Sunday, October 04, 2015

Demo's Don't Work ? Semtex.

I think it is now fair to say, that with the United Cabbies Group leading the fightback for our survival, anyone who thought that taxicab demonstrations don't work..............would be reconsidering their opinion today !

The panic shown by the Metropolitan Police to Len Martin's democratic planning, and the disgraceful and ungentlemanly fashion that the police have reneged on a previous agreement, shows quite clearly that we have the Mayor on the back foot !

Without doubt, this volatile action by the Met, of constantly moving the goalposts, has come as a direct order from the Blond Clown himself. 

What is more sickening, is the fact that ISIS, Muslims, Gay Pride, War Coalition, Gaza Attacks, Occupy London, Global Corporate Greed Action Group, International Terror Groups, Tamil Tigers, and many, many others, are not only allowed to block London for a whole day at a time......but welcomed in a deceiving ploy to promote London as; 

How many times have London Cabbies had to use their topographical knowledge skills to navigate passengers around mile after mile of "Democratic" demonstrations in professional standards, which have been caused by a major percentage of overseas problems?

I remember a few years ago when almost every Saturday and Sunday, Central London was blocked for the whole two days by demonstrating Palestinians !


I am all for democracy, I am legally compliant and I wholeheartedly respect the laws of our land. But the way we are being bullied (and there is no other word for it) makes me think that we should not be as respectful and courteous as we have been. 

Remember my Politeness For Weakness piece ? 
Well, here you have an example of it in its finest form ! 
Rather than allowing the UCG get a Section 12 Public Order Offence, maybe in the future we can organise a no notice demo, with no single organisation calling it. Therefore, when it is organised by social media, the police have no individual person to hold account, bully and persecute.

What Mayor Johnson's high calibre private education didn't provide him with of course, is streetwise and people skills. 
Telling our trade to Fuck Off And Die, publicly describing us as Luddites and ordering Chief Inspectors of the Metropolitan Police Service to bully us.....................simply turns the screw of anger in our trade, another few threads !

Eventually, when the screw has no more threads left and therefore cannot turn breaks !

We are surely on the last few threads now, and rapidly reaching the point of exasperation.

For the Met to offer us 30 minutes to democratically demonstrate against our cause, in our own capital is an absolute disgraceful insult ! 

See if they would be able to pull that stunt with 500 Tamil Tigers ! 
Last time that lot kicked off, they camped up for a month ! The Met shit themselves ! I wonder what the Tamils did with their Section 12 ? Lit a fire with it on Parliament Green, I reckon !

The true logistical facts of course, are this. If enough of us turn up on Monday, it is logistically impossible for a 30 minute demo to take place. The very fact that so many cabs are in the area and constantly returning, naturally prolongs it anyway.

I see we got another verbal hiding from Business "expert" Louise Cooper a few days ago ?  
Once again the BBC showed their London Taxi Bias position, by allowing this little expert diva a one sided argument. Being a penny pinching financial "expert" makes perfect sense to me why she would take a ride in a cheaper, Goldman Sachs backed Uber car. After all, in the insular money world of our little miss expert, every penny saved and invested counts. Oh, and by the way, who did she used to work for ? Yep, you got it in one..................Goldman Sachs!
Anyone smell a fresh kipper here ?
I have never forgiven the BBC for betraying me so publicly after I put 6 grand and hundreds of hours into exposing mini cab touts in my Operation Nightingale. They absolutely slaughtered me in the final film footage and not only betrayed me, but made me look a complete prick to my London Taxi colleagues. Cutting out loads of bang to rights blatant touting, they instead portrayed my side as a jealous stance on our behalf and a London Taxi Turf War. The illegalities and corruption I pointed out were ignored !

Anyway, another day, another dollar! 
We must move on and carry on fighting our corner. The UCG in my opinion have knocked any other representation we supposedly have into a cocked hat ! 
The least we can do is carry on supporting them and helping ourselves win this heavily one sided battle. 

Gauging by the fluttering and un-cricket like reneging at Scotland Yard, we have definitely got the Bumbling Clown of a dubious Mayor..........on the back foot !

Be lucky all, stay strong, stay resolute and stay proud.

8829 Semtex

Saturday, October 03, 2015

Minicab Rapist Jailed For Six Years.

The mini cab driver who raped a vulnerable woman while she was asleep in his car, in Uxbridge, has been jailed for six years.

At a sentencing hearing at Blackfriars Crown Court on Friday (October 2), Ali Moaberfard was sentenced to six years imprisonment and has been placed on the sex offenders register indefinitely.

The 39-year-old, from Barnet, was found guilty of the rape of a 31-year-old woman at Blackfriars Crown Court on Tuesday August 11.

