On Thursday morning Peter Hitchens appeared on the Today programme in a 'discussion' with Geoffrey Howe (sorry milord - Lord Howe) about the metric system. Foolish and inane comments about 'peasant toe counters' apart Hitchens really did himself no favours. His argument that the imperial system is easier and more flexible than metric doesn't really stand up to even the most trivial examination.
I wonder Mr Hitchens - would you please subtract 2 tons, 2 cwt, 5 st, 13 bs from 5tons, 7cwt, 5st, 8lbs and tell me the answer - in your head if you please?
Or what about the area of a rectangle 1mile, 211yds, 2ft 7 11/32 ins by 2 miles 173 yds 1ft 7 15/16 ins - in acres please?
I can't be arsed to calculate the metric equivalent of these figures but it doesn't take much brain power to see which is simplest does it? Any attempt to convert these figures into decimals will result in disqualification - we can't have these peasant toe-counting methods introduced now can we
I'm too polite to apply the appropriate epithet but Mr Hitchens - you are talking through it.