It is vital that we win over politicians to our cause if the taxi and minicab trade in London is to be properly regulated.
Yet whenever the LTDA does something with politicians to gain their support and raise the trades profile politically, many of those we are trying to win over suffer abuse from cabbies via twitter or other social media. It should not come as a surprise that this behaviour is not helping and that our enemies are using many of these tweets and comments to portray us as racist, xenophobes fighting competition.
Nothing is further from the truth; we are a forward thinking dynamic industry that is keen to embrace change and technology but one that is restrained within the confines of an archaic licensing infrastructure whilst our competitors are allowed to operate virtually unregulated.
Social media can be a powerful tool and I would encourage as many members as possible to use it, but to bear in mind that our competitor's powerful PR and lobbying machine will be looking at ways to exploit everything you post.
This was evident in the recent ITV documentary 'Taxi Wars' where Uber managed to squeeze alleged tweets from taxi drivers into an otherwise truthful and damaging documentary about their activities and lobbyists, fortunately on this occasion I was able to dismiss the argument. The documentary can be viewed below:
This message was sent to us by a member of the LTDA, wise words indeed.
Steve McNamara asks to trade to stick together! But the LTDA has a lot to answer for, with the exclusion of minor trade orgs such as the RMT and the UCG from meaningful negotiations for over 5 years, efectivly dividing the trade.
It hasn't gone unnoticed that since Bob's taken a more back seat role, Steve has moved the LTDA forward and championed a more open relationship with smaller groups. His personal help with the Mayfair Mob is to be applauded and should be seen as a new hope for a way forward, encouraging drivers from every org to work together.
As 2016 approaches, we must not make the same mistake we make every year, and that's dwelling on the past.
Everyone's made mistakes, but we must learn from these mistakes and move on. We have to use ALL the weapons in our arsenal.
We need a counsel of war, with every org no matter how small involved, working together. Yes it will be hard, yes we've never managed it before, but this is our only hope. We are not going to win anything as a divided trade. Trade leaders should be locked in a room and only let out when they are in agreement. No more hissy fits and storming out.
No one org or union on its own, can win us through. Cometh the hour, cometh the man.
Steve may not be everyone's idea of the trades saviour, but to be honest, I see no one else coming through the ranks, eligible to lead us from the front in this, our hour of need.
Strange words from me, I know! I've been one of the LTDA's harshest critics, probably responsible for the loss of many of their subscribers. But the only way we can reach the light at the end of the tunnel is together as one....there is no plan B.
UNITE OR DIE...it's that simple.
Jim Thomas, editor.