Saturday, September 26, 2015

Letter To Editor : Lack of LUL night service taxi ranks just part of the overall problem.

The request for new ranks to be appointed in the London suburbs was part of the London Suburban Review, so as to increase the availability of taxis in all of the 22 London suburban boroughs, plus the 2 London Suburban extensions.

The London Suburban Review was killed off by the LCDC, LTDA and Unite the Union at the very first meeting, where it was made very clear that they didn’t want any change to the way the cab trade was run at any cost.  

Their spin doctors informed the trade that the London suburban driver wanted to work central London on a full time basis, which was not what had been suggested, but it did manage to achieve the object they needed. All debates with the authorities from there on in will be taxi issues within a 3½ mile radius of Charing Cross and their beloved Heathrow Airport.  

Here you are some 3 years on from the London Suburban Review and the London taxi trade is on its knees, but those who make these decisions on behalf of trade and its workforce are doing very nicely thank you and are answerable to no one but themselves.

TfL are closing the London Underground booking offices left right and centre and these no doubt will be taken up by the local PH operators. Not forgetting that TfL are looking to expand and roll out a 24 hour London Overground network. 

Therefore, it will not just be the London Underground booking offices, but those National Rail stations that TfL are looking to take over in the near future. 

You think CrossRail is your problem. Just wait until London Overground gets a real foothold. 

Les.

 Editorial Comment:


Taking into consideration this letter, together with the article from Val Shawcross, it just backs up what a Taxi Leaks uncovered back in December 2014. 

We said back then that it looked like TfL had an agenda to replace station staff at144 stations with 24 hour minicab satellite offices. Many are all ready in place. Obviously, if there were a Licensed Taxi rank outside the station, selling a licence variation to a minicab company would be a hard sell.

With PH licenses being dished out like sweets, there will be no shortage of drivers offering to work the stations along the night service network. 


Friday, September 25, 2015

Never Was So Much Owed.........by Semtex.

An aspirational and famous speech by Churchill, and perhaps, a little dramatic for this piece. But actually, maybe it's perfectly fitting!

Standing under the UCG's "Totally Failing London" banner at the bank yesterday, shoulder to shoulder with colleagues who really care, left me in a unfamiliar state of mind.
The same old faces, the same concerns, the same commitment...........................but all getting older !

I have been on most of our trade demos, way back since before the Victoria Coach Station one, so many years ago. And even then, it was the same old colleagues, fighting and taking their stance in hope of a better, stronger trade.

To a large extent, we achieved much. The Killer On The Knowledge success, being one that springs to mind. The thing is though, and what makes me really sad is, we could have achieved so so much more.

Since I have been a trade scribe now, which covers a fair few years, I have never commented, denounced, criticised or bad mouthed any of our trade organisations, as I was convinced that they were all trying to win a better working environment for us, albeit with varying ideas. Nothing wrong with that of course. But yesterday, and for the first time ever, I got the mephitic feeling, that maybe there were some strange vibes from within our own ranks, and after sleeping on it, have awoken this morning convinced that there are indeed ! 

For the first time ever, I publicly say that in my opinion, as a working London Taxi Driver and member of all of the organisations in my time..........................I think they have a lot to answer for.

Not just that either. I have always accused TFL and City Hall of dubious and murky goings on within their fabric, but yesterday I came away from the Bank thinking that the very same thing is happening within our own structure too. And that shouldn't be the case......should it ? If there is any truth in that, then it would explain how a group of 25000 professionals, can be in such a weak and professionally perrilous corner !

Not one official backing from any of the "others" was given to the UCG at the Bank. AND  YET, colleagues from all sides turned out in their thousands from every single one of the clubs, organisations, unions, associations and groups ! I don't understand that ! If a driver was happy with their chosen representing trade organisation, then surely he or she would be obliged and indeed, willing to take the stance of the organisation's views on the demo ?  Right ? Well, actually.........No ! They didn't ! 

From where I stood on the front line, I don't think it was just a case of supporting the UCG, but a case of supporting somebody, someone, some thing or some group, who were actually trying to DO SOMETHING to protect their livelihoods !

The banter from our colleagues was one of obvious disenchantment too. I can perfectly understand that. Why are we in this position? I am quite an anorak when it comes to studying various strategies in any form of battle or campaign, and I can confidently tell you, that any progress that our trade has made to either hold on to, or better our lot.......HAS BEEN MADE BY THE FEW!

It is a worrying but accurate fact that colleagues such as the TAG Hit Squads, the Mayfair Mob, The Club Hit Squads and other splinter groups among us, have made more progress and achieved more success than any of our trade representation, some of who hold millions of "fighting fund ?" money !  How on earth can that possibly be ?
I tell you what my opinion is shall I ? 
I think "The Few" succeed because they are resolute and genuine.

