Saturday, May 02, 2015
Friday, May 01, 2015
Activists argue Mr Johnson cannot legally sit in the House of Commons while being London mayor
Campaigners calling for Boris Johnson to be sacked plan to file a High Court challenge if he's elected into parliament.
Activists have launched an online petition arguing that Mr Johnson cannot legally become an MP while heading the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime (MOPAC).
The MOPAC position, which London mayors now automatically assume, is the capital's equivalent of a Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) elsewhere in England and Wales, as stated on the Greater London Authority (GLA) website.
Under section 67 of the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act 2011 (PRSRA), a person becomes disqualified from being a PCC upon being elected into the House of Commons.
However, this rule does not apply for the head of the MOPAC.
An Electoral Commission spokesperson said: “There is no disqualification from being the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime (which is synonymous with being the mayor of London) and an MP.”
The petitioners believe this is an anomaly that needs challenging and have sought legal advice from experts at Kings View Chambers, in King's Cross.
Joint head of chambers Stephen McCaffrey said: “If the principle is right that someone holding the office of Police and Crime Commissioner is disqualified from holding the office of MP, why is there no such similar provision for the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime?
“The law as it currently stands is entirely arbitrary and in my view inconsistent.”
He added: “Whilst ultimately it is a matter for the people and their representatives whether they want this anomaly to remain, there is a proper basis for this statutory inconsistency to be reviewed in the High Court or beyond.”
If a judge agrees with the petitioners' analysis, this could be used to put pressure on parliament to change existing legislation, such that a London mayor could no longer also be an MP.
Mr McCaffrey, who said his firm would represent the petitioners in court if asked, said he believed it was "highly likely" the High Court would agree with the campaigners' position.
He added: “No one seems to be disagreeing that the mayor's office seems to be not included as a disqualification for running for MP.
"Ken Livingstone did the same thing, so clearly no one's disagreeing.
"The question is whether parliament wants to stand by that and confirm it as an anomaly that they want and explain it, or whether someone wants to review it because it was either unintended or they've decided now that it's not an anomaly that they want.”
The petition had gathered 470 signatures by 10am on Thursday (April 30).
It is being supported by the organisations Occupy Democracy, The People's Assembly, People Before Profit, Climate Revolution, Cabbies Against Boris, Campaign for Air Pollution Public Inquiry and Justice Now – a website headed by independent rival election candidate Michael Doherty.
The petitioners are calling for Mr Johnson to either stand down as London mayor or withdraw his application as a prospective parliamentary candidate for Uxbridge and South Ruislip ahead of the General Election.
Dave Davies, one of the organisers of the #sackboris campaign, said: “The rules are in place to prevent someone in public office having an unfair and improper advantage as a result of holding that public office.
“Boris Johnson has had a clear and unfair improper advantage in his election campaign because he is mayor of London.
“A High Court ruling will expose his disregard for the principal of the disqualification rules and it is hoped that action would then be taken so that he is no longer able to hold public office as an MP or mayor at the same time.”
The first PCCs were elected in 2012, responsible for holding police forces to account, setting out budgets and communicating with local communities.
The MOPAC was created under the same legislation and so no London mayor heading the body has ever served simultaneously as an MP.
Ken Livingstone served as MP for Brent East while also being London mayor, but this was before the MOPAC existed.
A spokesperson for the MOPAC said: “There is no police and crime commissioner for London.
"The Mayor’s Office for Policing And Crime is the strategic oversight body for the Metropolitan Police Service.
“The legislation surrounding MOPAC is unique, and restrictions on PCCs explicitly only apply to them. They do not apply to MOPAC or the mayor of London.”
Thursday, April 30, 2015
When you download Uber's app and get into a car summoned on demand via a smart phone reservation system, by default you agree to a litany of terms and conditions. When you agree to these very stringent terms, you basically sign your life away, consumer advocates say. So then, what happens when a driver hits you on the head with a hammer, as one passenger claims, or fatally knocking down a 6 year old girl?
