Sunday, September 20, 2015

Is Our Politeness Being Taken For Weakness ? Semtex

Since I was a kid, I have always been taught politeness and manners. Without sounding patronising, I have maintained that respectful stance ever since, and so have my four grown up children.

If I bump into somebody or impede them in a supermarket, I would always apologise. I always open doors of shops etc, for both men and women and always refer to punters in my cab as Sir or Madam. I retain the dying chivalry habit enthusiastically, and wouldn't dream of not allowing my wife or daughters time to sit down first in a restaurant or on a train. I always open the car door for my wife first, before I get in myself.

Which brings me to my point.  There is one thing in life that I abhor more than almost anything else, and that is people who take politeness for weakness.

Sadly, along life's path, I seem to come across this loathsome trait, with regular occurrence. 
The problem with me though, is when somebody actually does it to me or my family, my friends or the company I am in, I recoil like an angry viper that has just been trod on with a size 12 !

I am incapable of just a deserving sneer or a tut tut to the perpetrator of the offending "crime", and I really kick right off !

I have always despised bullies, and I find ungracious reciprocation to a gentlemanly act of kindness, unacceptable, and tantamount to bullying. It is fair to say, that in my lifetime, I have come perilously close to breaking the laws of our land, when confronted with an ungrateful churlish, unrefined oaf !

For longer than I care to recall now, Transport For London, and the louts dressed in elitist ensemble who run it, have treated our respected profession with disdain, disrespect and contempt.

Tragically and totally unacceptably, we appeared to have got used to being spoken down to, being tricked, being coerced and being made to feel like we are scum.

We are neither of the above of course, in fact, on the contrary. We are highly trained, widely respected, upstanding professionals, medically fit, licensed, and thoroughly checked out for any lurking flaw in our character.
But you wouldn't think so would you ?

We have taken the disrespect and  treason from TFL and City Hall on the chin up till now, and attempted to keep our pride, professionalism and agitation sheltered beneath a cloak of respectful dignity.

However, earlier this week, the Deputy Chair of the GLA, Tony Arbour along with the scurrilous, and betraying Mayor of London served up a monumental portion of impertinence and insult to all of us, that was nothing short of goading.

Personally, I believe the whole schedule of events that day was orchestrated, rehearsed and choreographed. They didn't fancy answering questions with us lot in attendance, so in true bully like form and expectation...............bottled it!

We attended in correct democratic procedure. That is what the seats in City Hall arena are for. To be sat in, whilst concerned members of trade, the public or whoever...........listen to the lawful procedures in correct democratic orderliness.
To my mind, and from where I'm sitting, that was the London Taxi Trade attending the correct venue, at the correct time, using the correct seating in the correct manner........................and showing total and correct  POLITENESS !

Also, to my mind, and from where I'm sitting, bully boy Bullingdon club Johnson who has form for telling us to "fuck off and die" referring to us as a load of "luddites " and unable to show more disrespect for us if he tried, twists the knife even deeper ! 

Backed up by a  sneering two bob councillor, a man who has cocooned himself as a public servant all of his life, with no other professional skills to talk of, backs up his Bullingdon, elitist mate with a further slur on us to indicate we are merely shit on the soles of his public paid for shoes .

Now folks, I'm not being a drama queen here, but if that ain't a blatant display of taking politeness for weakness, then, yes, once again, mine's a bloater ! 

Naturally, I agree with a democratic lifestyle. Obviously, I totally understand that our trade has to be seen as professional rather than a load of "chirpy cockney boy thugs". I would love to think that we could have our trade disputes and worrying licensing issues dealt with by a fair, democratic, lawful and unbiased opposition. I'm not silly, I realise that that is the preferred way forward. Of course I do !

But how about if the people you are trying to sit around the democratic table are bent, corrupt, unfair, scurrilous, unprofessional, tarnished, abusive, dodgy, crafty, secretive, self focussed, snidey, uncooperative, unreasonable, illicit, unbalanced, unsteady, non compliant, incompetent, inconsistent, bullying and have unmanageable and ludicrous hair cuts ?

Then folks, it is fair to say I think, that the democratic path to putting our trade back where it deserves to be, is futile. Isn't it ?
It is surely obvious that these abusive thugs in suits who continue to insult us, have got it well and truly in for us.

I am extremely proud to have served with a very senior and specialised regiment in my military service. I came out of the army with an exemplary "red book " record, and thankfully, with a pulse.

Interestingly, we were generally only called upon when either National Security negotiations had broken down, or somebody somewhere in some part of the world "had taken politeness for weakness". And we weren't short of work!
And let me assure you, that if and when we were deployed...........snot, bogeys, whiskers and feathers would fly ! No prisoners !

In all honesty, I think we have given TFL and the Blond fellow ample time to recognise our respect, democratic willingness and a preference to work this out in a responsible and fair strategy. And yet, he takes the piss out of our platinum service trade, prodding us in repetition that would make a stuffed lion attack.

In 2010 I predicted that Men Were Coming To Kill Us. I knew this was coming. And sadly, they have ALMOST done us.