I think they succeed because they honestly don't concern themselves with playing at being politician wannabees, they ain't concerned with making enough money from membership subscriptions to prevent them from mushing a cab, and they ain't concerned with carving out an alternate cushy position in "the office" whilst masquerading as a caring colleague. They are out there to do a job...........and they do it incredibly well !

In future, before I go spouting off about Boris, Daniels, Hendy, Emmerson and the rest of that rabble, it wouldn't do us any harm to study some of our own high ranking management first ! I believe there is collusion and betrayal at the very top of our trade, just like at TFL,  that has absolutely no appetite for a safer and more secure playing field for London Taxi Drivers, rather than the longevity and comfort of the obvious gravy train that purports to represent London Taxi Driver members.

Naturally, I wouldn't want my opinion to whitewash the genuine hard working trade reps and club officials who work ridiculous long hours in a GENUINE AND HONEST effort to make progress. But don't let us kid ourselves, they're are some wrong un's flourishing from within our ranks, who have had an astonishing comfortable free ride from our trade, as it sinks slowly but surely into the Suwannee ! 

And I think it is these traitors who are deliberately leading our great London Taxi Trade along a path that will eventually replicate Operation Market Garden!

What was NOT to support yesterday's demo ?  What did the trade org's gain from a demo mutiny ? Of course, I respect the colleagues among us who disagree with the demonstration action, but what alternate assistance do they offer ? Judicial Reviews ? Court Action?  Meetings? Courts? Litigation?  Ministers support ? Yeah yeah, course we will ! Blah blah, bloody blah ! They didn't say what century ! That's the problem isn't it ?

Do you realise how much these specialist litigation briefs charge for all of this representation by the hour ? Who's gonna pay for it ? Ghostbusters? Absolute pie in the sky folks ! It ain't gonna happen that way, and if I'm alive to see TFL and City Hall in court, then lets hope we can re-create the Great Train Robbery with 6 extra coaches to pay for it ! That's all I can say !

Meanwhile, we slip very slowly into extinction. Our once great trade, which has served London, Londoners and the World's travelling public in platinum professionalism and service, reduced to a pile of rubble and merely awaiting our stall in the London Transport Museum !

May I say, that it was an incredible proud part of my life to have fought and stood in hope and staunch resistance in my time on the London Taxi front lines. The calibre of men (and women) who I have met along the way have been an inspiration to me and I am honoured to have them as friends. 

Standing at the Bank Junction yesterday may just have been another battle honour, but as I walked back to my taxi, it dawned on me that not only will we never have complete trade unity, but perhaps it was never there in the first place. My rose coloured glasses have at last lost their lenses !

To my mind and for reasons mentioned above, I can only see the UCG as becoming a stronger and even more respected force out there as time goes on, as our downtrodden colleagues view their alternatives. Len Martin is a good man, and holds the reins in confidence and skill. Perhaps all is not lost, but time is ticking by.

I must say, that the Gold Control Commander and his team from the City Of London Police, were not only incredibly fair up at the Bank yesterday, but professional and refreshingly approachable too. When we can work in democratic and compliant cohesion as we did yesterday, the whole demo has a sharper and better looking edge.

Just before I left my colleagues at the UCG and friends that I have met along my time as a proud one of "The Few", I got genuinely choked up as a roar went up for a lone Knowledge Boy, beeping the horn on his moped as he weaved among the motionless taxis at the Bank.

I know only too well the pride he was feeling. His "today's runs" were pinned to his knowledge board as he waved at the crowds of his future mates standing under the banner.
What is HIS future ? I asked myself. Will he eventually make it ? Will he be one day standing here with us as we still fight on ? Will he have a secure and respected future as a result of the trade representation who "look after" us ? Or will he be doing it all for nothing?

Either way, in mutual respect, I stood my brolly up against the wall by the tube entrance, and joined in the crowd to give our future colleague a standing ovation ! 
He didn't have to be there. He didn't have to care. He didn't even know if he would make the grade eventually. But he came ! He drove to the Bank, he cared and supported the men and women who one day God willing, will be his colleagues in trade.

What more could you ask ? Whoever you were my friend, total respect to you, well done and let's hope we can keep something for you to join us in.

And to the "Few" who know who they are, stand proud my friends, for it is only you who have managed to hold us together thus far!

London Taxi Trade Representation ?  Some of our lot couldn't spell Representation, let alone carry it out !

Never Was So Much Owed...............................

Tick, Tock, Tick, Tock, Tick, Tock, Tick, Tock, Tick........................

