Talk:Metrication in the United Kingdom/Archive 4

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Moving the history section up was a good idea, but has given a lot of weight to a claim that is found in countless sources but is dubious nevertheless. According to Connor, Weights and Measures of Scotland, it is simply not true that the Scottish inch was slightly longer than the English one, and I am not currently aware of any other examples of such subtle differences. According to Connor, all Scottish standards were (meant to be) destroyed at some point, and only very few survive. There is no surviving standard for the inch, ell or any other related unit of length, but the casing of an ell standard made it into the 19th century. The actual standard must have been slightly shorter to fit in, and in fact the length is entirely consistent with the Scottish ell being precisely 37 English inches. But 19th century antiquarians derived a slightly longer Scottish inch by taking the full internal length of the casing and dividing it by 37. (Connor also notes that both the yard and the inch were originally used in both countries. The ell was the dominating unit for cloth because the main market for it was Cologne, where the foot was slightly over 1/3 inch longer than the English foot. This explains the strange relation between the ell and inch.)

I don't have time to deal with this problem right now, but I think it needs flagging until it is fixed. Hans Adler 06:56, 26 October 2011 (UTC)

The Registers of Scotland, a Government department charged with maintaining land registers has published a conversion table of lengths. Another Scottish Government site has published details of the Scottish units of mass and volume. I am adding them as a references in place of the existing reference and am also removing the "dubious" flag. Martinvl (talk) 17:19, 26 October 2011 (UTC)
I disagree. The idea of a Scottish inch has been around for more than a century, so it's unsurprising that it takes some time for the misconception to be corrected everywhere. The problem is exacerbated by the fact that a proper correction consists mainly in removing the Scottish inch from a table rather than correcting the number. A primary scholarly source throwing serious doubt on established teaching doesn't go away just because recent non-scholarly tertiary sources ignore it. Meanwhile, the Scottish inch has enormous appeal to Scottish nationalists, making it a political POV problem when it is pushed without balancing by the newer scholarly information. Hans Adler 18:32, 26 October 2011 (UTC)
As I am no longer at Leeds University and therefore no longer have easy access to the book itself, here is a quotation from Martin Rorke's review (The Scottish Historical Review, Volume 86, Number 1: No. 221, April 2007, pp. 152-154), which is available to me online:
"This book won the 2005 Scottish Research Book of the Year awarded by the Saltire Society/National Library of Scotland. It is easy to see why. The authors have displayed considerable scholarship and dedication in compiling the first comprehensive history of Scottish weights and measures from the twelfth to the early nineteenth centuries. [...] The book is particularly welcome for the clarity it provides to our comprehension of Scottish weights and measures. Earlier authors have viewed the system as confused and positively chaotic. This is in part because they relied on a narrow range of incomplete, imperfect and often contradictory sources. The present authors have instead approached the topic from a wider perspective [...] This multi-pronged approach [using surviving legislation and documentation, surviving physical standards, and comparing to what is known about foreign units and practices] works extremely well. With great technical skill the authors are able to make up for deficiencies in the Scottish records and perform valuable cross-checking, resulting in a new and considerably more coherent account of Scots metrology. This evidence shows that the system was not the utter chaos depicted by previous studies. [...] There are many important details and findings, including a debunking of the myth that there were differences between Scottish and English inch."
Hans Adler 18:51, 26 October 2011 (UTC)
The important point as far as this article is concerned is that some Scots measures were not the same as their English counterparts - I have reworded the article to reflect this. The debate about which were the same and which were different does not belong here - it belongs in an article devoted to Scots units of meaasure. I trust that the new wording meets the approval of everybody. Martinvl (talk) 19:35, 26 October 2011 (UTC)
Thanks. Hans Adler 20:28, 26 October 2011 (UTC)

UKMA as a source

The UKMA is a single-issue pressure group, which, as far as I can tell, is committed to eradicating all uses of the imperial system and making use of the metric system compulsory across the board. None of their publications can be considered to be reliable sources under the WP:VER policy, so should not be cited as references for anything in this article. -- de Facto (talk). 09:31, 29 October 2011 (UTC)

The use of strongly biased sources is not necessarily inherently inappropriate in all cases, and I would suggest that UKMA publications are perfectly legitimate in some circumstances (e.g. when discussing the arguments for metrication and the UKMA's own position). Similar, publications of other advocacy groups in this area. However, where used, such sources should be used with extreme caution. In particularly, we should be very careful about treating advocacy groups' arguments as fact or giving them more than their due weight - something that will be very difficult to judge from those groups' own literature.
The bigger problem in this article is the heavy reliance on primary sources. The article regularly cites the letter of the law and the text of an EU directives for example, and there remain frequent OR interpretations made about unit policy of organisations based on instances of usage in sources that have nothing to do with metrication. Pfainuk talk 10:10, 29 October 2011 (UTC)
I agree with Pfainuk. Very little has been written about the current situation of metrication in the United Kingdom because the only people who are willing to put the neccessary effort into writing anything are people who have an interest one way or the other. My assessment is that Government is sitting on the fence (they don't want to lose votes and they don't weant to sepnd money) while the tabloid press are more interested in a "good story" that writing objectively. There is little or no interest in academia - anything serious is in metric anyway.
Regarding the UKMA publication - it is well written, is 62 pages in length and has two pages of bibliography.The gist of the publication is:
  1. (Fact as seen by UKMA) Britain industry, government and busines use metric units; the general public uses imperial units.
  2. (Opinion by UKMA) This is a silly situation
  3. (Proposal by UKMA) We need to complete the transition to metric units.
Each of these steps depends on the earlier step - it is therefore in UKMA's own interst that the what they allege as being fact is reasonable accurate, otherwise their whole arguement falls down - moreover would somebody of the prominence of Lord Howe have agreed to write a forward to a document whose factual assertion is fundementally untrue. The actual quote in the Executive summary of the UKMA document read "British weighss and measures are in a mess. This is because < ... >. The result is a confusing muddle." The section shown by "< ... >" is quoted in the Wikipedia article.
In short, unless we can find a summary that comes from an unbiased soruce, the summary in this document is sound and therefore, in the absence of something better, makes a good introduction to the section. Of course, if people can find significant fault in the summary given in the article, please say so. Martinvl (talk) 11:12, 29 October 2011 (UTC)
Martinvl, if UKMA is the only source of an assertion about something other than their own opinions and position, then it's probably something that shouldn't be asserted. They certainly shouldn't be used to support any other assertions of fact - they are not a RS for such. But if their books contain references for stuff they assert, perhaps some of those references might be reliable sources. -- de Facto (talk). 12:51, 29 October 2011 (UTC)
Yes Pfainuk, I agree that UKMA output should only be considered when discussing their position, and probably only in an article about them. It certainly shouldn't be relied upon to support any assertion of 'fact' about anything other than their own opinions and position. -- de Facto (talk). 12:44, 29 October 2011 (UTC)
In response to DeFacto - it might be worth considering what Churchill said about democracy "... democracy is the worst form of Government except all thse other forms that have been tried from time to time". In the case of this article, find a better introduction to the section Current situation and I will give it a fair review - I am only supporting the use of this particular quote with reluctance as I am trying to maintain a neutral perspective on things.Martinvl (talk) 12:58, 29 October 2011 (UTC)
You're doing something odd by saying it's a sound source unless a better one can be found. The reliability of any one source is independent of the reliability of other sources. Furthermore, the comment "it is therefore in UKMA's own interst that the what they allege as being fact is reasonable accurate, otherwise their whole arguement falls down" is just as true of any person or organisation putting forward a purportedly evidence-based argument. The selective use and misrepresentation of facts is always a clear risk with campaign literature, which is why we generally do not to use it for anything other than information about the campaigners (I rather doubt you'd be happy if we had BWMA literature referenced through the article). That said, as de Facto has suggested, the sourcing they use may help us, and it's best to use that rather than what UKMA makes of it. The general problem of a lack of decent secondary sourcing means not that we lower our standards, but that we are silent on issues where no good sourcing exists. We're tertiary, not secondary.VsevolodKrolikov (talk) 13:31, 29 October 2011 (UTC)
I agree that misrepresentation of fact is always a possibility: can you find a material misrepresentation in the quote concerned? If we follow up your suggestion that we are silent where no decent secondary source exists, how do you propose that we tie up the various bits in the section "Current situation"? Or do you just want a disjointed list (which equally is not what Wikiepdia is about)? Martinvl (talk) 13:41, 29 October 2011 (UTC)
First of all, it's standard policy that self-published material by campaign groups is not considered reliable for anything other than their own opinions (and by itself carries no weight). And secondly, as I've said before, the "current situation" section is a mess, and the lists put there with lots of OR have been the problem. If there's little information about it in proper RS, perhaps we should just have a very short section. It would be better than the current fragmented section which has all the appearance of reports from the front.VsevolodKrolikov (talk) 14:23, 29 October 2011 (UTC)
I agree, the article does need some restructuring. We should significantly reduce the "current situation" section to include only those parts that can be sourced to reliable secondary sources. I would suggest that we should then add a (neutral) discussion of the various arguments made by organisations such as the UKMA and BWMA. Pfainuk talk 14:38, 29 October 2011 (UTC)

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Direct quotes need a citation - even if in the lead

Just to point out to the editor who is persistently removing the 'Cite quote' tag from a direct quote in the lead, and without providing the required supporting reference, that WP:CITELEAD specifically states: "Some material, including direct quotations and contentious material about living persons must be provided with an inline citation every time it is mentioned, regardless of the level of generality or the location of the statement." (my emphasis) -- de Facto (talk). 09:21, 5 February 2012 (UTC)

Revocation of 22 February 2012

I have revoked DeFActo's changes of the last 24 hours.

  1. The section on pre-1799 is part of the history of metrication. I will regard removal of this without consensus as vandalism.
  2. Decimalisation and Metrication were both in the Hodgson report. In case DeFacto was not aware of it (I have no idea how old he is), decimalisation took place in 1971 and the bulk of the metication program between 1968 and 1978.
  3. The BBC weather site is not indicative of the usage in the UK, the existing text is more accurate, but probably does need a source - I suggest that DeFacto looks for a source. He could go to his local library and looks at a selection of newspapers.
  4. The banner regarding history between 1799 and 1945 was unneccessary. If one or two citations were missing, DeFacto would be much better employed finding them than whinging about their absence.

Martinvl (talk) 13:09, 22 February 2012 (UTC)

I put a lot of work into those changes, so have re-applied them. Please discuss before reverting. I'll open a sub-section for each point below. -- de Facto (talk). 13:15, 22 February 2012 (UTC)

Pre-1799 history

How is this relevant to metrication - metircation being the introduction of the metric system, a system that wasn't invented until the end on the 18th century? -- de Facto (talk). 13:17, 22 February 2012 (UTC)

You had obviously not read the section - the first proposal of the metirc system was in 1668 by an Englishman. That is obviously relevant. The link, unvented in 1620 by an Englishman was a useful measuring device that was a forerunner of the metric system in that it use a decimal system. Martinvl (talk) 13:20, 22 February 2012 (UTC)
There was no metric system in 1668. This article is about the introduction of the metric system, not its development or history. -- de Facto (talk). 13:26, 22 February 2012 (UTC)
I have reinstated the pre-1779 History section. The metric system was first concieved in 1668 by and Englishman (Wilkins), not 1670 by a Frenchman (Mouton) as is often proposed, so in my view it is valid to mention this here. Your interpretation and my interpretation as to the scope of the article are clearly at variance - ie no consensus, so DO NOT REMOVE IT WITHOUT CONSENSUS. Martinvl (talk) 13:39, 23 February 2012 (UTC)
Martinvl, if you can verifiably explain, in the article, the relationship between the 1668 "system" and "metrication in the UK" (the adoption of the metre-based system) and if you can adjust the amount of space given to it to be proportional to its significance (see WP:DUE), I'll happily accept that section. Until then though, I still think it should be removed. However, given your passion to keep it, I'll leave it there (possibly bannered, if I can find an appropriate one), in good faith, whilst you work on bringing it into scope and within the 'due weight' requirements. -- de Facto (talk). 14:52, 23 February 2012 (UTC)

1688 decimalisation

How is this sentence "Proposals that the British people should use a decimal system date back to at least the 1668 paper of John Wilkins - the earliest known such proposal in history." that I removed related to metrication - a system that wasn't invented until the end on the 18th century? -- de Facto (talk). 13:24, 22 February 2012 (UTC)


Cited content, particularly reliablty sourced content, trumps unsupported OR/POV, I believe. -- de Facto (talk). 13:27, 22 February 2012 (UTC)

By the way Martinvl, further to your suggestion at the start of this discussion, I did read all my usual newspapers again today, and none of them, that I saw, had anything about the metrication of weather forecasting in the UK. -- de Facto (talk). 20:50, 22 February 2012 (UTC)
WHat units of measure did they use in their weather reports? When I last checked, even the Daily Telegraph and the Daily Mail used degrees Celsius as their principal unit of measure. Martinvl (talk) 07:29, 23 February 2012 (UTC)
Martinvl, I hope you are not suggesting that I indulge in a bit of OR and attempt to draw some sort of general conclusion from that observation. -- de Facto (talk). 08:17, 23 February 2012 (UTC)

Banners flagging inadequate referencing

If you believe that just one of the four banners I added was unnecessary, why did you remove them all? -- de Facto (talk). 13:29, 22 February 2012 (UTC)

You made so many changes, I was not going to sift through and reinstate just those that were unneccessary. That is one of the hazards of making a dozen or so changes on the trot. Martinvl (talk) 14:10, 22 February 2012 (UTC)

Confusing 'Legal requirements' section

WP:MOS is very clear: "Writing should be clear and concise. Plain English works best: avoid ambiguity, jargon, and vague or unnecessarily complex wording." This section unnecessarily obfuscates the true legal position in the UK. There are only a few specific circumstances where unit use is regulated; these are mainly to do with trading by weight or measure and for certain public administration purposes. Even where units are regulated, it is generally acceptable to use both metric and imperial units concurrently. General everday use of units is not regulated, and use in the media is not regulated. Public opinion surveys generally return a massive public preference for the use of imperial units over metric units. -- de Facto (talk). 14:52, 22 February 2012 (UTC)

This section reflects the legislation. If DeFacto finds it confusing, maybe he should check the references himself and also look for other references - both the UKMA and BWMA sites repeat what is here. If he finds it confusing, then maybe he should contact his member of Parliament rathr than whinge here. Martinvl (talk) 16:08, 22 February 2012 (UTC)
The point is that, if we are to have a 'Legal requirements' section, it should be used to explain the practical consequence of the legislation, its scope (who, when, where) and its meaning (what), not just trot out obfuscating phrases and economical representations. We need due and balanced weight given to all the circumstances in which the units are legal and the limited circumstances in which they are not. When that has been achieved we can remove the banner. And please don't forget the advice given to you here. -- de Facto (talk). 16:34, 22 February 2012 (UTC)
The rest of the article does just that. Martinvl (talk) 16:43, 22 February 2012 (UTC)
What is the 'Legal requirements' section for then? -- de Facto (talk). 16:51, 22 February 2012 (UTC)
It creates a starting point which holds the rest of the artcile together. Martinvl (talk) 17:00, 22 February 2012 (UTC)
Do you mean that the rest of the article is biased against imperial units too? -- de Facto (talk). 17:09, 22 February 2012 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── I have removed the banner - it is unneccessary. Also, I don't understand DeFacto's question - "the rest of the artcile is an attempt to portray things as they are without bias" the rest of teh article is an attempt to portray things as they are. Martinvl (talk) 07:38, 23 February 2012 (UTC)

