Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Uber Tells ECJ It's Not A Taxi Service, But Is The Verdict A Done Deal...?

Minicab company Uber has rebutted accusations that it is working as a taxi service and should be regulated as such before Europe's highest court on Tuesday. 

The Californian firm again stressed that its business is solely focused on providing a smartphone app that connects drivers and customers, and also made the case that it has helped cut pollution and improved the quality of life in the European countries in which it has a presence.

Speaking before the panel of 15 judges, Uber's lawyer Cani Fernandez said:

"Uber is part of a wave of technology which radically changes the way we shop, obtain information..."

"Uber contributes to linking drivers and passengers more efficiently," she continued, before arguing that the company has made it easier for people to get around, drivers to get access to parking and reduced pollution. 

The much-anticipated European Court of Justice appearance comes as a direct result of Barcelona's main tax operator accusing Uber of running an illegal taxi service via its UberPOP service back in 2014 and the court's ultimate decision could have massive implications for not only how Uber does business, but also the tech likes of Airbnb and the "gig economy" as a whole. 

Spain has been joined by both Ireland and France in calling for Uber to be subject to the same rules as other transport services. On the other side, Finland, Greece, Poland and The Netherlands – where its European headquarters are based – are supporting it in court, as well as the European Free Trade Association (EFTA).

EFTA's lawyer asked the court to "send a message that innovation and new business opportunities in the European Union should be encouraged and not hindered by submitting them to unnecessary rules."

If Uber is judged to be a transport service rather than a mere digital platform that facilitates independent business, it would have to deal with far stricter rules in terms of licensing, insurance and safety if it is to operate in the EU.

Montse Balague Farre, lawyer for Barcelona's Asociaci√≥n Profesional √Člite Taxi, said:

"If there is a transport service provided, a company should not be able to hide behind the thin veil of a different service."


The National Transport Authority (NTA) poured cold water on Uber's plans to bring ride-sharing to Ireland back in August.

An NTA spokesperson has said that it is unlikely that there will be any change to the current Irish legislation preventing drivers charging for the transportation of others without a taxi licence.

While Uber has a number of taxi drivers using its service in Dublin, the majority of its worldwide business utilises unlicensed drivers using its smartphone app to ride-share.

An ECJ adviser will deliver a non-binding opinion in the coming months, with an official verdict from the judges not expected until at least March 2017. 

Just to show what a complete waste of time and money this whole case is...and in some minds no more than a massive PR exercise, right and the end of this article, we are informed that the 15 European Court Justices are no more than advisors and that the verdict (or opinion) will be non-binding.

No such thing as bad publicity they say...
So a win win situation then for Uber then ?


"I love this country.........and I feel honored to have served it" 

Those were the very last words of British Prime Minister, David Cameron on the brink of his leadership disaster. The words of an arrogant, over confident and cocky politician, who made the error of believing his own hype. His arrogance was so compelling, that he massively underestimated the feelings and anxieties of a suppressed nation, and blighted his political career forever.

Watching him well up and choke back tears on the cobbles of Downing Street, brought no compassion to me. Despite the first four words of his last sentence, I regard Cameron as a London Traitor.

He has never shown love, passion or interest for "the people", only his millionaire cronies and business partner friends.

To me and my colleagues of The London Cab Trade, he was The Jackal, The Lee Harvey Oswald, The Marcus Julius Brutus, The Judas Iscariot.

Prior to May 2012, The Great London Taxi trade was busy doing as it's always done for almost 400 years. And doing it as well as it's ever done. I make no apologies for using the word "Great" either, for that is what it is.

When Travis Kalanick burst into our City of London, Traitor Cameron's silver bullet made especially for a world respected London Cab Trade, was carefully loaded into the firing chamber. With the apostate Prime Minister's help, and the cohering London Mayor Johnson's assistance, the silver bullet from California was fired with devastating accuracy, and hit me and my 24,999 other mates bang smack on target.

However, unlike a fatal ballistic projectile, our injuries were not to be instant, but unmercifully drawn out, as if attacked with Napalm. The effect of this strike would be felt by The London Cab Trade for a long time to come. We had served London well. We didn't deserve this.

But if I was ever unfortunate enough to have to share a pint with the former Bullingdon Club Officer, or better still, find myself in a two man canoe surrounded by sharks, I would ask him one single question. WHY ?