8829 Semtex.

Val Shawcross says lack of taxi ranks will “leave passengers stranded”



A lack of taxi ranks could leave passengers stranded when the proposed 24-hour operation of some London Underground routes begins, claims Labour London Assembly Transport spokesman Val Shawcross.

Shawcross says that 72 of the 144 stations on the Night Tube network do not have a taxi rank within 250 metres, and that this could leave passengers “struggling to complete their journey”. The issue is said to be particularly acute in outer London, where two-thirds of Night Tube stations do not have taxi ranks. In inner London 64% of stations have one nearby, as well as more frequent night bus services.

TfL plans to add taxi ranks to 26 Night Tube stations, but Shawcross is calling on London Mayor Boris Johnson to ensure all have a taxi rank within 250 metres.
“With the Night Tube start pushed back to autumn, the Mayor has a chance to put his foot on the accelerator and get this sorted,” she said.

“The Night Tube will only get you so far. People need to know that when they get off the Tube there will be a taxi there to help them finish their journey safely if they want it.”

Bank Junction Bought To A Standstill By Taxi Drivers Protesting Against TFL's Woeful Inadequacies.


Thousands of London's Taxi drivers defied the statement put out by certain trade orgs, that they should not attend any unsanctioned direct action. 


Drivers from ALL TRADE ORGS, fed up with their representative groups inaction, fed up with private hire licenses being dished out like sweets at a rate of 650 a week, turned out in their thousands to support the Bank Junction demonstration.


Many of the drivers who attended yesterday, spoke of their dismay at years of inaction from their respective trade org. 

"Raymond, a Taxi driver of over 30 years said;
I've been in the LTDA, LCDC for most of my time in the trade. I must have paid in thousands of pounds and all I have to show for that is a few diaries".
 
"Along come the Mayfair Mob, employing tactics known as flash demos, have managed to get new ranks and rank extensions outside major night venues and more recently, they've managed to get TfL to move marshals from places where they were not doing much good to these new ranks. I've been told by a founding member of the Mayfair Mob group that Novikov's and the Forge are to get night time marshals. And they haven't even been going six months yet".


David, who has been in the trade for over 45 years said;
I'm a member of a new group called the Save Our Black Taxis Group. It's only been going since March this year and has attracted over 17,000 members. This proves that there is something seriously wrong with our existing trade groups".


Yesterdays demo, which was called by the United Cabbies Group,  was organised after a ballot of all UCG members. A democratic process not undertaken by any other taxi trade group. With an overwhelming 90.2% vote to resume direct action, 6 demos were organised to take place over the a 6 week period. 

      .
  
                             NEXT DEMO
        
                     WITH MORE TO COME !

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Inquiry launched into online platforms and the EU Digital Single Market

The House of Lords EU Internal Market Sub-Committee has launched an inquiry into online platforms in the EU Digital Single Market. The deadline for receipt of written submissions is Friday 16 October 2015.


Online platforms range from marketplaces such as Amazon and eBay, to sharing economy platforms such as Airbnb and Uber, to social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter. With a billion people recently using Facebook in a single day, the extent of our use of online platforms continues to hit new heights. 

Commission's Digital Single Market Strategy 

However, in its recent >Digital Single Market Strategy< the European Commission raised concerns about the growing influence of internet platforms in some online markets, leading it to ask whether new regulation is needed. This inquiry has been launched by the Lords EU Internal Market Sub-Committee in order to feed into this important debate. 

Timeline

The Committee will hold oral evidence sessions for the inquiry from October until December 2015. The Committee plans to publish a report in spring 2016.

Focus of the inquiry

The inquiry will seek evidence about the benefits and problems that online platforms create for consumers and businesses, and ask if online platforms are sufficiently transparent about how they work. The inquiry will consider issues such as data use, market dominance, and relations between platforms and their suppliers, including SMEs. 

In addition, the Committee will consider the wider social and political issues raised by online platforms and ask if the EU online marketplace is good for innovative start-ups to scale up and for new platforms to emerge. 

Topics the Committee will explore include:

  • How should online platforms be defined?
  • What benefits have online platforms brought consumers, businesses that rely on platforms to sell their goods and services, and the wider economy?
  • Do online platforms cause problems and, if so, how they can be addressed?
  • Are the current tools under competition law effective for online platforms?
  • What role do data play in the business model of online platforms? Is current understanding and oversight of their collection and use of data sufficient?
  • Are these issues best dealt with at EU or member state level?

Further information

Is This The App We've All Been Waiting For ?

..


MAGICAL TAXI TOUR TO DISNEYLAND PARIS 2015..... by Sandie Goodwin


This year's Children's Magical Taxi Tour departed from Canary Wharf on 18th September 2015. The countdown ribbon cutting took place after the Big Breakfast Send Off inside the East Wintergarden; this event marks the beginning of the trip and is attended each year attended by a number of the trip’s sponsors and dignitaries. 