Martinvl, you removed the banner despite not addressing the confusion - why?
Let me describe some of the issues as I see it.
  1. The second paragraph contradicts the first. The first says: 'Non-metric units, allowed by UK law for "economic, public health, public safety or administrative' use from 1 January 2000, are limited to..." (I question the accuracy of that too) whilst the second says: 'the display of imperial units being permitted as "supplementary indications"'. They can't both be correct - if all but the listed few imperial units are not "allowed by UK law", how can they be 'permitted as "supplementary indications"'? We need to avoid ambiguity and to avoid vague or unnecessarily complex wording.
  2. What exactly does '"economic, public health, public safety or administrative" use' mean. Does it really mean that, say, a police constable would be breaking the law if he shouted to a crowd to "step back a yard" - for "public safety" purposes? Does it really mean that it is illegal for a resident to report that "thousands of gallons of raw sewage is welling up through a gully in the street" - for "public health" purposes? We need it put into plain Enlish, with some examples possibly.
How about something along the lines of this for the first bit:
Generally speaking, for most activities and in most situations, there are no legal restrictions on, or legal requirements for, which specific system of units of measurement is used in the UK. For certain trading activities (the selling of certain loose goods priced by weight or measure for example) and for certain public administration activities (the wording of new laws and regulations for example), units from a specified system are legally required. Where the unit system is specified it is usually the metric system (for selling pre-packaged food sold by weight, for the selling of loose vegetables priced by weight and in the wording of new laws and regulations for example), although in some cases the imperial system is specified (for the dispensing of draught beer for example). Even when the unit system is specified, units from the other system can be used concurrently as so-called "supplementary indications" (pre-packaged sausages, which require metric system units at least to be used, can be marked "454 g (1 lb)" for example).
-- de Facto (talk). 09:27, 23 February 2012 (UTC)
I've updated the section as above, and thus removed the banner. -- de Facto (talk). 09:43, 23 February 2012 (UTC)
I have re-instated the section on the current legal situation, but have updated the references. I am afraid that what you wrote was Wikipedia:Complete bollocks. If you don't understand something, don't try to write about it. BTW, the legislation that I have cited has an explanatory note. Please read that note carefully and then maybe you might learn something. Martinvl (talk) 10:51, 23 February 2012 (UTC)
Martinvl, you rejected my proposal, point-blank, without the courtesy of an expalnation of how you think it's flawed; you restored the previous questionable content, but with no clarification and without replying to the issues I raised with it above; you didn't restore the 'dubious' flag; you didn't restore the 'clarification required' banner. As I doubt that you'll be able to provide a good explanation for that, what is verging on disruptive, behaviour, perhaps you could do some of those things now. -- de Facto (talk). 12:07, 23 February 2012 (UTC)
OK, here goes:
  • Generally speaking, for most activities and in most situations, there are no legal restrictions on, or legal requirements for, which specific system of units of measurement is used in the UK. - Whose view of "generality" should be used? Please be more specific.
  • For certain trading activities (the selling of certain loose goods priced by weight or measure for example) and for certain public administration activities (the wording of new laws and regulations for example), units from a specified system are legally required. - The word certain is incorrect - apart from the cases cited in my wording, the word all is the correct word, or are you trying tio hide reality?
  • Where the unit system is specified it is usually the metric system (for selling pre-packaged food sold by weight, for the selling of loose vegetables priced by weight and in the wording of new laws and regulations for example), although in some cases the imperial system is specified (for the dispensing of draught beer for example). Wishy-washy non-specific wording. Are you afraid of the truth, especially when it is verifiable?
  • Even when the unit system is specified, units from the other system can be used concurrently as so-called "supplementary indications" (pre-packaged sausages, which require metric system units at least to be used, can be marked "454 g (1 lb)" for example) - A very wordy way of saying "Supplemetary indicators are permitted". BTW, when I buy sausages, ther are no supplementary indicators.
Are you happy now? Martinvl (talk) 12:43, 23 February 2012 (UTC)
Martinvl, let's look at your criticisms; one by one:
  • Generally speaking, for most activities and in most situations, there are no legal restrictions on, or legal requirements for, which specific system of units of measurement is used in the UK. - Whose view of "generality" should be used? Please be more specific.
  • "Generally" is used as a synonym of "usually". It is redundant in the sentence, but does not render the rest of the sentence as incorrect or otherwise invalid. Usually no restriction or requirement applies to an activity. Let's then compromise and change that sentence to:
For most activities and in most situations, there are no legal restrictions on, or legal requirements for, which specific system of units of measurement is used in the UK.
  • For certain trading activities (the selling of certain loose goods priced by weight or measure for example) and for certain public administration activities (the wording of new laws and regulations for example), units from a specified system are legally required. - The word certain is incorrect - apart from the cases cited in my wording, the word all is the correct word, or are you trying tio hide reality?
  • All? No; just "certain" trading activities. And those activities that are covered all involve selling, so we can rule out all buying activities (one could legally ask for 2lbs of apples for example). Of the selling activities, it is just a few of those, those involving pricing by weight or measure that are implicated, and even then it's only some of them. I can legally sell a 40" television, a pair of 32" waist trousers, a size 15" shirt, a 12-inch ruler, a 2lb lump hammer, a 6-foot fence panel. Am I trying to hide reality? No, just the opposite.
  • Where the unit system is specified it is usually the metric system (for selling pre-packaged food sold by weight, for the selling of loose vegetables priced by weight and in the wording of new laws and regulations for example), although in some cases the imperial system is specified (for the dispensing of draught beer for example). Wishy-washy non-specific wording. Are you afraid of the truth, especially when it is verifiable?
  • It is absolutely accurate. The truth is that, for some (a very few actually) activities, a certain unit system must be used (usually, but not always, metric). My version is certainly verifiable!
  • Even when the unit system is specified, units from the other system can be used concurrently as so-called "supplementary indications" (pre-packaged sausages, which require metric system units at least to be used, can be marked "454 g (1 lb)" for example) - A very wordy way of saying "Supplemetary indicators are permitted". BTW, when I buy sausages, ther are no supplementary indicators.
  • My wording makes it clear what it means, yours obfuscates what it means. BTW, thanks for clarifying that last point; I'll remove the text "including those bought by Wikipedia editor Martinvl" from my example - oh, hang on...
With all due respect Martinvl, you seem to be on a mission here to exaggerate the scope of this legislation. We need to present it neutrally, accurately and with due weight; even if that means conveying the true case.
And you didn't respond to my charge that you restored the previous questionable content, but with no clarification and without replying to the issues I raised with it above; you didn't restore the 'dubious' flag; you didn't restore the 'clarification required' banner -- de Facto (talk). 13:51, 23 February 2012 (UTC)
On the contrary, you seem to be on a mission to show contempt for the law. The unbiased way to summarise legal matters is, whjere possible, to report the law exactly. I removed the banner because no clarifiaction was needed, least of all the bollcks that you wrote. Martinvl (talk) 14:53, 23 February 2012 (UTC)
Due to the lack of responses to the issues with the content you restored, I removed it and replaced it with the accurate and verifiable account that you removed. -- de Facto (talk). 15:17, 23 February 2012 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── What you have quoted regarding the legal position is a total misrepresentation of the truth. At that time the EU Commission were about to launch a consultation regarding the use of units of measure. This is routine operation and happens in many areas about once every ten years - at any one time the EU has a large number of consultations in place. As things stood in 2007, the use of imperial units as supplementary indicators was to have been disallowed from 2010. The Commission's proposal was to remove thgis "sunset clause", but otherwise to allow thing to remain unchanged. Ashley Mote, who was later to be convicted of fraud twisted the commission's proposal to make the removal of the sunset clause look like the Commission was giving carte blanche to the use of imperial units. The newspapers picked that up and misrepresented things further. What you are doing therefore is summarising a third hand-report about a proposal by the EU Commission. What I am doing is using is an authoritative summary as published by the British Government, not something that was knocked out by a fraudster.

I regard your statement "Replaced bad-faith and unjustified restoration of poor quality, inaccurate and unsupported content with something accurate and verifiable" as provocative. I demand an appolgy. Martinvl (talk) 16:47, 23 February 2012 (UTC)

All I quoted was reliably sourced. As for the narrative; it captures the essence - for most situations there is no regulation. Where there is regulation, it remains legal to use imperial units in all cases, in some cases as the main unit, in others as a supplementary measure. Your interpretation was OR from the primary sources, with no secondary source support, and did not describe the true situation, presented a non-neutral POV of the law and contained unsupported assertions. You didn't attempt to explain or defend your interpretation when challenged, and did not respond to my answers to your challenge of my text - you dumped my text and re-inserted your own, minus the banner that was there before!!! For those reasons I stand by my edit summary. -- de Facto (talk). 19:13, 23 February 2012 (UTC)
I reject your stateemnt and I still demand an appolgy for uncivil language. Martinvl (talk) 05:51, 27 February 2012 (UTC)
I note that you have deleted my request on your talk page. I do not regard teh matter as closed and I will not discuss any aspects of it with you until you have given a full and unconditional applogy for the use of uncivil language. Martinvl (talk) 14:00, 27 February 2012 (UTC)
As I summarised it on my talkpage, I dealt with your "request" in what I considered to be the most appropriate way. -- de Facto (talk). 14:55, 27 February 2012 (UTC)
I utterly reject your explanation. I am still waiting for an appology the text "Replaced bad-faith and unjustified restoration of poor quality, inaccurate and unsupported content with something accurate and verifiable". Teh word "bad-faith" is grossly uncivil while the words "poor quality", "inaccurate", "unjustiied" and and "unsupported", in the context of Wikiepdia writing is a slur on my ability and therefore again, unjustified. Martinvl (talk) 17:02, 27 February 2012 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Note to Defact: - I am still waiting for an unconditional appology for uncivil langauge. Martinvl (talk) 07:06, 28 February 2012 (UTC)

  • Another reminder to DeFacto: When are you going to applogise for your incivility? Martinvl (talk) 20:55, 29 February 2012 (UTC)
Martinvl, I thought I'd made my position on this very clear. I'd only need reminding if there was soething that I'd planned to do, but forgotten about. Rest assured, I have not forgotten to do anything in this case. -- de Facto (talk). 21:23, 29 February 2012 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── I take it that DeFacto is not going to apologise. I have re-instated the version of "Legal Requirements" that was removed by DeFacto. If Defacto wishes me to consider

The text that DeFacto substituted has a number of shortcomings:

  • The opening sentence of the paragraph is utter waffle - the words "most activities" and "most situations" are WP:WEASAL words that disguise the reality of the situation. The section gives no indication as to what constitutes "most", so the use of these words is "WP: POV".
  • The words "certain trading activities" is another WP:WEASAL word. If DeFacto actually took the time to check the legislation, a more accurate phrasing would have been "Most trading activities .... the exceptions being ...."
  • The legislation mentions "economic, public health, public safety or administrative purposes". Apart from a fleeting reference to public administrative purposes to Defacto's text deals solely with what has been described as "economic purposes". He makes no mention of public safety - swimming pool depths are quoted in metres as are minimum heights of children using funfair rides. The maximum weight of babies and toddlers using shopping trolley seats is given in kilograms as is the capacity of lifts. These all come under "public safety".
  • DeFacto's text "for the dispensing of draught beer for example" implies that many loose products may be sold by imperial measure. The only other product that may be sold is cider. His text is therefore incorrectly applied WP:OR.
  • DeFacto referenced a report in The Guardian. That report falls foul of WP:CRYSTAL. Were those regulations ever published? If so, where? The regulations themselves should be checked before trusting a journalist's version of what they said, particularly when a lobbyist such as Neil Herron is given prominent mention. For the record, newspapers often pick up stories from lobbyists and unfortunately such lobbyists are often economic with the truth.

DeFacto’s arguments had a number of shortcomings as well:

  • He argued that “I can legally sell a 40" television, a pair of 32" waist trousers, a size 15" shirt …”. Yes, he can, but he is not describing products that are sold by weight – television sets are not priced per inch (or per centimetre) of screen, apples however are often sold by weight (80p/kg). He clearly did not understand the implicationsof what he was writing.
  • DeFacto wrote “With all due respect Martinvl, you seem to be on a mission here to exaggerate the scope of this legislation”. The section is called “Legal Requirements”. It should be a summary of the law, and unless one is quoting eminent jurists, adding to it is WP:POV.

Martinvl (talk) 18:26, 3 March 2012 (UTC)

Martinvl: 1) Please take more care - you resurrected a discredited version which had subsequently had sentences rearranged, reworded, replaced and even removed to another section; including changes made by yourself. I have thus restored the most recent sound version. 2) I do not follow your confused argument against my modifications. You seem to be using different definitions of "weasel words", "POV", "OR" and "CRYSTAL" to those given in the "WP:WEASEL", "WP:POV", "WP:OR" and "WP:CRYSTAL" articles to which you referred us. 3) What exactly was your point about the Guardian? -- de Facto (talk). 20:09, 3 March 2012 (UTC)

Wholesale markets

I have removed the Oil Industry citations. This a a case of "Is the sky blue". If DeFActo is unaware that oil is traded by the barrel, he should look at the financial section of his favourite newspaper - he might learn soemthing. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Martinvl (talkcontribs) 16:06, 24 February 2012‎ (UTC)

Martinvl, why are you trying to personalise this? There was a citation, apparently there to support the oil industry assertion, but which was actually an example of a website showing prices of crude oil in US Dollars per Barrel - so, although it was an example of the assertion, the extrapolation to the generality was OR. So I flagged it. My personal level of knowledge of oil trading is totally irrelevant, and your arrogant and condescending aside was rude and unnecessary. -- de Facto (talk). 17:10, 24 February 2012 (UTC)
The following text appeared in Apendix A of the cited report
Entries for 1790 to 1969 omitted
  • Electric Cable Makers Conference completes change to metric.
  • British Aerospace Companies Limited express drawing and documentation in metric.
  • London Metal Exchange goes metric.
  • Production of flat glass goes metric
Entries for 1971-5 omitted
  • Weights and Measure Act empowers Government to phase out imperial units in retail trade.
  • Bulk Petroeum sales go metric.
  • Metrication Board publishes report "Metrication and Elderly people".
  • Agriculture, horticulture and allied industries essentially metric by year-end.
DeFacto - are youi happy now?
Post 1976 entries omitted.
Martinvl (talk) 16:05, 25 February 2012 (UTC)
Martinvl, my request for a quote was indeed vindicated! As I suspected, the reference does not support the assertion "Many wholesale markets are almost entirely metric". May I suggest either of the following as the action now required:
  • Removal of the unsupported assertion
  • Provision of a reference that supports the assertion
  • Rewording of the assertion to reflect the source provided, my suggestion being: "By 1976 two wholesale markets had metricated: The London Metal Exchange and the petroeum market."
Until we decide which course of action to follow, I've added a 'cn' tag to the dodgy statement.
-- de Facto (talk). 20:21, 25 February 2012 (UTC)
No comment on, or disagreement with, proposal in more than 2 days, so I updated the content as described. -- de Facto (talk). 22:44, 27 February 2012 (UTC)
I have reverted - what new text is fundxemetnallly unsound - it implies that no other wholesale markets are metric. Moreover, the agricultural wholesale market actually comprises many markets - including but not restriucted to Smithfield, Covent Garden and LIFFE (that is at least three). Martinvl (talk) 07:01, 28 February 2012 (UTC)
Martinvl, if the reference doesn't support what you want it to say then you cannot just assert what you want to say anyway, you need to find a new reference that does. Also, why did you restore the 'quotation request' tag, you had already supplied the required quote (just a few lines above) and that tag was thus removed as satisfied. You seem to be behaving rather irrationally here. Martinvl, if you can find a reference or references that support the notion (which I agree is quite likely) that many, if not indeed all, wholesale markets have been metricated then I will gladly co-operate with helping you to re-word the saction appropriately, to reflect the information supported by any new references. Currently though, the wording I restored is the best we can say. -- de Facto (talk). 08:44, 28 February 2012 (UTC)

