Sixty Joyless De-Britished Uncrowned Commonpoor Years (1949-2009)

Elizabeth II Vice-Regal Saint: Remembering Paul Comtois (1895–1966), Lt.-Governor of Québec
Britannic Inheritance: Britain's proud legacy. What legacy will America leave?
English Debate: Daniel Hannan revels in making mince meat of Gordon Brown
Crazy Canucks: British MP banned from Canada on national security grounds
Happy St. Patrick's: Will Ireland ever return to the Commonwealth?
Voyage Through the Commonwealth: World cruise around the faded bits of pink.
No Queen for the Green: The Green Party of Canada votes to dispense with monarchy.
"Sir Edward Kennedy": The Queen has awarded the senator an honorary Knighthood.
President Obama: Hates Britain, but is keen to meet the Queen?
The Princess Royal: Princess Anne "outstanding" in Australia.
H.M.S. Victory: In 1744, 1000 sailors went down with a cargo of gold.
Queen's Commonwealth: Britain is letting the Commonwealth die.
Justice Kirby: His support for monarchy almost lost him appointment to High Court
Royal Military Academy: Sandhurst abolishes the Apostles' Creed.
Air Marshal Alec Maisner, R.I.P. Half Polish, half German and 100% British.
Cherie Blair: Not a vain, self regarding, shallow thinking viper after all.
Harry Potter: Celebrated rich kid thinks the Royals should not be celebrated
The Royal Jelly: A new king has been coronated, and his subjects are in a merry mood
Victoria Cross: Australian TROOPER MARK DONALDSON awarded the VC
Godless Buses: Royal Navy veteran, Ron Heather, refuses to drive his bus
Labour's Class War: To expunge those with the slightest pretensions to gentility
100 Top English Novels of All Time: The Essential Fictional Library
BIG BEN: Celebrating 150 Years of the Clock Tower

Thursday, 17 April 2008

Saving the Imperial Standard

Can the English-Speaking nations prevent full metrication?

Janet Devers from London's West End is facing fines of up to $130,000 and the possible loss of her business because she was caught by the government selling veggies by the ounce and pound. She has opted for Jury by Trial, and will appear before Snaresbrooke Crown Court on 28th April 2008.

Weights_and_Measures_officeAS AN OLD STANDARD IMPERIALIST (SI), The Monarchist opposes the wanton abandonment of our traditional weights and measures, and stands foursquare against compulsory metrication. We will not sit idly by and watch the Janet Devers of the world be tormented like this, whilst bearing witness to the gradual destruction of the mile, the pound and the pint. In defending our way of life, we heartily endorse the work of the "Metric Martyrs" to stem the Jacobin axe of statist tyranny.

Metrication is unnecessary, unpopular and contemptible. Despite years of metric teaching, the overwhelming majority of people still think, not in metric units, but in miles, feet, inches, gallons, pints, pounds and ounces. They find traditional units of measurement more convenient, practical and efficient because they correspond to the human scale and the mind's perceptions. They evolved naturally out of generations of experience and embody a wisdom that cannot be overlooked in the rush for "progress". Imperial measures are very much a continuing and useful part of our cultural heritage.

By contrast, the decimal metric system is superficially easy, artificial, arbitrary and inefficient. Metric units are often too small or too large for everyday practicality. Someone who is 6 ft. 2, for example, suddenly becomes an unforgettable 1.87 meters or 187 centimeters, a pound becomes a frustrating .454 kilograms or 454 grams. The conversion process turns man into a machine, it forces us to live in a nuisance world designed by robots.

We cannot easily convert into the metric equivalent of feet and pounds, because a metre is too long, a gram is too light and a kilogram is too heavy. They are not part of our DNA, they are out of whack with human experience and our natural dimensions. The UK Metric Association can boast that it is "campaigning for a single rational system of measurement", but we know Chesterton would say it is the mark of insanity, it is reason without a root, reason in a void.

But no matter. These arguments are of small consequence to the hugely influential metric lobby, a relentless behemoth that is more indomitable in its views than the Flat Earth Society. Any lobby that has the enthusiastic ear of big government, big business and the big brains of the scientific community is not to be treated lightly. The appeal of metrics to the scatty-minded mathematician is understandable, as it is to the profit-motivated company, which is naturally disposed to reducing the size of its imperial-scaled products. But why governments eagerly line up to endorse all this madness, as has been their wont, and to deny the wishes, convenience, traditions and culture of the people they claim to represent, reveals a disturbing "democratic" propensity.

It is generally assumed that the human race led by the United States will concede the fight and fully metricate in the not-too-distant future. I happen to think this assumption to be wrong, and consider the continuing persistence of the English system to be more likely. Officialdom has done some aesthetic damage to our culture with indigestible signs and the like, but these have not successfully penetrated into our consciousness. From what I can gather, the Anglosphere has fought the rest of the world to a draw on this one, and there is reason to believe in some quarters that the process of demetrication is already underway.

The fact is traditional units are part of our language and history. They live in our literature and stories, they are part of our everday life. If we abandon them, we lose our cultural continuity, we lose a valuable treasure that was handed down over the centuries. Conservationists should oppose this vandalism and bankroll the freedom of metric martyrs like Janet Devers.

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

I thought that the eu had given up trying to make us adhere to their foreign measurements?

http://www.blogrunner.com/snapshot/D/2/3/46E6DECD085DD823/


http://newsvote.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/6988521.stm?dynamic_vote=ON#vote_imperial_metric

EU gives up on 'metric Britain'

Food can show imperial and metric measurements
European Union commissioners have ruled that Britain can carry on using imperial measurements such as pints, pounds and miles.
Europe's Industry Commissioner Gunter Verheugen said: "There is not now and never will be any requirement to drop imperial measurements."