Uber is a so-called ride-sharing service that puts potential drivers through their own background check so that they can become an impromptu taxi driver using their own car and Uber's tech & taximeter. The truth is- as evidenced by the intelligent girl I spoke with on the radio- people don't know what they're getting into when they get in to an Uber car, nor do they know what they're getting into when they download the app
Uber's terms and conditions are a way for the company to absolve itself of any liability in cases of injury or accident and to avoid responsibility for a driver's actions. It completely covers themselves by saying they are not responsible for anything that happens to you, the consumer. You can be raped, you can be abused, in fact, you can be murdered, and it's categorically not Uber’s responsibility.
When asked about the protections Uber offers passengers, a spokesperson refers to it’s webpage on safety. Uber PR herald the service as being ultra-safe. However, Uber's statements on safety are antithetical to its terms and conditions. In fact, It's so duplicitous that it should be considered fraudulent. They do not in any way seek to warrant that their product is safe. They put it right there in unambiguous terminology
The fine print of Uber terms clearly says that “passengers accept a risk by using the service. You understand, therefore, that by using the application and the service, you may be exposed to transportation that is potentially dangerous, offensive, harmful to minors, unsafe or otherwise objectionable," Uber's terms and conditions read, "and that you use the application and the service at your own risk."
What is of upmost importance to me is that TfL refer Private Hire impropriety back to the PH Operator. Absurd in itself. But, considering TFL have granted Uber a private hire operators license, and considering Uber make it blatantly clear that they accept no liability whatsoever for the driver’s behaviour, then who is responsible? Conclusively, they can only be regarded as a Public Hire service. So, compliance is a matter for arbitrament re: the ‘Conditions of Fitness’
Wednesday, April 29, 2015
RMT hits back at "Gestapo" jibe as Peter Hendy is forced to apologise for calling services "sh*t".
General Secretary Mick Cash said
"Sir Peter Hendy's expletive driven comments were clearly a cynical attempt to drag commuter rail services into the TFL operation at a time when his own cuts programme has reduced the tube services he is responsible for to chaos on a regular basis.
"Train crew staff were also disgusted that Sir Peter Hendy described them as "Gestapo". We are still waiting for an apology for that outrageous slur.
"The fact is that it is privatisation and profiteering that has wrecked our train services and the transport commissioner should recognise that hard truth before he resorts to chucking insults at RMT members. "
News Extra: ITV News.
Funny though, Sir Peter never mention the word Gestapo in his apology. He made a good point saying Passion is no excuse for insult. Let's hope he remembers this, next time he attends City Hall inquiry.
So, it's a case of don't do as I do, do as I say.
Hendy, the man who appeared to be greatly offended, when at City Hall he inferred he was being referred to as corrupt by "a few bad Taxi drivers", has hypocritically referred to Train Workers as "Gestapo".
Although Hendy apologised for calling the train service Sh*t, the offended workers are still waiting for an apology over this outrageous slur.
Hendy who was outed last year over the adulterous use of an online prostitute. After news paper articles about the affair, Hendy appeared on the Nick Ferrari LBC radio show, where he stated he was "no ones moral compass". This latest outburst would add credence to that statement.
In a joint venture, both Taxi and Private Hire drivers will shortly be calling for Hendy's resignation, after allegations that the TfL transport commissioner has failed to protect the public from services that do not conform to Taxi and Private Hire regulation.
There have been more demonstrations by Taxi drivers since Hendy took over as commisioner in charge of Taxis Licensing, than in the previous 335 years of the Hackney Carriage Charter.
Tuesday, April 28, 2015
A minicab driver who has been living in northwest London for the past eight years was “directly involved” in making a bomb which killed a American sergeant on patrol in Iraq in 2007, a court was told.
Anis Abid Sardar, 38, from Wembley, is accused of the murder of Sergeant First Class Randy Johnson, who was killed while on duty in Iraq in September 2007.
Mr Sardar was said to be “directly involved in making bombs for use in Iraq during 2007” but was probably based across the border in Damascus in Syria.
Prosecutors claim that Sardar made several bombs before his return to the UK in November 2007. His passport on arrival at Heathrow airport on November 22 showed he had passed through Damascus Airport three days earlier.
Earlier, he had contacted the British embassy in Damascus to seek a new British passport as he claimed he had lost his original one.