The Chairman of the Organising Committee, Phil Davis, is extremely grateful to everyone who helps in making the trip possible, from the larger corporate sponsors all the way through to those making donations through JustGiving via the website.  The Marriot Hotel Canary Wharf provided everyone with packed lunches and the London Taxi Company donated the spending money for the children. Ampersand sponsored the breakfast itself.


This year the ribbon was cut by the Lord Mayor Locum Tenens Alderman Sir David Howard and the Master of The Worshipful Company of Hackney Carriage Drivers, Colin Evans, and then the convoy of almost 100 taxis, around 400 people set off on the trip, taking children with life limiting illnesses on this magical journey.  



The long line of taxis was escorted by City of London Police and the Gendarmerie Nationale, as well as support vehicles, including the AA, medical teams from the hospitals where the children are patients and London Ambulance Service.  Heading off down to Dover, the magical journey had begun. Boarding a P&O ferry to Calais was quick and easy and the ferry trips are donated kindly by P&O. The car deck full of London taxis is quite a surprising sight to fellow travellers on the ferry.


Once in Calais, the convoy reassembles and the journey down towards Paris and the Disneyland resort commences. A fuel stop at the Aire De Repos Assevillers Ouest services gave the opportunity for a taste of the fun to come at Disneyland. As the taxis arrived, a band was playing and characters were on hand to greet the children. With refreshments all laid out ready in welcome, face painting opportunities – not to mention the chance to enjoy some candy floss, everyone was refreshed and ready for the remainder of the journey. 


In recognition of the Award made to the service area for their warm welcome each year, the Worshipful Company of Hackney Carriage Drivers had made an Award last year to the staff at the service area and a short speech was made by Kevin Deneux and Mickael Bruder welcoming everyone once again. The weather on the journey through France was punctuated by some very heavy rain and so it was a welcome sight when the Hotel Cheyenne car park was finally reached a little later than usual. Everyone checked in to their hotel room and then headed of the Chuck Wagon for an evening meal. Then it was time for sleep before a busy day in the Disneyland Park and the Studios.

 


On Saturday morning the children ensured their carers and taxi driver hosts were up bright and early ready to make the most of the day in the resort. Once in the Park the children have fast track passes to ensure they do not have wait in long queues for the rides and experiences. 


Walking round the park and seeing the excitement and delight on the faces of the children it is clear to see how worthwhile this trip is for them. It is a wonderful day away from the rigours of their treatments in the magical environment that Disneyland provokes. As well as a chance for the taxis to take a rest in the car park of the hotel being admired by the guests who wonder quite why so many London taxis are parked in there! 


Following the day in the park, there is a Gala Dinner where the guests are joined by some very famous characters; Mickey and Minnie Mouse, Goofy, Pluto The Chipmunks, Donald and Daisy Duck to name just some. These characters were kept busy all evening signing autographs and posing for photos with the children before joining in the disco dancing.  Not too many people can say they have been dancing with Mickey Mouse and his pals at a Saturday night disco.


The following morning saw the convoy regroup and head off back to Calais. There was a fuel stop on the return journey at Assevillers, somewhat quieter than the outgoing visit, but thanks to some lovely sunshine the children were enjoying their packed lunches out on the grassed rest areas. Soon the convoy was back in Calais where the ferry was waiting for them to board. A calm crossing soon saw the ferry docking in Dover where everyone said their goodbyes and headed off in different directions taking the children back to their hospitals and homes.



This was the 22nd annual trip that had been organised by the WCHCD; it is a testament to the kindness of the drivers and all the support services and their generosity in giving their time and vehicles freely. Throughout the trip people were telling the committee what a great time they were having which is what makes all the hard work preparing for the trip and fund raising so worthwhile. 


This year one of the drivers had set up a Facebook page for the trip and regular images and updates were published throughout the weekend. This has proved very popular and following the trip many of the parents and carers had commented on how much the children had enjoyed the trip. 


The power of social media meant many people were able to see the regular updates as they happened in the resort.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Council Grants Uber Licence To Operate In Sir Peter Hendy's Hometown Bath

Bath & North East Somerset Council has received and granted an application by the controversial private hire operator Uber, to operate across the Bath area.


The application was considered in line with the Council’s policies and procedures and as all the necessary criteria have been met, the application was granted.

Cllr Martin Veal (Conservative, Bathavon North), Cabinet Member for Community Services, said: “We have recently issued a private hire operator’s license to Uber Britannia Ltd which uses a smart phone application to connect passengers and drivers. 

