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By ATWadmin On October 9th, 2008

Isn’t it a disgrace market trader was convicted yesterday of selling fruit and
vegetables using imperial measures – even though the EU says it should
not be an offence. This is how the EU operates and how British officials gleefully run with it all…

Metric martyr Janet Devers said she had been made a ‘scapegoat’ after being sentenced for
selling goods on her market stall in pounds rather than kilos. The
mother of two fought back tears as she was ordered by magistrates to
pay almost £5,000 in costs and told she would have a criminal record
after being found guilty of eight offences under the Weights and
Measures Act.

As part of the landmark case, the greengrocer was also convicted of
selling vegetables for £1 a bowl rather than counting them out
individually – a practice commonplace amongst Britain’s 40,000 market
traders who use bowls to help customers baffled by grams and kilograms. Now the pensioner, from Wanstead, East London, faces
financial ruin as the costs of fighting the case could see her lose her
market stall in nearby Dalston. It has been in the family
for more than 60 years since her mother Irene Hunt became one of the
first woman to run a stall in the East End during the Blitz. The
verdict, which has outraged campaigners, comes a year after EU said it
would no longer force Britain to adopt the metric system of weights and

113 Responses to “FAUX CRIMINAL..”

  1. We live in a metric world now, it is taught in schools, get over it.

  2. I don’t agree at all with the prosecuting people for using imperial measurements, but are people really “baffled by grams and kilograms” like it says here? To be honest I think that’s the most worrying part of this story. I was taught both metric and imperial when I was a nipper… and I didn’t even go to a grammar school! But yes, I agree with that European Commissioner that said this was an example of “over-zealous British bureaucrats.”

  3. I prefer metric now though I used to think in both. Metric is much better.

    God knows why they prosecuted her when the EU wants nothing to do with it – and that is indeed British bureaucrats not European.

    Presumably she can now take this to the European courts and stick it back to the British.

  4. Maggie,

    How very understanding of you! – the woman is a pemsioner for goodness sakes, and I doubt if they taught metric when she was at school.

    The use of Imperial weights and measures is more of a cultural thing among the elderly, and I doubt she had the inclination, or didn’t feel the need to comply with diktat, probably having more pressing things to deal with, – such as paying her way.

  5. Maggie –

    What a generous soul you are. Yes, fine a pensioner £5000, ruin her, for doing what Britons have been doing since the 13th Century – trading in our ancient and human units.

    The real criminal is another pensioner, the worst monarch in our history, who swore to govern us according to our laws and customs. Yeah, like criminalising and ruining pensioners for trading in pounds and ounces accords with our customs.

    What a horrible country this has become under her reign.

    At her Coronation she also swore, to her power, to cause law and justice, in mercy, to be executed in all her judgements.

    But there is not the slightest evidence of her ever taking her Oath to the British people seriously. There is not the slightest evidence of her loyalty to our Constitution. There is not a single shred of evidence that she sides with us or will represent us.

    Busy today are you? Taking the corgis for a walk? Having a gallop on the gee gees? Thanks, you lying, useless excuse for a monarch.

  6. In one easy lesson: How to make a criminal record a badge of honour rather than something to be ashamed of.

    I remember once I was in WH Smiths in Lewisham @C1996. There was an old lady at the till in front of me, as she tottered off with her purchase the assistant called out, "Hey love, you have forgotten your change!"

    To which the old lady said, "Change? I don’t understand this new money!."

    Want to turn a citizen into a foreigner in his/her own country. Destroy the familiar.

    @Maggie. If two consenting adults wish to exchange money for goods using a measurement system of their own choice, what the hell does the state have to do with it?

  7. Alison,

    One of the great mysteries of life is why Britain – alone – delights in implementing Euro-legislation that even the Euros don’t really support. It’s the mindset of those that prosecuted this lady which irritates me – they should be taken to Traitor’s Gate.

    I was educated in both imperial and metric and find them both useful.

  8. Yeah but she knew the risks when she took them on. You can lose a court case.. So it’s a risk she was prepared to take and she should have been prepared for that. Where were the papers then? Where was all this indignant support for her when she went to court?

    In the end it was not worth it. She should have shut up and said ‘yeah whatever’ at the get go and let them move on. Every trader in the country uses both so what were they gonna do charge them all? No. So she should have sucked it up and shut up and noone would have cared and traders would just carry on as usual happily breaking the law with their customers. As they have done since time began.

    If anything she has made the situation worse.

