Earlier this week I posted about Ron Kalifa, TFL director who's company Worldpay were advertising £16 off the first Uber journey from the Worldpay Benefits Club. So, not only is this man responsible for our credit card nightmare but his company is obviously being paid to advertise our illegally licensed competitor, not content with that, he also has an input in our regulation.
Since then a video of a meeting between the London Assembly and Tom Kearney has surfaced in which a culture of complete and total disregard for public safety is revealed as the norm within TFL and London's bus network.
Chairing the meeting was Caroline Pidgeon who was joined by Kieth Prince, Transport Committee,
David Kurten, Transport Committee and Caroline Russell, Transport Committee.
Tom Kearney has become a prolific safety campaigner since he recovered from injuries received in a horrific accident involving a bus in December 2009 on Oxford Street.
He punctured both his lungs and was in a coma.
The meeting took place on 28th February 2017 and Tom began by revealing that TFL doesn't have a bus operators license, which given the fact Leon Daniels and Garret Emerson are directors of London Buses LTD and London Bus Services LTD, I found that quite strange. However, it makes perfect business sense given the bus safety record as TFL cannot be held responsible or liable for damage or injury in cases of accidents, crashes or serious incidents along with negating the need to take responsibility for driver's actions. Knowing how sneaky and devious they are I would imagine this arrangement to be by design.
He goes on to say that the Bus Benchmark Group compared TFL with 15 other world city authorities and rated London 11th in the accident category from 2007-14. It seems TFL have created a culture of excessive speed and corner-cutting in the bus network in order to reach timetable targets which has resulted in a callous disregard for public safety.
If drivers fail to meet the targets set or are consistently late they simply lose there jobs, this unbearable stress creates the obvious incentive to take dangerous chances on London's streets and speed through junctions to make up time lost in traffic, sometimes with dire consequences.
This ridiculous pressure is created by TFL managers who pressure the bus operators who in turn pressurise the bus drivers. The reason for it is financial, TFL managers are on a promise of huge bonuses on production of bus performance.
It's simple, if the buses perform well and meet all the targets, Daniels and Co are hugely rewarded financially.
The downside of this neat little arrangement is that although TFL claim London's Bus network is one of the safest in the world, someone is killed or seriously injured roughly every 2 days involving a bus. Figures show that 180 people have been victims of bus accidents since 2014.
The fact that during driver training the drivers are told to expect to crash sooner or later as a casual acceptance of fact is testament to TFLs attitude to public safety. Even the investigations into an average of 68 collisions per day are carried out by their own insurers guaranteeing a win-win situation.
I now fully understand why Bank Junction is so important to them, especially when bus revenue has reportedly dipped due to traffic congestion. It's no wonder they want us out of that junction, we're costing them money, threatening their bonuses so they latch on to the safety argument and pump in £250k to safeguard payday.
TFL have created a superb environment to make huge amounts of money whilst absolving themselves of any responsibility to public safety, yet proclaim it's their utmost concern.
Now apply the same principle to the cab trade.
Why would they want to cap the number of PH?
It doesn't make business sense to do so, £300 per license and 600 licenses per week means £180k every single week.
Why worry about a few accidents, rapes and traffic chaos involving Uber drivers if a fatal bus accident every 2 days doesn't move you to change your ways?
They've created a monster, a culture of reckless endangerment in pursuit of financial reward resulting in the public becoming victims and considered as nothing more than acceptable losses.
Now it all becomes clear.
When George Osborne was sacked we thought we'd seen and heard the last of him. He had huge input in Uber coming here along with Bojo and Cameron. He's recently joined Blackrock fund managers in a lucrative six figure advisory role, but remains an MP. He's obviously registered this appointment with the register of interests but I wonder if he's mentioned that Blackrock have invested in Uber?
Presumably on his advice.
As an MP who's sworn an oath of allegiance to the crown and having previously served as chancellor, a relationship with an American investment fund who've invested in an American transport company which has decimated a British icon and industry would surely constitute a conflict of interest.
Blackrock have also invested in Geely to the tune of 6,163,931 shares at 10.70 per share amounting to just shy of £66m. Seeing as Osborne flew to China personally to broker trade deals when chancellor, I'd say he was well placed to predict the future of our industry and perhaps we're seeing the master plan entering its final stage.
Geely have invested £250m in a facility outside Coventry in order to build the new TX5 electric/hybrid taxi. A welcome boost for the area with 1000 jobs created. TFL welcomed the deal as Bojo decided after 2018 all new taxis had to be zero emissions to help make London a "greener city".
In March 2016, Geely announced a deal to expand the business and supply 1000 new TX5 taxis to Australia and New Zealand over the next five years.
In May 2016 the Australian government deregulated the taxi industry and legalised Uber in an attempt to create a level playing field. Uber have devastated the Australian taxi industry.
Think about it, is it me or is there a trend here?
TFL have no intention of changing their ways, it doesn't pay them to. They'll do everything they can to scupper any attempt we make to fight them. They have enormous backing from government with members of the previous administration having paved the way for an extremely aggressive business plan, giving them carte blanche to do whatever they want.
Geely announce a deal to invest in the London Cab Trade.
A former chancellor joins Blackrock, Blackrock invest in Uber and Geely.
Geely expand into Australia and shortly after the Australian government deregulate the taxi trade.
Does anything sound scary about that paragraph?
The writing's on the wall.
We're told by our orgs that we have to wait until Uber is granted the second license to go for a judicial review.
The barrister that said that can afford to wait, I can't, we can't. It's obvious to me a plan to remove us from London's landscape has been in place for years.
Osborne's Blackrock investment in Uber and Geely confirm my suspicions that the intention is to replace us with robots who conform to every authoritarian whim without question.
Why bother supplying 25k Hackney carriage drivers with cabs when hundreds of thousands of prospective customers exist?
All it takes is deregulation, the gateway to unimaginable riches opens at the cost of the few, a small price for a people to pay.
We don't have the luxury of time.
When the demos restart, and they will, please be ready to fix bayonets and fight.
I'd like to think I've proven in this post that it is all about the money, nothing else matters to these rats. The only sure way to inflict maximum damage and pain on them is by a complete, total shut down of London. I hope I've proved that buses are essential to TFL and that any disruption to the schedule impacts greatly on their bonus and public safety.
So if direct action is to be successful it has to be concentrated on the most important part of TFL, which is anywhere a bus goes.
Our achliies heel is we haven't struck fear into TFL, they need to crap themselves at the thought of the cab trade and until that's achieved, we will achieve nothing. For that to happen we need to be decisive and relentless, proactive not reactive.
Ask yourself one question:
Can you see yourself being able to pay for your daughter's wedding in five years time given our current situation?
If not, you need to wake up and smell the coffee and stand ready to fight your corner when the call comes.
Nobody is going to help us, the legal route will take too long.
Please think about this year as being the most important year of your working life because it is.
Don't waste your time hoping other people will save your trade for you because those days have gone.
Stand up and be counted.