“The company has operated in other cities such as London, Manchester and Bristol for some time now and offers a new type of service to passengers. 

“Public safety is of paramount importance to us and we are reassured by the company’s intention to use only Bath & North East Somerset Council vetted and licensed drivers and vehicles.  

“This is a relatively new type of service and we will continue to monitor it very closely to see how it works.”

Editorial Comment:

Typical example of another council which has not done their homework. They intend to licence, then monitor closely!!!

How is this a paramount safety factor towards the public. Surely the councillors should have taken greater steps to investigate Ubers record first, in the interest of public safety. All they had to do is Google Uber and read the wealth of complaints from users world wide.


World Taxi Unite – A Day of Reckoning...by Paul Tavares.


Wednesday 16th September 2015 was a date upon which the London taxi industry had intended to unite as one and descend upon City Hall to put forward a number of important questions to the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson.

The intention was to hold him to account and ask him what he would do to protect the future of one of the oldest and most noblest professions in the history of this city, with the very livelihoods of tens of thousands of hard-working and law-abiding people at stake against an immoral corporation whose unethical business practices spit in the face of our laws and yet continue to operate unabated and unchallenged by our unconscionable and elitist politicians and the industry’s inept regulatory body, who themselves have proven to be, beyond any shadow of doubt, grossly unfit for purpose.

As someone who attended the protest, I can tell you that the day, all in all, was peaceful despite the desperate tensions in the air. Men, women and children attended the gathering and you could feel the unbreakable bond between everyone adorning the green badge of honour around their necks.

However, those emotions came to a head when word spread of how Boris Johnson had accused the taxi drivers and trade representatives present during Mayoral Question Time of being ‘Luddites’, all of whom “...don’t want to see new technology.”

James O’Brien recently delivered a damning yet accurate indictment across the airwaves on his LBC radio show aimed at the conduct of London’s Mayor of London.

In one of the opening remarks in his broadcast, James defiantly accused Johnson of being “a disgrace” and said that, “his insult to taxi drivers at City Hall yesterday was one of the single most reprehensible public political postures I have ever seen”.

Such behavior from Boris Johnson was, at best, unbefitting of a Member of Parliament and Mayor of London duly elected to a position of power and influence by the public, and at worst, a disgraceful and contemptible lie.

For those of you unaware, Luddites were English workers in the early 1800s who destroyed machinery, particularly in cotton and woollen mills, which they believed was threatening their jobs.

However, as O’Brien correctly pointed out during his LBC show, “the first taxi drivers in the world to use an app to be booked were London cab drivers.”

To call ordinary yet decent, hard-working and honest people such a derogatory and insulting name was, in my personal opinion, contrived and intentionally aimed at provoking them in what was a highly sensitive and emotive situation.

The sinister aim, and rather successfully as it turned out in the end, was to deflect attention away from his impotent and incompetent tenure as Mayor of this great city of ours.

This tragic debacle has shown me the true face of our political elite in all of its true yet ugly glory.

During elections, politicians tell us how much they care about us, how much they sympathise with our plight and our suffering, and how much they will save us from the disgraceful and disastrous havoc caused by opposition parties. They will be our saviour. Hallelujah!

Though the faces and personalities change over time, the promises they deliver are the same; promises that are then broken once they get into office. Once the power is theirs, they turn off this fake public façade because they now have what they wanted and we the public are left picking up the pieces, lamenting at how we could have been taken in so easily by the lies and insincere smiles.

All the while, these privileged politicians sit in their ivory towers locked away from all reality, sipping champagne and, on occasion, courting the media spotlight in contrived PR stunts aimed at further pulling the wool over the public’s eyes and painting themselves as knights in shining armour, which they clearly are not.

Boris Johnson was, and is, such a man. We were taken in by this seemingly bungling yet affable buffoon only to see his true colours now, at the end.

But back to the other day...

Although Boris Johnson slithered away without delivering the answers or giving the glimmer of hope that taxi drivers and their families had so desperately hoped would come that day, I saw enough to tell me that every single person who was present there will fight for their livelihoods to the bitter end and that this is a fight worthy of being fought; idealistically and morally.

For those who are losing hope, there is light at the end of the tunnel and it is closer than you think.

To quote Charlie Chaplin:

To those who can hear me, I say, do not despair. The misery that is now upon us is but the passing of greed,  the bitterness of men who fear the way of human progress. The hate of men will pass, and dictators die, and the power they took from the people will return to the people...”

My friends, that day will come for you and all the people of London - The London Mayoral Election on the 5th May 2016.

I offer you an independent Mayor, unbeholden to corrupt political will or agenda, answerable only to the people of London; someone who will fight political and corporate corruption to safeguard a better and more hopeful future for our people, for our communities, for our businesses and for all future generations.

