Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/07/21/acre_abolished/
EU abolishes the acre
Blighty bows to Johnny foreigner's 0.4047 hectares
The European Union has provided further evidence of its sinister plan to convert this once-proud nation into nothing more than a stuffed songbird-eating satellite of the Continent by "abolishing" the British acre, the Telegraph reports.
Centuries of proud history and culture were undone on 15 July when the government signalled its willing submission to Europe by sending a lightweight junior minister from the Department for Environment, Farming and Rural Affairs to "represent Britain's interests" at the acre-busting meeting.
In the event, Jonathan Shaw simply surrendered to Johnny Foreigner's hectare, and the Tories are naturally furious that El Gordo didn't see fit to dispatch a rather more robust politico, backed by several ships of the line, a squadron of Spitfires and a small force of Welsh archers.
Shadow Europe Minister Mark Francois thundered: "It is this kind of pointless interference into the nooks and crannies of our national life that frustrates people about the EU. Whether we use hectares or acres should be a matter for Britain to decide, not the EU.
"Once again this weak Labour Government has meekly given up yet another of Britain's rights to Brussels. They need to think again and insist that we must keep our right to use our ancient traditional measure of land if we wish."
But before you all start choking on your beef and oyster pies and despairing for Olde England, we should point out that the use of the hectare will be obligatory only "when land is being registered". So, old boys accustomed to chewing the fat over farm gates can rest assured that discussing Farmer Giles' two acres of wheat will not result in them being arrested by roving EU enforcement operatives disguised as bicycle-borne French onion sellers.
Just to be on the safe side, though, please note that the acre is now better described as 0.4047 hectares, or 194.78 NanoWales. ®