  9. No. Shutting up is the road well travelled to serfdom.

  10. Well I hope you are all chipping in to her fund then.

  11. I repeat for the benefit of those not understanding, we live in a metric world…etc.

  12. Alison –

    What are you talking about? She did nothing illegal. She took on no risks, she initiated no court action. She had her property stolen by Hackney Council and was subjected to a third world, police state prosecution.

    You don’t half have some front. You talk up that immigrant filled khazi you call home. You tell us all how wonderful it is. You come on here regularly to tell us how great life is in modern Britain. Now, when a pensioner is subjected to a political prosecution, fined a ludicrious sum for doing what generations of Britons have done, ruined for for trading in our British weights and measures and not some two-bob artificial, foreign construct, you have the utter front to tell her to suck it up?!

    Who the hell do you think you are you impertinent oik? Have respect for an older woman and start demonstrating some respect for the traditions of a country you pretend to love.

    What an utter cheek you have.

    Maggie –

    You’re a loyal little gauleiter.

  13. Pete, surely "Crime is Crime"?

    Anyway, I personally use both. I was taught Metric in school, as schools had abandoned the Imperial system by then, but I learned Imperial in work as aircraft are built in Imperial units. In reality what she did wasn;t wrong but she was stupid about it and used both Metric and Imperial.

  14. should read "she was stupid about and should have used both Metric and Imperial".

  15. Was it you who posted the comment I just deleted Pete, directed at me personally?

    You seem ridiculously angry over a fucking fruit and veg stall holder and anyone who doesnt 100% buy into your Britain is always screwed and ‘orrible routine.

    Over a goddamn veg stall holder. Man get a grip.

    I am no longer prepared to have that sort of vile personal abusive crap directed at me for having the audacity to not tow the right wing line. Right from the get go with my very first post on this bloody site and then people wonder at my remarks.

    Christ I bet a few decades back you would have carried on using pounds shillings and pence if it had made a ridiculous point.

    If it wasn’t you who posted that now deleted comment then I still don’t have to abide by your personally skewed nonsense the whole time. Nothing I have said in this debate was directed specifically at you in such a hamfisted manner.

    Get stuffed. Preferably with her imperially weighed veg.

  16. Seamus –

    You aren’t half as clever as you think you are and you’re in no position to describe anyone as stupid.

    Mrs Devers committed no crime, she did nothing wrong, she is the victim of a spiteful, political prosecution.

    And have some respect for your elders.

  17. Alison –

    Yes, that was me you tender little flower and don;t start playing those games. You have a damned cheek and you are impertinent.

  18. Calling me directly what you did was over the top Pete and without your name attached it or any jokeyness, it was plain nasty.

    And don’t lecture me about being tender when a harmless joke about the princess and the frog, and not even at you, sets you and Ernest off on a mission of such personal vindictiveness it beggared belief. This is a post about a veg stall holder.

    Your comment was to me and about me. Nothing I have said here was to you. Neither was that old joke.

  19. Alison –

    The comment was to you, about you and it was exactly what you deserve. Listen to yourself:

    You seem ridiculously angry over a fucking fruit and veg stall holder

    Well excuse me, miss fancy knickers with your media job, but my parents did the same thing every day of their hard working lives. ‘Ridiculously angry’ doesn’t begin to describe how I feel about a British pensioner being prosecuted and possibly ruined for doing what generations of Britons have been free to do.

    Yes, you have a damned cheek to talk about how great this country is, and then tell a British pensioner to suck it up when she’s put through hell, made the victim of a political prosecution. Excuse me if I blow my top about it.

    Excuse me also when I blow my top at this happening in my country, where we were once a free people and where we’re now criminalised more and more by an enemy class which hates everything our nation ever stood for.

    And excuse me for hating what’s happened to my country – MY country – and for not getting with the funky new agenda where our heritage and freedoms and traditions are trashed and we can be so easy about pensioners being locked up, put in the dock and ruined for selling (how menial) fruit and veg in pounds and ounces.

  20. That point came after your little forray into the now deleted and grossly vernacular directed at me Pete. At least when I blow my top at your horseshit I have the cojones to use my own name when I insult you and apologise for it later, you spineless prick.

    I am free to make observations and comment. And I hadn’t directed ANY of that at you. What the hell for? On a post about fruit and veg and weighing systems?

    If this woman’s issues gel with your insane presentation of this country fine.

    If what I say doesn’t hook up with your blinkered myopic jaded retarded bollocks then tough Pete. Not everyone hates this country the way you do.

    Nonetheless when someone hasn’t directed any particular opinion at you and you direct that sort of abuse back then have the good grace and the BALLS to apologise before you leap into your "my kingdom for a an imperially weighed carrot" routine.