I know that I will be targeted and mercilessly persecuted by the press, the media and other insidious representatives of the political parties and big corporations as I seek to become the next Mayor of London, but I can assure you that my family and I will stand strong throughout.

We will fight for all of you to the bitter end because we know it’s the right thing to do and because someone has to take a stand against the corrupt and unjust political system we have today for the sake and the future of every decent man, woman and child in London.

In the words of Abraham Lincoln, 

I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis.”

To those who read this, I believe in all of you. 

All that I ask is that you please believe in me.  



Tuesday, September 22, 2015

TPH Licensing Compliance and Enforcement Meeting, Monday 21st September

News released yesterday on BBC London news, indicates that the current number of Private Hire driver licenses now stand at an all time high of 87,734. It was also stated that by Friday, this number will have risen by 650, with another 2000 in the pipeline, waiting to be processed.


At yesterday's compliance meeting, trade representatives were told that TfL were unaware of an increase in road traffic accidents relating to Private Hire drivers. The LTDA put out a statement last night regarding this issue, saying that drivers who have evidence of PHVs involved in RTAs should use the social media app Twitter and send details to @TfLTPH.

TfL informed trade reps that they are waiting for a decision on Addison Lee's unauthorised Rugby World Cup raps. 
"Waiting for a decision".... from whom? (you may well ask). 
Is it not TfL who are supposed to enforce PHV regulation. 
Is this more bias from TPH in favour of PH or just delaying tactics till after the Rugby World Cup finishes?

TfL's compliance said they were unsure about arrangements for the 500 pre-booked private hire cars that would be picking up from outside Old Billingsgate, at the Shine charity walk this weekend. The LTDA's Richard Masset has requested details be sent to Taxi House as soon as possible. It should be asked, why haven't TPH already checked the pre-bookings that should be on record?

There was some good news however, concerning the Forge rank on Cornhill. 
It's been confirmed that in the wake of the recent "hits" made by members of the Mayfair Mob, the Corporation of the City of London, has agreed to sign off an extension to the existing rank, increasing capacity from two spaces to four.

When Helen Chapman and Peter Blake were asked if (in their opinion) Uber were instant hail or pre-booked, both answered pre-booked. When informed that Uber state quite clearly they can't be pre-booked, Helen Chapman said "it doesn't matter what Uber say's"

Biggest downer of the meeting came when TfL were asked if they were going to comply with the Mayor's request for the immediate issue of temporary licenses to help the 37,000 drivers caught up in the DBS backlog. TfL replied that temporary licensing was not going to happen and that they intend to work on solving the problem. 
So no change is expected there.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Tony Arbour Calls For Taxi Drivers To Be Sacked!... by Dave Davies.

E

Tony Arbour should be sacked immediately; he not only caused the disruption at City Hall by improperly ending a Public meeting but then made inflammatory and false statements and is now calling for Taxi Drivers who took exception to HIS improper conduct to be sacked.

He said: “Not only did they riot inside the building, they beat up several security guards, one was even knocked out and taken to hospital.

“I hope those responsible can be identified and have their licenses removed. Debate is the essence of democracy; but this was not a debate.”

That’s right Tony it was not a debate.  It was a corrupt Boris Johnson who didn’t want to face  public scrutiny of his improper and unlawful decisions and policies, deliberately avoiding the situation by colluding with you to improperly stop the Mayors Questions.

The response has to be urgent and continuous direct action by Taxi Drivers calling for the MEDIA to report the true facts about this utter  corruption and for the immediate resignation of Arbour and Johnson and a full investigation

There have been suggestions of a Judicial Review in the High Court to challenge TFL.

The criteria to get Permission for a Judicial Review may not be met and even if they are this process is as corrupt as Johnson and TFL.

A Judicial Review can only be filed to challenge a particular decision and must be done so within 90 days of that decision being made. 

I cannot see a clear decision that has been made that can be challenged.

The issue with Johnson and TFL is not any single decision ; it is utter corruption on may issues effecting taxi drivers.

I personally spent £100k and challenged TFL in the High Court on two occasions with Judicial Reviews.

In the first case the High Court Judge actually ruled that TFL had made 2 unlawful decisions yet no action was ever taken. All I got was a weak apology from TFL. No costs. No damages. No one was sacked for making an unlawful decision in Public Office (a criminal offence). Nothing changed.

The Judge also ignored the evidence and upheld one of TFLs decisions even though it completely contradicted a previous  High Court ruling against the London Cab Drivers Club in 2006.

The Judge, Justice Sir Gary Hickingbottom had previously worked as a Parking Adjudicator for TFL and was congratulated on his appointment as a High Court Judge by TFL in a report. He attended and spoke at conferences with TFL and had a close ongoing relationship with them. How could he possibly fairly hear a case against them? 

