by Allan Wall, US Incorporated, ©2022
(Jun. 3, 2022) — The United Kingdom’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson (BoJo) has announced his government plans to allow shops to use traditional weights and measures rather than those of the metric system.
This was actually a campaign pledge in 2019, when BoJo called the use of ounces and pounds an “ancient liberty.”
Ounces, pounds, quarts, pints, bushels, miles, feet, inches, yards, etc., do indeed go way back. They developed from weights and measures used by Teutonic tribes and ancient Romans into the traditional English weights and measurement system.
Over the years, these weights and measures have survived, while being slightly redefined and standardized from time to time.
There are some differences between the current U.S. and U.K. versions, but they are essentially the same system with the same origin.
Our system of weights and measures got us to the moon and back, among many other accomplishments. It’s also an essential part of our traditional literature.
In Britain, the use of the metric system has been creeping in for years, especially after the U.K. joined the European Communities (later European Union) in the early 1970s.
Perhaps not coincidentally, the postwar period in Britain was a time of great change for the U.K. Aside from the metric system, the monetary system was decimalized and the era of mass immigration began.
In the year leading up to March of 2022, the U.K., which is smaller in size than Michigan, allowed in over a million immigrants.
Immigration is changing Britain’s culture and demography. If present trends continue, by 2066, the thousand-year anniversary of the Norman Conquest, whites will be a minority in the U.K.
Whether that’s good or bad, it’s a topic that should be openly discussed.
Regarding the weights and measures, the U.K. hasn’t gone totally metric. Road distances are still marked by miles and speed by miles per hour.
But since the year 2000, according to a European Union directive, British shopkeepers have been legally required to use metric weights and measures to sell produce.
They could still exhibit prices in ounces and pounds, but by law they’ve had to display them in grams and kilograms. Furthermore, the shopkeepers are forbidden from displaying the traditional units more prominently than the metric ones.
But now that the U.K. is no longer in the European Union, E.U. laws are under review.
BoJo says that on June 3rd, a review of the weights and measures questions will begin.
If there is any change, it sounds as though shopkeepers would most likely be permitted to display prices only in pounds and ounces if they so chose. Under current policy, metric is required and traditional units are allowed but can’t be more prominent.
Why not just let the shopkeepers put the price in whichever system they want to?
A source from the British cabinet told the media this:
“As the British people have been happy to use both imperial and metric measurements in their daily life it is good for the government to reflect that now we are free to change our regulations accordingly.”
Sounds good. And while you’re at it, how about getting control of the British immigration system?
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