Thursday, January 20, 2005

Pigs Might Fly

The European Commission, which brought you the directive that pigs should have toys and an enriched environment (see The Times 18 January 2005) has just launched a new web page to convert us into foaming-at-the-mouth Europhiles in time for the referendum on the EU's constitution. It is called Get Your Facts Straight read more

This new site should be compared with the European Commission's Glossary of Eurosceptic Beliefs At the time of writing (25 February 2005) this site doesn't appear to have been updated since 13 August 2004, perhaps suggesting the EC is growing tired of keeping up with a welter of criticism.

Far from being a self-critique on the rejection by their own auditors, the Court of Auditors, of their accounts each year for the last 10 years, it aims to rebut popularly held falacies about EC directives by countering the supposed misreporting by the British press of the Commission's actions.

A Commission official is quoted as saying we do have a sense of humour. The Commission's attempt at putting on a smiling face won't go down well with supporters of the Metric Martyrs, convicted of the criminal offence of selling loose goods by the pound read more stemming from EC directives.

We feel the Commission will also be somewhat challenged in overcoming this society's concerns about the Malvine Project, which as reported elsewhere link has the aim of facilitating the growing of a united Europe.

Why metricate archives?

No doubt there are some archivists who believe that metrication is about standardisation. Others may believe it is something modern to be embraced along with microwave cookers and mobile telephones.

Putting aside issues as to why standardisation is so necessary in a diverse society, how we accommodate Imperial weights and measures in a heritage environment or why we don't standardise to Imperial, the real reason for metricating is rather more ominous.

Martin Bangemann

Martin Bangemann, the EC commissioner, said in 1996 to the British Weights and Measures Association:

Britain is in an anomalous position, as a full partner in the EU but sharing a common system of weights & measures with the USA, thereby enjoying an unfair competitive advantage in transatlantic trade.

The USA is of course the world's greatest economy and the UK's biggest trading partner.

Hence the EU policy of compulsory metricaton is an attack on what Europeans perceive as a pillar of the Anglosphere, English customary units of weights and measures.

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