend us in battle!)
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To: Darkwolf377
Why is it that whenever a news article about something the EU is going comes out, it makes the EU look sillier than it already is?

Just think what Monty Python could do with material like this.

27 posted on 09/11/2007 5:31:16 AM PDT by Lil'freeper (You do not have the plug-in required to view this tagline.)
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To: dalight
The supposed wonder of the meter was that it is some number of measures around the "planet." Which was later cast as some number of wavelengths of a specific color of light, as if you couldn't do that with a foot measure.
 

That was done so that people around the world could have the same length for the metre (meter, in American English), as used everywhere else.

  IIRC, the new standard foot is defined in terms of the metre, simply because the definition of the metre is more universally accurate(as in, that wavelengths-of-light measurement is the same wherever it is used as a definition for). Because it borrows from this definition, the foot too becomes just as accurate. But the main point is that the definition in terms of wavelengths was declared to make the measure universal.

BTW,

The metre is the length of the path travelled by light in vacuum during a time interval of 1/299 792 458 of a second.

;^)

28 posted on 09/11/2007 5:31:26 AM PDT by CarrotAndStick (The articles posted by me needn't necessarily reflect my opinion.)
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To: sergeantdave

Bucket-wheel excavator. Largest in the world. Built by Krupp (yeah, THAT Krupp).


29 posted on 09/11/2007 6:04:38 AM PDT by AnAmericanMother ((Ministrix of Ye Chase, TTGC Ladies' Auxiliary (recess appointment)))
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To: dalight
You don't wind up multiplying by 12 so much as you wind up DIVIDING 12 by one of the many numbers it's divisible by. That's what makes the English system so versatile - you can divide 12 by 2, or 6, or 3, or 4. Makes it easy to get your lumber to fit. And at least for carpenters, you don't get much beyond 32nds when you're splitting up that inch. . . . at least I don't (I'm what my dad calls a "rough carpenter" - good on rough work, and rough on good work.)

I just realizes that it's also far easier to measure, cut out a pattern, and sew in English than in metric. I LOATHE metric patterns, can't make head or tails of them. Give me that 5/8" seam allowance every time!

30 posted on 09/11/2007 6:07:57 AM PDT by AnAmericanMother ((Ministrix of Ye Chase, TTGC Ladies' Auxiliary (recess appointment)))
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To: Stoat

The metric system is for idiots who can’t do simple math.

I actually had a guy claim he didn’t like miles as he had no visual concept of 5280 feet but somehow magically understood the kilometer at 3280 feet.


31 posted on 09/11/2007 6:28:29 AM PDT by CodeToad
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To: Stoat

A funny thing about the metric system: It doesn’t match real-world measurements, such as navigation. Aviation still uses such measurements as knots as it agrees with navigation.


32 posted on 09/11/2007 6:30:43 AM PDT by CodeToad
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To: Stoat
I'm guessing that when you take a mammoth Marxist / Socialist bureaucracy and distill sections of it down into bite-sized, coherent chunks, the ludicrous, illogical nature of the totality of it all becomes more apparent.

Well said. Do I have permission to quote you when arguing with liberals?
33 posted on 09/11/2007 7:26:36 AM PDT by dmartin (Who Dares Wins)
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To: Stoat
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Woo Hoo! Pounds are back!

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

34 posted on 09/11/2007 8:37:28 AM PDT by dragonblustar (Freedom of Speech is for everyone, not just liberals.)
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To: dmartin
Well said.

Thank you for your kind words  :-)

Here's a nice piece of cheesecake for you (the ingredients of which were undoubtedly measured using ounces, cups, and teaspoons)

 

 Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

 

 Do I have permission to quote you when arguing with liberals?

I'm honored, and of course you may.  However, you may find that people will take you more seriously if you do not tell then that you heard a scruffy stoat say it  :-)

 

((((snicker)))))

 

 

35 posted on 09/11/2007 8:46:12 AM PDT by Stoat (Rice / Coulter 2008: Smart Ladies for a Strong America)
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To: dragonblustar
Woo Hoo! Pounds are back!

LMAO!

36 posted on 09/11/2007 8:53:40 AM PDT by Stoat (Rice / Coulter 2008: Smart Ladies for a Strong America)
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To: ConorMacNessa
A pint of Guiness, please.

My pleasure!  :-)

 

 Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

 Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

 Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

37 posted on 09/11/2007 9:04:17 AM PDT by Stoat (Rice / Coulter 2008: Smart Ladies for a Strong America)
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To: AnAmericanMother
Built by Krupp (yeah, THAT Krupp).

You mean not THIS Krupp?

38 posted on 09/11/2007 9:06:42 AM PDT by dfwgator (The University of Florida - Still Championship U)
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To: tlb
My car gets 40 rods to the hogshead, and that’s how I like it.

I think that it's somewhat similar for the stoatmobile, and I've noticed that it doesn't seem to run quite so well after a trip to Canada where the gas pumps are set to liters.  There seems to be a visceral rejection of these artificially contrived measurements.

39 posted on 09/11/2007 9:09:28 AM PDT by Stoat (Rice / Coulter 2008: Smart Ladies for a Strong America)
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To: Stoat

Better be careful the metric folks don’t creep up on us in this country. During the recent tennis matches, the height
and weight of the tennis players was shown in metric
terms.


40 posted on 09/11/2007 11:27:20 AM PDT by upcountryhorseman (An old fashioned conservative)
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To: upcountryhorseman
 

Better be careful the metric folks don’t creep up on us in this country. During the recent tennis matches, the height
and weight of the tennis players was shown in metric
terms.

 Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

hmmmmm.....there are some traditions that should never be trifled with.

41 posted on 09/11/2007 11:49:23 AM PDT by Stoat (Rice / Coulter 2008: Smart Ladies for a Strong America)
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To: Stoat

You said, “My car gets 40 rods to the hogshead, and that’s how I like it.”

Do you record speed in “furlongs per fortnight?”


42 posted on 09/12/2007 5:51:10 PM PDT by hbrink
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To: hbrink
You said, “My car gets 40 rods to the hogshead, and that’s how I like it.”

Do you record speed in “furlongs per fortnight?”

LMAO!

That sounds like a wonderful car!   :-)

(visualizing how dashboard instrumentation would look)

43 posted on 09/12/2007 5:56:47 PM PDT by Stoat (Rice / Coulter 2008: Smart Ladies for a Strong America)
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To: Stoat

Bttt


44 posted on 10/21/2007 11:00:58 AM PDT by MinorityRepublican
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