A prime time television presenter has likened the current fuel crisis to a previous crisis to do with horse manure on the streets as a tipping point towards embracing new technology.
GB News presenter Colin Brazier used his “Brazier Angle” to say that a crisis in the 1890s when streets were piled up with poo led to the widespread adoption of the internal combustion engine, and that the present issues over fuel based on panic over a perceived shortage of delivery drivers should lead to people looking for technology-led alternatives.
“The Edwardians got over their crisis thanks to a tech revolution the mass production of the internal combustion engine, the same internal combustion engines which we’re now struggling to obtain fuel for,” he says. “So maybe the great lorry driver shortage of 2021 is our great manure crisis of 1890 for the moment when our over dependency on one form of transport ushers in another. We hear today that sales of increasingly affordable electric cars and bikes are booming. Why join a queue for petrol when you can run a recharging cable from your own home?”
He continues, “We read another report about autonomous, driverless vehicles or airborne drone deliveries. But now we begin to see how these science projects might ride, just as the car did in London, to our rescue. We face a long term decline in the number of people who want to drive a lorry. The cure might be to pay them more cash. What if cash isn’t the answer? What if too few people are willing to put up with the boredom of long haul trucking? Robots do not succumb to boredom, they will do the job uncomplainingly, no tachograph no toilet stops.
“We also face a short term decline in the number of people who want to drive a lorry because online delivery companies are snapping up anyone with an HGV licence. But Ocardo and Amazon wouldn’t need so many drivers if they had an army of drones flying from their warehouses to your home.
“This will not happen tomorrow, the mass produced cars made by Henry Ford didn’t supplant horses overnight, but science has given us options. You will get to work this week with a Tesla, regardless of how much the rest of us are fighting on the forecourt.
“In time we will get used to the sight of a lorry driving pastures, with nobody at the wheel. A moment will come when we no longer find the sight of a drone landing outside our house with the weekly shop strange. These technologies are coming, but perhaps it takes a jolt, like our current convulsions over fuel to really accelerate change.
“Maybe it takes wading through manure, or at least trudging away from another empty fuel station to make many of us give progress, a chance. That’s the Brazier angle.”
Here is whole monologue:
(Picture – GB News Twitter)