Blog: Dave LeggettEC yields on imperial measures

Dave Leggett | 11 September 2007

Miles Per Gallon or litres/100km? Most of us in Britain still think in terms of MPG, even if the petrol pump only tells us the price per litre. We still measure distance in miles, drink pints of milk and beer, use lbs, ozs, inches, feet and yards. How many kilos do I weigh? Haven't a clue. Stones and pounds, mate. I make no big value judgment here: imperial is simply what we know and what we grow up with - alongside an idea of another system called metric, which we mainly encounter when we go abroad.

Imperial isn't logical, I know. Working in tens, hundreds, makes much more sense - intellectually a whole lot neater. Must be easier for kids to grasp. But I would have gone mental if anyone had messed with a pint of beer. That could have caused serious unrest in the streets. Thank Christ people at the EC have finally seen sense. More important things for Brussels to worry about, I guess. 

Unfortunately, it does mean that we in Britain will be forever caught in this no-mans' land of metric and imperial measures running alongside each other. It's a bit messy and future generations of British school kids will have to be as confused as I was. Still, better that than we have to ask for a half-litre of cider down the pub. Just a pity we can't get the price of a gallon of petrol back. 

Brussels gives up on British measures


Colossal China powers on

I'm starting to get a small idea of the scale of things here in China, but really, I'm only scratching the surface of this vast country....


China Hot Pot

Given the startling complexity of obtaining a journalist visa for China - the code 'J2' is now indelibly stamped on my mind - it was with some surprise how swiftly I managed to sail through airport im...

Forgot your password?