Wednesday, September 12, 2007
The survival of the pound and the pint is a curious outcome. Metrication was an issue that seemed deliberately designed to inflame British europhobia. Feelings were inflamed still further when the grocer Steve Thorburn went to trial for using imperial weights and then, in an inspired move, died, thus justifying the satisfyingly memorable term Metric Martyr, though there is no evidence his heart attack was actually caused by a kilogram. Since we now seem to have a man - Gunter Verheugen - whose job is to improve the EU's reputation among its members, it was inevitable Brussels would back down and let us carry on with our quaint ways. I found it hard to care about this until I came across something called the UK Metric Association. These clowns describe themselves as 'campaigning for a single rational system of measurement'. It's the word 'campaigning' that gets me. There are people who think the metric system is worth a 'campaign' - all Steve Thorburn was campaigning for was freedom. The words 'get', 'a' and 'life' spring to mind. At a stroke the UKMA's web site, particularly it's superlatively dumb 'About' page, has converted me. Aux armes, citoyens! Britain will not find peace until the last kilogram is drowned in the blood of the last metre!
Posted by Bryan Appleyard at 5:50 am