    I worked damn hard to get this job, it took me near enough ten years of hard slog. What the fuck has that got to do with anything? My parents aren’t university educated. Noone handed them anything. They’re Londoners. They worked their arses off to provide for their family. They should be so lucky to have had a slush fund for their choices re unfair treatment the way this woman has.

    You think noone else, including me, has ever been wrongly treated by heavy handed local government or the Law? Trying seeing your mother having her head run over by a double decker bus, with the carnage on the Ten o clock News, driven by a criminally negligent company, losing your job when you spend more than a month learning to walk again, and watch as lawyers piss your money up the wall and the government claws back its share of handouts from your pissy compensation pay out and the driver does a runner. Meanwhile a black man scores millions in compensation for feeling racially insulted and suffering a bruise when arrested and an Afghan gets a five bedroom house and £12k a month simply for turning up.

    Dont talk to me like i know fuck all about anything.

    If you want to stick some shillings in her fund go ahead and issue her some shillings and go wave a stick at the government. Instead of getting so very unnecessary and personal with me because I don’t subscribe wholesale to your fucking point of view.

  21. A spokesman for Hackney Council said: ‘We are satisfied with the outcome of this case, but regret that legal action is required. It would have been much better if Mrs Devers had complied with the law 18 months ago.’

    Anyone wanting to contribute to Mrs Devers’s costs can send donations to the Metric Martyrs Defence Fund, PO Box 526, Sunderland, SR1 3YS.

    There you go guys…contribute.

  22. I have sympathy for this woman as I do for the landlords who are trying to keep their businesses open by allowing patrons to have a sneaky puff with their beer. The State does not like dissent and the nannies know best. No Imperial measures, no smoking, no fatty foods, no eggs advertised by children in case they are tempted to eat them.

    This woman is a symptom of what is all wrong but she is not the only one. Allow someone else’s civil liberties to be trampled and the next time the knock on the door is for you.

  23. Pete,
    Do you agree that to stay in business or in employment one must keep with the times/sometimes upskill/adjust to new work practices?
    This woman didn’t. How much effort would it really have taken on her part to provide a metric scales alongside the imperial. It was a very heavy handed approach, criminalising her and a very hefty fine, but it could have been very easily avoided with minimal effort on her part. Very tragic that she could lose her business because of this.

  24. Get someone to say that pounds and ounces are mandated by Sharia Law, then watch the weasels run to support this woman’s rights.

  25. Maggie: "We live in a metric world now, it is taught in schools, get over it."

    So imagine that Pete and I managed to be elected to government, and decided to re-educate the population under threat of imprisonment to use imperial, would you happily comply?

    By the way, the world is not metric. The US is not metric. There is nothing intrinsically metric about ‘the world’.

    In actual fact, I am quite happy that either of us should be permitted to use what ever measure we choose. So long as I know an inch for example is about 2.5cm. The government has no business getting involved. Or at the very most, they should restrict themselves to checking the weights and measures are accurate, rather than enforcing a cultural cleansing.

    I know when I ask for a quarter of this or half a pound of that the poor sod behind the counter not only doesn’t know what I am asking for but can’t calculate the conversion, schools seem to have stopped teaching mental arithmetic.

    I have also noticed in the pub these days, even though the pint glass has a measure stamped on it, most bar staff either don’t know, care or are deliberately giving short measures to their customers.

  26. I am amazed at how many Brits/Irish still in their everyday conversations use pounds, ounces, miles, and stone.

    The old ways have not been stamped out yes.

  27. Let’s all grow up APL I know not all countries apply the metric system but Europe does. It is easier…I notice no-one wants to apply the old pounds, shillings and pence system and refuse to recognise the decimal system. Perhaps the poor sod behind the counter would like to put up a chart for his customers to read, indicating what 250 grams is in relation to ounces…not difficult.

  28. Funny how us people are now the enemy of the state!

  29. This is the pathetic response from Hackney Council, issued to me by a Belfast girl, Miss Lara Edgar. Read the background notes and gauge how pathetic this Council and its Jobsworths are. Then email the Council, your opinion of them!!!


    A Hackney spokesperson said: “We are satisfied with the outcome of this case but regret that legal action was required. It would have been much better if Ms Devers had complied with the law 18 months ago.”

    BACKGROUND INFORMATION – prepared on 16/01/08

    Janet Devers is being charged with 13 offences under the Weights and Measures Act. 10 counts relate to pricing issues (basically pricing of goods not in accordance with W&M regulations), 1 count relates to pricing solely in imperial quantities and 2 counts relating to the use of a machine that was not passed as fit for use by an W&M inspector.