Why did he do that to us ? Why did he assist a multi-millionaire American Techno whizz kid, to come to his capital that "HE LOVED"  and demolish a world famous heritage ? When Uber was launched in London, there were no shortage of cabs. It wasn't about monopoly either. People who chose not to use black cabs had plenty of available alternatives. 

Addison Lee and other companies in the mini cab industry were big and efficient enough to deal with people who didn't want a black cab. We all coped and worked cheek by jowl, driving the public around London's roads as we had done for donkey's years. It was nothing to do with logistics either. Uber has only slowed a journey from the train stations to the theatre down, not accelerated them. So come on David, you lovable little London Lover, you. What was it ?

Folks, listen. David Cameron couldn't spell passion, love or pride. 

Pound notes ! Readies ! Dosh ! Brown envelopes and favours, that's what our former Prime Minister was about !! 

And my word, hasn't whizz kid Kalanick improved our lovely old London?  Well, as an illusionist Travis could probably exceed David Blayne.

In 2012 at the Albert Hall, in front of 2000 senior delegates of The Institute of Directors, he actually convinced these top financial elite that he would " take one million cars off the London roads, thus reducing congestion and the City's carbon footprint." When asked how he would carry out this amazing Nobel Peace worthy trick he said " I will put 100,000 Uber cars in London and persuade the other 900,000 to use our cars." What could be simpler, Travis?

Folks, I am no financial whizz kid, and I am definately not the next Alan Sugar, but these 2000 delegates actually stood for this crap. Not only did they stand for it, they gave him a standing ovation !! Perhaps I am in the wrong game.

Move forward and what have we got. 1 million less cars on London's streets ? 

Course not. 900,000 former car drivers now using Uber? 

Don't be so bloody ridiculous. 

London's carbon footprint drastically improved ?

I haven't seen the data but if it's gone down, mine's a bloater.

Despite this amazing trick of illusion though, Uber went on to win some pretty high ranking awards, including Best Business of The Year.

And our beautiful City, that is so apparently loved by Cameron and Johnson stood the Californian Illusionists deception, hook line and sinker. Or did they ? 

Could there have been any other incentives for the two Bullingdon boys ? 

I wonder.

One thing is for sure and most certainly not an illusion. Looking out the window of my cab today just around the corner from Liverpool Street, tells a very different story.

London is paralysed. Utterly up the creek without a paddle. Ruined and going nowhere. The infrastructure has melted. Traffic is in deadlock. Nothing moves. Every car that isn't a black cab is sporting a TFL Green Roundel. Most of the cabs are empty. Most of the buses are empty. Most of the mini cabs are empty. Nobody moves.

This real time situation folks is the result of a useless, corrupt, incredibly poorly run regulator, Transport For London.

Ever since Cameron and Boris gave Travis the green light, TFL have dished these roundels out as though they were discount leaflets for Tescos. No foresight, no intelligence, no brakes, no cares, no worries. They couldn't give a monkeys. Why should they ? 

They are making an absolute fortune. 

Come to London ! Drive a mini cab for Uber ! Bundles to be made ! No problem getting a licence ! Get a fishing licence whilst you are there too, it's just as easy ! 

Roll Up ! Roll up ! Roll up !

And despite what I see from my cab window, despite what the traffic cameras see, despite what TFL see, the roundels just keep coming. More and more and more of them. Our beautiful London. Smashed and pillaged to pieces by a gang of bent incompetent civil service bastards, who don't give a toss. Makes you weep, doesn't it ? 

I read an article in the Telegraph some time ago. By nature, I don't like or trust journalists. I was fitted up and made to look foolish by one of  the BBC in my London Cab Trade "Operation Nightingale", some years ago. However, the piece I read in the Telegraph was written by Alex Proud. 

Alex has previously stated that he felt that Uber were the dogs nuts and the way forward. However, after an invitation from our trade to come and meet us to see our side of things, he did, and fair play to him. After speaking  to our side, he admitted to seeing things differently, and understood our plight. It is incredibly unusual for a journalist to go back on something they have written, but Alex did and I admire him for that. One thing that disturbed me though, was that the Telegraph made an official apology as a footnote to Alex's piece. 