I have renamed "Wholesale" to "Commodities" and have provided references for the principal London-based commodity markets. If you want an independent view of the importance of these markets, please consult the Financial Times. Martinvl (talk) 13:38, 28 February 2012 (UTC)

Martinvl, the assertion "The principal London commodity markets, apart from oil, are metric" needs RS support as does the one about the agricultural markets. The quote you gave from the Metrication Board's report talks about the agricultural industry, but not the agricultural commodity markets. The reference you cite against the ag market statement gives examples, but no support for the assertion - it's a bit like supporting the assertion that all cars are red with a picture of two red cars isn't it. -- de Facto (talk). 16:27, 28 February 2012 (UTC)
The agricultural commodity market is part and parcel of the agricultural industry. It deals with selling produce, but does not deal with things like supplying fertilizer. The Farmer's Weekly is the premier farming magazine. If you understood the role of the Farmers Weekly in the agricultrural market, you would not be making statements like the red car analogy. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Martinvl (talkcontribs) 16:45, 28 February 2012 (UTC)
So cite a page or article from it that says the ag markets are metric. Drawing one's own conclusion from arbitrary examples examples with no clue of sample size in proportion to the whole population size is speculation and OR. Just like with the red car analogy. -- de Facto (talk). 18:08, 28 February 2012 (UTC)

Citation needed wrt London commodity markets

I would like to see a reference added the currently unsupported assertion "The principal London commodity markets, apart from oil, are metric". For this reason I added the 'cn' template to the end of the statement. An editor has removed (twice now) that template, insisting that the fact is "common knowledge". Was I really being unreasonable expecting such an asertion to be reliably supported? -- de Facto (talk). 19:51, 28 February 2012 (UTC)

I've restored the tag. We need such assertions to be verifiable by all readers. We cannot assume that everyone even knows what the "London commodity markets" are, let alone what the principle ones are or that they have all metricated. -- de Facto (talk). 10:54, 29 February 2012 (UTC)
Common knowledge is a subjective matter and in DeFacto's case, since he is so secretive abotu his background, onwe does not know what should be accepted as "Common knowlwedge". Ther are artciles in Wikipedia, such as Kalman Filter which assume that a knowledge of matirx algebra and first order simulataneous differential equations are common knowledge. If DeFacto ias aschoolboy, then maybe he doesn't know too much about the international markets. If he looks at the prfoces in today's papers, he might well see "Brent Crude $120" - it is assuimed that everybody knows that Brent Crude is sold by the barrel. Martinvl (talk) 20:37, 29 February 2012 (UTC)
The commodity market tag was in the nature of collateral damage when DeFacto pointedly tagged agricultural markets as well, even though there is a perfectly good reference to Farmers Weekly. This is the sort of thing where WP:PRIMARY permits primary sources for validation. It would be desirable to have a cite for the commodities but it is not something that needs to be an excuse for the tendentious and disruptive editing to which DeFacto is prone.--Charles (talk) 20:57, 29 February 2012 (UTC)
Charles, you need to be more careful with your editing then. Also, you should know that citing the market price page in Farmers Weekly to support the assertion that all the agricultural markets have metricated, even though it doesn't explicitly state that fact, and based solely on the fact that it gives metric prices, conflicts with the direction given in WP:NOR. And finally, please be a bit more respectful of my desire to improve this article. It has been an embarrassment to Wikipedia for a long time, and in dire need of a radical makeover. Please help me, rather than hinder me, with this objective. -- de Facto (talk). 22:13, 29 February 2012 (UTC)
Martinvl, if I understand your comments correctly... You appear to be saying that you cannot judge what level common knowledge is because you do not know what my level of knowledge is. You also appear to be saying that the article is targeted just at the readers of newspaper financial pages. Martinvl, remember today is Leap Year Day and not April Fools' Day. Face-wink.svg -- de Facto (talk). 21:47, 29 February 2012 (UTC)
You have a habit of twisting things. What I am saying is that you are not a farmer, so you are poorly placed to criticse the use of the Farmers Weekly as a reference, especially when the statement is also backed up by the Final repOrt of the Metrication Board. Martinvl (talk) 07:47, 1 March 2012 (UTC)
Martinvl, you don't know whether I'm a farmer, or not. And whether I am, or not, doesn't affect the need to reliably support assertions of generalities. The FW may give examples, but does not explicitly support the assertion (see WP:NOR). The MB report mentions the agricultural industry, but not the agricultural marketplace in relation to the London Commodity markets. The assertion remains unsupported. Will you provide support please or shall we tag it for the time being, or remove it? -- de Facto (talk). 08:34, 1 March 2012 (UTC)

Majority comparison

There is an editor in our midst who has attempted to characterise the metrication rejection result of the survey documented in the article as a "small" majority.

To understand the size of the opposition to metrication, let's compare the results of the survey documented in the article with those from the recent United Kingdom Alternative Vote referendum. To get a like-for-like comparison, I have presented the survey Yes/No percentages as the percentages of those expressing a preference (i.e. treating the abstentions as the results of the referendum treat those who don't turn up).

For AV: Yes = 32.1%, No = 67.9%, Turnout = 42.2%

For Metrication: Yes = 34.1%, No = 65.9%, Turnout (those expressing a view) = 85%

Now as the BBC described the result of the AV referendum as "The UK has voted overwhelmingly to reject changing the way MPs are elected..."[1], I believe it is grossly misleading to describe the result of the survey in terms of a small majority. -- de Facto (talk). 07:36, 1 March 2012 (UTC)

Even within the 56% there were 14% who did not feel strongly about it. Those who did not care hasve an opinion too and they were not against complete metrication. 56% is a small majority in any terms.--Charles (talk) 09:41, 1 March 2012 (UTC)
In binary terms the 14% are part of the 56% opposed to metrication. Let's turn it around and look at it the other way. There are 19% who support metrication (including the 8% who did not feel strongly about it) - is that a miniscule minority then on your personal scale? -- de Facto (talk). 11:20, 1 March 2012 (UTC)

No restrictions for buying by

I plan to reinsatate my removal of this sentence unless there is good reason to the contrary. In my view:

  • The phrase is grammatically incorrect - since when did a sentence end with the words "buying by"?
  • I believe that it is factually incorrect - the legislation makes no distinction between buyer or seller so this phrase is incorrect WP:OR.

Martinvl (talk) 10:41, 3 March 2012 (UTC)

If you believe that you can improve the grammar, please do so. The fact though is that there is no law stopping you asking for produce by imperial measure - or do you know otherwise? -- de Facto (talk). 10:47, 3 March 2012 (UTC)
There are certainly restrictions regarding certain types of buying - for example a local authority putting out tenders to buy goods must use metric units (under both the "economic" and "public administration" headings). I therefore think it best to make no mention of the buyer at all. That is alos the reason why I wrote the section on the legal position the way I did -I used the exact wording, where possible, straight from the EU directive/UK legislation as that avoided issues of WP:OR. Martinvl (talk) 11:17, 3 March 2012 (UTC)
Retail trade "buying" isn't regulated in the Weights and Measures Act (the subject of the paragraph), as far as I know. -- de Facto (talk). 13:27, 3 March 2012 (UTC)
I support removal. The meaning is unclear; whoever wants to keep it should rewrite it to make their intended meaning clear and provide a source that supports whatever meaning they intend this sentence fragment to have.--Boson (talk) 11:55, 3 March 2012 (UTC)
I've re-worded it and provided a RS. -- de Facto (talk). 13:28, 3 March 2012 (UTC)
Thanks! I've changed the wording slightly to better reflect the cited source and avoid the ambiguity of the word "use", clarifying that it applies to the words used by the consumer, not the concepts that form the basis of the contract of sale ("the retailer must weigh in metric and sell the metric equivalent"). I also removed the word "primarily" because the sale must take place in metric units, regardless of secondary use on labels. I also clarified that some products are excepted (that may have been the intended meaning of "primarily"). --Boson (talk) 16:03, 3 March 2012 (UTC)
Looks good to me. Face-smile.svg

Hostility to metrication

Proposal to remove problem addition

collapsed for readability

I believe that this edit has a) removed important supporting context, b) produced implications not supported by the sources, c) added an unsupported assertion and d) added a worthless reference, to the 'Retail' section of this article.

Let me explain each of those points:

a. Replacing "the Asda supermarket chain stated" with "Asda stated" means that readers unaware that Asda is a supermarket chain will need to follow the link before they can understand the context of the sentence.
b. The insertion of the phrase "Despite suggesting they would" is to editorialise the sentence to inappropriately undermine the reason for the experiment.
c. The assertion "the majority of Asda's fruit and vegetable lines were still packaged in round metric sizes (with no supplementary Imperial indications) ten months later in March 2012" is not supported by any of the cited references. We must remember that we do not know the scope of the experiment - whether it involved just selected shops, all shops, the online service, or what. So we cannot, based on our own personal observations, and with no RS support, declare that the experiment has now finished and what the results were.
d. The reference to "", a transient live dynamic webpage liable to change at any time, does not and cannot support anything written in the text.

I propose therefore that we undo that edit completely. I understand that not having a comment about the results or outcome of the experiment is not a desirable situation, and believe that we could discuss how to deal with that, but we need to restore the integrity of the paragraph first. -- de Facto (talk). 13:24, 7 March 2012 (UTC)

Since it seems unlikely that we will obtain impartial comprehensive and reliable sources for worthwhile encyclopedic content, I would suggest that the best course is to remove the whole Asda paragraph completely. It looks to me as if this article, together with the readers comments, gives the truest picture of what indeed looks like a short-lived publicity stunt attempting to gain sales from the anti-metrication segment of the market. At a minimum, the contentious paragraph should be removed until consensus can be reached on the Talk page, --Boson (talk) 14:00, 7 March 2012 (UTC)
Given that it happened, and was in the article by consensus, and reliably sourced, do you support or reject this proposal? -- de Facto (talk). 14:11, 7 March 2012 (UTC)
No, I do not support the proposal. I support removal of the whole story. Regardless of past consensus, which may have been nearer the (non-) event, when some editors may have thought it more relevant, it is not of lasting significance. If it had been followed up by other stores it might have become important, but I see no reason to retain it now. --Boson (talk) 15:10, 7 March 2012 (UTC)
Boson, do you realise that article you referred us to is on the site of a single issue, anti-imperial-units, pressure group? -- de Facto (talk). 14:14, 7 March 2012 (UTC)
Yes, I do realize that the website is partial. So is Asda. So are many elements of the British press. And journalists are often looking for an interesting story rather than the boring truth. As I said, "it seems unlikely that we will obtain impartial comprehensive and reliable sources for worthwhile encyclopedic content". But, for instance, if people write in to say that they have been round to Asda and the imperial labels are no longer being used (and nobody contradicts), it has the ring of truth. It doesn't mean we should use it as a source, but I would want a better source before stating otherwise. --Boson (talk) 15:10, 7 March 2012 (UTC)

Are we done on this then, there appears to be no consensus to keep the controversial change to the long-standing version of the Asda paragraph. -- de Facto (talk). 08:47, 8 March 2012 (UTC)

On the contrary: there is no consensus to retain the previous version. There appears to be a consensus (all contributors but one) to remove (at least) the whole paragraph. I suggest we leave the content as it is (and leave the article protected) until we have a consensus on whether to keep the Asda story at all. --Boson (talk) 11:06, 8 March 2012 (UTC)

Proposed addition to the mention of the Asda experiment

collapsed for readability

Given that 9 or 10 months after its commencement was announced and that we have not seen any reliably sourced report of its outcome, I would like to propose that we add the following sentence to the end of the short paragraph about the Asda experiment in the 'Retail' section.

  • As of March 2012, the outcome of the experiment has not been reported.

-- de Facto (talk). 13:39, 7 March 2012 (UTC)

See my comment in the preceding section. --Boson (talk) 14:00, 7 March 2012 (UTC)
Better still, remove all mention of it - it is not encyclopeadic. Martinvl (talk) 14:01, 7 March 2012 (UTC)
Martinvl, that's a different discussion. Given that the experiment detail is already in the article, do you support or reject the addition of the clarification about its outcome? -- de Facto (talk). 14:47, 7 March 2012 (UTC)

Proposed removal of the whole Asda story

collapsed for readability
The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section.

I propose removal of the whole Asda story. There are no reliable sources for anything of encyclopedic interest as of the present time and there is no evidence - reliable or otherwise - for anything of lasting significance. I see no current consensus for its retention. --Boson (talk) 15:23, 7 March 2012 (UTC)

