Today represents a monumental, albeit posthumous, victory for Steve Thoburn. Steve Thoburn was a grocer in England who was killed by the stupidity of the European Union’s fascist ideals, and disregard for human freedoms. Mr. Thoburn was arrested in 2000 for the horrendous crime of selling bananas by the pound, instead of by the kilogram. On hearing in 2004 that the appeal of his conviction was rejected, Mr. Thoburn died of a heart attack at the age of 39. Today, however, the EU has decided in their “infinite wisdom” that perhaps people using other systems of measure isn’t equivalent to murder or rape, and has decided to allow the British and Irish to keep imperial measures.
Finally Mr. Thoburn, and the many other “metric martyrs” like him are no longer criminals just because they decided to walk a mile in someone else’s shoes, used an ounce of sense, or had a pint of beer. One wonders what rights the EU will crack down on now that they have allowed this minor freedom. Surely some aspect of life needs to be further restricted so that Europeans don’t get too free. Heaven forbid they be allowed to make their own choices!
Unfortunately there are some casualties on the side of the imperial measure. It will still be illegal, for example, to use acres as a measurement of land. But of course, what is personal choice along side wrong headed European stupidity? I mean, it isn’t as if we should let people choose what measures they use, is it? Think of the children! If your children grow up eating apples by a measurement their parents choose, instead of the state mandated kilogram, they may actually begin thinking personal freedoms, choice, and liberty are important. We certainly can’t have that!
All joking aside, this issue demonstrates a fundamental problem with the European mindset, one that is dooming them to irrelevancy, or worse yet, extinction. Why should the government even attempt to enforce a certain set of measures on private businesses? Shouldn’t the market select the best measure? If Paul’s English Grocer is selling his goods in an obscure measure that no one understands, while Snooty French Boutique is selling them in a more commonly used metric, I would bet Snooty’s would get more business, all things held constant. People will work in measurement system of their choosing. There is no need to force it to be one system or another.
But then again, this is the unfortunate difference between Europe and the real world. In the real world personal freedom, liberty and human dignity are valued. In Europe the class system, nanny states, and collective stupidity reign supreme.