This is what it said:

"An earlier version of this article wrongly stated that Uber drivers undergo a lesser standard of criminal records checks than drivers of London black cabs. We have been assured by TFL that the very same checks to be licensed by TFL are the same for mini cabs as black cabs. The Telegraph are happy to make this clear and apologise"

Alex, tell your editor he has nothing to apologise for my friend. You were right the first time. Transport For London were lying to you. How can a person from Sudan, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Congo etc... who has lived in this country for 6 months, possibly be investigated thoroughly by the Criminal Records Bureau ? 

Another load of irresponsible bollox from a Government Regulator who have moved mountains to allow the Uber model to breathe. I wonder why ?

Whatsmore. The huge majority of Uber's workforce come from abroad. Why ? 

Were we short of taxis ? 

Why did Cameron's Government allow that ? 

Since Uber have been in existence, our trade have noticed a massive increase in sexual attacks on women in mini cabs. Is that coincidence ? 

After all, a huge amount of Uber drivers are Asian or Arab, whether Human Rights activists like it or not.

Well, listen to this. From Nishita Jha of The Asian Centre For Human Rights, said " Almost 49,000 child rape cases were reported from 2001 to 2011 in India. Imagine 49,000 children raped in 10 years, and you have a small measure of how deep the inhuman phenomenon of child rape runs in India ".  

Blood curdling, isn't it ?

How about this from The International Women's News and Issues publication " Womensphere".  Tania Bien-Aime reports " Some countries often the most poorest and conflict ridden have a level of violence towards women, that makes life unbearable for them. Countries such as Afghanistan, Congo, Iraq, Nepal, Sudan and Pakistan are the worst countries in the world today to be a women, due to serious sexual motivated attack ."

Worrying isn't it. Hang on a minute though. Am I right in suggesting that sexual attacks in mini cabs have gone through the roof, since Uber have been around ? 

Or not ? 

We as a trade are currently awaiting a Freedom Of Information question regarding this. The results are actually being revealed soon. Or so we are told. 

Now wait a minute, I'm no Sherlock Holmes, but am I being neurotic jumping to the conclusion here.............? 

I wonder. 

Hopefully, we shall see soon.

I know I'm an old granny, but I was just thinking!

Lets just say I was a notorious sex offender in one of the countries named above.  Anyway, my cousin who got into the UK two years ago said that working for Uber in London is like winning the lottery. "Come over here, Bruv!, everyday is wonderful !" Said cousin comes over, waits about six months, goes up to TFL and applies for a mini cab roundel. 

Hang on ! Problem number 1 ! Or is it ? 

How about the CRB Criminal Records Agency Check?   

No problem. Just get a certificate of good character from your school teacher in Bangladesh, saying that you turned up for school every day on time and helped pick berries in the village. The CRB can only check since you've been in the UK. That's that over with. Medical ? 

No worries. There are Doctors in London who would stamp that certificate for 100 quid. No worries. 

How about insurance ? 

That's ok. Use your cousins and if you get a pull or Uber ask you for it. No worries. Blimey, look what has just come through my letterbox ! My mini cab licence and roundel from TFL. I start with Uber tomorrow. 

First port of call is London's West End. It's two in the morning. It's summer it's hot. There are hundreds of beautiful young English girls everywhere you look. Some are drunk. They have short skirts. They have bra less tops. They have beautiful high heel shoes. 

Thank goodness I didn't have to go through the same rigorous checks and medicals as London Black Cab Drivers do, I would never have passed it if they had found out about my previous life in Afghanistan. 

One drunk girl is coming over to me. I wind my widow down and she gets in with me. But she hasn't booked me !  She's drunk, I will take her anyway.  

You don't need to know the rest of the story do you ? 

You all know the end. But you don't care do you ? 

Do you Cameron ? 

Do you Johnson?  

Do you Daniels ? 

You lot let this happen on your watch. You lot continue to take your salaries knowing this is happening each and every night in our beautiful city. You stood by and helped it grow. You assisted it to flourish. You all knew it was going on. You have the affront to be paid hundreds of thousands of pounds for tearing this city in half. 

We didn't need Uber!  London didn't need Uber ! Londoners didn't need Uber ! None of us needed Uber...except you lot of greedy, conniving, inept, unsafe bastards ! It were you lot that wanted this two bob, volatile, unaccountable, dangerous, foreign firm, time bomb....wasn't it ?!!

Londoners have had a perfectly good, nay brilliant, Taxi Service that wasn't broke in the first place ! 

It takes years and years to learn the skills to become a London Taxi Driver. What next ? 