I agree, but for a different set of reasons. Firstly, Asda's "experiment" was nothing more than a carefully phrased publicity stunt. What Asda did was perfectly legal and similar is being done in Tesco, Sainsbury's and many other places. What Asda did was to sell 454g packs of strawberries (instead of their more usual 500g or 400g packs) but marked up as "454g/1lb" which they are totally entitled to do. I regularly buy "Olde English Thick Cut Marmalade" in jars marked just like that. The only thing that made this strawberry business even remotely abnormal was that Asda don't normally use supplementary indicators on their own-brand goods, and when they did so in this case they somehow managed to whip up the tabloid press (on a slow news day) into reporting it like this was "A snub to the EU" or whatever. Bollocks! It wasn't a snub to anyone, it was perfectly normal use of fully legal supplementary indicators. I don't consider a publicity stunt surrounding a perfectly legal activity to be worth any mention on Wikipedia.
My second reason for wanting this story deleted is that if it is left unresolved then after a while another well-meaning editor will wander along (like I did back in November, like Jillipede just did) and they will try and fix it. And the un-named troll who lives under the bridge will leap out and revert them like he does to anyone else who dares alter any aspect of it without his approval. It will just go on and on and on. Bin the entire section. Steve Hosgood (talk) 16:25, 7 March 2012 (UTC)
Hi Steve, can you point us to a reliable source that supports your personal opinion about the Asda experiment please? The current long-standing content (before the recent disputed addition) is supported by multiple reliable sources, but none of them put that spin on the story. As you know, without reliable sources, it will remain as personal POV, and as such carries no weight. -- de Facto (talk). 16:37, 7 March 2012 (UTC)
Oh for *****'s sake DeFacto, as everyone has told you time and time again there IS NO RELIABLE SOURCE FOR THE DISCONTINUATION OF THIS FAILED EXPERIMENT. There never will be. Asda are not going to trumpet "Oh we screwed up - we're very sorry" are they? The point is, that apart from you NO-ONE CARES. We are all capable of looking at the world around us with open eyes and judging what we see. And everyone apart from you can see that Asda are not following up on their experiment of last summer, and when we therefore spot that Wikipedia hasn't caught onto that, we wander in and fix it. That's what we do - we're editors. I've been on Wikipedia for 6 years, have edited all sorts of pages and created about 20 new ones. Nowhere have I ever encountered such a blinkered attitude to my edits (and everyone else's) as is regularly exhibited here. If ever there was proof that the Asda story (such as it is) should be deleted, this was it. Steve Hosgood (talk) 16:58, 7 March 2012 (UTC)
Steve, I think you've missed my point. There are reliable sources saying that the experiment started, and why. We know of no reliable sources reporting the outcome, so we cannot legitimately comment on that. But I have proposed a way of saying that whether it ended, or not, hasn't been reported - so we can justifiably leave it at that. I wondered if you had found any sources that support your view that it was a cynical excercise? If you haven't, as Wikipedia editors, we must surely leave it stand as it is. I don't see what the alternative is. -- de Facto (talk). 17:10, 7 March 2012 (UTC)
I believe that the Asda content is part of the UK metrication story and should stay. It demonstrates that, even 45 years, or whatever, since the process was initiated, that the arguments, for or against, are still current (and evidently passionate). The current content, excluding the recent disputed addition, and possibly plus my proposed ending, puts it neutrally, in a nutshell duly weighted, and is amply reliably sourced. The article needs a neutral balance of content, and the Asda story was even mentioned in this recent (less than 3 months old) BBC News Magazine article on the state of metrication in the UK. I can't see any reasonable case for removing it from our article. -- de Facto (talk). 16:55, 7 March 2012 (UTC)
I doubt I'm speaking only for myself when I say we don't care about your "putting it neutrally" we don't care about your "duly weighted" and we don't care about your "amply sourced". The point is that it remains incomplete. And as I pointed out above, if it remains incomplete then it is just waiting for another unsuspecting well-meaning editor to wander along and get snared by it. The only thing that is vaguely newsworthy about the whole mess was that the silly EU-hating Luddite tabloid press ever picked up on it. Nothing had actually happened! Asda just marked something in the fruit dept. with a supplementary indicator as they are entitled to do. NOTHING HAPPENED. This is not proper news, and not relevant to wikipedia unless you are desperately looking for any indication that Imperial measures are not in the slow terminal decline that they are in the UK. So let's bin the damn thing - it has already caused a vast waste of time for a number of editors. Me included. In fact - see below. Let's just be rid of the entire article. Steve Hosgood (talk) 17:32, 7 March 2012 (UTC)
The ASDA content is ONLY part of the story if you want to prove that "British people are opposed to metrication", which of course is a meaningless statement that I notice DeFacto has now stopped pushing once that was demonstrated. It didn't end up in the article via consensus. It happened through the wearing down of opposition and having time on his hands to piss off other editors so that they saw no point in trying to contribute any more. There is no evidence that it is being given due weight Just an editor far more obsessed with this topic than anyone else. HiLo48 (talk) 17:54, 7 March 2012 (UTC)
I heartliy endorse what HiLo48 said. Could we get things into perspective - there are two references in the artcile to teh establishment of the Metrication Board, but otherwise its role is not discussed at all. I just have a vague feeling that it is far more significant than the failed Asda publicity stunt. Martinvl (talk) 18:17, 7 March 2012 (UTC)
Martinvl, that there might be other relevent content missing from the article is not itself justification for removing this relevent content that is already in the article. -- de Facto (talk). 08:42, 8 March 2012 (UTC)
HiLo48, the Asda content is part of the story because it invokes the imperial/metric discussion after the UK has spent 45 years, or more, on the path to metrication. -- de Facto (talk). 08:33, 8 March 2012 (UTC)
Steve, the Asda story is incomplete because we haven't found any mention of the outcome in reliable sources. That doesn't automatically disqualify the story from the article. We can add, as I propose above, that the outcome has not been reported. It is relevent because it invokes the imperial/metric discussion. -- de Facto (talk). 08:29, 8 March 2012 (UTC)
DeFacto: you appear to be uniquely incapable of understanding what I and quite a few other editors have been pointing out to you (in this discussion and in months' worth of other ones): that no-one will never find a reliably-sourced reference for the outcome of the Asda experiment. Will you just listen to all of us for once and accept than in the absence of such references, the next-best evidence that can be found is just to open your eyes and look out of them. It is not OR to look around and report what you see, and you can always make that clear in the phrasing as several of us have tried to do in the last few months only to be reverted by you, because apparently you know better than all of us. The story cannot be left as it was (without resolution) because that's how it was for months and all it did was snare several passing editors. The suggestion here is that since the story (such as it is) has no real content (i.e. Asda did what the law allows them to do - shock horror), then we just all agree to delete it and avoid leaving an "incomplete story trap".
I don't know why you behave as you do with respect to everyone else's wishes. It's not your article. You don't have the overriding say-so on what can be included, with what evidence or not. You have continuously injected all sorts of bullshit suppositions and POV comments into the entire article and assume that you can get away with them. The result is that a reader of the article gets quite a different view of the state of play in modern Britain than they'd get if they walked down the street. An encyclopedia should reflect reality, no one editor's POV based on what he saw last time he left his house in 1955, and what he reads in trashy tabloids. Steve Hosgood (talk) 10:46, 8 March 2012 (UTC)

To repeat the substantial reasons for keeping it yet again...
That no reliably sourced notification that the experiment has ended can be found doesn't give license to delete the reasons for the experiment or the fact that the experiment started, or to make up your own ending. As has been explained above (and elsewhere) we do not know the scope of the experiment (number of shops, whether it included the online shopping service) so we cannot rely on personal observation to decree that it has ended, or what the outcome is. The best we can say is that the consequences have not been reported.
The story is relevent to the article because it highlights the importance still being placed on the level of public opinion about metrication, after 40-odd years of metricating, by a major player in the retail arena, and the Which? and BBC interest reflect its evident importantance.
We need to remember too that the article needs to reflect, not the idealised POV of an anti-imperial/pro-metrication fraternity sledge-hammered in and with OR/SYNTH unsupported edits, but a neutral POV, verifiable from reliable sources, of the actual subject matter. -- de Facto (talk). 13:20, 8 March 2012 (UTC)

Support removal per due weight. It is a pathetic piece of nonsense.--Charles (talk) 10:10, 8 March 2012 (UTC)

Charles, can you support your personal POV with any logical reasoning, given the fact that in addition to the trade press, Which? found the Asda story worthy enough to do a whole piece based on it in September 2011 and the BBC found it worthy enough to put a paragraph about it in their December 2011 article appraising the state of metrication in the UK. -- de Facto (talk). 10:29, 8 March 2012 (UTC)
It's not just his POV, DeFacto. It's the POV of everyone here except you. The difference between Wikipedia and the other published stories (that you never tire of using to prop up your POV) is that Wikipedia gets edited by anyone who feels like it, the others are read-only. A wrong or incomplete story on Wikipedia acts as a snare. We don't need that. And I'd not take much notice of the BBC story you never tire of quoting - it was in the magazine, not the news pages and the article is fundamentally wrong on nearly as many counts as Metrication in the UK is on Wikipedia. Steve Hosgood (talk) 10:56, 8 March 2012 (UTC)
Steve, a question for you: can you support your personal POV with any logical reasoning, given that the Asda story is reliably sourced and has not been given undue weight in the article? Whatever your (or my) personal POV is of the situation or of the BBC article is irrelevant, if the story has due weight (and it appears with significant weight in at least 2 national institution reliable sources) and can be reliably sourced (which it can) then there is surely no reasonable excuse to leave it out. -- de Facto (talk). 11:07, 8 March 2012 (UTC)
I'm bored with this already. DeFacto: are you just too stupid to see what's being said here. No-one denies that Asda did what they did, and yes what they did can be reliably sourced. We don't f***ing care! It carries no due weight however because it isn't a story in the context of anything Wikipedia needs to note. It is a story of the form "X does something perfectly normal and legal". People and companies do normal and legal things every day, many of them reliably citable, but they don't get mention in Wikipedia either. How about "User:Steve Hosgood drove to work on the left hand side of the road today". No-one cares! How about "The sun came up today"? It did but no-one's going to add that to a wikipedia article either. This is a zero due weight issue. Steve Hosgood (talk) 12:37, 8 March 2012 (UTC)
To avoid me having to repeat the reasons for keeping it again, which no-one has yet provided a reasoned argument against, please read them here. -- de Facto (talk). 13:26, 8 March 2012 (UTC)
My logical reasoning is that this article will never be neutral or stable if DeFacto is allowed to f**k around with it.--Charles (talk) 10:57, 8 March 2012 (UTC)
Yes, a single paragraph from the BBC is not noteworthy. In fact, if that's all there was, it's probably evidence to of precisely that point. The BBC generates hundreds of paragraphs of content of various kinds every day. They use material from sources everywhere. Only one paragraph? Even mentioning it here is undue. HiLo48 (talk) 11:05, 8 March 2012 (UTC)
HiLo48, that a supermarket marketing experiment got a whole paragraph dedicated to it in a BBC News Magazine article about metrication in the UK would alone give it due weight in this context, even if that was all the RS cover it got. So given that this story also got RS cover in Which? and in various trade press publications, it certainly has plenty of weight. -- de Facto (talk). 11:16, 8 March 2012 (UTC)
The Which? report actually rubbihsed the Asda experiment/publicity stunt, but due to the laws of libel, they had to do it subtly - they did it in such a way that if questioned, they could answer "You might think that, but we could not possibly comment". When I "discussed" this with DeFacto last year he was too blinkered to see this. Martinvl (talk) 12:43, 8 March 2012 (UTC)
That's true. In fact they rubbish the entire notion of supplementary indicators as being unnecessary clutter in the labelling. It's also interesting to go and read The Sun's and the Daily Express's online versions of reports of Asda's action. Though the user-comments sections have a few comments of "Hooray!", at least as many comments are from those saying that this is a step backwards, or pointing out the papers' idiocy in trying to spin the story as being a "Snub to the E.U." or whatever. So much for the vast majority of the UK public hating metric as DeFacto would have us believe. Steve Hosgood (talk) 13:23, 8 March 2012 (UTC)
Whether that's true about Which?, or not, is irrelevant to the Asda content here. Read here for the reasons for keeping it. If you have now found a reliable source to support the notion there is mass support in the UK for metrication, please reveal it, as such a thing could help balance the reliably sourced information that currently suggests mass rejection of the metric system. -- de Facto (talk). 13:49, 8 March 2012 (UTC)
Martinvl, do you have an RS to support that claim about Which?, or is it merely personal POV? Either way, the experiment took place, and is worthy content for inclusion for the reasons given here. -- de Facto (talk). 13:31, 8 March 2012 (UTC)

Support removal per lack of due weight. "Asda obeys the law" is not relevant to Wikipedia. Steve Hosgood (talk) 12:37, 8 March 2012 (UTC)

Steve, can you support your personal POV with any logical reasoning, given the fact that in addition to the trade press, Which? found the Asda story worthy enough to do a whole piece based on it in September 2011 and the BBC found it worthy enough to put a paragraph about it in their December 2011 article appraising the state of metrication in the UK? And given these reasoned arguments to retain it. -- de Facto (talk). 13:53, 8 March 2012 (UTC)
Strewth - it's like having a conversation with ELIZA isn't it? DeFacto just matches patterns and responds with a cut-and-paste of a previous reply, oblivious of any follow up, like the bit that pointed out that Which? magazine actually used the Asda story as a criticism. Yes DeFacto (and this is the last time I'm saying it to you) I can support my personal POV with logical reasoning: I did so in the paragraph above yours. "Asda obeys the law" is not relevant to Wikipedia. Steve Hosgood (talk) 14:04, 8 March 2012 (UTC)
Steve, even if Which? did criticise Asda's actions, and even though Asda's actions were perfectly legal, in what way do you think that that impacts the reasons for its inclusion here? We are yet to see a reasonable reasoned argument, and in terms of Wiki policy etceters, to exclude the details of the Asda experiment from the article. -- de Facto (talk). 14:30, 8 March 2012 (UTC)

Support as proposer. This paragraph is one of several parts of the article that mislead the reader by giving undue weight to a particular point of view and isolated news stories, thus violating WP:NPOV (including WP:UNDUE) and WP:NOT (including WP:SOAP and WP:NOTNEWSPAPER). --Boson (talk) 15:13, 8 March 2012 (UTC)

Hi Boson, can you flesh out your reasoning please by stating which particular POV that you think the paragraph is giving undue weight to, and any reliably sourced reference to support the opposing point of view.
We need any potential reviewer of this discussion to be able to easily weigh-up the arguments, as they would be unlikely to accept unsupported assertions (no matter how strongly phrased) of personal POV, such as some of those liberally sprinkled around in the discussion above. -- de Facto (talk). 15:31, 8 March 2012 (UTC)
[Note: The question was answered, somewhere in the following wall of text. (DeFacto, please do not move this note. That would defeat its purpose. I would also be grateful if you would refrain from moving my other contributions. If you wanted to be really helpful, you could put them back where you found them.) ]--Boson (talk) 00:51, 12 March 2012 (UTC)
Don't worry - they won't be left in any doubt after reading this! That's three "supports" for deleting the thing, and I presume you DeFacto will vote with an "oppose". So that's three to one in favour of deleting, and I suspect there's one or two more "supports" out there yet to cast their vote. Steve Hosgood (talk) 16:53, 8 March 2012 (UTC)
Steve, this isn't a vote though, it's an attempt to reach consensus. And, given that the consensus building process should be based on reasoned arguments, and not on personal POV as this one mostly is currently, then it looks as though no reasoned consensus is going to prevail. The likely outcome is that the 'dispute' gets escalated to another level, and potential neutral, uninvolved, reviewers will be basing their judgements on any reasoned arguments present. -- de Facto (talk). 17:16, 8 March 2012 (UTC)
But it is a vote - that's how you reach a consensus in a democracy! So far 3:1 in favour of binning the irrelevant Asda paragraph. Probably 5:1 by tomorrow if HiLo48 and Martinvl do what I suspect they'll do. Then we'll ask Tom Morris to do the deletion for us as per majority wishes, and then we move on to the next piece of rubbish in the article. Steve Hosgood (talk) 17:25, 8 March 2012 (UTC)
Steve, may I suggest that you read: Wikipedia:Consensus - all of it. -- de Facto (talk). 17:29, 8 March 2012 (UTC)
I think it is best if we restrict ourselves, here, to a simple declaration of support or opposition with a brief summary of the reasons, rather than re-hash things that have already been discussed ad nauseam. I believe this would help to avoid confusing a reviewer with a wall of text. I think we should leave it to an administrator to close the discussion. If he or she has problems understanding the arguments, he or she can ask for elucidation. --Boson (talk) 17:56, 8 March 2012 (UTC)
We need to agree a neutral summary of the dispute too. It looks as though we have boiled it down to whether the Asda paragraph stays or goes. I suggest changing it back to the pre-dispute wording too, because the current version is an unfair representation, compared to the NPOV, reliably sourced and OR-free version that was there before this dispute started. -- de Facto (talk). 18:46, 8 March 2012 (UTC)
I agree that we have boiled it down to whether the Asda story stays or goes. If there is a consensus to retain the paragraph, then we can discuss what content it should have. So far, nobody has formally opposed its removal. Discussing the possible content it should have before we remove it is a waste of time and effort.--Boson (talk) 19:15, 8 March 2012 (UTC)
Also Boson, are you going to flesh out your reasoning and confirm which particular POV that you think the paragraph is giving undue weight to, and provide any reliably sourced reference to support the opposing point of view too? I'm open-minded on this, and if there is any other evidence (as opposed to the wealth of unsupported personal POV we appear to be sinking under), I'd happily reconsider my position here. -- de Facto (talk). 18:52, 8 March 2012 (UTC)
Which POV is given undue weight is irrelevant. Anybody is welcome to read the article and decide for themselves. The time for endless circular discussions is past. Now is the time to reach a decision. Please decide whether you oppose removal of the paragraph. --Boson (talk) 19:15, 8 March 2012 (UTC)
DeFacto, can you please provide detailed evidence that you are open-minded and that if there was other evidence (as opposed to the wealth of unsupported personal POV you claim we are sinking under), you would happily reconsider your position here. You see, as it stands, that claim reads like pure POV. In the absence of such evidence I shall claim consensus against you. (There, am I learning I learning to play your game well?) HiLo48 (talk) 19:40, 8 March 2012 (UTC)
Also Steve, I wouldn't bank on Martinvl supporting its removal as it was he who added the Asda story to this article in the first place, back in September 2011, albeit with a less neutral wording than it's had more recently, in this edit. -- de Facto (talk). 21:12, 8 March 2012 (UTC)
No, it must not be looked at as a vote. Quality of argument is all that should count. And the fact that DeFacto is always here must also be discounted. When I make a strong point he responds with a seemingly reasoned but lengthy request for further information. For an editor like myself who cannot always be here (nobody can be here as much as DeFacto), that's actually a very unreasonable demand, but in the absence of a rapid response, he then claims consensus. It's a very sneaky, approach, and very bad for Wikipedia. HiLo48 (talk) 19:32, 8 March 2012 (UTC)

Support I would add that its inclusion is an outstanding example of recentism. I'm sorry to see that Introduction to the metric system is now suffering many of the problems discussed above. NebY (talk) 20:57, 8 March 2012 (UTC)

As DeFacto has quite rightly invoked Wikipedia:Consensus this extract from it may be pertinent here.