    Cllr Alan Laing, Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods said: “Last year’s EU ruling means that imperial measurements will be allowed to be used alongside metric indefinitely, beyond the original 2009 deadline. However traders are still legally required to physically use metric scales. There has been no change to the law in that aspect. Hackney Trading Standards officers have been informing market traders of the legal requirement to use metric scales predominantly for several years. As a last resort, traders who have completely refused to use metric scales are subject to enforcement action. Imperial measurements may be used in addition to metric, so long as they are not more prominent. Traders who need advice on weights and measures guidelines can call trading standards on 020 8356 4929.”

    In the year 2000 imperial measurements were removed from the schedule of the Weights and Measures Act 1985 by a UK regulation implementing the Units of Measurement Directive therefore making them illegal for use for trade in selling loose produce. The above Directive was amended in January 2000 and this allowed the UK a derogation to use imperial units as supplementary units; that is they could be used for comparisons with metric units (so long as they were not as prominent as the metric). This was to continue until 31st December 2009 when imperial units would be removed completely. Last year the European Commission agreed to extend this derogation indefinitely, thus allowing imperial units to be used as comparison units only for an indefinite period of time.

    Kind regards


    Lara Edgar

    Media Officer

    Hackney Council
    2 Hillman Street, London E8 1FB

    020 8356 3502

    07772 227 322


  30. Fuckwits in British banks, who evidently can’t count, are getting off scot-free with a bailout. But a pensioner? Punish, fine, put them out of business!!

  31. Pete Moore , Re: your 1055am post , I fully agree with you , to me she is just plain Betty Windsor and I now refuse to stand for the National Anthem .

  32. Charles

    I don’t understand some of the things that the Brits are doing.

    Including guaranteeing deposits of British citizens who made deposits in ( essentially unregulated ) internet banks based in Iceland that have gone bust. They had been paying north of 6% interest so I am not surprised that they went bust

    I feel sorry for the depositors too, but does this not reward astonishingly stupid behavior?

    I do internet banking myself, but only with firms that I know well, and which are insured by the US ( ING, Capital One )

  33. Since when has any poster had the means to delete a comment on another poster’s thread?

    I would have thought that was David’s perogative – or the poster’s author.

  34. Maggie: "Let’s all grow up APL .."

    OK, but growing up implies the ability to make decisions about your life, including those things you or I consider important to each.

    What you seem to be suggesting is that ‘grown ups’ should not have the right to make simple everyday choices about simple day to day activities. I on the other hand think they should and ought make those decisions themselves. I don’t need the government to get involved.

    Maggie: "I know not all countries apply the metric system but Europe does."

    So now Europe is the World?

    Maggie: "It [the metric system] is easier… "

    An assertion I do not agree with.

    What could be easier than 1/2, 1/4, 1/8, 1/16 which is in my opinion intuitive.

    Maggie: "I notice no-one wants to apply the old pounds, shillings and pence .."

    Ha ha, meet APL. 😉

    Maggie: ".. system and refuse to recognise the decimal system."

    Decimalisation was presented being modern, and a simplification – thus sufficient on that ground alone. Anyone who criticised the idea, was cast as backward and a reactionary. A bit like you appear to be doing now. The fact that even the least educated in the United Kingdom could grasp the concept of the duodecimal system speaks to its simplicity.

    Maggie: "Perhaps the poor sod behind the counter would like to put up a chart for his customers to read, indicating what 250 grams is in relation to ounces…not difficult."

    Ah! the good old UK idea of customer service. That is the customer is always wrong.

  35. ….only for an indefinite period of time.

    Only? How can something be ‘only indefinite’? Only for a ‘finite period of time’ is comprehensible.

    Well put Charles. That kind of puts things in perspective.

  36. Ernest Young –

    I’m not quite sure what Alison is supposed to have deleted. She says no name was attached to that comment but my name is attached to all my comments on this thread.

    When I owned up to it I assumed she was talking about my 12.59pm and didn’t scroll up to check if was deleted (it’s still there) or if my name was there since I assumed it was gone.

    After that, frankly I couldn’t be bothered with finding out what was supposed to have been deleted.

  37. I deleted the comment with "you something something cunt Alison" in it. It was written semi-anonymously, directed at me and just ahead of your massively angry over-personal comment. I hadn’t addressed you so I fail to see why you needed to get so personal.

