Nobody is or should be, more powerful than the Laws of our Land. That is, it appears, unless you are Uber.
As in all professions, trades and industries in the UK, there are laws, regulations and obligations in place, that we must all adhere to, to prevent abuse and wrong doing.
Law and Enforcement are deployed in most of what we do, when we go about our normal lives. If you go fishing, you need a licence. If you like to shoot, you need a licence. To drive your car, you need a licence. To sell your house, you need to fill legal forms in.
To have a hospital operation, you need to sign consent and liability forms. To divorce your partner, you need to sign legal forms. To park in a supermarket car park, you need to comply with their terms. To get married, you need a licence. To drive either a Hackney Carriage or Private Hire vehicle, you need a licence.
Most of what we all do in our normal day to day living, requires some sort of licensing, permission or other criteria, to enable us to carry out our relevant choices and day to day movements. In all of those licences, legal paperwork, permission criteria etc, there has to be an adequate and realistic Enforcement in place, to ensure that compliance is being adhered to.
Nothing new there. That's how it's always been. That is how it's always been in most democratic lawful countries too.
Most law abiding, God fearing decent people know only too well their professional and moral responsibilities in life, and ensure that they comply with them. Most of us know too, that failure to comply with the rules of life, would invariably see us falling foul with our laws that we are taught to respect, and ending up on the wrong side of them. Penalties for such non-compliance and disregard of the laws of our land can range from a fine to life imprisonment, depending on the severity of the disregard of the perpetrator.
It appears then, that during my 60 years of living, this set of life's rules and the penalties for ignoring them, have always been more or less the same. It is after all, how life and living works, right ?
Well, apparently not now. Not since 2012 when San Francisco mini cab firm Uber arrived, setting up their stall in London.
For it is due to some strange reason, despite Transport For London's Licensing Regulators rigorous application criteria to gain an Operator's Licence, that the firm from LA, have managed to override this. To my analytical mind, this is more than just 'strange'. Something is stinking real bad here. How on earth has this company, who is registered in a foreign country, and pays it's taxes in yet another.........managed to bypass the very foundations and lawful fabric, that ensures compliance and fair play in our United Kingdom ?
You tell me. But one thing is for sure. There have been many efforts from or Trade Orgs, representatives, legal advisers and even London Cabbies themselves, to appeal to Members of Parliament and the Licensing Regulators, Transport For London themselves, to give a valid and credible explanation as to how this could have possibly happened.
And every time I have seen these appeals go out, I have voiced my opinion that they will be valuable time wasted. The tentacles of Uber are extremely penetrative. Uber are like a gas, they are akin to a virus. They get everywhere and it seems that once there, nothing can wipe them out.
I have always said that there isn't an MP in the country, who has the spunk and clout to take this mob on. And I stand by that today.
What on earth could be the reason to allow a foreign company to blast onto our shores and ride over the granite Laws of our Land with a fearless confidence ?
The Germans didn't get away with it, did they ?
Neither did anybody else.
So why the Yankee Minicab Firm ?
I think I know. See if you can guess.
There is much speculation within our Trade Orgs and our colleagues, whether Uber will be successful in their new Operators Licence Application in May.
Folks, don't even give it a second of wasted time in pondering. You bet your life Uber will be re-licensed, and trust me, I know more than I'm letting on. Never will it be such a pleasure and honour to admit I am wrong, if I am. I dream of being wrong about this.
For far too long, our trade have stood back and listened to the cods wallop. Blah, blah, blah, effing blah !
Our Trade Orgs have a lot to answer for. Why didn't we as a United Force see this coming ? Blah, blah, blah effing blah.
Ruse after ruse. Deflection trick after deflection trick. Cabbie's Cabinet, Rules of Engagement, consultations, meetings, promises, deals, blah, blah, blah. Referendums, more meetings, more time.....wasted, consultations, opinions, consultations about the last consultation, tick effing tock, blah blah, yeah yeah, working behind the scenes, fight to the death, they wont take my badge, they will hve to kill me, more blah, more tick, more tock, more bollox from me writing crap about when I was 6. Blah blah, tick tock, time wasted.
So and so MP wants to give us his or hers full loyalty. They can't envisage London without the famous Black Cab. We can, and it's happening, right now. Blah, blah, working quietly for us all. You dont realise how much progress we are making, More bollox, more stories from me about when I was in the army, blah blah, tick tock, anywhere nearer saving our futures..........?
Not one single inch nearer saving our futures. In fact we are in a worse position now, than when John Mason had the reins. Why's that then ?
