Blog: Dave LeggettNew World Order ripples

Dave Leggett | 29 July 2004

Interesting chat earlier on the blower with someone who's written a book about winter testing in northern Sweden (I guess someone had to). Apparently, the place in Europe where many car companies and Tier 1s like to do cold climate testing is facing a crisis (there'll be a news item on the site tomorrow). The Swedes - not unreasonably - have realised that some of the military bases created during the Cold War are no longer needed and are also a little expensive to keep going.

Trouble is, there's a whole regional economy in the far north of Sweden that depends on a military base there (it pays big taxes to the municipal authority for one thing and so acts as a subsidiser, big time). And some auto companies have invested heavily in winter testing facilities there. They won't be pleased to see the local economy collapse and infrastructure like airport, hotels, restaurants disappear and a campaign is being waged by some of them. 

I know the bi-polar world of nuclear threat and Mutually Assurred Destruction (MAD) was not exactly to be revered and we all cheered when the Berlin Wall came down, but when I hear the nightly news from places like Afghanistan and Iraq, I can't help feeling just a twinge of nostalgia for those simpler times. And people kind of played by the rules, unlike now.


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