  • Tendentious editing. The continuous, aggressive pursuit of an editorial goal is considered disruptive, and should be avoided. Editors should listen, respond, and cooperate to build a better article. Editors who refuse to allow any consensus except the one they insist on, and who filibuster indefinitely to attain that goal, risk damaging the consensus process.

— Preceding unsigned comment added by Charlesdrakew (talkcontribs) 22:14, 8 March 2012 (UTC)

Thanks for pointing that one out that Charles. I wonder if those fitting that description in this discussion will take any notice, and start listening, responding and cooperating. -- de Facto (talk). 22:29, 8 March 2012 (UTC)
That will be you then... Steve Hosgood (talk) 09:33, 9 March 2012 (UTC)

Oppose deletion of the Asda paragraph. I believe the Asda story is a valuable part of the article, as I've said before. The reason being that it is, I believe, part of the UK metrication story. It demonstrates that, even 45 years, or so, since the metrication process was initiated, that the arguments, for or against, are still current (and evidently passionate). The current Asda content, excluding the recent disputed addition, and possibly plus an explanation as to why we do not yet know the outcome of the experiment, puts it neutrally, in a nutshell duly weighted (one small paragraph in the 'Retail' sub-section of the 'Current usage' section), and is amply reliably sourced. The article needs a neutral balance of content, and the Asda story was even considered important enough to feature in this cited recent BBC News Magazine article on the state of metrication in the UK. I can't see any reasonably reasoned case for removing it from our article. -- de Facto (talk). 23:26, 8 March 2012 (UTC)

Support removal. One event given a PR-spin and covered by a few sources at the time with no follow-up stories, now being given undue weight.  ⊃°HotCrocodile…… + 00:41, 9 March 2012 (UTC)

I don't think that it is reasonable to claim that one short paragraph in this article, about a specifically "metrication in the UK"-related event, is giving it undue wight. The "event" achieved national coverage at the time, including in UK national large circulation popular press (The Sun, the Dily Mail and the Daily Express), although that hasn't been cited in the article, as ample reliable sources (Which?, BBC, The Grocer) have been. The BBC dedicated a paragraph to it in a feature piece it published at the end of December about the state of metrication in the UK. It is considered to be a relevent part of the story of UK metrication. -- de Facto (talk). 08:44, 9 March 2012 (UTC)
Hi DeFacto. Before I posted here, I read and carefully considered your views, so there's no point going over it again. I have explained my !vote.  ⊃°HotCrocodile…… + 10:19, 9 March 2012 (UTC)
HiLo48, please read:
a) Wikipedia:Talk page guidelines
b) Wikipedia:Indentation
In "a)" in the 'Others' comments' section you will see under the "Fixing layout errors" heading: "This could include moving a new comment from the top of a page to the bottom..."
In "b)" (which is referred to from "a)" in the 'Good practices' section under the heading "Keep the layout clear") you will see in item 2:
  • "If two replies are made to one specific comment, they should be at the same level of indentation with the later reply at the bottom:".
Then, perhaps, you could reconsider that comment of yours. -- de Facto (talk). 07:26, 9 March 2012 (UTC)
For the information of others, DeFacto also posted on my Talk page, with a template, not normal conversational words, as if he thinks that will somehow change my attitude to him and what he is doing to this article and Talk page. DeFacto, you are so out of touch with normal human conversation and interaction, you have no hope in hell of resurrecting your position here. I don' give a fuck what you say Wikipedia says about indenting and fixing layout errors, in this case you really stuffed up. My two posts that you moved are now NOT in chronological order. That cannot be what Wikipedia directs. Others have participated in the conversation since I posted, and I would not have the gall or appalling manners, like you, to try to move them back. I also, unlike you, don't have the time. That behaviour of yours was a classic example of your bigoted and school-masterley approach here. You do act as if you own this article. For a while I thought you were just being naturally polite. I now know that you really aren't polite at all. "Nice" behaviour on the surface is all very well, but if what it really does is hide a nasty, sneaky editing approach, you are doing far more damage to the article and Wikipedia than my seeming incivility. Civility in your case is simply a cover for manipulative, POV editing. HiLo48 (talk) 17:21, 9 March 2012 (UTC)
HiLo48, if you stick to the talk and indentation guidelines the comments will be structured logically, and easier for other to follow, especially in long, multi-branch discussions like these.
If you don't understand the guidelines please ask - if you do understand them please follow them. As far as I remember, I only corrected the location of one of your posts, but I could be wrong. -- de Facto (talk). 18:51, 9 March 2012 (UTC)
Unlike you, I have a life, and I don't have the time to read every Wikipedia policy. I'm sure my posts were clear to everyone. Nobody else complained, and you (thought you) understood them well enough to be rude enough to fiddle with another editor's contributions. There was no need to move anything. There's just some overbearing, controlling aspect to your psyche that convinces you that you can do what you bloody well like to what others post here. HiLo48 (talk) 20:58, 9 March 2012 (UTC)

Where do we go from here?

Given the evident failure to reach a consensus as per WP:CONSENSUS, where shall we take this next? The protecting admin (User:Tom Morris) suggested a "third opinion" or "mini-RfC" in these circumstances on his talkpage (diff). I don't think a third opinion is appropriate where there are more than 2 editors involved (but I could be wrong), so is a "mini-RfC" the way forward? -- de Facto (talk). 12:44, 9 March 2012 (UTC)

No need for more crap. As it says in WP:CONSENSUS: "The goal in a consensus-building discussion is to reach a compromise which angers as few as possible". As Charles points out (below), we've got that. We're 5:1 in favour of deleting the damn reference to the whole Asda thing. I move that we post a request to that effect on Tom Morris's page. Then we can get on with discussing the next chunk of drivel in MitUK which needs fixing. Spent well enough on this one IMHO. Steve Hosgood (talk) 13:23, 9 March 2012 (UTC)
The next bit of drivel to be removed is the rubbish that DeFacto wrote which he claims is a summary of the legal situation in the UK. What her wrote is a combinaiton of his own OR and what the editor of the Guardian was conned into writing. What he deleted was a summary of the relevant UK legislation which had an official note of explanation attached to it. Martinvl (talk) 13:56, 9 March 2012 (UTC)
I just made the request to Tom Morris. I'm sure we'll hear about it from him if and when he can find the time to deal with it. Steve Hosgood (talk) 14:42, 9 March 2012 (UTC)

I've moved the page down to semi-protection early (it was due to expire on Monday). If there's any edit warring, I'll put it back up to full protection again. —Tom Morris (talk) 14:50, 9 March 2012 (UTC)

Thanks Tom. Let's hope no-one takes advantage now and imposes their personal POV as to what happens to the disputed content given the current lack of consensus. Do you have any commet on the discussion above, or where we should take it from here? -- de Facto (talk). 15:05, 9 March 2012 (UTC)
You have no clue have you deFacto? As per the 5:1 consensus reached above, the Asda story is removed. Steve Hosgood (talk) 15:34, 9 March 2012 (UTC)
You seem to be confusing a vote with a consensus again. Did you read WP:CONSENSUS? We need to attempt to agree a compromise way forward, within Wiki policy. -- de Facto (talk). 15:39, 9 March 2012 (UTC)
You get no fucking compromise from me. HiLo48 (talk) 17:23, 9 March 2012 (UTC)
HiLo48, had it occurred to you perhaps you aren't cut out to participate in sensitive discussions such as these then? -- de Facto (talk). 18:54, 9 March 2012 (UTC)
Oh, I know that my approach works. You may have noticed that it's actually several approaches. As I have said elsewhere, there is sometimes a place to move behind superficial and artificial niceness so that what people really want can be brought to the fore. HiLo48 (talk) 20:58, 9 March 2012 (UTC)
It looks like the law of the jungle has kicked-in again. Brute force versus discussion, agreement and compliance with the conventions and Wiki policy. Even though no reasoned consensus had been reached, those who wish to suppress this particular paragraph have taken the law into their own hands and removed it. -- de Facto (talk). 15:53, 9 March 2012 (UTC)
Discussion, my ass. HiLo48 (talk) 17:21, 9 March 2012 (UTC)
Exactly (you do have a way with words don't you)! But discussion is what we need, to try to arrive at a compromise wording. -- de Facto (talk). 19:00, 9 March 2012 (UTC)
I know I have a way with words. So do you. Sometimes I am honest. HiLo48 (talk) 20:58, 9 March 2012 (UTC)

Let's stop taking the law into our own hands here, and let's leave the article as is until we have resolved this dispute. -- de Facto (talk). 17:07, 9 March 2012 (UTC)

Let's try and find common ground

At least, we can first try to agree the main criteria for the inclusion of a fact in an article. A list that requires a "yes" answer to each question to qualify perhaps (but no trying to actually answer them yet)? Here's a proposed list to start with:

  • Is the fact verifiable from a reliable source?
  • Is the fact relevant to the article subject?
  • Does the fact achieve due weight for inclusion?

-- de Facto (talk). 19:40, 9 March 2012 (UTC)

The first question should be
  • Does the text represent information of lasting encyclopedic interest?
If not, the other questions are moot, so it might expedite things if we can agree on that first.
--Boson (talk) 20:40, 9 March 2012 (UTC)
Boson, which Wiki policy details that requirement? -- de Facto (talk). 20:45, 9 March 2012 (UTC)
And there it is again. DeFacto's tactic of obfuscation and distraction when things aren't going his way, asking about Wiki policies (something he already claims to know everything about) when what is really needed is common sense. HiLo48 (talk) 20:58, 9 March 2012 (UTC)
One relevant policy is Wikipedia:What Wikipedia is not, which states, among other things: "While news coverage can be useful source material for encyclopedic topics, most newsworthy events do not qualify for inclusion."
More to the point, it is the underlying spirit of all Wikipedia policies and the first pillar on which Wikipedia is based:
Wikipedia is an encyclopedia.
--Boson (talk) 21:44, 9 March 2012 (UTC)
Okay, thanks, I'll accept that question being added. Are there any more? -- de Facto (talk). 23:34, 9 March 2012 (UTC)

In our quest to reach a reasoned consensus then, do we have agreement so far, that these are the four main criteria for inclusion?

  • Does the text represent information of lasting encyclopedic interest?
  • Is the fact verifiable from a reliable source?
  • Is the fact relevant to the article subject?
  • Does the fact achieve due weight for inclusion?

If we do, we can move on again, and see, still looking for common ground, if we agree which have the answer "yes" and which "no". -- de Facto (talk). 09:28, 10 March 2012 (UTC)

Closing the discussion

Editors seem to be implementing the proposal to remove the Asda story on the basis of a good-faith belief that a consensus has been reached. One user has been reverting the changes on the apparent basis that a consensus has not been reached. Since the objectivity of involved parties might be questioned, I would suggest asking an uninvolved third-party (preferably an administrator) to establish what the consensus is and formally close the discussion. Perhaps Tom Morris would be so kind, or knows another administrator who would volunteer. If the finding is that there is no consensus, we would have to consider other possibilities. Or should we wait a few days in case anyone else wants to contribute to the discussion? --Boson (talk) 22:58, 9 March 2012 (UTC)