He did not declare any of this as a conflict of interest.

Instead he heard the case , ignored the evidence , contradicted a previous High Court ruling and found in TFLs favour.

It later transpired that my legal team Edwin Coe LLP were also corrupt and have subsequently lied under oath in court ( a further case against them is ongoing) No wonder I lost!

Anyone who thinks that challenging TFL in the High Court is a course of action that will lead to change is wrong.

All Johnson and TFL need to do is make sure they have a Freemason Judge and who ignores the evidence and rules in their favour


We also know that Cameron told Johnson to ‘lay off Uber’ as Johnson confirmed this in a meeting with Grant Davis. Lets not underestimate the extent of the Prime Ministers influence in this situation.

It will costs tens of thousands of pounds and take months and months and will merely be a distraction and stop proper action from being taken.

The media will immediately report nothing about the ongoing corruption of TFL and Johnson because it will be illegal for them to do so ; if there is a pending High Court Case there are reporting restrictions which prevent any details about that case being reported and it is considered Prejudicial  if someone does report any details.

The only way things will change is if the corruption is fully exposed in the media.

Channel 4 News conducted an investigation into the improper £1 billion tender process for the Royal Albert Docks. They quoted the former Chair of Standards in Public Life Sir Alistair Graham as saying the actions of Boris Johnson were ‘semi corrupt’ (in other words corrupt)

  

Because there was no one calling for further action Johnson has been let off the hook and Channel 4 have not even bothered to report the fact that they have exposed corruption and Johnson has been let off.

The very best and ONLY course of action is for immediate and continuous direct action with the clear message to the media that the direct action will continue until they themselves report the full true story of utter corruption of Johnson and TFL.

The UCG need to hold a formal Press Conference BEFORE any further action clearly detailing the reasons for direct action.

The General Public hate corruption and will be supportive if the message is given that this is why Taxi Drivers are protesting.

As soon as someone  talks about Uber or lack of money being earned then the media will spin it as something else and the support is lost

Dave Davies.



Sunday, September 20, 2015

Is Our Politeness Being Taken For Weakness ?.........by Semtex

Since I was a kid, I have always been taught politeness and manners. Without sounding patronising, I have maintained that respectful stance ever since, and so have my four grown up children.

If I bump into somebody or impede them in a supermarket, I would always apologise. I always open doors of shops etc, for both men and women and always refer to punters in my cab as Sir or Madam. I retain the dying chivalry habit enthusiastically, and wouldn't dream of not allowing my wife or daughters time to sit down first in a restaurant or on a train. I always open the car door for my wife first, before I get in myself.

Which brings me to my point.  There is one thing in life that I abhor more than almost anything else, and that is people who take politeness for weakness.

Sadly, along life's path, I seem to come across this loathsome trait, with regular occurrence. 
The problem with me though, is when somebody actually does it to me or my family, my friends or the company I am in, I recoil like an angry viper that has just been trod on with a size 12 !

I am incapable of just a deserving sneer or a tut tut to the perpetrator of the offending "crime", and I really kick right off !

I have always despised bullies, and I find ungracious reciprocation to a gentlemanly act of kindness, unacceptable, and tantamount to bullying. It is fair to say, that in my lifetime, I have come perilously close to breaking the laws of our land, when confronted with an ungrateful churlish, unrefined oaf !

For longer than I care to recall now, Transport For London, and the louts dressed in elitist ensemble who run it, have treated our respected profession with disdain, disrespect and contempt.

Tragically and totally unacceptably, we appeared to have got used to being spoken down to, being tricked, being coerced and being made to feel like we are scum.

We are neither of the above of course, in fact, on the contrary. We are highly trained, widely respected, upstanding professionals, medically fit, licensed, and thoroughly checked out for any lurking flaw in our character.
But you wouldn't think so would you ?

We have taken the disrespect and  treason from TFL and City Hall on the chin up till now, and attempted to keep our pride, professionalism and agitation sheltered beneath a cloak of respectful dignity.

However, earlier this week, the Deputy Chair of the GLA, Tony Arbour along with the scurrilous, and betraying Mayor of London served up a monumental portion of impertinence and insult to all of us, that was nothing short of goading.

Personally, I believe the whole schedule of events that day was orchestrated, rehearsed and choreographed. They didn't fancy answering questions with us lot in attendance, so in true bully like form and expectation...............bottled it!

We attended in correct democratic procedure. That is what the seats in City Hall arena are for. To be sat in, whilst concerned members of trade, the public or whoever...........listen to the lawful procedures in correct democratic orderliness.
To my mind, and from where I'm sitting, that was the London Taxi Trade attending the correct venue, at the correct time, using the correct seating in the correct manner........................and showing total and correct  POLITENESS !