The court had heard how, on the night of May 4 2012, the victim had been out in Notting Hill at a party. Leaving the party she decided to take a minicab to get home.

The car was driven by Moaberfard and, instead of taking her home, he took the victim, who was reportedly in a vulnerable state, to an address in Uxbridge. It was here his victim fell asleep.

The victim awoke to find Moaberfard raping her. Despite telling him no he continued and she passed out again, according to Met Police report.

The following morning, Moaberfard dropped his victim at Uxbridge Underground station. From there, the victim went to hospital and later police were called and an investigation began.

Clothing from the victim reportedly contained a DNA trace that matched Moaberfard and so he was arrested.

How the media reported this yesterday :

How this was previously reported:

So Danya Bazaraa reports the rapist as a "bogus Taxi Driver" and Nathan Spendalow reports the same rapist as a "Taxi Driver".

Both so-called journalists failed to mention Moaderfard was actually a minicab driver

Free Banner Stickers Offer, In Support Of The Taxi Trade From Ubiquitous and #SaveTaxi

we are really pleased to announce that the Ubiquitous Banner Stickers are available for fitting.

There are a number of different wordings, but you have to be quick as we only have 500 available.

If you would like one of these, we need to book your taxi in at their garage in Dunbridge St. on any day between 12-15 Oct inc. and 19-22 Oct inc., between the hours of 9.30-11.30am or 2-4pm.

To book please email us at stating your preferred date and time slot, vehicle type (eg tx or vito) and name and contact number please. 

This is a fantastic opportunity to get some positive PR for the trade as well as promoting #SaveTaxi and what we represent.

Book early to avoid disappointment

#SaveTaxi, Stronger together.

Friday, October 02, 2015

UCG Statement: Met Issue Section 12 Order on Monday's Demo, Windsor House 2pm

As you maybe aware Trevor Merralls and I were asked to attend an urgent meeting at New Scotland Yard this afternoon to discuss the  forthcoming Windsor House demo.

On Wednesday afternoon the Met agreed we could have 90 minutes, utilising the two eastbound carriageways of Victoria St, the focus being on Windsor House.

Our Campaigns Officer accepted this time limit even though he had requested 120 minutes.

Late yesterday afternoon , October 1st, he received a call from the Met informing him that actually we could now have only 60 mins. Trevor refused this 30 minute reduction explaining that 90 mins had been agreed already

After the Met had discussed our displeasure and refusal to accept 1 hour, they then offered 60 minutes but with all 4 carriageways given to us. In effect all of Victoria St.

We told them that we were still not happy at this last minute time restriction, we would discuss it in committee and ring them this morning with a decision.

After a COM meeting Trevor was asked if we may have 1 hr 15 min compromise the Met said they would let us know asap..

At 11;30 am today ,Trevor and ' one other ' COM member was summoned to the Yard for a meeting 13:30; the Met even offered to "go and get him".

As soon as we sat down ,Chief Inspector Mark Chatfield invited us to call off Mondays action completely as our last two demos had been so successful in terms sheer numbers that the disruption caused was more than they could have envisaged.

PC Keith Leahys words were " You are victims of your own success" and the Police needed breathing space  before our next action.

This request was flatly refused. 
We were then told ," In that case you can have 30 minutes but in only the two eastbound carriageways of Victoria St.

Again we refused as we found it Draconian. They then said we would be served a Section 12 Public Order document Order placing severe restrictions on us ,if we did not accept it.

After a conference call with our committee we said, as our demos are about Enforcing the Law, we would be willing to call them off if the Met would give us 10 police officers and a small TFL compliance team on a Thursday, Friday or Saturday night for a few weeks, along with a UCG committee member who could highlight the touting activity hotspots. The officers could then investigate, question and if neccessay arrest touts.

 After a long period, we were told they could not guaranteed this, but they would arrange a meeting with senior enforcement officers and the Head of the Mets cab enforcement, to discuss a 'strategy' and also make our concerns known to TFL !

As a mark of good faith, we then offered to postpone Monday's action, but ONLY (pending the meeting) if they would supply 4 PCs who could act when shown the real tout spots and not the photo opportunity Operation Neon nonsense.

Surprisingly the Chef Inspector said he could not get 4 Constables from Scotland Yard, without primary meetings.

We refused to put faith in meetings which promised nothing and subsequently have been served under Section 12 (3) Public Order Act 1986.

The restriction put upon all attendees will be made clear by us and the Met and we ask, as always, that all drivers abide by them and comply with requests of Liaison and Police officers on the day.