The decision will not affect current law on metric measurements, but means imperial equivalents can be used too.

It follows years of wrangling between London and Brussels over metrication.

So, who is responsible for this latest load of control freak bollocks?

Lord Best said...

I think the whole thing is ridiculous. I am famiiar with both metrix and imerial by necessity, it is not that difficult to convert most basic everyday measurements if you need to. Why force one or the other on people? The simple fact is inches, miles, etc have become part of the language as much as anything else and will not dissapear just because some government or other tries to impose it.

donagh said...

In Canada we use both systems. The metric system is taught in school and used for business and government but the imperial system is the one used on a general day-to-day basis. This works for us because the metric system is frankly the more logical one, given that it always operates on base-10 and thus everything form of measure is easily interchanged, but the imperial system is handier for everyday things like height and weight. The only exception is in distance, such as driving to the kilometre.

Beaverbrook said...

The Imperial system is now taught in school as well. The Government of Ontario made the change in 2005, reversing its metric only curriculum. That is why I believe we will never go to full metrication, which is as it should be. People and businesses should be free to make a choice. Trudeau tried to force it down our throats starting back in 1977, but Mulroney ended mandatory metrication in 1984. Now schools are teaching SI again, so some demetrication has taken place as of recent. Also, the EU has given up on directing Britain to ban the English pint and the United States has backed away from converting. So let's call it a draw.

Anonymous said...

I second the query of Anonymous above. It was announced with great fanfare some time ago that the EU and its ally at Westminster had given up the losing battle to make selling things in imperial measurements illegal. So under what statute or order-in-council is this person being prosecuted?

Cato

Beaverbrook said...

She was charged back in January, if that makes any difference. It would be worthwhile to find out.

Jeff S. said...

I must say that we colonists have at least done our part to uphold Anglo-Saxon culture against the assimilation of the global, industrial, culture flattening Borg by vigourously retaining the Imperial System of Units. We have fought bravely, sometimes against our own Presidents(Carter). We say "nay" to metrification! Long live the foot, furlong and farthingdale!

Jeff

**************************

METRIC MADNESS
Volodimir Barabash

Pipe the newest tune of madness,
For this country's citizens,
Who are struck by metric madness...
Poor and helpless denizens.

Watch those drivers on the highways,
Ringed with frowns and without smiles,
As they labour how to render
Kilometers into miles.

On hour housewives show your pity,
As they ply their daily rounds.
To grams all must be converted.
No more ounces...no more pounds.

Voice your feelings for the farmers.
For their daughters and their sons.
They must tabulate in kilos.
No more bushels...no more tons.

And what about all those tradesmen,
Carpenters and engineers.
Draughtsmen, chemists and all others.
For them we should shed our tears.

Teachers, preachers, politicians.
Printers, newsmen...victims all.
Let us hope this metric fever
Will not drive us up the wall.

donagh said...

Beaverbrook

Did they really know? After my time, that would have been Grade 10for me, well after we stopped bothering with weights and measures in school.

Thank God for that though. I think literacy in both is the best way to go, since they both clearly have their uses.

Splendor Sine Occasu said...

Metic countries:
Canada
Australia
New Zealand

Imperial countries:
UK
USA

Frankly, I can't get excited by Imperial measures. I find it cumbersome and difficult to understand.

It does have a nice name though.

Dundonald said...

The EU have given up on compulsory "metric only", denominations on produce. While duel labeling will be permitted, Imperial only labeling is still illegal (and will remain so), hence the continued prosecution of the "metric martyrs".

Mike said...

Imperial countries :
UK only

1UK ounce is not same as 1US ounce

USA is using different system, without official name, sometimes named pound-inch,US customary or avoirdupois

besides the United States only Liberia and Myanmar (Burma) have not adopted the International System of Units as their primary or sole system of measurement.

http://www.metrication.us/

Anonymous said...

I think your analysis is slightly skewed. The pro-metric lobby is very weak, and is unable to commnand the respect of any national newspaper; whilst the anti-metric, pro-ignorance lobby is supported by the UK press, the department for transport and many market traders who don't want their customers to know how expensive their produce is compared with the supermarkets.

Anonymous said...

In the 1960s in primary school in Australia I was taught imperial and then in the very early 70s in the first years of high school I was taught metric. I was in that transitional generation that had both systems thrust down its throat. If you were to ask me which out of the two systems I prefer, I would say metric, especially for driving, though I am still pretty conversant in imperial. Millimetres are the biggest problem as they are so fine and hard to see when measuring. My son has been taught only metric and imperial measures are utterly foreign to him and his schoolmates. As an exercise I sometimes fire an imperial measure at him to see his reaction and he just laughs and asks for its conversion to metric. For example, I ask him to let out 8 feet or electrical cable, and he asks for the metric conversion, which I give him; incidentally, 8 feet is about 2.4 metres. Metrication in Australia was never met with the same resistance that it was in other English-speaking countries. We just took it in our stride.

Anonymous said...

Here in the US, people are used to both systems and many are comfortable with some metric, as long as it is not forced down our throats by government. Liquor and soft drinks do well: everyone knows what a 1-litre bottle of Coke is, 750ml of brandy, etc., but the 12-ounce can of beer and soda coexists peacefully with a half-litre plastic bottle of Dr. Pepper.