I have always said, that if enough of us were to gather in one place in our cabs, which we are legally allowed to do so, paralysis of the capital would swiftly follow. When British Fighter planes took off on missions during world war 2, intelligent strategic battle planning was used to great success. Instead of going on a mission to bomb "anything", they soon realised that to attack, reservoirs, electricity supply stations and other sites of national importance, was indeed, a much more successful ruse.

If London was brought to a standstill, the people who make our lives a misery and bully us with their intimidation, would absolutely quake in their plastic soled shoes !

London's moving infrastructure is vitally important to trade, industry and commerce. When it stops, the repercussions serious, and hugely costly !

If some of us think that going to court will be the best option, then I will go with the flow. But its the clock that worries me folks ! Its still ticking and tocking and ticking and tocking. Have we got the time ? Maybe I'm deluded ?

Our trade is infamous for poor unity, apathy and an inability to muster together. But I think that even the most laid back of us are now concerned that we are being eradicated.

And let's face ain't Uber's fault is it ? They are only earning their coin on the back of what they have been allowed to get away with ! Its TFL and City Hall we need to target, just like the reservoirs and sub stations !
Our UCG colleagues are deploying themselves next week at the Bank Junction. We could do a lot worse than to give them a hand out there folks. Don't forget, they are made up of working cab drivers like you and I, all concerned about their future, all completed the arduous knowledge, all been through the same hardship to gain their badge and all listened to being told that they are luddites and best we fuck off and die !

When the blond bully and the jumped up two bob councillor showed the unforgivable display of disrespect to our trade this week, and took our democratic politeness and 400 year old legacy, for blood temperature increased and my brain back tracked at 100mph to that barrack room in England's countryside 30 years or so ago now. 

The message on the PA system was brief but precise and repeated every 5 seconds. " Stand by !" Stand by !" "Stand by !" followed by a deafening klaxon.

Our boots were rarely off in those precarious days, but you could bet your life that if you're  laces were going to snap, it was when that tannoy was screaming !

Get ya boots on and check you're laces folks ! We can't have this for much longer !

Tick, tock, tick, tock, tick, tock, tick..................................................

Be lucky all and see you out there.

8829 Semtex.


Anonymous said...

Our trade has been poorly represented by the so called unions even with bob on the board Norris a total lier and still to this day drivers dirving around with cash only stickers we are our own down fall drivers backing jobs at Heathrow because we don't accept credit cards drivers on the street not wanting to do little jobs why ? A job is a job but some drivers seem to think there worth more and if anyone can tell me if this is true tfl want to start testing oh drivers if it is true it is game over

Anonymous said...

Good article semtex. The only positive thing to come out of last week is that many taxi drivers have finally seen what somebof us have been saying for the last few years . Boris johnson and tfl are corrupt. A legal campaign cannot account for corruption. Exposure can

Anonymous said...

I for one am no longer prepared to sit back and watch my livelyhood slip away. I am fighting the fight every night of the week. Much of the time alone as that's the way I roll. However even I know that now is the time to come together and be as militant as we can. Strength in unity most be our moto. In 10 years time if I'm waking up in a doorway on the strand at least I can say I fought for my trade and hold my head up high knowing I didn't take it lying down. See you at bank, no excuses no surrender its now or never.

Lenny Etheridge said...

I feel exactly the same as Semtex.
He was speaking for me!
Look back in history, good polite men were never invited back to the negotiating table.
Gloves off!
It's a pity that only 20% of us actually care enough to do anything about it.
But it's not about self flagellation - beating ourselves up about credit poxy card machines and shirt'n'ties, ffs! It's about PRICE! And without proper regulation from TfL, and proper enforcement from the Met, we cannot compete.
Too many cowards are asking if we should drop our prices or do away with the 3 tarriff. Are they mad? We'd be working longer and harder for less, and still couldn't compete with ISIS Cars.
And I bet most of those screamers, ready to bend over and take a large portion of Etonian sausage, don't do anything proactive, like demonstrate.
I will fight this regime of Greedy Bullybastards to the very end. They will never be out of my crosshairs.

Anonymous said...

Len, I trust you are as fit as usual and keeping well mate. Thanks for your'e sentiments. It must be our mutual Bermondsey blood that keeps us in united flow !
Hope to catch up with you soon buddy.
Be lucky Len, and God bless.

T.Beaven said...

I agree the time has come for a proper demonstration all we need is 500 cabs lights on and blockade or promenade just cause chaos legally, and most importantly without warning!

Anonymous said...

just read "the badge" a paper of some mob who purport to represent taxi drivers,evidently we were wrong to protest and upset the good people of london.we are being forced to compete in an unfair playing field,can you get a wheelchair accessible taxi from uber?cause not who in their right mind would pay nearly £40,000 when you can buy a minicab at a third of the price with pro rata running costs.we provide a SERVICE and are not a buisness who dosen,t pay tax here.

Anonymous said...

won,t take a credit card?i rent a cab and had a verifone credit card reader installed.the charges were 10% here we are in a fight to the death and these parasites want 10% of every fare paid by credit card,so if i am one of the dinousaurs because i only take cash [although i always say i can stop at a cashpoint} so be it.