I disagree that the discussion is closed (we are still developing a list of inclusion criteria right above!), and we certainly haven't achieved a consensus in the WP:CONSENSUS sense yet, and I disagree that either of the 3 editors deleting the content are doing it in good faith, I've explained often enough that a consensus, in Wiki terms, hasn't yet been achieved, and that the dispute isn't yet resolved. I'd welcome the opinion of an uninvolved admin. -- de Facto (talk). 23:13, 9 March 2012 (UTC)
DeFacto, a question for you. I'm sure you will find a reason to not answer it publicly, but do ask yourself this. Could you ever accept that we have reached a consensus when you personally disagree with what has been agreed upon by everybody else? If not, then Wikipedia is not for you. HiLo48 (talk) 02:06, 10 March 2012 (UTC)
HiLo48, your question betrays your lack of understanding of what a consensus actually is. Consensus means reaching a negotiated agreement. That means being prepared to discuss differences, and attempting to reach a compromise. It doesn't mean taking a vote of pre-conceptions. If we do manage to reach a consensus, then, being part of it, why do you think I would then not accept it? -- de Facto (talk). 09:55, 10 March 2012 (UTC)
In fact, given the disgraceful way that the three of them have conducted themselves in this discussion, I wouldn't be surprised if an uninvolved admin didn't threaten them with an article block if they don't start behaving more reasonably and with more regard for Wiki civility and consensus guidelines. -- de Facto (talk). 23:47, 9 March 2012 (UTC)
In my opinion, we do not need to discuss inclusion criteria. We already have them. They are the Wikipedia pillars, policies and guidlelines (all of them). The problem with this article is the lack of resolution and the lack of unhindered implementation, rather than any lack of discussion. There was at least one (long) discussion, and the apparent consensus to date (with only one dissenter) was to remove the offending paragraph. In view of the small number of editors remaining involved and the likelihood of their being able to retain a dispassionate attitude in the face of what they obviously perceive as stonewalling and abuse of process, I will wait a while to see if an administrator takes pity on us, and if there is no resolution I will open an RfC. --Boson (talk)
Boson, so you no longer think we need to discuss it? You disappoint me - you were participating above, and we were making good progress. What has changed your mind? The idea was to find common ground, then to see if we could negotiate an agreement when we found the precise area of disagreement. Surely a reasoned consensus is worth working for? That's what "consensus" means in Wiki terms. You can see from the discussion above that "reasoning" is absent from most of the statements of single-minded blind personal POV assertion, and no-one but yourself seemed interested in engaging or attempting to thrash out a negotiated agreed consensus. Do you really want to abandon the Wiki principles and bow now to mob rule? It's now beginning to sound a bit like the story of the two wolves and a sheep taking a "democratic" vote to decide what to have for lunch! -- de Facto (talk). 09:47, 10 March 2012 (UTC)
There have been previous attempts at resolving this issue, and the present discussion has already gone on for quite a long time. When discussions go on and on or round and round in circles with litle prospect of resolution, with one participant diagreeing with all the others, we should consider alternative means of dispute resolution. I understand that mediation has already been attempted. I see little point in the two of us trying to resolve the issue when it is obvious that it would really not be consensus because all the other participants, having had the pleasure of discussing the issue with you before, have apparently given up what little hope they may have had of reaching agreement and lost patience. Wikipedia principles, policies, and guidelines are known, so we don't need to redefine them here. If you have anything new to bring to the discussion, I would, of course, be happy to consider it, within the constraints of my available time, but I see little point in you and me, as the last participant still willing to invest the time and effort to engage you, re-hashing what is already known, when the issue has already been decided to the satisfaction of everybody but you. --Boson (talk) 11:37, 10 March 2012 (UTC)
The previous attempt to get this content erased failed, yes. That "discussion", initiated, ironically, by the actions of the user who introduced the content into this article in the first place, lasted around two months. This discussion is in its third day, and we're just getting to the negotiation stage, there is no deadline for reaching agreement. RfC gives a default time span of 1 month. What's the rush?
It's better to try and get a sound agreed consensus, than to bow to unreasoned personal pre-conceived POV and mob rule, surely. I think we should eliminate the areas of agreement (that it is verifiable, relevant and has due weight perhaps), see where we disagree (lasting interest perhaps) and if we can compromise. If we can't compromise, then will be the time for an RfC; but just on a neutrally worded statement of the precise area of disagreement.
By the way, dropping out of a discussion before consensus is reached (or abandoned) only means your voice no longer gets heard, nothing more. -- de Facto (talk). 13:32, 10 March 2012 (UTC)

I'm not sure who "the three of them" are whom deFacto claims behaved disgracefully, but I say "pot: meet kettle". The Asda business is closed. Only one editor here believes that is isn't, but he will never believe that it is over until it resolves to suit his POV. And with 5:1 opinion against him on this subject that will never happen. I initiated the Asda deletion. We had conferred here and had satisfied WP:CONSENSUS in that we reached a majority verdict. I posted to Tom Morris asking him to do the delete for us if he thought fit, but instead he lifted the block on the page so that one of us could do it. So I did that too. It is over - with 5:1 agreement. If deFacto laments that it didn't go his way, maybe he should re-read his edit-history. It would reveal a sad tale of filibustering, cut-and-paste circular arguments and moving other peoples' posts around in an apparent desire to get everyone pissed off at him. We now move on. There is plenty more to do - but not on the Asda thread. That is the will of the majority. Get used to it deFacto. Steve Hosgood (talk) 00:45, 10 March 2012 (UTC)

Discussion stalled - no help in sight

Given that no reasoned consensus was reached, and the discussion has now stalled, and the protecting/unprotecting admin asked for help on WP:ANI more than 27 hours ago and nothing has yet happened, I have restored the previous long-standing text on the Asda story. -- de Facto (talk). 19:08, 11 March 2012 (UTC)

That discussion has not stalled. As far as the current participants go, it has finished. --Boson (talk) 01:01, 12 March 2012 (UTC)

The above discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section.

Proposed compromise over the Asda story

collapsed for readability

I propose the following:

  • 1) We get the Asda story removed from "Metrication in the UK". A "Shop obeys the law" story is not relevant to that article. And there is at least 5:1 support for that view amongst interested parties (see above).
  • 2) We don't oppose DeFacto (or whoever) adding the story to the Wikipedia articles for The Sun and the Daily Express. If the story has any relevance it is in terms of showing how those papers delight in spinning any story they can find in order to vilify the E.U. You'll notice that the fact that the Asda experiment didn't lead to any obvious long-term change at Asda is not important when it appears on pages dealing with the newspapers. All that matters is that the piece suited their policies of sensationalising any anti-EU story (no matter how tenuous).

I offer this idea up in good faith in order to try and shift the deadlock that's emerged above. Please discuss.Steve Hosgood (talk) 09:47, 9 March 2012 (UTC)

What deadlock? We have clear consensus above to remove it without any need to appease one editor who tells the rest of us to follow WP:Consensus while systematically ignoring it himself.--Charles (talk) 10:53, 9 March 2012 (UTC)
Yes, there is no deadlock. Don't be deceived by DeFacto's flood editing. One editor being wrong, but irrationally obstinate, does not a deadlock make. HiLo48 (talk) 17:26, 9 March 2012 (UTC)

The totally true reason why the Asda story is so important to some

collapsed for readability

I think I've realised why deFacto is so unable to leave the Asda strawberries business alone! To us it's just another marketing ploy that didn't work, and it's been quietly forgotten about. But deFacto has convinced himself that it was The Signal for the start of The Uprising.

Let me explain - you see, the reason that none of the rest of us have ever noticed the "vast majority of British people who hate metric" that deFacto is always going on about, is that they are all busy getting ready in their various ways for The Uprising. Some like deFacto himself have been toiling away in their Mums' basements making all the "Down with Metric Measures" and "British Imperial Measures for the British Worker" placards ready for the Great Defence of ASDA (see below).

The Uprising itself happens when Asda unexpectedly changes all its product lines to sell stuff in Imperial measures only, but they need to signal this impending action to their supporters. Of course the E.U puppet government of Britain will send in the boys in blue, but they'll have reckoned without these Enlightened Ones. This previously unseen army will take up the steam cannons that they've been building in their secret underground workshops, and they'll take up their placards and they'll heroically defend the shops of the Asda chain against the forces of E.U mandated metric darkness who oppose them. Old ladies and the hordes of youngsters (whom the BWMA claim can't understand metric) will all flock to Asda's stores to buy stuff in "proper" package sizes with their carefully hoarded pounds, shillings and pence.

The UK government would back off in the face of such solid unexpected opposition. But it's only the start! The Enlightened Ones now rush to the secret underground hangars and reveal their fleet of airships armed with heat rays and equipped with the latest steam propulsion! Flying across the country, they pause only to acknowledge the happy waving crowds of British people free again to buy pints of orange juice and gallons of petrol in Asda's petrol stations. They'll stop and moor the airships just outside Hampstead where they'll disembark and proceed to their secret headquarters in a rambling old mansion owned by The Sun newspaper group. Once there, they'll assemble in the cellars and ceremonially throw the switches on the controls of the cryogenic chamber to revive Queen Victoria whom they have kept in suspended animation for the last 110 years pending such a glorious day as this.

Together with the revived Queen, the airship fleet would proceed to Westminster, and with Her Majesty restored to her throne, it is a swift business to convince the traitorious puppet UK government to resign en-masse (and to leave these shores for Brussels where they belong) in favour of an interim emergency parliament composed of MPs chosen from amongst the Enlightened Ones.

These will then all vote to revoke all pro metric, pro decimal-currency or pro E.U. legislation from the 20th and 21st centuries. This is the point where The Third British Empire rises up, ready to reconquer the world. Mwahh hah hah!

Or - at least, that was the plan. But when deFacto turned up at his local Asda last June with a van full of placards ready for the Heroic Defence, imagine his disappointment to find 1) that he was the only Enlightened One there and 2) that orange juice was still in litres, potatoes were still in kilos and horror of horrors, 3) strawberry punnets were 400g again.

DeFacto returned to his Mum's basement and had a Harold Camping moment. He cannot let go that The Signal was given last May, but that the The Uprising didn't follow as expected. Maybe Asda had realised that the timing was wrong, and had reconsidered. But it was The Signal, it was, it was! Steve Hosgood (talk) 11:53, 9 March 2012 (UTC)

Very amusing, but that's getting a bit close to playing the man rather than the ball. —Tom Morris (talk) 14:51, 9 March 2012 (UTC)
It was just intended to be funny. No offence to deFacto was intended, and since he hasn't said anything himself, I guess he does at least have a sense of humour. Steve Hosgood (talk) 15:54, 9 March 2012 (UTC)
Tom, playing only the ball, as DeFacto seems on the surface to do, while in reality being manipulative, sneaky and pushing an extreme POV, as actually far worse behaviour than a small dose of incivility. Don't let his seeming niceness fool you. Superficial niceness can be very deceptive. HiLo48 (talk) 17:33, 9 March 2012 (UTC)

Proposed removal of this entire sorry article

Quite honestly - why is there a page dealing with "Metrication in the UK" anyway? Just throw a quick ten-line summary of metrication in the UK into the main Metrication page, and bin this one. There is nothing to see here. The UK's metrication process is not particularly unique apart from that fact that it started late compared with its neighbours, and has been done at a glacial pace. The UK's situation is not dissimilar from Japan's in that some pre-metrication units are still used a lot in popular culture even though they are illegal for trade and official purposes. The UK has currently got the minor oddity that five non-metric units are legal by special arrangement for three special purposes - the foot and inch (for heights, widths and lengths) on road signs, the yard and mile (for distances) on road signs, the pint for cow's milk in returnable bottles, and the pint for draught beer and cider sales in pubs. That's it! Nothing much to see here, move along, move along! Every other imperial unit is illegal for trade or official use other than (optionally) to appear as a supplementary indicator (where it carries no legal significance, so doesn't even have to be accurate).

There - I've said all that needs to be said! Tidy up the above paragraph, insert into Metrication and just bl**dy delete "Metrication in the UK" in toto. Job done. Everyone happy. Steve Hosgood (talk) 16:46, 7 March 2012 (UTC)

Actually, supplementary indicators don't even have to be from the Imperial system. Any non-metric units can appear so it seems. You do occasionally see US Fl. Oz. on a few cosmetics, but there'd be nothing illegal about a 500g box of cornflakes giving a supplementary indicator in slugs by the look of it! Steve Hosgood (talk) 17:06, 7 March 2012 (UTC)

ANI notification

collapsed for readability
The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section. A summary of the conclusions reached follows.
Closed as having achieved consensus despite DeFacto continuing to reject it.Toddst1 (talk) 19:42, 12 March 2012 (UTC)

Rather than protect the article again, I've posted a thread on the administrators' noticeboard for incidents soliciting input from uninvolved admins as to how to proceed. —Tom Morris (talk) 15:59, 10 March 2012 (UTC)

I didn't see any action arise from that post, and it's been archived off the noticeboard now. So I guess, in the absence of any guidance or "policing", anarchy will now continue to prevail in this article. -- de Facto (talk). 11:43, 12 March 2012 (UTC)
Perhaps a few more people now have the article on their watchlist, which might help to reduce any disruptive and tendentious editing. But don't be too impatient. There is no great hurry, and progress is being made. Even if the discussion has not been formally closed, we have local consensus, with only one dissention, on removing the Asda story, and that has been done. It looks as if other points regarding unsourced and POV material are now being addressed in a more systematic fashion. The question remaining, for me, is whether to open an RfC in order to achieve a wider consensus, which might help to achieve longer-lasting stability. I think it is better if things can be done by local consensus in the first instance, and in view of the recent improvements, I would tend to wait until further work has been done before involving the wider community, but I would be happy to formulate an RfC if that is the general consensus on how to proceed. --Boson (talk) 13:45, 12 March 2012 (UTC)
I disagree - we do not have a consensus to remove the Asda story. All we currently have is a majority of personal, generally unsupported, POV favouring its removal - a different thing entirely. We have not even started the negotiation phase yet, let alone the, apparently almost inevitable, dispute resolution phase. That the content has already been erased is an abuse of process, and has been the root cause of the recent "troubles". I still believe that the content should be restored pending the outcome of the full process. I obviously can't currently restore it myself, having had my copybook blotted as a result of the mendacious actions of one of those in our midst. The honourable, and correct reconcilliatory, course of action, would be for one of the involved editors to restore the disputed content, pending the outcome of the due process. -- de Facto (talk). 14:04, 12 March 2012 (UTC)
"Consensus" does not mean "unanimous approval." I personally see no reason to insert some factoids about a supermarket and their strawberries--and I think the same applies to the note about Tesco and their produce. But this article needs a lot more cleanup. Drmies (talk) 14:43, 12 March 2012 (UTC)
Actually, the Tesco section does have something to say that's to the point. One wonders if the company ever changed policies and if they were ever brought to court. Drmies (talk) 14:49, 12 March 2012 (UTC)
No, I agree. But neither does it mean "a simple counted majority". In fact the policy is very clear: 'The quality of an argument is more important than whether it represents a minority or a majority view. The arguments "I just don't like it" and "I just like it" usually carry no weight whatsoever.' -- de Facto (talk). 14:49, 12 March 2012 (UTC)
It is extremely unlikely that they would have been brought to court, because there is no suggestion from any official quarters that they did anything remotely illegal. They were perfectly entitled to sell strawberries by weight, giving the weight in metric units, which they did. They were perfectly entitled to give the imperial weight as supplementary information, which they did. They merely changed the size of the punnets, which they were entitled to do, and added the imperial weight as secondary information, which they had always been entitled to do but had apparently - like many others - previously refrained from doing, giving only metric weights. The only possible grounds for taking them to court, as far as I can see, would be if the imperial units were deemed to be more prominent than the metric units (within the meaning of the Act). I could not find any evidence that they have changed policies on strawberries. Nor could I find any evidence that they extended this practice to any other produce. Since it has the hallmarks of a publicity stunt, I would not be surprised if they tried it again, come the strawberry season. --Boson (talk) 17:06, 12 March 2012 (UTC)
Boson, what has any of that got to do with the fact that we didn't achieve a consensus to remove it, and should continue attempting to do so?
The paragraph that has been prematurely removed said nothing about the legalities or going to court. It didn't cross my mind that it might be illegal, I knew it wasn't. As far as I was concerned, the interest in the story, and the significance of it to this article, was that Asda chose to use round numbers of pounds (lbs) rather than round numbers of grams and label the pound weight where they hadn't for years before, because their customers had responded overwhelmingly that they preferred it that way. Thats's all.
Now can we get back to our attempt to reach a consensus please. -- de Facto (talk). 18:18, 12 March 2012 (UTC)
Since you ask a direct question: I was replying to Drmies, who had wondered whether they had been taken to court. A court case might have led to something of lasting interest, so it was, perhaps, worth folowing up. I was not directly addressing your alleged facts concerning consensus. --Boson (talk) 19:25, 12 March 2012 (UTC)
DeFacto - you say above "we do not have a consensus to remove the Asda story." I must quote from the very explicit comments to you on your Talk page when your block was lifted - "(1) 'Consensus' does not mean 'consensus which you consider reasonable', and you must accept consensus even if you think it is unreasonable." We have consensus. HiLo48 (talk) 17:10, 12 March 2012 (UTC)
That comment was, I believe, mistaken according to the policy. I don't expect any sympathy though. The fact remains then, according to the WP:Consensus policy; we have not yet reached a consensus. -- de Facto (talk). 18:28, 12 March 2012 (UTC)
You may believe what you will. I have read the tedious discussion above, and it is obvious (even to the proverbial blind, naked mole rat) that there is a consensus to remove the information: editors found common ground, and you're standing about ten feet beside it. That you disagree with it is totally uninteresting. Let me make this clear. There is nothing more to the conversation, and continuing to beat this dead horse is disruptive. If you continue to claim there isn't consensus, if you keep opening up talk page discussions on this topic, I will go to ANI and ask for a topic ban to prevent you from editing this article: your presence here serves, as far as I can tell, no purpose except making the working environment uncomfortable. Drmies (talk) 18:41, 12 March 2012 (UTC)
Drmies, have you read WP:Consensus? When you have, you might form a different opinion. Where are our negotiations? Where are the compromises? Where is the dispute resolution? The discussion was started, but before consensus was reached, unilateral enforcement action was carried out. A policy should be followed, not flouted-- de Facto (talk). 18:56, 12 March 2012 (UTC)

The above discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section.