    I don’t think it, or your manner towards me generally was necessary at all as I said way up above ("if it wasn’t you..") and you could have put that straight if you had bothered to read.

    If anyone would like that resinstated or feel it adds to the debate – then please do ask David.

  38. Pete,

    I only asked as I was accused similarly a while back, and I had the impression that someone was ‘playing games’.

    My supposed comment had been similarly deleted.

    Being accused of making comments which one has never made is never very pleasant, and hard to refute.

  39. Between Maggie’s 12,25 and Pete’s 12.59 comments?

    If so – and if it was unsigned, why attribute it to Pete Moore?

  40. Ernest

    I asked Pete if it was him, acknowledged if it wasn’t – and he specifically said it was. Thereby at the very least acknowledging the over personal craziness of his anger towards me specifically. If he had bothered to check the comments that much would have been resolved much earlier.

  41. Alison –

    No, that wasn’t my comment. Checking the comments wouldn’t have helped since the first I knew of it was when you said you’d deleted it.

  42. Right then, who buy thr 1st pint/473ml?

  43. Pete You acknowledging it right out the gate and in view of general weird tone towards me meant I took you at your word. And as I said at the start if it wasn’t you who posted that now deleted dumb rude comment then I still don’t have to abide by your personally skewed nonsense the whole time today. Nothing I have said at the start of this debate was directed specifically at you or merited it. I have no idea why you felt the need to talk to me like shit over a woman we don’t know and like I know nothing at all about these matters (when I sure do) or get so damn personal (job, parentage) over this entire topic. It amazes me how this is the second time that sort of stuff gets pulled into a debate for no good reason.

  44. Question, have any of you Brits fired off an e-mail to that council in Hanckey?

  45. I saw the comment for the brief moment it was up this morning and it was extremely offensive. I thought David had removed it, but it is absolutely fine that Alison did – if she hadn’t, I would’ve.

    I must say that I never thought that Pete wrote it, not his style at all.

  46. Alison was right to remove the comment. I didn’t see it either but the references to it are enough. And I’d remove that type of language directed at anyone. People can argue strongly from time to time (not everyone gets along so well like me and Patty), but there is a line that shouldn’t be crossed.

  47. Now that’s that settled anything about the poor veg lady?

  48. Apropos Mrs Devers –
    Everyone can understand her bloodymindedness. She is old enough at 64 years to see how the individual counts for NOTHING in marxist-inspired Britain; the State wants your servitude & obedience, and woe betide those who transgress.
    True indigenous Londoners will applaud this stand, and, being a tight-knit bunch, for sure some anonymous donor will happily pay her fine.

  49. I agree that abusive comments should be removed, but only AFTER I’ve had a chance to read them.

  50. Exactly,

    But doesn’t it cause concern when it seems that anyone with posting privileges can alter or delete any comments at will, even on posts which they did not author?

    It does rather throw the whole idea of a ‘free comments’ policy out of the window’, and generates an element of distrust.

    As we have seen today, the misuse – whether to add or delete can cause much offence and dissent, particularly as we don’t really know who is a ‘poster’ and who isn’t. John Smith is listed as such, but we haven’t heard from him in months.

    Given the dubious nature of some who have had posters privileges in the past, I would not put the likelyhood of mischief beyond the realms of possibility.

    Are passwords etc. changed or deleted on the passing of ‘lapsed’ writers?

  51. I got the ball rolling and e-mailed the Hackney Council. Right into the rubbish, I’m sure. The don’t listen to you so why to me. But my one wee voice was heard.

  52. I asked Pete, as his tone was so offensive generally that when he admitted it I just thought that’s strangely hurtful given he is not some troll but posts here regularly.

    I’ve tried pretty damn hard to be honest with Pete, been graceful enough to acknowledge when he is right, honestly defended him when the men on this site get all bloody ridiculous.

    But oddly it’s just fine and dandy to pretend I know fuck all about any kind of real issues people face in these circumstances and regardless of the deleted comment, bring all this personal stuff into another ATW thread. Again.

    To hell with it. Enjoy your echo centre Pete. All yours.

  53. This is like watching the debated the other night. The jackboot of the state has just crushed a veg lady in Hackney, and everyone is worried about piddlyshit. Y’all deserve the society you got!

  54. Ernest, I don’t believe any of the people with posting privileges would ever abuse their access in an unfair manner.

    We all know that David can’t police the threads 24/7 and when a woman is called by a bodily term that most people would never use and is widely considered to be highly offensive, it should be removed by the first person to spot it. I’m sure if Pete had seen it, he would have deleted it too.

