Saturday, December 19, 2015

Letters To The Editor : ITV Tonight's The Secret Of The Taxi Wars

       Image taken from ITV News Website.

Dear Taxi Leaks

Some Cab drivers are saying ITV's Jonathan Maitland  got the message across to the general public; let's have a closer look at his carefully put together message:

Uber are involved in tax avoidance.

Uber drivers are obtaining the incorrect insurance and consequently putting the general public at risk by driving with void policies.

Uber drivers are being exploited with low pay.

Jonathan Maitland explained quite clearly the differences between Private Hire and Licensed Taxis. He clearly understands what a PH driver is permitted to do and not to do. ie, plying for hire, touting, ranking etc. 

It was quite deliberate that he omitted ALL of the damaging facts and statistics regarding:

Inadequate Background checks.

Sexual innuendo/ Rape, violent racist motivated attack of a lone female, religious bigotry, terrorist motivated attacks.

Customers thrown out and abandoned in the middle of nowhere.

The atrocious standard of operation of a motor vehicles driven by Uber partners.

The fact that many Uber drivers are intentionally and willfully signing off and back onto the Uber platform to cause price surging to be implemented.

Many Uber drivers speak English to a very low standard. The Uber driver in the program was carefully selected because of his clean appearance and the fact that could speak perfect English !

Uber drivers allegedly sharing their vehicles with unlicensed individuals. There are many instances on social media claiming the driver that turned up for the ride, clearly wasn't the driver on the driver app profile!

Hacked accounts and the plethora of complaints on social media claiming claiming Uber customer service is non existent (Anthea Turner). 

Now let's look at Jonathan Maitland's subliminal message - the real message:

London Taxi drivers are paranoid about Uber; they are internet trolls involved in a propaganda smear campaign against Uber using Twitter/ social media and the #beenubered.

Maitland, throughout the broadcast referred to Uber/PH drivers and cars as... Cab drivers and Taxis, OVER and OVER again

In my opinion this was deliberate and designed to send a subliminal message that PH and Uber are Taxis !

Secondly, WHY did the ITV decide to air this program seven day before Christmas?

In my opinion this program was a carefully crafted piece of propaganda by ITV to promote Uber as a victim of the London Taxi Trade.


            Watch complete program here:



Taxi Leaks Reader's Comment:


Since the 80's, this is the most disastrous Christmas working period I have ever known. I consider it's now been reduced to the point of temptation - i.e to take a chance on work you previously wouldn't touch with a barge pole. 

For example; the day long drinker & once a year brigade who can't hold their booze - that are numerous at this time of year! I won't risk it but then again, I don't have a young family. Some younger drivers have to take the risk, as they are really strapped up, particularly at this time of the year.

We really have been let down by everyone, during this ever increasing period of reduced work. 

Trade bodies, governing authorities and many drivers who have sat back and let others protest, whilst they continue working - if they don't help out soon there will be no work! 

(Although, I did see a comment by a driver on social media, that we could be in danger of exaggerating our situation, as apparently, this persons income has progressively increased over a 30 month period - I can only assume he/she started off by doing a 30 minute day and was increased by a minute each day, every shift, over this period - or it's the eighth wonder of the world. However, then again maybe it's just luck - a lot of it!).  

Let's now face it - unless we all collectively find a solution, very soon, to our problems and all support one another it's 'goodnight Vienna'! All this talk of the public love us and we're an icon, etc, etc, won't save us and although we do have a lot of support it is mainly associated to our older clientele. 

Unfortunately, I think a lot of the younger population would get in a dustcart, if they thought it was cheaper than us and readily available. The problem is that in their world it is the fast & cheap service they require. This is the click of a button environment, that has been exploited by you know who, associated to weak regulation. 

Why those who purport to act in our interest never saw this coming I don't know. This coupled with a dire and weak enforcement agency, is the root cause of our problems. 

If and it's a big if, we can ride this out, we need to make sure we all get together as one. 

And ensure we are never attacked in this way again, by hopefully having ONE major body representing us, so we cannot ever be attacked again by the divide and rule brigade. 

We have a lot to contend with; poor regulation, driver apathy, big money conglomerates and to quote an old pre decimal observation. . . The bent as a nine bob note scenario (younger drivers, ask your father to explain - or grandfather:-). Be lucky - as we'll all have to be, come January:-)!


