Lord Geoffrey Howe of Aberavon has demanded that the UK goes fully metric as soon as possible, describing the current mix of miles and kilometres and pints and litres as a "uniquely confusing shambles". Speaking yesterday in the House of Lords, the former chancellor and deputy prime minister insisted: "British weights and …
Re: Also, does it matter ...
thank you thank you thank you.
Ever since I first read Douglas Adams, I've wondered how much a stone was...and you've finally answered.
(and yes, that's a pint)
I agree 100% with him
The Imperial measure system is antiquated and irevellent. I don't want to fill my head with useless conversion numbers, Metric frees me up from doing so.
Hurry it up I say, the current halfway house makes us a laughing stock.
Re: I agree 100% with him
"Metric frees me up from doing so."
you mean from having to bother.......or can't??
"current halfway house makes us a laughing stock"
This whole none issue makes us a laughing stock.
The country and the folk of this land have more pressing issues than ml vs. pints.
Sack this out of touch idiot. Oh we can't, he's a 'Lord'.
> Sack this out of touch idiot. Oh we can't, he's a 'Lord'
They're working on it :)
> Sack this out of touch idiot. Oh we can't, he's a 'Lord'
Yes, that's just what we want, another Commons. /sarc
You don't sack someone because you disagree with them. I vehemently disagree with Howe, but I'd rather he speaks his mind than have an elected "lords."
Its the Lords who stuck a broom-handle through the spokes of some of the worst ideas TB had and have been a far better counterbalance to abuse of power by the legislative than the commons is. They can be (and are) quite big on protecting the little guy precisely because they are not beholden to a national party system which provides funds for their election or can run a campaign against them.
Certainly, some of them are quite mad, but not "start a war" mad so common in the commons.
@ the Imperial fans
If you love the middle ages so much why don't you go live there?
Re: @ the Imperial fans
Do you have a time machine on offer to allow these people to follow this command?
metrication has already happened
Most "pints" I get are nearer .5 of a litre than a pint :-(
Re: metrication has already happened
If your pint has too much head on it, you have the right to have it topped up.
The more you know...
Re: metrication has already happened
... and be the one miserable tosser that's always complaining... been there...
Metric is old hat now, we should leapfrog past it to a system of measurement involving Double Decker Buses and The Size Of Wales.
I can't see what's wrong with pecks, bushels and chains.
Wheels & Tyres
There are not many metric ones in the world yet !
Re: Wheels & Tyres
Actually tyres in Europe are a realy strange one, you order a 205/55R16 or a 165/45R14 and the first number of the designator is the tyre width in millimetres, the second number is a percentage (the profile height as a percentage of the width), but the final figure is the rim size in inches. Despite the last number being in inches, this is known as the ISO Metric System for tyre designators.
I work in inches and 'thou' every day selling classic British car parts. Nuts and bolts are all in fractional UNF, UNC, BSF sizes, none of this M6, M8, M10 rubbish. About the only things we do in metric are bulk lengths of hoses, cables, seals, etc which we sell by the metre.
Secondary Importance only
Much more important that we should switch to driving on the right like the rest of Europe. As some work would need to be done in regard to road signs perhaps it could be done at the same time. For now, I quite like paying in guineas. Still preferable to Thatchers..
I have been caught out on this first time I went to Ireland.
Off the ferry saw the 100 speed limit, bit fed up because I couldn't get over 90mph due to traffic, said to the customer their limits are high - they said they are in km/h.
As to litres per 100km bog off, km per l will do if we change, and I prefer Renaults idea of 3l to Audis.
"..."metrically literate elite" and a "rudderless and bewildered majority.."
For which LORD HOWE is partly responsible for!
Why change it? We all know 4 pints of milk, £1.35 per gallon, etc....
Why doesn't the metric system go for a jump instead?
Or better still WHY WAS THE MESS ALLOWED IN THE FIRST PLACE, dear "LORDS"!
(Lords my ASS! They are even lower than a Pikey's illegitimate kids pet snakes knackers)
The Tory’s need to move back to the middle ages and take their absolutely wank policies and ideas with them.
Imperial to Metric and back again
When I first came to the UK from Australia (which joined the modern world in weights and measures decades ago) I was shocked by the usage of Miles for distance, although I had a vauge idea 60 Miles is roughly 100 K's.... I found myself at one point converting miles in kilometers, and dividing by 100 to work out rough long distance journey times, forgetting that the sole advantage miles can claim to have is that at 60 miles per hour, you can basically read the distance left as time.
