FORCED METRICATION VERSES TRADITIONAL BRITISH UNITSHave you noticed that BBC and ITV Newscasters, weather forecastersand program presenters will not use traditional British units except when there is an accident,
a danger to life, or a response is required from viewers or listeners?
For example, a TV war correspondent who had been using metric units of metres and kilometres in his report had a shell or bomb explode near to him. He was shocked and frightened and exclaimed: “wow, that was only a few yards away”. His first thought on the distance of the explosion was expressed in British imperial units. He did not use metric measures because in that moment of danger he uttered words that were most familiar to him.
In programs where the help of the public is needed traditional British units are almost always used. The obvious explanation is that a majority of the public understand or prefer their own native system of units and this increases the number of responses.
The average man-or-woman-in-the-street, despite forced metrication, still prefers to use British traditional measurements. Polls carried out by independent researchers indicate that between 55% and 65% of the public do not like enforced metrication and resent the arrogant proponents of the metric system who refuse to tolerate any mention of imperial units of measurement.
The British system of units is part of our heritage and history having been used for hundreds of years. Many of our most beautiful buildings were built using feet and inches and the industrial revolution evolved using these units of measurements. Railways, ships, machine tools, mills, carriages, spinning jennies, steam engines, and thousands of different manufactured products all contributed to the industrial revolution using our traditional system of weights and measures in their construction.
Some metric zealots say that the imperial system is not suitable for this modern age and should be disbanded. This is fundamentally wrong. Some of the most complex and incredible modern projects employing traditional measurements can be favourably compared to anything utilising metric units. Here are some examples:- Nuclear powered aircraft carriers and submarines– the most complex vessels ever to ply the world’s oceans. Military and civil aircraft and their control systems. Space rockets, satellites and space exploration probes.
The Americans put a man on the moon using what they call the “English system of units”. (The Boeing Aircraft Company, when responding to a request by the British Weights and Measures Association, (BWMA), replied that their aircraft specifications were all in inch/pound units.) The Mars space probe was lost in space because the Americans introduced the metric system that was incompatible with the their previously successful guidance signals using the traditional English system.
Although the metric system was first given legal status in 1897 to be used voluntarily, only a small minority bothered to use it. It was again introduced in the 1960s as a sop to gain British entry into the Common Market and we were told it was to be voluntary. However, a Metrication Board was set-up to encourage industry and commerce to go metric and sent instructions to schools, colleges and industry to drop traditional units of measurements in favour of the metric system.
In engineering shops, schools, colleges, and ordnance factories, hundreds of millions of pounds worth of good working machine tools such as lathes, boring machines, milling machines and extruding machines were ripped out from their bases and sold off for scrap because they were calibrated in imperial units and replaced by expensive machines calibrated in metres, some of which were inferior to the ones they replaced.
Tens of millions of pounds were spent in changing petrol pumps to register litres rather than gallons. Margaret Thatcher disbanded the Metrication Boards, but Lord Howe, the UK Metric Association and other politicians kept up the pressure for the UK to go totally metric. The European Union introduced Directive 80/181 EC that required every member State of the EU to go completely metric.
It was only the Metric Martyrs and their campaign to be allowed to measure fruit, vegetables, and lose goods in traditional British units that prevented the government from imposing total metrication. Even so traders are now only allowed to weigh their wares in grams and kilograms. Hard working traders that had never cheated anyone were dragged through the courts because they did what their customers wanted and sold their apples and pears in pounds and ounces. Poor Steve Thoburn, a market trader, was taken to court, twice and appealed to the House of Lords who refused to hear his case. He died at the age of 38, probably due to the unfair treatment meted out to him by the Trading Standards officials and bureaucratic metric zealots in the local councils. News has just come in that a trader in Hampshire is to be prosecuted for weighing his produce in imperial units. Wouldn’t you think Trading Standard officials had something more important to do?
Compare this with some bankers and MPs who have milked hundreds of millions of pounds fromthe ordinary taxpayer and have not been criminalized or punished. EU mandarins wanted a complete banon imperial units from the 1st of January this year, but changed their mind when the BWMA informedmany industries what the EU proposed. A meeting was arranged between BWMA and representativesfrom industry that opposed the EU Directives because of the high cost involved in changingthe specifications and manufacturing costs of re-tooling production lines and eventually the EU relented.
British Imperial Measures campaigners (BWMW) also spent a large amount of money informing American Industrial Companies what the EU proposed. If the EU imposed full metrication the Americans would have to change all their production lines and labelling when exporting to the UK.
The Treaty of Rome states that all member states should be encouraged to retain their identity, history and traditions. Why does the EU ignore its own rules by trying to ban traditional British units of measurements and force metrication on the citizens of the United Kingdom? To try to prevent the government from imposing EU Directives, it is important for every person that wants to preserve their heritage to use traditional units when asking for, or purchasingproducts.
For more information visitwww.activeresistance.org.uk to read “ Weights and Measures, Britain’s Way Ahead” by Tony Bennett with Derek Norman.