Anorak News | Miles From Home

Miles From Home

by | 23rd, February 2006

”THEY contradict the image – and the reality – of our country as a modern, multicultural, dynamic place where the past is valued and respected and the future is approached with creativity and confidence,’ writes Lord Kinnock.

Who would have thought the former Labour Party leader would have such scathing criticism for Tony Blair’s front bench? Not we. Because Kinnock is speaking of the plan to make Britain fully metric.

As the Guardian reports, Kinnock wants to metricate road signs the length and breadth of Britain within five years, in time for the Olympic Games in 2012. Today is the start of the campaign to make it happen.

While the Guardian’s leader runs with the sporting theme and talks of Sir Roger Bannister being the first man to run 1.6093km, the paper reports that the UK Metric Association says it would cost £80m to switch all 200,000 road signs on the highway network from miles to kilometres.

This seems like a lot of money, in metric or imperial terms. But, as Neil Kinnock says, we must change or else look arcane, fuddy-duddy and out of step with the rest of the world.

As the paper says, only America, Burma, Liberia and Britain use miles in road signs. And that will not do? As Kinnock says: ‘For the younger generations who have full command of metric measurement as a result of their schooling, the continuation of the imperial system is confusing as well as quaint.’

So we have to change to the new system – the one based on the fact that we have ten fingers. And what could be less quaint and more cutting-edge than that?’

Posted: 23rd, February 2006 | In: Uncategorized Comment | TrackBack | Permalink