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METRIC MARTYRS 4
GROSS ABUSE OF POWER
Street Trader deprived of a living
Peter Collins is a street trader in the London Borough of Sutton. He is a popular figure who has never been in trouble.
However, he has committed the cardinal sin of refusing to comply with the "compulsory" metrication regulations.
way in which his local borough has handled his situation is quite beyond
belief. Rather than face a head-on court case based on non-compliance with
metrication (a case which they well know they are likely to lose) the
unsubtle and un-civil servants of Sutton have opted instead to take away
Mr Collins' living.
Firstly they create a "crime" which does not exist and then they use this non-crime as an excuse to remove Mr Collins' trading licence, thereby making absolutely sure that a) there is no questioning the validity of "compulsory" metrication, and b) that the poor man cannot earn the funds required to fight the case.
On 20 March 2000 Mr Collins
received a letter from the grandly (but rather oddly) titled Head of
Health and Trading Standards, Mr Tony Northcott. In this letter Mr
The 1985 Act expressly allows the use of Imperial measures!
Then on 4 July 2000 Mr Northcott
So there is the "crime" - the man is "unsuitable" because he is breaching trading standards regulations which themeselves are most likely unlawful.
Now here is the real problem.
In other words Mr Collins is presumed guilty unless he can prove his innocence!
This matter is now so urgent that it could be heard in the local magistrates' courts at very short notice. As Mr Collins has no resources he might not be able to fight the matter without help from BWMA and that requires funds. Without resources the case may go by default. Mr Collins has no resources because the very people he wants to appeal against have taken away his livelihood!
Copyright 2001 PA News. 14 July 01
By Helen William, PA News
Britain's latest so-called
metric martyr today lost his battle to sell fruit and vegetables in pounds
Michael Plumbe (correct), chairman of the British Weights and Measures Association, said: "It is a perverse decision which is a complete negation of British justice. It is a bad day for British justice. We believe we have a strong case for appeal now." The council had argued that using metric measurements will be compulsory by December 2009 and that confidence in the new system will grow as people get used to dealing in metric measurement. Fiona Darroch, for Sutton Council, told the court: "The idea is to wean people off pounds and ounces and onto kilos." In April Sunderland greengrocer Steve Thoburn, 36, became the first trader in Britain to be convicted for refusing to sell goods in metric measurements. He is to appeal to the High Court, backed by a 195,000 fighting fund from campaigners who do not want to see imperial scrapped. The fund aims to cover Mr Thoburn and other traders bringing legal action to try to keep imperial measurements. Neil Herron, of the Metric Martyr Defence Fund, said that as long as market forces and principles were led by people wanting to buy goods in pounds and ounces then there was little that the courts could do to stop them. He said: "We are in a situation where you can prosecute this man for filling in pounds and ounces, but you can go out and drive in miles per hour and drink pints of beer. "They should only call for us stop selling in imperial when Tony Blair announces the weight of his next baby in metric and everyone understands the conversion. "They should stop picking on the little men who are just trying to make a living and educate the public properly about the metric system if they want them to use it."
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