Bond creator Ian Fleming proposed park-and-ride schemes, electric cars in 1959

September 20th, 2008 - 1:33 pm ICT by ANI  

London, Sept 20 (ANI): Known for creating James Bond and his high-tech vehicle Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Ian Fleming certainly had a vision for tomorrow, so much so, that he called for park-and-ride schemes and electric cars long back in 1959.
A newly found manuscript indicates that Fleming feared the consequences of traffic and called for park-and-ride schemes and a wholesale conversion to electric motors - much before environmental concerns became fashionable.
Fleming wrote the article, titled ”If I Were Prime Minister”, for The Spectator in 1959. In the article, the writer has showcased an imaginary manifesto, which includes a suggestion to turn the Isle of Wight into a louche theme park with casinos and the most luxurious brothels in the world.
The article, along with other rare pieces of Fleming’’s writings, would be read out by Jeremy Irons at an all-star charity gala at the London Palladium next month to mark the centenary of Fleming’’s birth.
Fleming’’s niece, Kate Grimond, unearthed the manuscript while she was searching for material for a volume of little-known or unpublished writing by Fleming, which will be published next month by Queen Anne Press as Talk of the Devil.
According to James Taylor, the curator of the Imperial War Museum exhibition, the slightly tongue-in-cheek article is interesting for the glimpse it gives of Fleming’’s personal outlook
“He didn”t put himself about and he was rather embarrassed by what we now call celebrity. Although he was still a journalist, Bond was his real mouthpiece: a Victorian clubland hero projected into the modern world,” TimesOnline quoted him, as saying.
He added: “This article echoes everything we know about Fleming. On the one hand he’’s very traditional; on the other he is incredibly modern in his views, particularly in his attitude to sex.”
In the article, Fleming proposes to “greatly reinforce the Orders of Chivalry”, and challenges lords, barons and earls to set a proper example to the “work-shy Have Nots” enfeebled by the welfare state.
Other than creating a “minister of leisure” who would oversee “a complete reform of our sex and gambling laws” the article suggested a regime of low taxation, “enthusiastic encouragement of emigration” and “benevolent Stakhannovism” - bonus schemes in factories to encourage a greater national work ethic.
He also talks about dealing with the “noise, carbon monoxide gas and exasperation caused by the traffic problem in our big towns”.
He wrote that the petrol-driven internal combustion engine is a “ridiculous steam-age contraption” that produces fumes that “we breathe day and night” before forming a harmful envelope around the world.
In his hypothetical first term Fleming promises to convert the whole of Central London to electric transport.
“Very cheap, state owned garages would be built at the point of entry into London of our main roads and drivers would there transfer into electric buses or the Underground and later into cheap, state-run electric taxis,” he wrote.
His manifesto also promises to treat voters as grown-ups and “try to stop people being ashamed of themselves” and to stamp out expense accounts and “other forms of fiscal chicanery.” (ANI)

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