    Free Comments doesn’t mean you can call people the filthiest of names and have them stand.

  55. She don’t half go on.

    Ernest Young –

    Passwords aside (not my area) David likes overly abusive or vulgar comments to be deleted. It has nothing at all to do with the argument, it’s only to do with preventing threads and ATW from becoming uncivilised and less pleasant.. I agree with the policy.

  56. The veg lady is to be pitied.

    Why does the government care what type of weight measurement she uses?

  57. Charles –

    Yep, I’ve emailed the snivelling little stakanovites of Hackney Council.

    It’s one of your ‘loony left’ councils, all recycling agitprop and nuclear free zones. Talking of liberty, culture and heritage probably goes straight over their heads.

  58. Pete Moore is that one of the councils in hoc to the Iceland bank?

  59. Daphne –

    Yes, you are right and thank you for recognising what a civilised chap I am.

    The council cares because as with all areas of governance now in Britain, it’s about showing us who’s boss.

    The law, justice and morality long ago fled these shores. Now, if government can do you, criminalise you and take your money, it will. In principle and practice, we’re governed by an enemy class little different from any two-bob third world hellhole kleptokratic elite.

    Don;t think this case is unusual. Things like this happen daily here.

  60. Pete, well done. I wrote to the point:

    Dear Madam, This story has reached all the way to Texas. While Billions are given to bailout banks, why crush a little veg lady?

    Best Wishes,
    Charles in Texas

  61. Daphne,

    I’m sorry but I have to disagree with you. I won’t mention names, but one poster most certainly did, and was called for it.

    Your trust in human nature is wonderful, – but I have been bitten too many times to be so careless.

  62. Agree that the treatment of the woman is despicable.

  63. Charles,

    Well done for showing the initiative!


    I see there has been some contretemps earlier – let’s just all move on. I would never expect any ATW writer to speak personally of the other and respect Alison and Pete. I am sorry for any abuse Alison received earlier and hope this can now move on to topic.

  64. Pete

    You go on and on. Check your comments.

    I don’t want to comment at a site that constantly brings in the personal about me. ATW is supposed to be a reasonably nice environment to comment on politics. Yes things get heated and often get silly but if you cannot simply argue without being so damn personal all the time or step back when you are being an overly personal jerk then you aren’t much of a man at all. And given how much you crave that recognition you might do well to pretend once in a while.

  65. Gosh –

    I don’t know for sure. Earlier today I’d have guessed no, since it seems to be Conservative county and local councils who ‘invested’ our money in Icelandic banks.

    Your Hackney-type council is liable to use any spare to employ a few more outreach cottaging workers and stash the rest in the Bank of Nelson Mandela, Lusaka branch.

    But it turns out that Haringay Council in North London put £20m Iceland’s way. If they can do it, so can Hackney.

  66. Thanks David.

  67. London transport too Pete, something like £40million!

  68. Well David.. People asking me ‘the name of my rapist’, calling me a cunt, bringing my parents into a thread and slamming me as a person where I post a silly joke, again where im commenting on a damn stall holder. I apologise when I’m wrong and I try to acknowledge when others are right but it never seems forthcoming the other way around. I sure don’t get it right all the time but I do try to put it right where I can. It’s pretty clear the intention isn’t to enjoy political debating. Good luck with the site and apologies to you.

  69. Ernest, I can only think of one episode here similar to what you mention and David rectified that pretty quickly. If there were others, I missed them.

    I do trust the writers here and haven’t had a reason to feel otherwise. Let me know if you’re being treated badly or falsely accused of comments you didn’t make – I’ll try to fix it, if I can.

  70. sigh!

  71. Gee thanks Charles

  72. Alison,

    All you say in your 8.26 I agree with. It is completely wrong for ANYONE to abuse you, or indeed anyone else and I am sorry that this happens, and certainly would wipe it/ban anyone who behaved so badly.

    ATW is mostly a decent debating environment, but it’s not perfect and sometimes people may get hurt. So I apologise if you feel I have in any way allowed you to be hurt but assure you it is not my intent and I always enjoy what you say.

    I hope you might think about it all. Life is short and I want us all to be happy.

  73. Alison, you know I don’t approve of anyone saying things like that to you. If I was there, they would say them to me first. David handled it though. Can’t we go on?

  74. London transport too Pete, something like £40million!

    Beyond reckless.

  75. Anyone wanting to contribute to Mrs Devers’s costs can send donations to the Metric Martyrs Defence Fund, PO Box 526, Sunderland, SR1 3YS.

    I’sending a bob. WTF, she might get a chuckle?