Of course, it doesnt help that a mile isn't a mile depending on if you're in a car, boat or plane
Re: Imperial to Metric and back again
Boats and planes generally don't use miles for navigation. They use Nautical Miles (approx 1.1 statute miles) for a good reason.
Nautical miles are based on the size of the earth and the not-unreasonable approximation that the earth is a sphere. If you accept the idea of 360 degrees in a circle and 60 minutes in a degree, you discover that minute of latitude corresponds to one nautical mile. This is not an accident.
It's entirely reasonable to argue that the nautical mile is a much more 'natural' measure than any invented measurement such as the imperial mile or the metre (which was itself originally (allegedly) some arbitrary division of the distance between Paris and the equator, or similar nonsense).
If only we had been born with 12 fingers, we'd be spared the decimal fascists who can't comprehend that there are, actually, better number bases to work from. Now, how many pennies would that actually give to the shilling? Oh yes, I remember ...
Aircraft fly overhead measuring speed in knots and fuel in kg and seem to have no problems.
The average citizen is happy to order a new TV in inches and their burgers in fractions of pounds, being told by the doctor how fat they are kg while their waist measurement expands in inches.
The UK is a traditional country and likes to keep some of the least dangerous ones.
And another measurement for decimalisation
He should add music to his list... there should be 10 notes in a octave and 10 strings on a guitar
Re: And another measurement for decimalisation
careful ... we might end up with another metric day (yes, the French tried it ISTR ... 100 minutes in an hour, 10 in a day, 10 days a week, or somesuch nonsense ....)
And here we go. Something of vital importance to a nations function (weights and measures) being politicised. Metrification should have been just a simple switch from one set of measurements to another. The change in coinage happened without such a palava. Somewhere along the way, some bright spark decided to politicised it for one reason or another and here we are. Just get us converted to a full metric system and be done with it. Its part of the curriculum we teach our children. The SI uses metrics as a standard measure. We won't suddenly "loose our identity" because we stop using one set of measures for another.
The change in coinage happened without such a palava
I suspect you were born in the 80s ?
I agree that there should be one type, universally used, I can see howerver how roads and things would be very expensive to change.
But food and weight and volumes should all be easily converted to metric, to me its a more logical unit of measurement, I weight myself in KG and height in CM as again to me its is more logical.
As *most* food packaging is now in KG/g then it makes no sense for me to start adopting pounds and stones and it annoys me when volumes are in imperial or loose food like markets label in lbs.
What is your problem with people using lbs?
If you don't like it, dont buy from them!
And if you can't convert on the fly, maybe you should take some night classes in maths?
It is NOT KG it is kg
It is NOT CM it is cm
Re: Wrong UoMs
..and a 200mb/s connection speed is nothing to be pleased about :)
Lager is already served metric in Britain
As far as I can determine when you order a pint, you get served 500ml of beer, and the rest consists of air, because you are supposed to like a head on your "pint".
abandon the imperial and metric...
For liquids, time to do away with both the imperial and the silly metric system altogether and convert to the beer system.
The standard unit can be a beer (based on the current a pint measurement.)
You can order a Beer. or if for some reason you feel the need, a half a beer.
Smaller measurements can be measured in shorts, or chasers.
and for highly detailed measuremenets (liquid medicine for example) the sip would of course be the standard measurement.
The irish can of course adopt the guiness as their standard measurement and 1 guiness would convert very easily into 1 beer. Thus making international exchanges of measuremnent data so much easier to understand.
Measuring weights of solids doesnt need changing as I'm not sure what all this talk of imperial and metric are about, as it is common knowledge that all weight of solids is based upon the universal constant of the bag of sugar, and has been since at least the early 50s.
Re: abandon the imperial and metric...
Would that be the Northern or Southern Pint glass - real ale with a head or lager?
A properly poured and rested Guiness topped off just before serving would probably be the most accurate measure.:)
I was taught metric at school, and educated in Imperial by my parents.
I use both systems daily with no problem, although it is mostly the metric-inch of 25mm and metric-foot of 300mm. E.g. box of Cat.5 , 1000ft or 305mtr.
Like many people I think in Centigrade/Celcius for cold weather and Fahrenheit for hot weather, afterall I know that 0'C is freezing cold, and 98.4'F is average body temperature.
