The recession and cuts will force us to innovate – by Edward Leigh MP

The idea that saving the economy requires draconian acts of deprivation is partly true, and it would be wrong for me to pretend that we don’t have some tough times ahead. However, pressure on society is in the elong run satisfactory, as it inevitably leads to a generation of wealth. The solutions produced to our problems stay with us even through the good times at the end. The Space Race brought calculators to our classrooms, non stick frying pans to our kitchens and Velcro to our shoes. Today, enterprising minds are busily creating alternatives to fossil fuel power. Last Wednesday I rode around on an electric bike made by Batribike – a company based in my constituency. I really quite enjoyed myself. It was quiet, easy to drive (I am not a motorcyclist), and I dismounted with the satisfaction of having spared myself the usual 60p per litre on petrol and a great deal of physical exertion. I couldn’t help but wonder if man had taken one small step towards having his cake and eating it. That aside, a large demographic shift in the number of people who use electric vehicles might curb our alarming reliance on the Middle East for fossil fuels.

The Batribike is a good example of the fact that Pressure spawns innovation and it is very pleasing that such an industry is growing up in the constituency. It is good that people are turning their hands to producing new solutions to underlying problems in society. The current climate, I am sure, will bring a terrific number of ideas to our society as people struggle to keep standards consistent in increasingly stormy waters.

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