  76. I know it’s not your intent at all David and nothing personal with you at all as well I hope you know. The issues raised here are great, the constantly personally directed stuff isn’t (I don’t even mean the cunt remark). It’s just easier I reckon not to comment and become a permanent personal target. Good luck.

  77. Charles,

    So long as it is not a Euro 😉

  78. Daphne,

    Thanks for the offer. I hope it never comes to that.

  79. David, I couldn’t afford a Euro, just a dollar!

  80. Can someone give me a reason why a stallholder should not be permitted to sell his/her products in whatever weight measurements they wish, Metric, Imperial or even an invented one. As long as the price is displayed accurately and the customer is willing to purchase, why should the authorities give a damn.

  81. That was my question too, Colm. I don’t understand what the issue is if she was being honest in her weighing and pricing.

  82. Different measurements and weights would equal different amounts, the customer even if they agree could be given smaller amounts for their money. In one way it is to protect the customer, where all would recieve the same weight/amount for their money?????

    It’s a petty prosecution and they should be ashamed of themselves, but I witnessed the harrassing of traders with stalls in Dublin too… Petty officialdom.

  83. Plus the fact its better for trading accross the EU as a single entity. Everyone working off the same hymnsheet.

  84. Conformity is highly overrated.

  85. Gosh!

    That doesn’t make sense. This woman only used one form of measurement and as long as she told her customers exactly what they were getting and the price, where’s the harm ?

  86. I don’t see any harm, since when did prosecutions by councils make sense. Did prosecuting a pensioner with limited sight for putting the wrong rubbish into the wrong bin make sense? Those are the only reasons I can think of colm, I’m not saying they’re the reasons for the prosecution, but they’re all I can come up with as a semi sensible explanation. Perhaps they did it as a show prosecution to send out the message to other traders???

    Goodness knows what way their warped minds think.

  87. Guess she can go on the Council’s dole now that they put her out of business and into debt – that makes a whole lot of financial sense for the taxpayers. Lose a contributing member of the community, get a welfare recipient in return.

  88. Daphne –

    There are two things going on here. the first is as I said above – much of the governance of the UK today is about showing us who’s boss and it comes from a genuine enemy class. I don’t use that term lightly, our governors are hostile to British culture and British liberties and are the enemies of the British people. If anyone thinks that’s hyperbole, then consider that a British pensioner now faces ruin at the hands of the British State.

    The idea that politicians and civil servants serve the people is wholly alien to how the state does business.

    The second is that Janet Devers is (was) a trader at Ridley St market in Hackney (in London), which Hackney Council has a particular beef about. For some years now it has taken to persecuting traders there whenever a flimsy excuse presents itself (not renewing trading licences is a common one).

    Now Janet Devers associated herself with a genuine English hero called Neil Herron, a man with a talent for spotting the contradictions and holes in laws and using them back on the councils and agencies who misapply them:


    Neil Herron first popped up on my radar when a Sunderland trader (Steve Thoburn, RIP) was prosecuted for exactly the same reason as Janet Devers, back in 1999. Cutting a very long story short, Herron took the judgement in Sunderland vs Thoburn and has turned it back on the government and judiciary in a quite wonderful display. It was so effective that the judiciary and Inland Revenue ended up in opposition and the judiciary has had to invent new legal principles and stand old ones on their head in order to find a way out of the problems they found themselves in.

    He’s also been a huge thorn in the side of councils and parking authorities up and down the land who wrongly apply car parking laws. In short, if you’re ticketed for a parking offence, the ticket, paint on the tarmac or sign will probably be in error and going to Herron’s site will give you the info to fight it. Many have done so successfully.

    Coming back to the Thoburn case, Herron started a movement called Metric Martyrs. MM is still going and, as I said, Janet Devers is associated with it:


    I have no doubt that the Ridley Road and MM connections meant that Hackney Council went all out to ‘do’ her. She was charged with twelve offences, the legal equivalent of a carpet bombing. Since Neil Herron has shown up the corruption and contradictions inherent in judicuial rulings, I have no doubt the prosecution and the vicious penalty on Janet Devers were politically motivated.

    Don’t be surprised that such a thing can happen in the UK. This is how we’re governed today.

  89. That’s so sickening, Pete.

    I’m going to send her some money.

  90. Colm – …even an invented one? I thought that was what the £$& – damn, my keyboard doesn’t even HAVE a euro-symbol!

  91. Bernard use E

  92. E e


  93. Bernard just earned my first gut laugh of the day! 😀

  94. Daphne –

    You and Charles are stars and typically generous Americans. My cash is on its way also.

