England badge English weights and measures Last edit: 07/Dec/2014
Anti-metrication: Must we do as Brussels dictates?

The pro-metric lobby have real problems with the concept of democracy - whatever arguments they put forward in favour of their bizarre system, they will not ever allow the poplulation to have a choice - this metrication nonsense is being forced upon us without the consent of the population. If the politicians want us to go metric, let's have a referendum - or at the very least a debate in Parliament. Does anyone remember a political party putting anything in their manifesto about destroying this part of our culture and heritage?

Funny how so many polititians keep banging on about 'choice', but don't actually let us have one...

The British Weights and Measures Association is the main organisation concerned with saving this part of our heritage - do support it.

Illogical and confusing units
Why is it that so many people get confused about 'metric' units? Is it because people in England haven't had sufficient exposure to them, or is it because they (the 'metric' units) are a hopeless muddle of similarly named and illogically sized units? One thing that the 'pro-metric' folk keep banging on about is that 'metric' has been taught in school since the mid-1960's, so Imperial isn't understood by anyone anyway. They say that anyone can understand 'metric' if they try. Spot the flaw in their argument? With no education in Imperial, most people want to use Imperial, whilst with all their school (and further) education being in 'metric', people still are uncomfortable with 'metric'. The reason is obvious - Imperial (and US customary) measurements are a codified way of measuring in the sort of scales that humans can easily grasp, but 'metric' measurements are an artificial system, designed from the outset to destroy culture, and create an elite. If you want to measure something unimaginably small (like an atom) or unbelievably big (like a galaxy) then by all means use a 'metric' measurement. But you want to measure an area of land? You could be 'metric' and measure in 'ares', or SI and measure in square metres. In practice, the 'metric' types use the 'hectare', which is neither one thing or the other. I'll stick to using acres, which have been with us for over 1300 years.

Are 'metric' units 'scientific' ?
The units that the scientific community use are SI, not the vague muddle of 'metric' measures that some people try to use. SI units are nice and simple: the metre, the kilogramme (how can a fundamental unit be a kilo-anything?), and the second, to start with (not that there is anything remotely 'metric' about the second - it's been around a long time!). Don't confuse this with the so-called MKS system! SI units also include the newton (anyone who weighs themselves in kg is living in the past!), the joule (slimmers - abandon your calories, which are really kilocalories anyway!), and the radian. SI will have you measure all lengths in metres, whether it's the distance between two atoms, or the distance between two stars. Express the answers in standard form, and you get the idea.

Incidentally, I've never understood why the 'metric' brigade think that speed should be measured in kph, or 'metres per 3 point 6 seconds'. We'll know that they've got the hang of their own system when they measure speeds in ms-1

Now here I must declare an interest - I'm a scientist by training. I'm OK with SI units - I'm very comfortable with temperatures in kelvin (no, not degrees Kelvin), and angles in radians, and all times measured in seconds, rather than useful units like months etc. 'metric' is fine for measuring the unimaginable (like carbon-hydrogen bond lengths, although I've never understood why I'm no longer allowed to use Angstroms for that). But let's face it - they aren't suitable for everyday use. Linking 'metric' with 'science' is just another facet of the 'elite' aspect of enforced metrication (most of the 'elite' are of course politicians, who in general are failed lawyers).

Why Imperial is superior
If you were starting from scratch, you would design a system of weights and measures that was useful, rather than one that was complicated for its own sake. You might decide to measure things by comparing them to things you see around you. Weights, for example, could be expressed in pebbles for small weights (say for baking ingredients), bricks for somewhat larger weights (buying groceries), the weight of a man for weighing coal etc., and the weight of a car for bigger things. You would not worry about how much an atom or a galaxy weighs. This is the approach taken by the Imperial/Customary systems - ounces for flour, pounds for bananas, stones for potatoes, tons and hundredweights for cars. And this process is constantly being followed by the media, as it invents new measurements that people can understand - lengths in London-buses, heights in Nelson's-columns, areas in football-pitches etc. How much of this is because Brussels stops the media (especially the Quisling BBC) from using the well-understood Imperial measures I can't say.

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