I listened with interest to Max Keiser’s prediction last week that with the continued privatisation and outsourcing to other countries, we could become a neo-feudal state (i.e. tenants in our own land). Hold that thought, because I’m now going to talk about trolley busses.
I am excited about the new trolley bus idea being proposed for Leeds. I think it is a good move towards sustainable transport in the city. Yes it is quiet, but the most environmentally advantageous component of it is that electricity is more efficient than internal combustion engines, and removing batteries cuts another area of waste.
What I find particularly exciting is the idea of ‘trolley lorries’, and the idea of electrifying a lane of the motorway for intercity person and freight transport. If they build that then we can power much of our economy off solar, wind, hydroelectric or nuclear power. The energy is renewable, whether or not it’s cheap.
Now, back to neo-feudalism. Recently, the chancellor George Osborne agreed a deal with EDF (the french state owned electricity company), which involved chinese investment to produce nuclear power in Britain. The reason why we’re now calling upon other countries to do this is because we’ve run out of investors to do it ourselves (selling power is kind of a liability, hence why Osborne had to gaurentee a very high rate of return to EDF). But with nuclear, there is enough fuel to power the world, we’re not going to run out of power and find the lights go out, the supermarkets run empty and we all start starving. We’re just going to have to start doing business on the terms of the people who have enough money to invest in us and feed us.
It’s in other nations interests for us to have some spare income. If we can spend on travel, electronic equipment, housing and all other commodities, someone, somewhere can make some money. For that investment to yield we need transportation systems in place, infrastructure, and also electricity. The capitol would be held elseware, and by and large we would work and rent. There’s plenty of investors in some place, somewhere, that can put idle bodies to work.
So, developments like trolley busses, or trolley lorries need to happen, and will do regardless of if we pay for them or someone else does. If we loose ownership of our capitol goods (which is happening), people will still eat, drink, work, travel and socialise. Even people without a lot of wealth can do these things now, because the price is set so that they can do that. One man’s holiday is another man’s livelihood.