We have been informed that we must return to the Yard on Tuesday, to discuss what the Met refer to as " your 3 huge demos "

Please support us in our continued fight.

We will update you all constantly.

Many thanks guys and girls.

We hope all orgs will now support us as it becomes clear the " stop the demo " order is coming from the very top. 

  Best Wishes 

Angela Clarkson
UCG Secretary 

While the Taxi trade has a whip-round, the LPHCA show how it should be done.

London is on the front line of a Taxi war, with drivers orgs desperately trying to stop the rise of Uber.

Both the black cab trade and legitimate minicab services are being decimated by Uber, which operates using a system which illegally plys for hire and undercuts traditional Tacis and minicabs on price. It's also alleged the smart phone app has been given favourable treatment by London's transport regulator, Transport for London (TfL).

Trade body, the London Private Hire Car Association (LPHCA), has been putting pressure on TfL to crackdown on Uber. Leaked documents show the LPHCA has drafted in heavyweight, "Magic Circle" law firm Clifford Chance to present a legal case to get the taxi app banned in London.

Copies of evidence submitted to the Greater London Authority's Transport Committee by private hire car operator Addison Lee leaked on social media. The submission, which is part of an ongoing consultation on taxi regulation in London, includes evidence submitted seperately to TfL by the LPHCA in June.

In it the LPHCA, which represents 15,000 private hire and minicab drivers in the capital, and Clifford Chance call for TfL to hit Uber with an immediate ban until big changes are made that could cripple its business.

Here's a summary of the big five arguments the LPHCA makes against Uber.

1. Uber's insurance is not up to scratch

Uber requires individual drivers to ensure their cars themselves, rather than hold a fleet-wide insurance policy as is the norm in London. The taxi industry argues that this means Uber is putting public safety at risk, as it can't guarantee all its drivers are insured.

The LPHCA uses a Schrodinger's Cat-style argument to say that this is inadequate: because Uber only checks documents when driver signs up, LPHCA claims Uber can't prove at all times that its drivers are insured. They could have cancelled their policy since signing up. Though there is no evidence that this is the case. 

The industry also argues that because TfL allows Uber to operate without fleet-wide insurance, Uber gets an unfair price advantage as these policies are costly.

And by passing the saving on to the customer but still requiring the driver to buy a policy, the taxi industry argues drivers are being incentivised to cut corners on insurance to save money.

Clifford Chance, on behalf of the LPHCA said: 

"Uber's operating model facilitates and encourages increasing numbers of uninsured drivers onto the streets of London by allowing drivers to cancel their policies after registration with Uber."

The LPHCA argues that the checks on these documents are flawed in the first place, pointing to a report in The Guardian on the ease of tricking the system with faked documents.

2. Uber doesn't pay tax like it should

Uber processes its UK fares through Dutch subsidiary Uber BV, meaning it gets around charging customers UK VAT at point of sale. 

By processing revenue through Uber BV, the company also pays a lower rate of corporation tax. Both Taxi and PH companies say this tax set-up gives Uber another unfair advantage. This issue has already been referred to the UK taxman, HMRC, which is probing Uber's tax set-up.

A spokesperson for Uber recently said: "Uber complies with all applicable tax laws, and pays taxes in all the jurisdictions it operates in, including the UK."

3. It's unsupervised and unsafe

The LPHCA tells the Transport Committee in its submission (emphasis ours): 

As a direct consequence of the flaws in Uber's operating model Uber drivers loiter, ply for hire, park illegally and create a public nuisance in areas of high demand such as at airports and stations, undermining London’s profile as one of the safest taxi markets in the world.

Clifford Chance backs this up with some recorded complaints:

Clifford Chance

The LPHCA also argues that taking bookings in-car and taking bookings without an operator's license is in breach of the law and unsafe. Clifford Chance says it: "undermin[es] the important role of the operating centre in promoting safety."

And because jobs are routed through Holland, Clifford Chance argues "those service elements are beyond effective regulation by TfL," which again it claims is in breach of the law.

4. Driver and passenger data isn't safe

The LPHCA claims Uber "fails to take seriously its obligations to protect customer and driver data."

Clifford Chance points to reports of Uber accounts being hacked, such as a data break in February that left 50,000 driver details exposed, and says Uber London is not registered in the UK as a data controller, another breach.

5. Uber is flouting the law

The LPHCA accuses Uber of "knowingly, willingly and intentionally flouting local regulation for profit in France, Germany, Belgium, Italy and the Netherlands - almost every European market in which it operates."

Uber founder Travis Kalanick advocates a strategy of “principled confrontation” with regulators and lawmakers around the world, according to an interview with Vanity Fair. Their growth team motto states it's easier to ask for forgiveness, than ask for permission.