Also, to my mind, and from where I'm sitting, bully boy Bullingdon club Johnson who has form for telling us to "fuck off and die" referring to us as a load of "luddites " and unable to show more disrespect for us if he tried, twists the knife even deeper ! 

Backed up by a  sneering two bob councillor, a man who has cocooned himself as a public servant all of his life, with no other professional skills to talk of, backs up his Bullingdon, elitist mate with a further slur on us to indicate we are merely shit on the soles of his public paid for shoes .

Now folks, I'm not being a drama queen here, but if that ain't a blatant display of taking politeness for weakness, then, yes, once again, mine's a bloater ! 

Naturally, I agree with a democratic lifestyle. Obviously, I totally understand that our trade has to be seen as professional rather than a load of "chirpy cockney boy thugs". I would love to think that we could have our trade disputes and worrying licensing issues dealt with by a fair, democratic, lawful and unbiased opposition. I'm not silly, I realise that that is the preferred way forward. Of course I do !

But how about if the people you are trying to sit around the democratic table are bent, corrupt, unfair, scurrilous, unprofessional, tarnished, abusive, dodgy, crafty, secretive, self focussed, snidey, uncooperative, unreasonable, illicit, unbalanced, unsteady, non compliant, incompetent, inconsistent, bullying and have unmanageable and ludicrous hair cuts ?

Then folks, it is fair to say I think, that the democratic path to putting our trade back where it deserves to be, is futile. Isn't it ?
It is surely obvious that these abusive thugs in suits who continue to insult us, have got it well and truly in for us.

I am extremely proud to have served with a very senior and specialised regiment in my military service. I came out of the army with an exemplary "red book " record, and thankfully, with a pulse.

Interestingly, we were generally only called upon when either National Security negotiations had broken down, or somebody somewhere in some part of the world "had taken politeness for weakness". And we weren't short of work!
And let me assure you, that if and when we were deployed...........snot, bogeys, whiskers and feathers would fly ! No prisoners !

In all honesty, I think we have given TFL and the Blond fellow ample time to recognise our respect, democratic willingness and a preference to work this out in a responsible and fair strategy. And yet, he takes the piss out of our platinum service trade, prodding us in repetition that would make a stuffed lion attack.

In 2010 I predicted that Men Were Coming To Kill Us. I knew this was coming. And sadly, they have ALMOST done us.

I have always said, that if enough of us were to gather in one place in our cabs, which we are legally allowed to do so, paralysis of the capital would swiftly follow. When British Fighter planes took off on missions during world war 2, intelligent strategic battle planning was used to great success. Instead of going on a mission to bomb "anything", they soon realised that to attack, reservoirs, electricity supply stations and other sites of national importance, was indeed, a much more successful ruse.

If London was brought to a standstill, the people who make our lives a misery and bully us with their intimidation, would absolutely quake in their plastic soled shoes !

London's moving infrastructure is vitally important to trade, industry and commerce. When it stops, the repercussions serious, and hugely costly !

If some of us think that going to court will be the best option, then I will go with the flow. But its the clock that worries me folks ! Its still ticking and tocking and ticking and tocking. Have we got the time ? Maybe I'm deluded ?

Our trade is infamous for poor unity, apathy and an inability to muster together. But I think that even the most laid back of us are now concerned that we are being eradicated.

And let's face it.......it ain't Uber's fault is it ? They are only earning their coin on the back of what they have been allowed to get away with ! Its TFL and City Hall we need to target, just like the reservoirs and sub stations !
 
Our UCG colleagues are deploying themselves next week at the Bank Junction. We could do a lot worse than to give them a hand out there folks. Don't forget, they are made up of working cab drivers like you and I, all concerned about their future, all completed the arduous knowledge, all been through the same hardship to gain their badge and all listened to being told that they are luddites and best we fuck off and die !

When the blond bully and the jumped up two bob councillor showed the unforgivable display of disrespect to our trade this week, and took our democratic politeness and 400 year old legacy, for weakness................my blood temperature increased and my brain back tracked at 100mph to that barrack room in England's countryside 30 years or so ago now. 

The message on the PA system was brief but precise and repeated every 5 seconds. " Stand by !" Stand by !" "Stand by !" followed by a deafening klaxon.

Our boots were rarely off in those precarious days, but you could bet your life that if you're  laces were going to snap, it was when that tannoy was screaming !

Get ya boots on and check you're laces folks ! We can't have this for much longer !

Tick, tock, tick, tock, tick, tock, tick..................................................

Be lucky all and see you out there.

8829 Semtex.