(I originally wrote this on 18th October 2008. But some of the points raised deserve a new airing in the light of recent events in Parliament and how these relate to fascism and the Enemy-Class-Hatred of all things moral and English.)
The EU, with its usual disarming frankness about objectives, has gone on record as saying that it’s not really important if people here (or by inference elsewhere) go on using pre-metric, which is to say “Imperial” measurements. For one thing of course, these are still commonly encountered in all sorts of places on the continent of Europe.
The real subtext of the assault on “Imperial” measurement use in the UK is of course, and always has been, ideological and manichean. It is obvious, now that we know the facts. Those kinds of people who so publicly have championed “metrication” (and that also included the quite un-necessary and politically-motivated “decimalisation” of our currency) share a fully philosophical objective: what is this objective, then?
It is the exemplary punishment of Britain: especially, it encompasses an objective of the destruction of a place which they view as “England” – together with all its customs and traditions which act as a sort of conservative glue. The whole idea of “England”, historically, is essentially conservative. England’s history returns almost like clockwork, to a theme of looking to tradition and custom (as understood at the time of decision about the future) to decide what to do. This is mortally dangerous to gangsters like Lenin, Marx, Stalin, Hitler, Gordon Brown, Pol Pot, Kim Jong Il (who will continue to remain dead), Huggy the Chav, Ken Livingstone, Castro (who has been dead for some time) and whoever that bugger was who ran the Sendero Luminoso (I hope there won’t be a pop group called that any time soon.)
This stuff, this conservative glue, hard to create over the centuries, but easy to abolish with a Gestapo-sweep of A4 paper containing “enhanced statutory requirements”, holds a free people in friendships and relationships in a comfortable place, and confers order on civilisation. This of course is quite inimical to the fascist/stalinist concept of “more and faster change”, beloved of “management” “consultants”, or one of the other ones, which is “best practice in health and safety”.
Most importantly, it is because an essentially conservative civilisation is all that stands in the way of the intended destruction of what helps ordinary people to live and get better and better as time advances – that destruction which is crucial for the survival of wreckers, murderers, fascists, socialists and other theoretical idealists who have never inhabited anything more important (such as a factory or a mine or a ploughed field) than a room at a university. These latter groups know, with every fibre of their being, that their usefulness and significance diminishes visibly and fast, with the arrival of every person who can make his own way and decisions in his life.
You can’t, if you are a statist, allow people essentially to better themselves and their lives…and then you just go home and grow stuff or watch TV. The hog won’t slaughter itself.
There will come a time when they won’t need you or your “help”, and they will be able to know it. If they are armed, then you are toast already (so you’d better have got their guns off them quite early on.) If they are unarmed, then you will still have a difficult time, and you may have to shoot the right people (they didn’t in this case), but you may get through if you can manufacture a scare or two, preferably together, and hobble them further.
I think that British statists, being cleverer and more (what Stalin called) “serious” than continental ones (their weather is better and the food and girls are nicer, so they don’t really have to concentrate so hard) are far, far more finely-tuned to the threat of incipient liberty arising in a population, than their European conterparts.
I shudder to think with what ruthless efficiency the Police authorities in the UK would have complied with Nazi orders to round up people and have them “resettled”. Anti-Imperial-measure-police-and-Soviet-staff are merely taking a “directive” at its face value, and applying it to the letter, together with their own ingrained (ought I to say “institutionalised”?) racism against a civilisation which they (rightly) see as the one which has done most to try to make them as redundant as possible.