Dear Editor:

I have watched the show on catch-up and thought it leaned in our favour, however using just one local small minicab company, Spotty Cars, (what a terrible name - are they based in acne or something?) did little to show the seriousness of the situation! I think if they had spoken to PH giants like Addison Lee or Green Tomatoes, it would have given more insight into how the minicab-trade has also been let down by TfL. 

Members from the London Assembly were interviewed, but no senior people from TfLTPH regarding how UBER flout the laws whilst TfL have turned a blind eye!

They did however complain how some taxi-drivers use social media, which reflected badly on our trade. They could have also pointed out some of the many tweets from passengers who have been over charged, assaulted, punched in the face whilst being racially abused, women being told they are inappropriately dressed - the list goes on and on!

It was also good that it was pointed out that a race by two people, from the same start and finishing at the same place was won by the taxi 15 minutes before UBER arrived costing little more than £1 extra - in Birmingham where again a race took place, the taxi worked out £5 cheaper due to Uber's surge charging! 

All in all though a good stab at highlighting some of the problems we face, which the media usually always gets wrong! But again Uber were constantly referred to as Taxis and their drivers Cab drivers. 

Dear Taxi_Leaks:

Did any of your readers notice, that at the end of the race, the taxi dropped off at the Euston taxi drop off point.

But the Uber driver was clearly seen to drop off on the zig zags outside Euston! An offence that if witnessed by a police officer would result in a prosicution and three points (minimum) on the drivers licence. 
And not a word about this from either Jonathan or the program makers!!! 

Also, Uber on FaceBook- Bigoted homophobic and the sexually perverse will be able to check out their victims profile on FaceBook. 

Dear Jim :





Anonymous said...

For Gods sake why can't we get some one with a bit of clout who isn't a taxi driver but a legal eagle speaking as our figure head instead of macmanara , uber wouldn't stick a uber driver on as there PR man , for GODs sake we need a silver Fox With a silver tonge in a suit not a bald COCKNEY with Bags under his eyes in a creased up shirt ........ Come on LTDA , we are Dying Out here ... SOS MAYDAY SOS , STOP GIVING OUT FREE MARKS AND SPENSIVE VOUCHERS AND HIRE A HIT MAN ......

Anonymous said...

Work is down 70% down we are just getting the Christmas piss heads who's phones have got flat battery , how can Steve say only 35% down , get our message across , For Gods Sake. ,, Yellow badges might as well work town now put the ids in the Bin as its a big free for all and why should anyone miss out , even Aunty Maud if she's got a car get here in town touting with everyone else , The badge is not worth s Toss any more .

Anonymous said...

Let's face it ... The whole of the London cab trade v mini cabs/private hire us now completely out of control in every possible way

Unless there is a line drawn on the sand, a new regulator appointed with zero tolerance and knowledgeable
Staff to deal then the current situation then it's 'Goodbye'

Anonymous said...

The hashtag #beenubered is a big concern to Uber - a big effort was made to link it to mysogistic cab driver internet trolls. Its obviously something Uber wants to disappear. Clean up your act guys and turn the screw and let the truth be told. Using #beenubered.

Uber has made themselves very identifiable using the Prius, it could be their Achilles heel.
Get those cameras rolling out there
and let the public judge for themselves.

Message to Uber 25,000 eyes are watching you 👀👀👀

Anonymous said...

LTDA definitely need to get rid of Nosferatu and get a team of PR to fight UBER and TFL. Come on spend the millions you have or it'll end up in a charity somewhere as the trade dies.

Anonymous said...

Warning to drivers spending money this Christmas , hold on to your money and have a good talk to your family , January we will have no work and tax bills and mortgages to pay , January will see another 2400 Ubers on our streets and more people downloading the uber app , remember the uber drivers won't have tax bills and are being helped with benefits , and 99 percent of uber drivers are not of the religion that celebrates Christmas so they will be able to lower fares in January having spent no money over Christmas season......... Was that English uber driver who spoke the queens English on that TVs programme an actor or what ,,,

Anonymous said...

I thought Steve Mc looked unengaged and sounded defeated.

