That Tim Evans certainly gets about. The last time I had cause to mention him here, he was emailing me about a Cobden Centre scheme to put Austrian economics on the map. Now, with another hat on that I have not seen him wearing before, he is emailing everyone of consequence in the known universe about this (read the whole thing here – it is just over twenty pages long), which is about how the British Government should allow rather than smother the UK version of the space industry, smother having been its preferred policy until now.
And you know? This just might work. If I were the British Government just now, I would be highly receptive to anything which I could call Doing Something, which did not Cost Too Much, and which preferably hardly cost anything at all. True, the report’s author James C. Bennett does recommend a few fact finding junkets for British regulators, to enable them to learn how to create the Appropriate Regulatory Framework, which is must be, he says:
… predictable, sensible, provide reasonable guarantees of safety and make the UK a venue of choice for space operations …
Why can the rules not be along the lines of: do what you want with your own property, provided it is within the laws of contract (e.g. not deafening to people who have been promised no deafening), provided nobody is swindled or deliberately incinerated (accidental incineration being inevitable from time to time in a business like this), and provided that you do not get so angry with any gawping onlookers that you try to murder them. You don’t need a trip to Canada or Australia or India to devise a set of rules like that.
But then again, such expeditions can be fun, and I suppose there have to be inducements to Government people to behave sensibly. And such is the state of the modern world – the EUropean bit of it especially – that if some activity has not been supplied with the Appropriate Regulatory Framework, it can not even start.
It so happens that James C. Bennett is in the room with me as I write this, he being in Britain now to promote this thing, and he has just said, in connection with the above:
”Better to send regulators to Ottawa than to Paris.”