A very British mess

Have you ever wondered why Britain’s weights and measures are in such a mess? More than 50 years after Britain decided to adopt the metric system, it still lives with a hodgepodge of metric and imperial.

Have you ever tried to work out petrol consumption when fuel is sold in litres but signposts give distances in miles? How do you compare prices when big supermarkets price per kilogram but market traders price per pound? Why are houses designed with metres but listed in estate agents with feet and inches? Why do the media report heights and distances in imperial when our maps are made with metres and kilometres? Why are children educated in metric but given little opportunity to use it?

Why are we in this mess? And whose fault is it? Is it the Brussels Bureaucrats? Or does the blame belong nearer home – with successive British Governments? Above all, what can be done about it?

These questions matter for:

  • Consumer protection
  • Education
  • Health and safety
  • Industry and trade
  • Transport

A very British mess front cover

Edited by Robin Paice
ISBN 0750310146
210 x 297 mm

“A very British mess” examines how the UK planned a full metric conversion and failed to complete it. The resulting mess causes confusion, undermines the consumer and wastes education. Indeed all shoppers, schoolchildren, motorists and home owners are affected.

This booklet provides:

  • An objective analysis of the history behind today’s measurement confusion
  • An assessment impact of measurement confusion on different aspects of British life
  • The case for completing the changeover from imperial to metric
  • A cogently argued case for completing metrication this decade
  • Full colour illustrations

For more information, please read the synopsis or preview or download the report.

A printed version of the report can be obtained for £2. Copies can be obtained from our secretary via the contact page.