Sardar said he had travelled to Syria to learn Arabic. When his home in North London was searched by police before his arrest last September, they found books suggesting an 'advanced understanding of Arabic' as well as an Arabic language bomb-making manual.
Opening his case at Woolwich Crown Court, prosecutor Max Hill said: 'This is an unusual trial, in that almost all of the evidence you will hear and see comes from Iraq.
'The offences, we say, are the most serious imaginable, and the British link is the fact that the defendant, a British citizen, lives and works here.
For that reason, it is lawful to place him on trial in London, even though the activities you will hear about too place far away in Iraq'.
Read full article here : >Click Here<
The abolition of Rate 2, Rate 3 after midnight only and low fixed fares to LAP.
So instead of campaigning to rid the streets of pirates whose cost base we could never compete with and whose business models are propped up by Tax Credits and Housing Benefit and non domiciled operators.
It has been decided without consulting any of the subscription paying membership that the race to the bottom is the way to go.
TfL will soon be expecting us to find somewhere North of 50K for a ULEZ compliant cab that will no doubt be advertised in their trade rag!
Well in the sprit of the headline, transparency and yes good old fair play, these people need to declare their interests as follows:
1. How much they are paid either in salary or stand down pay from their involvement in cab trade matters?
2. If they enjoy free or favourable rates for cab rental, insurance or service work?
3. Any other benefits such as health care, income protection etc?
Anyone who decides on my behalf to volunteer to reduce me and my families pay rate had better be squeaky clean on each and every item and be prepared to publicly publish audited figures.
After all that's what my Taximeter does, not a penny more or less, no doubt these 'Chuck away Charlie's' will be reducing their organisations subs, stand down pay and of course getting us reduced insurance, road tax, cab rental to soften the blow they are advocating.
After all Fares Fair!
Don't hold your breath.
Monday, April 27, 2015
Montreal's taxi bureau is ramping up its fight against UberX, the car-sharing app which allows drivers without a taxi licence to offer rides in the city.
Alain Rochon, general manager of the Montreal taxi bureau, said his association has seized 40 vehicles used by UberX drivers since mid-February with the help of Montreal police.
- Two Montreal UberX drivers fined and have cars impounded
- Uber warning issued by Canada's insurance industry
- UberX illegal, says Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre
"UberX is illegal and it's being monitored by the Montreal Taxi bureau," Rochon said Monday.
"For the past few weeks, we've been intervening."
Mayor Denis Coderre and the Quebec government have called the service illegal.
But UberX continues to operate in Montreal, and company officials say they intend to fight every vehicle seizure in court.
The introduction of UberX to Montreal has been a hotly debated topic at the municipal and provincial level, with cab drivers arguing the service is compromising their ability to make a living.
The company has asked the province to make clear rules about car sharing.
Seizures a waste of money, Uber says
Jean-Nicolas Guillemette of Uber Quebec said the vehicle seizures are a waste of time taxpayer money.
"What is happening is you have bylaw officers from the taxi bureau who have to call a police officer," Guillemette said.
"It takes time and it costs a lot of taxpayers money trying to fight it."
He said the company plans to continue to meet with elected officials to find common ground.
"I think Montreal and the taxi bureau will benefit by sitting down with us and creating a new regulatory framework, making sure we offer what the population wants."
Quebec Transport Minister Robert Poëti said the government is open to an agreement with Uber, which uses licensed taxi drivers, but not the UberX service, which doesn't require a taxi licence.
"With UberX, it's totally illegal right now and when you do something illegal in front of the law, you could have a few problems and seizing the car is one of the possibilities," Poëti said.
Uber says its UberX service costs users between 20 and 30 per cent less than a standard cab fare.
The company takes 20 per cent of the fare, leaving the rest to the driver.
Users' credit cards are automatically charged through the app — tip included — meaning no cash exchanges hands.
Such trips are not eligible under the insurance plans that cover licensed taxi rides, and opponents describe this as only one among many safety risks associated with the practice.
Uber, in turn, argues that developing a mobile app that lets customers hail nearby cars makes it a technology company rather than a transportation firm