Metric martyrs - Where is the victory ?

So shops can use Imperial measures beyond 2009 so long as they also use metric measures to. Good news I'm sure and common sense too, after all, school children have been taught to work in metric for more than 20 years. But where is the victory for the "metric martyrs" ?

These people were only taken to court because they refused to display metric measures as well as imperial ones. The EU's announcement today maintains the principle that both should be displayed.

So I am at a loss as to where the victory is for the martyrs. They wanted to refuse to use metric measures at all, and that is not what has been announced today. If there is a victory at all, it is for common sense.


Tristan said...


Having both measures is common sense. I see no reason not to (most places manage).

It is a rare victory for common sense though...

(you could argue on liberal grounds that the state has no place in saying what to measure in of course - but this is at least a sensible half way measure)

Richard Gadsden said...

It would be utterly bonkers to argue that the state has no place in saying what to measure in. Standardisation of "weights and measures" is one of those things that states really are needed for.

Otherwise, I could decide on my own gramme, 80% of the standard gramme, and then sell a "500g" bag of sugar that actually had 400g in.

Anonymous said...

The "metric martyrs" were taken to court for using old scales and refusing to purchase modern metric scales. Every court they went to in the UK and the EU upheld their conviction. Recent silmilar convictions have also shown that if the market trader is converting between metric and imperial in his/her head, customers usually get less weight than they are charged for.

At the moment the EU has made no announcement. One person on a 27 member panel has expressed his feelings and the "metric martyrs" have turned this into a news story.

British shops are still required to sell in metric weights. Nothing has changed.

Other countries managed to complete a metric changeover in 2-3 years. The UK has been at it since 1965 and there seems to be no chance of any leadership on the matter.


James Graham said...

Standardisation of weights and measures forms a key part of Magna Carta. You might want to try telling the next swivel-eyed europhobe that next time you meet one to see their reaction. :)

Martin W said...

I can't see that permanently using two incompatible measurement systems side-by-side has got anything to do with "common sense".

It is just as daft as if shops were still showing prices in shillings and old pence 40 years after decimalisation?