He gave an interview to London Taxi Radio where he stated the low turnouts in LTDA elections
are an endorsement on the reasoning that if members wanted change they would vote for it!

Has he seen the ballot paper?

Same old comfortable faces, mortgages paid, stand down rolling in,

Well at least the LTDA's position is clear.

APATHY rules OK!

ditto we assume UNITE & LCDC!

Anonymous said...

To be fair to Mac, it was quite diliberate they zoomed right in on him in an attempt to make him look sinister. And for those that don't know him, he never gets exited, he's quite balanced individual.

Having said that, the LTDA and Steve Mac need to seriously up the anti where Uber are concerned.

This fight can't be won alone - there are cab drivers and organized PH bodies all over the UK that Uber are trying to put out of business. It's time for Mac to move out of his comfort zone the UTG he is part of have individuals that have been dragging the trade down the tubes for years, and we all know who they are !

Now is not the time to play s#*t or bust; now is the time to swallow pride and get organized !

I'm Spartacus said...

I have just listened to the LTR programme and watched Taxiwars again.

In the radio interview I heard Steve defend Bob Oddy and a general bigging up of the LTDA.

Well that's his job and we would expect no less.

The trouble is that no matter what he says, his organisation and the trade are going up against well connected multi national raiders.

What does he (and I don't mean to offend him personally) and anyone else think a headline, or grumbling at Plaestra will achieve? Exactly what it has done against this menace thus far, exactly nothing.

So if it means that Steve Mc, Mick B, Grant D, Len M , Peter R have to sit down with Steve Wright, John Griffin, Steve Garlick to step up to the great challenge, then that is what must happen!

Look at it another way , Mr Putin is not my cup of tea but if his troops are killing those bastards in Syrai, today he's my pal.

Clear and Present Danger folks, get it on.

Sean Day said...

With respect Spartacus, 'going up against' would suggest there is a dynamic, concerted effort sustained against what is happening to the trade. The trouble is, the self invested interest in trying to keep them sitting pretty on the board at TFL has significantly thrawted any clout they might have had. The LTDA do well in isolation, but when it comes to muddying their own waters, they cling to the prevailing standards of the day.

My recent dealings with the LTDA has made me realise, as a trade association, that they are the only one who can affect change from within. Money deals with money and as strange as it seems, The LTDA are corporate. The LCDC is a watered down LTDA, who, perched on the outside would dearly love a position on the inside. And the UGC tries to affect change by galvanising its members.

I don't think BoJo's proposals will change between now and when they're announced on the 20th January no matter what we do, but we damn well need to have something in place if they're not favourable. We also need to Boris' successor that we are NOT without expectation!

Damian said...

Why do so many drivers pay the LTDA? If most of them stopped they'd either change or disappear. Until that happens they'll carry on cashing the cheques and taking the piss out of their members by telling them they are '25 years too late'

simon rush said...

Hi from the other side of the fence as private hire and a driver of over 25 years in he trade.I agree with you that the ITV Programme was a loose with its facts.and clearly was in favour of this disgusting machine called Uber.
It takes advantage of the uneducated and spins its success is if it's a good thing.
Uber pool could have been mentioned at the end and we all know how dangerous this is.January will be a interesting month as drivers have to pay rent on their vehicles whatever work is out there.The pyramid effect Uber have created may start to collapse.
Many of you know what I'm involved in.
Wishing all of you a merry and safe Christmas.

Anonymous said...

I hope the private hire driver Simon has something up his sleeve to combat ubend we may not always get on with each other but as a black cab driver I think maybe next year we and the proper professional ph drivers may need to protest together more often otherwise we will all suffer the same fate which is working slave labour conditions and pay from uber

Anonymous said...

The trade should stand together we all say: We'll have drive ins, we'll all moan. A point we don't look at, The proprietors, The Companies that sell us the Cabs, do these people back us? No. You ain't earning they still want their Pound Notes. What this trade needs is a mass strike, withdraw our services altogether, Green Badge, Yellow Badge, Day, Night, Drivers, Heathrow and City Airport, all take the same Day off, put pickets on Stations, Hotels, and Airports. Before you say it that plays into Ubers hand. Uber have a surcharge for busy periods imagine London Bridge to Bishopsgate £20.00p, the punters would go mad.

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