Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Crazy Idea 22 - Re-establish the canal network to ship goods

If we fail to learn the lessons of history then we will be destined to repeat mistakes.

For any country to have a large population that is unable to work and/or trapped in poverty is a danger to the stability of that country. Unemployment and poverty has been the cause of many civil wars and revolutions.

So, with two million unemployed in the UK and nine million economically inactive (26% of the working age population!) and my crazy idea of full employment on the table, we need some radically crazy ideas for jobs all these people could do. Over the next few days I’m going to suggest some of my own crazy ideas...

Would it be a crazy idea to fully restore the canal and waterway networks to enable goods to be shipped?

The economy of the UK is substantially different from the 17th and 18th Centuries when in Britain we cut most of our canals. We no longer need or want coal or timber to be provided to the same extent. But could there still be large quantities of goods shipped round the UK that could be sent by canal?

According to the Inland Waterways Association (IWA), “Today, there are over 4,000 miles of navigable waterways [in the UK].” (CI022A)

Since 1946, (IWA) has been advocating the conservation, use, maintenance, restoration and development of all inland waterways for public benefit.

Thousands of people were employed to cut the canals. Would it be crazy to employ tens of thousands to maintain and restore these valuable waterways?

Do post your own crazy ideas or feedback on mine in the comments below and sign up to my mailing list below to be notified of future posts.

Why should my crazy ideas have any relevance to the economy? I'm the author of The Great Scottish Land Grab, a novel that imagines a fairer future for Scotland where the poor are empowered to change their destiny. I'm director of my own limited company: Goal 31 Ltd and I've over seven years experience working for government and financial organisations. Also, just like you, I'm a taxpayer and for some crazy reason I think that entitles us to have an opinion and for that opinion to be acted on by the government.

As I wrote at the start, I am making my 100 crazy ideas freely available. It seems unjust to propose ideas to fix the economy and then prevent people from freely reading those ideas. 100 Crazy Ideas to Fix the Economy will be published once the craziness is complete.

I can be found on Twitter: @my100goals or on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/my100goals. There's a short bio here.

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(CI022A; IWA; https://www.waterways.org.uk/waterways/history/history_)

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