I have added two general references to Metrication Baord reports with a view to shortened, but more accurate reports within the text. The sections that I propose adding (replacing existing text) make frequent references to these two reports and rather then citing the reports in full every time, I propose referening to them as "Metrication Board White Paper, para 32", having the general citations at the start of the References section. (See for example History of the metric system and my preliminary draft at User:Martinvl/Metrication program). Comments? Martinvl (talk) 07:27, 15 March 2012 (UTC)

Proposed rewrite of the 'Legal requirements' section

Martinvl originally suggested this (see above). He claims that the current section is a combination of OR and what the editor of the Guardian was conned into writing. He claims that the previous content was a summary of the relevant UK legislation which had an official note of explanation attached to it.

Looking at it myself, I see that the first of the four refs. point to a Guardian article from 2008 claiming that the law was to be redrafted to make selling in imperial measures a non-criminal act. I have no knowledge that any such thing ever happened. The latest change to the Units of Measurement regulations (2009) merely allows supplementary indicators to continue to be used with no time limit for now. So what happened here?

Meanwhile, anyone got a ref. to a diff between the current and previous content of the 'Legal Requirements' section that Martinvl claims was better?

For my part, I take issue with the phrasing of the rest of the paragraph in that it seems to claim that there is choice whether imperial or metric measures are to be used for (say) the content of laws and regulations. No there isn't! The Units of Measurement and Weights and Measures laws specifically outlaw all imperial measures from all official use except for the famous "five units that are allowed for three specified purposes": the foot and inch (for heights, widths and lengths) on road signs, the yard and mile (for distances) on road signs, the pint for cow's milk in returnable bottles, and the pint for draught beer and cider sales in pubs. Steve Hosgood (talk) 16:57, 9 March 2012 (UTC)

Here's a diff between the version I believe Martinvl was referring to and the current version which has evolved several times since that "original" version was replaced. As you'll see, a lot else has changed too - you need to look for: "== Legal requirements ==". -- de Facto (talk). 17:16, 9 March 2012 (UTC)

Introductory part of the 'Legal requirements' section

This currently reads "For most activities and in most situations, there are no legal restrictions on, or legal requirements for, which specific system of units of measurement is used in the UK." This is misleading and unclear. In the sense that, when talking to a friend, you could give the length of something of no legal significance as 8 inches or 7 attoParsecs, it might be true (but who knows). In that context, as a single paragraph, it would probably be understood by the unwary reader as meaning that it applies to the sort of activities and situations that are customarily covered by legislation. The paragraph is unsourced and misleading. --Boson (talk) 01:07, 10 March 2012 (UTC)

I think it is imortant that the introduction correctly sets the scope of any legal restrictions. In the UK things are generally only illegal if there is a law against them.
We could turn that sentence around and say something like "For a few activities and in a few situations, there are legal restrictions on, or legal requirements for, which specific system of units of measurement is used in the UK." We could then give the "few situations", such as retail sale by weight and measure as regulated by the Weights and Measures Act, or whatever.
We shouldn't lead readers to believe that sales other than retail sales are subject to these regulations or that buying is subject to them, unless, of course, we can cite reliable sources to support those assertions. Also we need it to be clear that even for the regulated activities, dual-labelling is allowed. And certainly it needs to be clear that no units are illegal, in any circumstances.
The previous wording gave the misleading overall impression that metric units were legally required to be used in all circumstances and in all situations other than for four or five specific exceptions. Which is, of course, nonsense. -- de Facto (talk). 10:11, 10 March 2012 (UTC)
If the introductory paragraph read "In the UK things are generally only illegal if there is a law against them", I don't think it would require a citation, since it is probably common knowledge. However, it doesn't just say that. The inclusion of the actual sentence ("For most activities and in most situations, there are no legal restrictions on, or legal requirements for, which specific system of units of measurement is used in the UK.") implies that such non-illegality of things which are not against the law is particularly applicable or noteworthy in the context of metrication. So unless its particular relevance can be reliably sourced, it needs to go. --Boson (talk) 11:59, 10 March 2012 (UTC)
Why are we discussing the introductory section? That is nornmally the last section to be written. WE shodul eb dosucssing the main part first adn once that has been finalised, then we discuss the introduction.
deFacto claims "The previous wording gave the misleading overall impression that metric units were legally required to be used in all circumstances and in all situations other than for four or five specific exceptions. Which is, of course, nonsense.". Actually, you're misquoting there deFacto (or you've gone to an earlier version than the one Martinvl just re-instated). If you look at what's up currently, you'll see that it isn't covering "all circumstances and in all situations" it's covering issues of trade by weight or measurement. However, the introductory two paragraphs could be phrased better, and I'd suggest they be condensed into a single paragraph, with clearer phrasing. If I can think one up, I'll offer it here. You can too. Let's see if we can come up with that better one. It needs to be *less* wordy than the existing two. Steve Hosgood (talk) 23:17, 10 March 2012 (UTC)

Body of the section

The law on units of measures applies to "economic, public health, public administration and public health putpüoses". The unit of measure that must be used in those instances must be "metric" apart from the exceptions listed in the article (which themselves are taken from the legislation).

Just to remind other editors -

  • Public Safety - Depths of swimming pools, maximum weights of toddlers in supermarket trolleys and car seats, minimum/maximum heights of children at funfare rides are always given in metric units. Interested UK-based editors should go out into the streets and check this out for themselves.
  • Public Adminstration - Go to the public library and look at your local authority's planning documents. All in metric. Looks at builders plans (which have to be submitted to the local authority) - all in metric. Look at Energy Performance Certificates required when houses change hands - all in metric.
  • Pubic Health - All health records are in metric units, including the weights of newborn infants. OK, the midwife might convert to lbs/oz to keep granny happy, but she actually records these weights in metric units. If you don't believe me, ask a midwife, don't rely on second-hand information from your favourite newspaper.
  • Economic purposes - Oh, I nearly forgot, it is legally requried that most goods are sold in metric quantities.

In addition, engineering is almost entirely metric (not mandatory). Next time you go on a train, look at the numbers at the outside end of the carriages - the weight and length of the carriage is specified in metric units. One major area where it is not required to use metric units is in advertising (subject to Advertising Standards) - for example estate agents can use either or both systems of units.

We must of course be careful not to indulge in WP:OR. On the otehr hand we should reflect reality, not just in teh retail industry, but in all parts of lfe. I believe that the material I reinstated goes a long way to doing that. though of course the introductory paragraph needs considerable rework. Martinvl (talk) 14:33, 10 March 2012 (UTC)

Last Stable Version

I have reinstated the text that approximates to the last stable version of this section. That is the norm when things are being discussed. Martinvl (talk) 14:33, 10 March 2012 (UTC)

No problem with that as such, but for a totally minor inaccuracy! You state "...the display of imperial units being permitted..." in the first paragraph. Actually, unless I'm mistaken the law states "any non-metric measurement" can be used as a supplementary indicator. So it would appear that "Royal Egyptian cubits of the 18th dynasty" would qualify as a supplementary length! And we can see U.S Fl. Oz appearing in that role as supplementaries on certain toiletries. Steve Hosgood (talk) 23:00, 10 March 2012 (UTC)
I would drop the translation of miles, yards feet and inches into metric where you list them. Each imperial unit you refer-to there is a hotlink, anyone wanting to know what they are has just to click the link and all the info is theirs. A problem with "MitUK" is its clutter, let's try and remove as much as possible if we're having a clean up please. BTW - I wouls leave in the (568mL) translation for pint, just because of the possible confusion with U.S. pints. But the U.S linear measures are the same as Imperial. No confusion could arise. Steve Hosgood (talk) 23:00, 10 March 2012 (UTC)
Martinvl - you claim that items sold by description don't have to comply with the Weights and Measures legislation. I'm baffled. How is a "6ft x 6ft fence panel" not an example of selling by imperial quantities? Can you find some sort of citation for that claim? Steve Hosgood (talk) 23:04, 10 March 2012 (UTC)
PS. I can see the point in the case of "sold by description" items such as 'a 6"x4" picture frame'. Pretty much no measurable dimension of that frame would be anything like 6 inches or 4 inches. But just before Christmas, B&Q were blatantly selling "6ft Artificial Xmas Trees" with a derisory mention in small print of "appx 1.83m". I can't imagine that that counts as "sold by description" any more than a "6ft x 6ft fence panel" could. Steve Hosgood (talk) 10:46, 12 March 2012 (UTC)
Martinvl - just spotted your list of allowable imperial units includes "the acre (for land registration purposes)". I think your list is out of date here. I'm pretty sure the derogation for acres was discontinued in 2009 or 2010 when the land registry pointed out that no-one had tried registering any land in acres for the previous 10 years. However I can't seem to find a reference - maybe someone here's got better Google-Fu than I? :-) Steve Hosgood (talk) 10:46, 12 March 2012 (UTC)
Steve - I have just corrected the bit about acres - the Land Registry actaully refued to accept registrations in acres some years ago. References about its removal are in the Statutory Instrument - I must tidy up the referencs later. As regards my understanding of "sold by description" is that it is lawful to sell a 6 ft Christmas Tree for GBP 6.00, but unlawful to sell one at GBP 1.00 per ft. I will look around for a reference whe real life permits
I have added a replacement text for this section (renamed Regulatory Aspects). In the next dew days I plan to trim the existing text and in partciular to either delete move most EU-related text or to move it into the new section. Martinvl (talk) 17:20, 18 March 2012 (UTC)

Archiving algorithm

This talk page seems to fill up fairly quickly. Would anyone object to reducing the time before archiving to 60 days?--Boson (talk) 23:07, 14 March 2012 (UTC)

If people are generally happy with the way that "Legal Requirements" are going and are happy with my proposed text for the lede into "Current Situation", I think that activity on this page will slow down dramatically. Comments therefore on these two topics please? Martinvl (talk) 07:36, 15 March 2012 (UTC)
Boson's suggestion is OK by me. Steve Hosgood (talk) 10:37, 15 March 2012 (UTC)
Since there appears to be no actual opposition, I have changed the retention period to 60d. If anyone disagrees, they are welcome to revert.--Boson (talk) 16:07, 18 March 2012 (UTC)

Current Usage

The "Current Usage" section starts off with this summary: The United Kingdom is unique within Europe in that it has retained the imperial system of measurements.[54]

Rubbish! This is in an article about metrication in the UK, which a self-contradictory situation.

The population continue to resist metrication and the traditional imperial measures are preferred by the majority...

That's unsupported POV

... and continue to be in widespread common use.[52][54]

I'd agree with that, and I assume most Brits would agree (even if they don't much like it).

Many aspects of business, commercial and government and associated administrative activities have metricated either totally or partially; including manufacturing and building industries and education. The sport of rugby union has also metricated. [55] Many activities remain without visible evidence of metrication where imperial units are used or even mandated,[54] including road signs, estate agents' advertisements and the non-specialist media.[citation needed] Trade is substantially metric.[56]

Yeah yeah. Redundant comments (see next point).

Proposal: Remove this introductory paragraph. Apart from some of its content being self-contradictory or unsupported POV, the bits that are OK are just about to re-appear in the point by point list that follows. The introductory paragraph is pointless. Remove it and just have the point-by-point list. Steve Hosgood (talk) 11:28, 12 March 2012 (UTC)

Many years ago I worked (in real life) on a computer manual for one of the big computer companies. Their MoS demanded that there be an introductory paragraph between second and third level headings - something that I have subsequently tried to do (even though it is optional in Wikipeidia). I originally added the paragraph "Many aspects of business, commercial and government and associated administrative activities have metricated either totally or partially; ... " which was copied from the UKMA booklet "A Very British Mess". DeFacto put the rest ahead of what I had written and also removed the UKMA reference (though not the text). I am open to suggestions from others - my own [biased] view is to remove the first two sentences and to reinstate the UKMA sentence (thogu I have foudn a similar quote in the Final Report of the Metricaton Board, dated 1980. I will dig it out and see if we can work it into the intro paragraph.
I would be happier if we could avoid referencing UKMA (or BWMA) articles in support (or otherwise) of stuff here. Both those organisations are single-agenda pressure groups, their opinions are obviously strongly biased (either way). Steve Hosgood (talk) 12:19, 12 March 2012 (UTC)
I am not happy with the "Retail" part - it reeks of OR. I would be far happier if it were condensed into something that is properly referenced. Martinvl (talk) 11:37, 12 March 2012 (UTC)
To have an overall neutral POV, the 'current usage' section needs to differentiate the varying levels of metrication in as many as possible aspects of life in the UK where measurements are used. The scale of "level of metrication" ranges from virtually "none whatsoever", through to virtually "exclusively metric". "Aspects of life" are more difficult to get a representative selection of; but we need to be careful not to weight the list too hevily towards regulated-measures activities and away from unregulated activities, which will tend to distort the picture as the proportion of activities which have metricated. Perhaps the section should be divided into two major sub-sections - "regulated-measures" and "unregulated-measures" activities. -- de Facto (talk). 14:39, 12 March 2012 (UTC)
Spilting the section into "regulated" and "unregulated" parts goes against WP:STRUCTURE. Martinvl (talk) 19:18, 12 March 2012 (UTC)
Martinvl, I don't think it does. This would be a "fact fork" not a "POV fork". -- de Facto (talk). 08:39, 13 March 2012 (UTC)
I agree that "The United Kingdom is unique within Europe in that it has retained the imperial system of measurements." is very misleading (and in its probably understood meaning just incorrect).
  • At first reading it gives the impression that, while other European countries use metric, Britain uses imperial measures. It is only after some thought that one realises that it can be interpreted to mean that Britain retains some imperial measures for certain purposes and/or as "supplementary indications" alongside metric units, but other European countries do not.
  • The statement gives the impression that other European countries do not continue to use traditional measures such as the inch. One would assume that "usage" is intended - as in the rest of the article - to include colloquial usage, not just formal use in trade and industry, and is intended to include usage as a secondary indication, not just primary usage. However, in Germany, for instance, the inch (Zoll) is still in use for certain purposes . At least in Germany, this is common knowledge, and can easily be confirmed by a glance at German Wikipedia. I suppose that part of the sentence could be interpreted as correct if one notes that the term"imperial" refers to the British empire and the German inch is therefore not "imperial". The use of supplementary indications is permitted in Germany as it is in Britain. The relevant provision of German weights and measures legislation is "Soweit nach den §§ 1 und 2 des Einheiten- und Zeitgesetzes Größen in gesetzlichen Einheiten anzugeben sind, ist die zusätzliche Verwendung anderer als der gesetzlichen Einheiten nur gestattet, wenn die Angabe in der gesetzlichen Einheit hervorgehoben ist." [Where according to sections 1 and 2 of the Units and Time Act dimensions are to be specified in statutory units, the supplementary use of other than statutory units is permitted only if the statutory unit is given greater prominence] ( The German regulation seems to insist on greater prominence for the metric units, whereas the British regulation, if I recall correctly, merely states that the non-metric unit must not be more prominent., but that's not a great difference.
So the wording is inappropriate even in a news item, let alone an encyclopaedia. I assume that the situation is similar in other European countries. --Boson (talk) 10:16, 13 March 2012 (UTC)

Two quotes worth working on for the introductory paragraph:

Today [1980] metric units are used in many important areas of British life - including education; agriculture; construction; industrial materials; much of manufacturing; the wholesaling of petrol, milk, cheese and textiles; fatstock markets and many port fish auctions, nearly all the principal prepacked foods; posts and telecommunications: most freight and customs tariffs; all new and revised Ordnance Survey maps; and athletics. Nevertheless, taken as a whole, Britain is far from being wholly metric.
...although many aspects of national life are metric (including most industry and building, school mathematics and science, athletics, rugby union and Ordnance Survey maps), many imperial relics remain (e.g. in road signs, football commentaries, estate agents' advertisements and most non-specialist media).