How come we are in this position ?
Folks, we have blamed everyone. We have blamed John Mason, we have blamed Emmerson, we have blamed Leon Daniels we have blamed Boris, we have blamed Khan, we have blamed Hendy, we have blamed Cameron.
Let's take a good look at us, shall we ?
First of all, let's try and understand that all the aforementioned and many many others, do not actually give a Friar Tuck where mine or your next week's wage comes from.
Please get this first thing ingrained in your heads. It is the first cardinal rule. You must not whatever happens go against the first cardinal rule.
Don't think that by sitting next to and having your photo done with the likes of Tom Watson and other loving carers of our trade, that they are going to help us. Please understand this. They don't give a Friar's mate. They WONT help us at all.
I have to watch myself here, but they wont touch Uber, I'm telling you.
It's no good sending letters to your MP. It's no good pointing out the already in place Laws. They know them. It was they who implemented them. Hear what I'm saying.
THEY WON'T TOUCH UBER.
Uber are invincible. See the Met's current and going sooner than he should Commissioner ? When asked about why Uber are getting away with it, he said us London Cabbies arejust moaners. You see what I'm saying ?
THEY WON'T TOUCH UBER.
Any MP who values their future would be well advised to steer clear of fighting for the London Cab Trade against Uber. If they did, their career would plummet.
THEY WON'T TOUCH UBER.
You would think that the upheaval to the Capital via our Demonstrations in the City would see the BBC's camera teams scrambling for their zoom lens and microphone mufflers, wouldn't you ? Course not.
THEY WON'T TOUCH UBER.
What is the answer then, Semtex ? I anticipate the question.
Folks, there are two certainties here that I will assure you of.
1. Uber WILL be re-licensed.
2. Uber will eventually kill us.
UNLESS. Unless we put up such an enormous and MASSIVE demo for one day only, with a promise of more to come. Not the normal London Cab Demo, but a NATIONAL DEMO IN LONDON, with representation from ALL HACKNEY DRIVERS IN THE UK.
Uber as you know are currently being reported as working on London Licensed TFL Roundels as far up the country as Newcastle and beyond. That's an awful lot of Police Forces and Law Compliance Teams they have upset on the way up to get there, but either minimal or NO enforcement to prevent these viruses proceeding. Again, THEY WON'T TOUCH UBER.
We have a very staunch and loyal ally pool, away from the Big Smoke. Allies that are themselves being starved alive and witnessing a 'leave Uber alone' attitude from the very people who are paid to enforce the Laws of our Land.
For one day only, we need to ask them for their help.
People such as our close friend from up North, Lee Ward would be a marvellous starting contact. Lee is respected in the industry and has the contacts to drum up support for a day of action like this.
A day of lawful demonstration from every Hackney Carriage representation in the country would, I believe, be too much even for the BBC to ignore Uber for.
Thanks to 'every journey matters' TFL, our infrastructure cannot now cope with a bus getting a puncture without causing ten mile tailbacks, let alone a United Trade Demo of these proportions.
Folks, we really MUST change the plan. The cries of 'fight till the death' 'they wont beat me till i'm dead' and the likes are very patriotic, commendable and British.
BUT, we are on the brink now, we really are.
As I said earlier in this piece, there is a very obvious and logical and understandable reason as to why the American Mini Cab firm have had the seas parted for them. Their kid glove treatment and protection of their future is guaranteed. And those same reasons and guarantees will ensure their futures .................and our demise.
If you haven't worked it out yourselves why this nationwide phenomenon is happening , then I'm not going to spell it out for you. I've already lost one house in my life! Without photographic proof we can't prove anything. I was out walking my dogs this morning. I saw a pile of wood pigeon's feathers scattered on a grass embankment. I didn't see the winged raptor strike, but I bet my house on it that that's what took the pigeon. Know what i'm saying ?
This Uber fiasco has gone way too far this time. Mp's, loyalists, Trade Orgs on their own and a few thousand faithful customers won't save us now. We have to do it ourselves en masse, and we need the assistance of the entire UK Taxi Trade behind us.
We must unite, rendezvous, group up, plan our attack and go in with passion, numbers and confidence. Uber have crossed the line in an arrogant display of strength and confidence. Their brags about having friends in high places are blatant and infuriating. They've gone too far by crossing the borders. It's no longer a London problem. It's a National one. And we need some National help.
Blah blah Land is over. It's kill or be killed now.
Be lucky all.