MP’s metric motion does not measure up
Wednesday, March 21 2012
A Birmingham MP who is opposed to “unnecessary metrification of traditional British phrases” has weighed in at length without checking his facts says West Midlands MEP Mike Nattrass.
Liberal Democrat MP John Hemming has tabled a Commons motion criticising broadcasters for using incorrect phrases such as “a tonne of bricks”.
But, the MP, who represents Birmingham Yardley, has made a miscalculation in his Commons motion which has been spotted by UKIP MEP Mike Nattrass, a Chartered Surveyor, who has long supported the use of imperial measures.
Mr Nattrass, who has supported the British Weights and Measures Association (BWMA) from its inception, said: “I agree with Mr Hemming who is right to fight against the metrification of traditional British phrases but sadly his Commons motion is incorrect when it comes to millimetres and inches.
“In his motion Mr Hemming says 24.5 mm is an inch when in fact an inch is 25.4 mm. Alright, the MP isn’t a mile out but the average cost of an Early Day Motion runs into hundreds of pounds.
“I am amazed that a member of the Lib Dems, which is a Europhile party, has taken this stance on imperial measures as EU rules have led to wide-scale metrification.
“Give the EU an inch and it tries to take a kilometre, or should that be 0.621371192 of a mile?”
Mr Hemming’s Early Day Motion reads:
“That this House notes the reports in the BBC and other media outlets of the intention of the Chancellor of the Exchequer to come down like a tonne of bricks on wealthy people who sell properties through offshore companies to avoid stamp duty; recognises that this is part of a trend of metrication of traditional British phrases; believes that, given that a ton is greater in weight than a tonne, this understates the Chancellor's commitment to action; accepts that there is merit in using some metric units for measurement, but regrets the unnecessary metrication of traditional British phrases; and calls on the BBC and other media to cease the metrication of traditional phrases forthwith before people end up being exhorted not to give another 24.5 millimetres rather than not giving another inch.”