UKMA has received evidence that the recent media hullabaloo about the prosecution of a market trader in Hackney was a deliberate setup, designed to reawaken interest in the flagging campaign to preserve obsolete imperial measures.
This is the report from UKMA’s mystery shopper:
“I managed to get away early today (instead of tomorrow) with plenty time to get off at Dalston for the Ridley Rd Market.
In brief..it is one of the most metric markets I’ve seen in the UK! It is even more kg-only than last time I went through.
All the meat and fish stalls and shops are either predominantly kg-only.. with some having per lb, usually underneath (but that would be about 3 out of approximately 10 shops).Â Â All the fruit and veg stalls showed both kg and lb, varying in kg first or lb first…but well signed and all scales set to kg/g. There were NO lb only stands. A couple of stands seemed empty so may have been where Devers (not to be seen) had/has her stall…
Finally, I walked a good 3/4 of the way through this very long market before I heard ANYONE speaking English! (Absolutely true).
Having done a lot of shopping there (as the prices are like a step back in time after Notting Hill) I did get a lot of chats with the traders. Mostly they were Asian, Middle Eastern, African (I overheard other shoppers all asking for kilos) and they said no-one has ever shown a sign of confusion there.
The English “barra boy” types, who had (like everyone else) scales set to metric, sold me my purchases without fault weighing up exactly in kilos. They were quite jokey, so I got to ask them where the “Ridley Road media star” was? They pointed further down where I’d been and told me it was all a set-up, as the so-called customers had been asked on camera “how many POUNDS do you think this weighs”. Then (God knows where they found these “confused Caribbean” people) they replied for the cameras an amount in pounds while filming next to Devers and her stand. Now that’s outrageous!!! (But typical of the media trying to create a story out of nothing.. Seems one big storm in an imperial teacup!)”
So now we know. Or rather our suspicions are confirmed. The great majority of both traders and customers in Ridley Road are perfectly happy with using metric scales and measurements, and there is little local sympathy for the antics of Ms Devers and the bogus “metric martyrs.” Some elements of the media have been complicit in trying to create the opposite impression. None of this is very surprising, but it is disappointing that senior politicians, who ought to know better, appear (or pretend) to have been taken in by it. Sad.