Thursday, May 12, 2016

The Fall Of The Hackney Carriage Empire.... By Jim Thomas


Over the last 12 months there has been a significant amount of Chinese whispers surgically placed on all forms of social media. Multiple fake accounts on Twitter have launched into smear campaigns to discredit those strong of character who stood up against the so called big boys.

Rumour, of a coming together of the tribal chiefs, eluding to the strong possibility of full trade unity, is currently flavour of the day.

For many years the trade has been decimated by empire building individuals, who have built themselves ivory towers, while at the same time offering little to the trade in return.

The Taxi industry is in such a disastrous state, drivers are now desperate for any form of action which could possibly put the trade back on track, after being pushed off the rails by a certain newcomer to the market place.

But is full trade unity, truly the answer ?

Let's look back in history at one of the most successful unions of all time. Democratic and seemingly invincible, the Roman Empire stood solid for almost two millennia. Being a Roman citizen was not forced upon the populous, you could be born a Roman, you could work to achieve citizenship, or you could win your freedom by fight or favour....or you could carry on being a slave.

In 212 AD, all that changed when emperor Caracalla went against the wishes of the senate and decided to make everyone living within the confines of the empire a Roman citizen. Virtually overnight, there was an extra 30 million citizens. 

Needless to say, when all became equal, they soon found new ways to divide and "exclude", sounds familiar !

Within a mere couple of centuries, the fall of the Great Roman Empire became inevitable.

So what can we learn from history ?
Having made the same mistakes over and over again....probably nothing !

If all trade orgs were suddenly made equal, would certain orgs still strive to become more equal than others?

Our trade representation appears to be all over the place. 
In the news;
 • The UCG are raising money for a plan B
 • The LTDA are about to announce a plan B (anyone remember plan A)
 • The LCDC are concerntrating on the Ubergate emails
 • The RMT appear to be still working on their singular plan A       
 • Unite, for no apparent reason, seem to have left the field of play all together.

Looking back over the our colourful 350 years of history, we've never seen true trade unity. 

Even when we had just the one union, we still managed to form little rebellious groups which exclude others. 
Anazingly, with all the division we've made for ourselfs, we're still in the ring punching above our weight....for now !

Left to their own devices, it looks like our orgs will never make the move to total unity, so it falls on the shoulders of the rank and file, to clear the shelves of old stock and deadwood. We need to stop letting dinosaurs, who should have retired long ago, drag us down by woeful misrepresentation.

Perhaps the time has come for an umbrella group.
A pseudo Senate, who could make policy and negotiate with our licensing authority on behalf of the whole trade, not just a proportion of, without third party influence, or conflict of interests.

Because let's face it, what we have now....isn't working.