If Boris Johnson is to be believed, the metric system in Great Britain will soon be completely replaced by the old dimensions of the British Empire. The announcement is part of a list of “Brexit opportunities” the Johnson administration has just released. The so-called Imperial Units were introduced in 1826 and comprised units of length, area, content and weight. Underneath are such beautiful dimensions as that fluid scruple (1.184 milliliters), the red (1011.71 square meters) and the slug (14.59 kilos). And that should soon be the measure of all British things again?
First of all, it should be noted that many of these dimensions have never disappeared. Great Britain became metric in 1965. But while food is weighed in grams and pounds, people often still measure their weight in pound and stone. Body size is in foot and inch reproduced, wine measured in liters, but beer served in pints. At many market stalls, but also at butchers, the scales are for them Imperial Units never gone, they stood amicably next to their metric colleagues. So the nice thing for a long time was that you could choose how to measure something.
Pounds and ounces represent the former dominance of the island. The meter, on the other hand, is French
However, even before Brexit, the Tories had turned units of measurement into a nationalist battlefield. For example, the then Prime Minister David Cameron said in a news interview in 2014 that he found it more important to be in schools “pounds and ounces“to teach than the metric system. According to many British, these stand for the former dominance of the island – at that time these units of measurement were exported to all colonies (the Americans, although the first to become independent, still use them today). The meter, on the other hand, is French and therefore to be viewed with suspicion.
It is extremely questionable whether all of this will really be implemented. The more sensible among Brexit supporters know that such a measure would cause further problems in the already much more difficult EU trade relations.
Boris Johnson’s move is more likely to be “Dead Cat Politics“Acting: a spectacular political strategy that is intended to distract from the real problems like Corona and the considerable disadvantages of Brexit. Boris Johnson himself once compared this tactic to throwing a dead cat on the table in a tense situation and waiting:” The People will be outraged, alarmed and disgusted, “Johnson wrote in 2016 from Guardian quoted. “But the most important thing is that everyone screams: ‘There’s a dead cat on the table!’ In other words, they are going to talk about the dead cat – what to talk about – and they are not going to talk about the problem that has bothered them so much. “
The excitement about the Imperial Measurements will surely lie down soon – but the next dead cat is sure to be ready in the freezer.
Ricardo is a renowned author and journalist, known for his exceptional writing on top-news stories. He currently works as a writer at the 247 News Agency, where he is known for his ability to deliver breaking news and insightful analysis on the most pressing issues of the day.