I know that the latter is probably not suitable for Wikipeida as it comes from a lobbying organisation, which is a pity because, stripped of its POV (as shown here) it is probably a very accurate description. This paragraph was here originally before DeFacto started his additions. (Initially he removed the citation, left the text and added a "citation needed" tag).

Martinvl (talk) 20:44, 13 March 2012 (UTC)

Thank you. I will stand by my previous opinion that we ought to avoid references originating from either the BWMA or the UKMA, and I'm pleased to see you agreeing above, Martinvl. Much as I am amused by the UKMA's phrasing "many imperial relics remain..." in the above, I think that would count as "weasel words" rather nicely in the context of Wikipedia. There are currently two references to UKMA-sources and one to BWMA-sources in the 'references' section, plus the indirectly-cited (via The Times) BWMA "survey" mentioned at the bottom of the "Public Opinion" section. I'd suggest that we bin the lot unless there's any good reason not to, especially the last-mentioned one in "Public Opinion". Steve Hosgood (talk) 11:31, 14 March 2012 (UTC)
I have a suggestion. There's a lot of pointless re-stating of facts between the current "Legal Requirements", "Popular Opinion", "Public Debate" and "Current Usage" sections. I suggest we remove "Public Debate" as a section, and re-site its (perfectly valid IMHO) comment about the conflation of Euroscepticism and metric measures into the "Popular Opinion" section. I then suggest that we delete the "Current Usage" section but split up and re-site its bullet-list of examples into the "Legal Requirements" and "Popular Opinion" sections. This would make the "Popular Opinion" section into something more like a "Popular Opinion and Informal Usage" section, we could rename it like that if anyone else agrees. Any support for that? It would cut the article length down and lose a fair bit of repetition. Can't be a bad thing, surely? Steve Hosgood (talk) 11:50, 14 March 2012 (UTC)
To elaborate on the above: I'd suggest that the bullet list get split something like this:
  • Weather forecasts: -> "Popular Opinion and Informal Usage" section. Not governed by any law that I'm aware of.
  • Commodities: -> not sure. Is this covered by legal requirements?
  • Energy: -> "Legal Requirements" section. This is a "sale" or "transaction".
  • Retail (and all its sub-sections): -> "Legal Requirements" section.
  • Education: -> "Legal Requirements" section.
  • National Health Service: -> "Legal Requirements" section.
  • Information dissemination: lose this top-level heading.
  • Information dissemination/Government organisations: -> "Legal Requirements" section.
  • Information dissemination/Newspapers: -> "Popular Opinion and Informal Usage" section.
  • Information dissemination/Unit of measure inconsistencies: -> "Popular Opinion and Informal Usage" section (as a subsection of "Information dissemination/Newspapers"?)
  • Mapping: -> "Legal Requirements" section (as a subsection of "Information dissemination/Government organisations"?)
  • Road transport (and its subsections): -> "Legal Requirements" section (but please can we lose all the text and replace by just a reference to Road signs in the United Kingdom?).
  • Rail transport: not sure about this. Is this private or public? Covered by legislation or not? Hmm.
  • Air and shipping: not sure about this either. It's covered by international agreements, maybe nothing to do with MitUK after all. Lose it?
  • Industry: -> "Popular Opinion and Informal Usage" section. Not governed by any law that I'm aware of, though industry (via the CBI) were amongst those pushing for metrication since the 1950's.
More and more it looks like "Popular Opinion and Informal Usage" would be a poor choice of section name for all this non-mandated stuff. Any better ideas? Steve Hosgood (talk) 13:15, 14 March 2012 (UTC)
I am currently working on a total revision of the sections 1945 to 1973, 1973 to 1999, 2000 to 2006 and 2007 onwards. The current working version (I dare not call it a draft as I am not there yet) is at User:Martinvl/Metrication program. Please feel free to read it, but please realise that parts of it are still random jottings or aides memoire that I have made.
Following on what Steve has said, I propose the following:
  • I remove the section on "EU directives" from my rewrite and merge it into the section "Legal Requirements" (and possibly rename that section).
  • The section "Public Debate", "Popular Opinion" be merged with my section "Assessment of the British metrication program" to form a single section. It might warrant being in a section by itself or being a subsection of one or other section.
  • I am not in favour of removing the "Current Usage" section, but I suggest that it be trimmed down considerably by removing material which is either poorly sourced or which is reproduced elsewhere. I feel that the subsection "Information dissemination" (with a slighty reduced lede) be retained as it shows up one of the conflicts in the UK.
  • I would also like to retain the section "Road Transport" as this was one of the areas highlighted by the Metrication Board in its final report as needing attention.
  • I see no problem with keeping the UKMA and BWMA cost calculations in the Costs section as we are not only giving both sides of the argument but we are also showing alternatives to the official government line. Maybe we coud seek the opinion of the larger community on this one by means of a RfC.
Martinvl (talk) 13:00, 14 March 2012 (UTC)
May I suggest the following:
  • Weather forecasts: -> Possibly ditch (Not governed by any law that I'm aware of - possibly covered by "Public Safety" requirement, but that is my own WP:OR).
  • Commodities: -> Merge into the section that I am writing
  • Energy: -> Merge into the section that I am writing
  • Retail: COmpress and merge into the section that I am writing. Possibly a note on the recent EU directive that prohibits fixed sizes for all but a few products.
  • Education: -> Merge into the section that I am writing.
  • National Health Service: -> Not sure.
  • Information dissemination: Disagree, keep this subsection - it leads into a "for and against argument" in the subsequent sections. However trim the lede back.
  • Information dissemination/Government organisations: -> See above.
  • Information dissemination/Newspapers: -> See above.
  • Information dissemination/Unit of measure inconsistencies: -> See above
  • Mapping: -> Merge into the section that I am writing
  • Road transport (and its subsections): -> Keep it for the time being, but trim it down.
  • Rail transport: -> Merge into section that I am writing.
  • Air and shipping: -> Merge into Legal Requirements section (The EU directive has specific exemptions in this area.
Before we leap into this, we also need to agree a program so that information is not hidden while we are working on things.
Martinvl (talk) 13:33, 14 March 2012 (UTC)
Well, I'm happy that what you're doing (trying out a rewrite in your sandbox) is a perfectly good way of making sure information is not hidden. I was wondering if it was going to be me doing a sandbox mockup, I'm rather happy to see you doing it! But I'll suggest not replacing the actual page without polling the "usual suspects" on their talk pages first, OK? Steve Hosgood (talk) 15:55, 14 March 2012 (UTC)
I have merged the NHS bit into "Legal Requirements" (and also added new info regardign weighing devices). My next plan is to merge "Air and shipping" into the same section by citing the EU exemption for that area. I think that it would then be appropriate to tidy up the section "Legal Requirements" while I look at the big section that I am writing. This will also give us time to review where to go.
What do you think of the following as an introductory paragraph to the "Current Useage" section: In its final report (1980), the Metrication Board wrote "Today metric units are used in many important areas of British life - including education; agriculture; construction; industrial materials; much of manufacturing; the wholesaling of petrol, milk, cheese and textiles; fatstock markets and many port fish auctions, nearly all the principal prepacked foods; posts and telecommunications: most freight and customs tariffs; all new and revised Ordnance Survey maps; and athletics. Nevertheless, taken as a whole, Britain is far from being wholly metric." The report major identified areas that had not yet been metricated as being the retail petrol trade (metricated in 1984), retail sale of loose goods (metricated in 2000) and roads signs (as of 2012 not metricated). The report did not address issues related to the media such as news reports and advertising. Martinvl (talk) 17:29, 14 March 2012 (UTC)
I'm not really following this closely (I think it is better to let the two of you sort something out first), but, as a small point, you probably want things like "metricated in 1984" and "as of 2012 not metricated" in square brackets [thus] which, I believe is the convention for insertions by the editor, not in the original quote. References for the dates would also be useful. --Boson (talk) 23:02, 14 March 2012 (UTC)
Otherwise, I would say that introduction to "current usage" is an improvement and should be inserted. I think it's easier to sort out details afterwards, rather than waiting to get to a final version of everything on the talk page. --Boson (talk) 10:51, 15 March 2012 (UTC)
I wonder if the section heading "Legal Requirements" is a bit misleading. "Regulated Activities" might be better. I mean "Legal Requirements" sort-of implies that it is a crime not to comply, but I suspect that if your doctor has a weighing machine that can weight in imperial measures, they're not committing a crime - just not complying with the letter of the recommendations. Given the current state of funding for the NHS, I can guess that replacing weighing machines is not high on a surgery's agenda... Steve Hosgood (talk) 10:45, 15 March 2012 (UTC)
I note that your sandbox article suggests (at the top) that it will become a new section. I presume that means "a new section replacing the 'history' paragraphs starting with 1945-1973 plus the following ones up to the present time"? I would really like to see this whole article end up about 50% of its current length eventually. Merging the above-mentioned bullet-lists into the last paragraph of "History" would achieve some of that as suggested earlier. Steve Hosgood (talk) 10:51, 15 March 2012 (UTC)
You are right - I am planning on merging all the post-war history into the new section. I am thinking of compressing and pulling most of the EU stuff into "Legal Requirements" - I am quite happy with "Regulated Activities" as a replacement for "Legal Activities".
As an interim measure, I am thinking of introducing the new section on a piece-meal basis under the name "Metrication Process" and to make the existing history sections subsections of the new section. As new text is added to the new section, we can strip out duplicate legacy text. Any comments?
The NHS stuff is the result of a reclasification of scales from non-medical to medical equipment which means that using inappropriate scales could render the health provider guilty of negligance if inappropriate scales led to a fatality. This paragraph does not relate only to medical scales, but also to traders. Martinvl (talk) 11:28, 15 March 2012 (UTC)
As far as I can see, the existing (post war) history sections have already been re-used in your new section. Making them subsections of the new section would just result in lots of repetition AFAICS. I'd suggest you just wholesale replace the postwar history section with the new postwar history. You might want to drop in a few of the existing date-headers though. I felt it was valid to point out that the tone of metrication changed (with the new government) in 1970, and again (with a new government) in the early 1980's. You're losing a bit of this historical phasing info with your current proposed layout. Steve Hosgood (talk) 11:36, 15 March 2012 (UTC)
Maybe I chose a poor example with medical scales. Steve Hosgood (talk) 11:37, 15 March 2012 (UTC)
I was looking at your sandbox - especially "Note 2" which shows a list of many obsolete imperial measures illegal for trade, allegedly from 1994/5. I think you'll find that that list is cumulative: many of those measures had been outlawed well before 1995 in earlier versions of Weights and Measures Acts and/or Units of Measurement Acts. It might be interesting (since you're presenting a history) to list when each group of old units went out of service as each Act replaced an earlier one. There had been Units of Measurement Acts from 1978,1980 and 1986 IIRC. Difficult to search online for them much before 1986 though. I spotted a reference to the 1986 Units of Measurement Act online, but it was just a scan of the printed paper version in a .pdf (this paragraph updated Steve Hosgood (talk) 14:47, 15 March 2012 (UTC))
Steve, a few comments
  • I know that quite a bit of existing stuff is repeated in the proposed new section. My plan was to cull such stuff from the legacy text as it is introduced into the new section.
  • There was a big cull in the 1970's - I haven't tracked them down yet. The original UK metrication policy was that it should be voluntary - something that was largely achieved before the abolishion of the Metrication Board. I need to work that into the article. The 1986 and subsequent culls were done in tandem with EU directives.
Martinvl (talk) 12:41, 15 March 2012 (UTC)
Looking at your sandbox article, Martinvl, you've got "quintal" down twice in Note 2. Might I suggest that you break up note 4) to maybe 4a) - discontinued measures and 4b) - measures permitted for certain circumstances (mentioning the circumstances). Steve Hosgood (talk) 10:13, 16 March 2012 (UTC)
Sounds like a good idea, but it might be a few days. (Real life getting in the way!) Martinvl (talk) 11:04, 16 March 2012 (UTC)

I'm not sure what input is still wanted on the various suggestions. Anyway, here are some miscellaneous points:

  • Condensing: I agree with the idea of considerably condensing the existing content.
  • Headings: I don't know if we need as many headings, though it might be a good idea to retain them temporarily, for structure, until we have a resonably stable finished version.
  • Weather forecasts: It think we could do with a brief mention of concurrent use of Fahrenheit and Celsius, but I don't think we need to go into as much detail as currently.
  • Spelling (draft in user space): I think we want to talk about the metrication "programme"' with British spelling (for this meaning of programme).
Not sure about that! I use "programme" exclusively for TV and Radio broadcasts, but "program" for sets of jobs to be done in some sort of sequence - esp. for the case of computer programs. So I'd have thought it was a Metrication Program by that logic. Steve Hosgood (talk) 17:11, 20 March 2012 (UTC)
That's a new one on me. In my experience, "program" is used only in connection with computers (in British English).--Boson (talk) 20:09, 20 March 2012 (UTC)
  • I share the concern about UKMA and BWMA as general sources, but have no objection to occasional use as sources for their points of view, provided both are given due weight.

--Boson (talk) 16:40, 18 March 2012 (UTC)

My rewrite at User:Martinvl/Metrication program is taking shape - I have added a few banners to show where I am with various sections. I have not included "Current Situation", but I hope to cut this back dramatically. Please feel free to visit the draft and to let me know whether or not I am on the right track. Martinvl (talk) 17:41, 20 March 2012 (UTC)
As part of my rewrite, I plan to move most of the stuff about transportation into a new article, currently in draft form at User:Martinvl/Metrication of British Transport. The draft is nearly ready for release (the sections on shipping and aviation will not be in the first release). Comments are of course welcome, though I expect that editors will have an opportunity to work on the article directly by the start of next week.
Once I have released that, I plan to reduce the amount of material in this artcile dramatically. I do not plan to do any more work on the new article until I have finished my work on revising this article. Martinvl (talk) 13:04, 22 March 2012 (UTC)
The article Metrication of British Transport has now been released. It needs a little tidying uup (categories etc). Martinvl (talk) 15:28, 22 March 2012 (UTC)