Clifford Chance says also: "Uber London fails to record destination information as required under the Act, undermining an important feature of the private hire framework in London designed to protect the public."

'The risks are increasingly clear'

As the battle progresses, neither side looks close to backing down. 

Black cab drivers have been putting pressure on TfL to crackdown on Uber. News broke this week that TfL is considering introducing New restrictions designed to hurt Uber that. But we've seen this happen before in a previous consultation in 2010. Nothing came of those recommendations.

Clifford Chance and the LPHCA are calling for Transport for London to immediately revoke Uber's license:

Clifford Chance

Clifford Chance concludes in its report: "These are not simply technical infractions. As Uber expands the risks associated with its operating model are becoming increasingly clear.

"Uber currently has approximately 17,000 registered drivers and has stated an intention to recruit 42,000 drivers by March 2016.

"However, when confronted by issues in relation to its drivers Uber disclaims responsibility for them on the basis that they are self-employed. 

In practice, the quality of regulation, oversight, and therefore the safety of the London private hire market is disintegrating rapidly as Uber expands."

It's war.

Source : Business Insider and Reuters.

Thursday, October 01, 2015


Watch message from Andrew Pinnington, CEO of Hailo, click link below:

Since being in charge of Hailo from the beginning of the year, it’s become apparent to me that Hailo and the taxi trade need to be more united to build a stronger future together. To achieve this we have made the decision to resign our private hire licence and return to black cab only in London.

As a company founded by Cabbies, Hailo was made strong by its original connections to the taxi trade and we feel we’ve drifted too far from it. We have consulted extensively with the trade unions who have all backed our decision. We are doing this as it’s routed in a genuine belief that you, London’s black cab drivers, provide the public with a crucial service.

Together we need to start by exposing the two big pieces of misinformation about the taxi trade: that cabbies don’t like new technology, and that taxis are a dying trade.

Cabbies began using tech before companies like Uber even existed.

We see every single day a million reasons why taxis are here to stay. All cities need transport that doesn’t just give value for money, but one that provides exceptional service, safety, reliability and accessibility. We have to put a value on all of these things, not just a low price. Black cabs are a godsend for people who want to travel home at night safely; people that need a little extra help getting around, such as those with disabilities or mums and dads that need a bit more space for the kids; and businesses that want the most knowledgeable and speedy way to get from A – B. For all of these people, having a thriving sector of the industry that meets their needs is critical. If we allow price and market forces to be the only criteria, it just creates a race to the bottom on who can deliver the cheapest service.

Black cabs offer a safe, accessible, knowledgeable, opinionated, iconic, speedy and world-class service. Who else can match that?

With a joint belief in these benefits, this is why we are making this promise to you today so that, together, we can use tech to empower you to build a thriving 21st century black cab trade through innovation, data and cutting-edge apps.

With your world-class service and our unbeatable technology, together we can win.

At the heart of this is our commitment to go back to black –100% Hackney Carriage. No ifs, no buts, just taxis.

And to prove to you that we mean this, this is what we are committed to now and in the future:

  • Hailo will be black cab only
  • We will use technology to further reinvent a London icon
  • We will Introduce new & improved ways of working with Hailo, including:
    • A relaunched FastPay solution, giving you the ability to accept card payments from jobs off the street and those booked through Hailo
    • Commission-free periods
    • Capped commission structures – details of all of this will follow over the next few months.
    • A boost to the Dedicated and Priority programmes, providing more work to our most committed drivers.
  • We will stay rooted in our communities – as a British born company we care about the city in which we live in
  • We won’t pick and mix on regulations. Rules are rules – they are there to protect the public interest. If we need new ones, we will work with you and regulators to create them.
  • We’ll give drivers jobs coming in, jobs all day and jobs going home via an indispensable app
  • Continue to make multi-million pound investments in marketing black cabs to get drivers more work

And here are our plans for the trade. We will:

  • Campaign at every level of government, every day, not simply to protect your trade, but to help you build your future. We are working with politicians to make them listen to you.
  • Continue to work in partnership with trade bodies
  • Uphold the unique benefits of the Knowledge
  • Have an aspirational vision for London to make all transport 100% accessible, safe, green and reliable – and lead the world on standards, professionalism, and values.
  • Win back some of the biggest corporate accounts out there – like American Express, already signed up to our books

With your help we can make all of this happen.

Since we launched in 2011 we’ve raised over $100m investment and put over 10 million passengers on your back seats and will continue to do so today and tomorrow.

We look forward to working together with you on building a better future.

Andrew Pinnington
CEO, Hailo