Friday, September 18, 2015
Did Boris Johnson collude with Tory AM Tony Arbour to shut down the Mayors Questions for which he had no answers?
Live questions are much harder to spin or avoid than written answers.
James O’Brien astutely noticed the very deliberate way in which Johnson said ' Luddittes' in the London Assembly, as if he was deliberately intending to provoke the reaction that he did.
However did people also notice how quickly Tony Arbour the Tory Deputy Chair stopped the meeting?
The taxi drivers in the audience had barely made any disruption before the Luddite comment and even when it was made the noise was no different to that which we see in the house of Commons every week.
If you watch the clip again you will see that Arbour's reaction almost seems pre-meditated ; the way in which he says' Get these people out of here' which could have easily been followed with 'Off with their heads' was very telling
His comments afterwards confirm that he was completely biased against the taxi drivers.
He made false statements including that there was a riot and some of which are still showing on the GLA website claiming that staff were punched and one member of staff was 'knocked out'.
(This person actually fell over)
His false statement has not been challenged by anyone and clearly demonstrates the improper action of Johnson and his cronies
Statement from Tony Arbour AM, Deputy Chairman of the London Assembly
16 September 2015
“Today’s disruption at Mayor’s Question Time was unnecessary and unfortunate.
Several members of the City Hall security team were punched, pushed and verbally abused. One was knocked unconscious and taken to hospital. Our understanding is that his condition is now stable and we wish him well soon.
As a result of interruptions from the public gallery, the democratic process was halted and the Mayor and Assembly Members were moved from the Chamber to continue business in another location.
The Assembly is fully aware of the depth of feeling within the licensed taxi industry – but this kind of disruption is unhelpful to the fight for their livelihoods.
The Transport Committee’s cross-party report into the taxi and private hire industries - ‘Future Proof’ made a number of recommendations to the Mayor and Transport for London and we look forward to their implementation.
In the meantime, attending City Hall meetings to watch London government in action is encouraged – but verbal and physical attacks are not.”
This false statement from the Deputy Chair of the Assembly shows the importance of making sure that proper and effective Press Statements are given so that there is at least a possibility balanced view in the media.
The upcoming UCG protests provide an excellent opportunity to get the message out there;
This opportunity will be missed unless the UCG hold a proper Press Conference and get the clear message across to the media that Taxi Drivers are protesting against the utter corruption of Boris Johnson and TFL
Extra Comment From Sean Day
Thursday, September 17, 2015
The very fact that people's lives are being financially and emotionally disrupted with no definite end in sight, and the idea that the monthly faux scrutiny held at the GLA couldn't possibly be disrupted in the slightest, goes to show how detached our bureaucrats become once they move into the glass testicle.
Wednesday, September 16, 2015
2) Cessation of e-hailing through structured clear defined policy introducing mandatory time lag between hail and dispatch
3) Strong and effective on street enforcement by warranted TFL Enforcement officers
4) Abolition of Satellite Offices
5) Bob Oddy's position on the TfL transport committee to be subject to a trade nominated and elected candidate
6) Hire and Reward insurance to be in place when any vehicle is licensed by TFL or inspected by NSL .
Tuesday, September 15, 2015
If you have the time, please watch today's Westminster debate on the future of London's Taxi and Private Hire trades.
If you'd prefer to read the transcript
The debate appeared to go well with glowing support for Zac Goldsmith' speech from David Lammy, Sadiq Khan, Charles Walker Andrew Rosindell and Victoria Borwick.
Tory MP for the most affected parts of Central London Mark Field (Cities of London and Westminster) played Devils advocate with the expected;
Its technological change, it's what the public want and would banning uber and rickshaws be detrimental to customer choice?
but then left before the end of the debate.
Without efforts to balance the playing field the capital will lose its "iconic" black cabs, Tory MP and London mayor hopeful Zac Goldsmith has warned.
Mr Goldsmith said London's taxis were famous around the world and remained an "absolutely vital" part of the capital's transport system.
The MP for Richmond Park called for "more clarity in the regulatory system" as he voiced concerns that black cabs would be "extinct in a matter of years" without action.
Labour's chosen mayoral candidate Sadiq Khan argued that both TfL and the Government had failed to enforce existing legislation, but also failed to provide new regulations to ensure new entrants to the market operated fairly.
He said: "Rather than a race to the bottom in deregulating the black cab, shouldn't there be innovation of regulation of the private hire vehicles and Uber in particular to make sure there is a level playing field?"
Mr Khan, MP for Tooting, warned the rise in numbers of private hire vehicles in London would lead to problems of further congestion, pollution, illegal parking and "the death of the black cab as we know it".
He urged the Government to bring forward legislation which provided a clear definition to protect the distinction between taxis and private hire vehicles.
He said: "It's really important that the minister responds, it's really important the current mayor responds because if they don't the next mayor will."
Mr Goldsmith said costs were piled onto black cabs by regulation and they were the most regulated taxis in the world by far, while standards among private hire vehicles needed to be raised.
He said: "I think nothing personally of depositing any one of my children in a black cab at any time knowing absolutely that they'd be safe. And it's hard to put a number on all that, but it is worth something and the tragedy is that their days could well be numbered.
"If trends continue I don't think there's any doubt that they will be extinct in a matter of years."
The Tory MP and environmental campaigner said black cabs could ply for hire, wait at ranks, had fares and stringent service standards set by TfL, while private hire vehicles had to be pre-booked, could not legally ply for hire, did not have fares set by TfL, or pass The Knowledge.
He said: "The emergence of Uber has turned the system on its head, because of the speed of the Uber App their cars are effectively hailed by users...The one key advantage enjoyed by black cabs has simply evaporated."
Black cabs, Mr Goldsmith said, should be helped to switch to contactless payment systems, adding there was a case for subsidising the process. He added they were already adapting fast so from 2018 all new black cabs would be zero emission capable.
He said: "I think we do need to try to find a way to maintain the two tier system that distinguishes between cabs and taxis," adding: "I absolutely do not want to deny people the choice that they clearly want and need in London so there's no question of banning Uber, but I do think there is a need to have more clarity in the regulatory system."
Mr Goldsmith said: "It is (an) unarguable fact in my view that without efforts to balance the playing field we will lose the black cab in London, and London I have no doubt will be a lot poorer for it."
Transport Minister Andrew Jones said black cabs were the "gold standard" right across the world.
Responding to Mr Goldsmith's Westminster Hall debate on the future of black cabs in London, Mr Jones said that currently there was no legislation in London or anywhere else which allowed the number of private hire vehicles to be limited.
Officials, he said, were working closely with TfL, adding: "I think we need to look at this issue and develop the evidence required to consider whether... legislation needs to change."
New technology, he noted, was challenging traditional operating boundaries between the taxi and private hire trades and was "straining the relationship" between TfL and the industry.
He said: "The Government is fully aware of changes and challenges that are affecting the taxi and private hire vehicle industry in London and elsewhere within the country."
Mr Jones added he could not yet give a date for when the Government would be responding to the Law Commission 's report on the issue, but added the work had been "extremely powerful".
He was awarded an MBE in 2012 for Services to Policing.