Re: abandon the imperial and metric...
For extra points I suggest using the Australian beer system(s). Makes el Reg units look positively sane.
Oh for crying out loud you can use both
It's really easy. In South Africa, and many other civilised places, you have a standard size you're pretty much used to. You call it "a beer" or "a pint" or "a tin of tuna" or "a loaf of bread. The exact volume, weight etc is itemised on the package. A beer is 330ml, a tin of tune is 200g (or whatever) a loaf of bread is 700g. I don't buy my 700g of bread, I buy a loaf of bread.
You can order "a pint" which is 0.57l. I regularly order my .57l 'pint of draught beer' at my local.
Exactly why is it a problem that your pint is 057l, and not 1 pint? What's the f*************ing difference?
Re: Oh for crying out loud you can use both
I'm trying to figure out what you've got *'d out, there... the longest word that starts with an f and ends with "ing" is "foreshortening", but that's only 10 letters, rather than 13. Granted, it could be "fooooreshortening", or but that doesn't make a lot of sense...
The galling asterisks
While I find some metric measurements harder to conceptualise (e.g. distances and pints) and have a nostalgic attachment to some (pints again) the fact is he's totally right.
I remember my Grandma constantly complaining about metric money as opposed to the nonsense that came before but if you asked people to convert FROM metric money now you would struggle to find anyone on your side.
They just need to get on with it.
Get rid of Miles per Gallon. We need Miles per Litre.
These days Miles per Pound would be a far more useful measurement in a car.
"Get rid of Miles per Gallon. We need Miles per Litre."
Surely you meant kilometers per litre?
Acres per foot-second? Centipoise-meters-squared per ounce?
Re: Miles per pound.
I've done this consistently for years. It's about 12p per mile depending on how & what you drive.
WHAT! I hear you cry, hasn't this gone up with soaring fuel costs? Not if you buy increasingly leaner cars & begin driving like a saint.
I lived in the Netherlands for ten years until quite recently. The Dutch have been metric nearly forever. There, apart from the standard metric measurements, there are duimen (thumbs or inches) and voeten (feet). You can buy cheese and so forth by the ons (ounce) and the pond (I don't have to translate that one, do I?), and beer by the pint. Yup, the pint (pronounced with a short i as in pin). I won't even mention the dozijn.
France also has la livre (pound--feminine, as opposed to the masculine, which means book).
Re: Dutch treats
Yep, the Dutch kept their old names, just metricated the amount. So, a 'pond' is 500g, an 'ons' is 100g.
Re: Dutch treats
Not completely right. "Duim" and "voet" are not used anymore (they have just historical value just like the "el"). "Ons" means 100 gram nowadays, and "pond" 500 gram. The terms are used unofficially as conversation short-cut. The "pint" is not a volume measurement: it is a popular way to ask for a beer. The use of "dozijn" (=12 pieces) and "gros" (144 pieces) is also unofficial, just used in conversation.
Being dutch all my life (60+ years) I think I have some right to make these comments.
Preaching to the choir here but I think he's on a hiding to nothing.
Personally I think metric is only the sensible way to go due to its relative simplicity and the fact that it's an international standard. But people are clearly reluctant to change. I have hopes though. The younger generation do seem to be a lot happier with metric and seem to barely know the old units. Also a lot of documentaries and the like on TV are switching to metric. I think given another generation or two metric will have finally won the battle.
OK. Time to stop this nonsense and use a real unit like the Bloit
The bloit is defined as the distance the king's favorite pet runs in an hour.
Full steam ahead
Born in 1971 I'm theoretically a metric lad, but I think in feet, pints and miles most of the time and mm and kilos at other times. A forced move to metric would probably drive me nuts, BUT...
Having the world measured with two systems, one of which is really the bastard child of dozens of unrelated 'systems' is madness, and selling 568ml of milk, or a sheet of MDF at 1220x2440 is lunacy. 1220mm x 2440mm is roughly 4' x 8', but not exactly, therefore it makes little sense from a metric point of view and doesn't really fit imperial systems well.
Yes, a forced change would be a real pain for those of us over 20, and some might never fully adapt, but just think how much better things will be for future generations. Sometimes you just have to accept that something is broken and it will be worth the pain to replace it in the long run.
Metric is OK for Johnny Foreigner...
...but we can't have it in England. I mean, where would The Queens head go?
Re: Metric is OK for Johnny Foreigner...
On a pike?