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Posted: 4/10/2001 6:49:00 AM EDT
This is yet another example of what is wrong with one world government.
The following story appeared in the Associated Press today.

Apr 9, 2001 - 04:02 PM

Produce Vendor Is Found Guilty in 'Metric Martyr' Case
By Laura King
Associated Press Writer

LONDON (AP) - Greengrocer Steven Thoburn fought the system - the metric system, that is. And lost.
On Monday, the 36-year-old fruit-and-vegetable vendor - dubbed the "Metric Martyr" by the British tabloids - was found guilty of selling his wares in pounds and ounces, without the metric measures mandated by European law. It was the first prosecution of its kind in Britain.

Thoburn, whose plight generated a groundswell of public support, now faces a maximum fine of $1500 on each of two offenses, and court costs that could run as high as $90,000. He was also put on six months' conditional discharge, which is similar to probation in the United States.

The Sunderland Magistrates Court convicted Thoburn of breaching the Weights and Measures Act in a case the judge had described as centering on the "most famous bunch of bananas in legal history."

Well-wishers flocked to Sunderland, a small city 275 miles north of London, to show their support. Even the judge was sympathetic.

"I accept he is a decent hardworking man and he did what he did because he believed he was right," Judge Bruce Morgan told the court. But, he added, "it would destroy the concept of a (European) union if member states could go off on legislative frolics of their own."

The greengrocer's woes began when trading-standards officers raided his market stall in July of last year, seizing two sets of scales. The case quickly became a cause celebre, used as a platform by vocal critics of European Union bureaucracy.

From the beginning, the case was about much more than pounds and kilograms. It has pointed up Britain's ambivalence about its increasingly close relationship with Europe and all that will eventually entail, affecting everything from monetary policy to military matters.

The United Kingdom Independence Party, a group which lobbies against greater powers for the European Union, denounced the court decision.

"It authorizes the continued bullying of the nation's shopkeepers, and is a terrible blow to our personal freedoms," it said in a statement. "Britain's destiny as a mere province of the coming European mega-state has taken a giant step nearer."

Thoburn's attorney had cited a British law allowing shopkeepers to use either metric or imperial units should take precedence over a European Union directive - later adopted by Parliament - which requires loose goods to be sold in metric measures.

Prosecutors say the law, which took effect a year ago, states clearly that vendors must use the metric system when selling produce. Customers may ask for goods any way they want, and produce can be labeled in both metric and imperial, but shopkeepers are required to sell in kilos and grams.

The anti-metric camp says this court defeat could threaten such traditions as the pint of beer, the mile, and the pint of milk - all of which are currently protected. But prosecutors said European laws would be honored, and dissenters like Thoburn could look to be hauled into court.

"We are not, as has been suggested, living in a United Kingdom which is sovereign in the classic British empire 19th century way," said prosecutor Eleanor Sharpston.

Thoburn's attorney, leading constitutional
Link Posted: 4/10/2001 6:55:58 AM EDT
One world gov't?  The guy is a Brit, a subject of the King or Queen and he has no right to sell his wares by a particular measureement. Neither do we for that matter.  One day the US wil go metric and frankly it will not be that bad.
Link Posted: 4/10/2001 7:45:51 AM EDT
Go look at U.S. made cars and trucks,the nuts and bolts on them are METRIC, or partly metric,That is,transmission may be metric and the engine american,Ford's famous for this,I'm sure everybody else(GM,etc,) does it as well,Seeing how all of them own part of one or more forign car companys it's no wonder,Sooner or later they're going to be all metric, Stanardizing of nut and bolt sizes would be a big help to mechanic who has to work on these things, However, I don't like it,Sadly, this is the price you pay for dealing in a "world market"  If you are going to work on your car,better go buy some metric wrenches and sockets you'll need them sooner or later...
Link Posted: 4/10/2001 8:22:51 AM EDT
Brits.  There's a reason we fought two wars to be rid of those inbred, pie-eyed pasty-faced twits.  Only good thing to come out of that island was Diana Rigg.
Link Posted: 4/10/2001 10:12:00 AM EDT
I have no problem with the Metric system of measurement.  I think it works fine, probably better than the English system we currently use.  My problem is with the government forcing a merchant to use metric units of measurement.  There simply is no reason for the government to get involved.  If the guy wants to sell his stuff in English units, mor power to him.  The government should leave him alone.

Link Posted: 4/10/2001 11:06:11 AM EDT
What if the guy decided to sell in some ancient measurement, like bekas?  A standard unit of measure is not that bad, it keeps everyone aware of what they're getting.

I do see the point of infringing on a souvreign nation, though, and I don't like it.
Link Posted: 4/10/2001 2:59:24 PM EDT
If the guy decided to sell in balkas, you'd have the option of not buying from him.  Pretty simple concept, eh?
Link Posted: 4/10/2001 3:43:08 PM EDT
If the guy decided to sell in balkas, you'd have the option of not buying from him.  Pretty simple concept, eh?
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Not in England, apparently. Of course, in supposedly civilized England, you can still be prosecuted for blasphemy, so...
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