    Here’s Janet Devers on the Metric Martyrs website:


    That is what many criminals look like in modern Britain.

    Ayn Rand once stated:

    "The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren’t enough criminals, one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws."

    This has long applied to Britain.

  95. LOL. What else can you substitute for a euro sign?

  96. Bernard –

    damn, my keyboard doesn’t even HAVE a euro-symbol!


  97. His keyboard will be confiscated by the authorities 😉

  98. The long snout of the EU is no longer interested in petty debates around weights and measures in Britain: last year they gave up on us, ruling that we can carry on measuring out pints, pounds and miles. Though it may appear that Hackney Council’s vendetta is borne purely of a snivelling sense of persnickety righteousness, the law states that metric must still appear alongside imperial for all customers to understand what they are getting. No dice, says Ms. Devers, who, displaying an admirable if potentially ruinous stubborn streak, refuses to countenance any mention of metric.

    Market forces should sort this one out. Punters who want a pound of papayas can buy from Ms. Devers; those who fancy a kilo of kumquats can shop elsewhere, as there’s plenty of traders happy to offer metric measurements and not all are so openly obvious. Problem solved.

    Meanwhile anyone contributing to this woman’s sudden woe is me act asking for funding is a mug, as the Trotters would say. She has had the coffers open for this since January this year, took it to court to make a point and is about as likely to be facing financial ruin as Pete here is to give the subject a much needed rest.

  99. Did I disturb you by not giving it a rest James, old son?

    ‘Fraid to disappoint you, I won’t be giving it a rest. British pensioners might not be ruined quite so easily if smug types didn’t always … give it a rest.

  100. € -To make a Euro symbol, just copy one from someplace else and paste it-€

  101. Ruined? LOL. She will have made twice what she is stating will ruin her since she opened that fund back in January this year. For what. Nothing! Anyway good luck Pete. I can see it’s your personal hobby horse and assume you two are related!

  102. Pete, you are just not popular today my friend.

  103. Badge of honour Pete.

  104. It must be my looks, charm, talent, intellect and modesty!

  105. Pete just earned my second laugh out loud moment of the day.

    You go guy, with your modest self.;-)

  106. Ah if only, old Pete-from-London. I doubt he was even aware of this woman until this morning, in reality. Judging from his over indulged part in this thread Pete Moore is about as small minded, personally spiteful, vindictive and anally retentive as the pernickety council he is so in thrall to. They are well matched in every sense.

  107. And the ghost of arguments past, lingers on!

  108. Al, leave this weary lot forever – it is certainly not worth the time and waste of your intelligence.

  109. Just catching up on all this. First, the euro. You can make one by holding the ALT key and entering 0128, which gives €. OR you can use HTML by typing & euro; (no space), which gives €.

  110. Hmm.Okay, maybe € doesn’t work here.

  111. I’ll defer to the numerous lawyers who frequent this site, but I’m pretty sure New York State has similar laws with regards to weights and measures. You can display the items however you like, but your scales must be approved by the state. No? I remember when I worked in a gas station in the early 80s we had to have our pumps approved by the state so that everyone knew that we were providing a gallon for each gallon the customer was paying. Imagine how easy it would be to pump 127oz and claim it’s a gallon?

    So, while I’m a little sympathetic to this woman I have to say that if the state says you must have an approved scale and they use metric as the base measuring system then she should have complied. And, if that’s the law then I have no problem with the local government enforcing the law. It seems to me, Pete, that your real beef should be with Parliament and – as you say – the Queen and not with Hackney Council.

  112. I’ll add one last comment. Here I always order my meat in pounds and ounces because I’m not as comfortable in metrics (and my wife’s instructions are always in pounds and ounces!!). I know the conversion numbers and can easily make the adjustment, but I don’t want to. That’s me. And it’s not just me because most people I hear in the butcher’s shop still use the old system. The scales in metric, but the butcher and his employees (and same at our local Tesco) know how much to give if you ask for 2 pounds or whatever.

    I’d like to say it’s a huge deal, but it’s not. Less important than changing the speed limits, which meant people have to stare longer in at their spedemoters to see how fast they’re going when really they should only be taking a quick glance.

  113. I did receive a response for the Hacney Council (sort of)

    Dear Charles

    Thank you for your email. I am going to pass it to Josile Munro, the head of consumer protection (which includes the trading standards team which prosecuted the lady in question) to respond to.

    I am a press officer and deal with enquiries from journalists. I assume (because you haven’t said) that you are not a journalist.

    Kind regards