You going to Serbia to recruit a mob of cheap paid Police Officers to come to London and undermine the Met, the professionals, the best Police Service in the world ? 

What next ? 

Who next ?

London Taxis have given as much if not more than any other recorded public service in history. They work through terror, they work through bombings, they work through danger, they work through carnage, they work through recession they work through the good they work through the bad.........and you lot of two bob, spineless, shiny arsed, back stabbing, insincere, unprofessional bastards, have watched as we are killed off. 

Well, I tell you something Servants. We ain't done just yet. We have saved our best punch till last. Do you honestly think we are going to let the twat from LA assisted by you lot of bent bastards to kill us ? Don't dream it TFL, and sorry Theresa, you can blame the posh boy.

To watch him nigh on break down reading from that rostrum announcing his end, made my blood curdle. The biggest traitor since Kim Philby stood there to tell us he loved his country. Ponce !

Love this country, my arse !! 

I tell you what loving your country is Cameron. Loving your country is about joining the armed services as a fifteen year old. putting yourself in International peril before your fucking beard has had a chance to develop. 

Loving your country is about going out to tackle armed and dangerous terrorists who would and do tear your fucking arms from their sockets and burn your eyes with cigarette lighters to attempt to find out where your mates would strike next. 

Loving your country is about shitting yourself with fear everytime you strap the fucking body armour on before going out on patrol again. 

Loving your country is about the piss dripping down your legs and into your boots through fright and relief when you have just realised it was you they were aiming at. 

Loving your country is waiting for an RAF Hercules to land at Brize Norton, so that you could help carry the two stone remaining bits of skin and gristle that used to be your best mate you joined up with, home to his loved ones. 

Loving your country is proudly putting on the coveted tunic and bearskin at Wellington Barracks, before marching with chest out and head held high onto our Queens Birthday Parade at Horse Guards. 

Loving your country is sitting as a sad 60 year old admiring a mantlepiece full of Bravery Commendations, Citations and Medals from HM The Queen downwards. 

Loving your country is about having to go to specialist clinics for treatment after jumping out your fucking skin just because your wife dropped a plate in the kitchen. 

That's what loving your country means to me Cameron, Johnson, Brown, Khan & Daniels. I got fuck all out of it apart from a mediocre wage packet, a medal and a heart full of British Pride ! 

And the only brown envelope I ever got was asking me for more fucking tax, as if I haven't given enough !

The London Licensed Black Cab Trade have served with distinction and exemplary conduct. They have served London and Londoners well and proper.

We are not asking for a monopoly. We are not asking for special favours. And neither do we ask for partiality. We welcome competition in our service, and are not afraid to compete. We acknowledge the need for the cheaper option, and there are many forms of legitimate travel who can provide the customer with choice. Neither are we luddites. Technology was embraced by The London Taxi Trade many years ago by our trade, and indeed, continues to prosper. We can and do compete with any other bona fide app in today's high tech marketplace.

What we ARE asking for though, is a level playing field. The initial licensing of Uber was improper and illegal. They DID NOT qualify for the strict licensing criteria of TFL. Who gave them a licence to operate ?

Women have been and are still being sexually attacked whilst in a mini cab in London. When the figures come out we will start taking TFL scalps, you watch.

That is bad enough, but if TFL, The Mayor or The Conservatives think we are going to sit back and become extinct and buried to pave the way for the  illegally licensed outfit from LA to prosper, we have one hell of a skirmish left yet ! We have taken abuse from the bullies and traitors for far too long now.

My assault helmet complete with near misses has been hooked up in the hallway for years now. Its only use in latter years was for my grandchildren to try on, and my sons to wear after too many Carlsbergs. It still fits me, i just tried it. Let's hope I don't have to strap it on any time soon, to keep Uber from taking our legacy. Know what I mean ?

Be lucky all. Take care and God bless.

8829 Semtex.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

As Uber's Case Is Heard In Europe's Top Court, It's Drivers In U.S. Cities Join Planned Worker Protests

Drivers for ride service company Uber will join planned nationwide protests on Tuesday, when activists and low-wage workers renew their call for better pay and the right to join a union in the wake of Donald Trump's U.S. presidential election win, organizers said.

Hundreds of Uber drivers in two dozen cities, including San Francisco, Miami and Boston, for the first time will add their voices to the union-backed "Fight for $15" campaign that has helped convince several cities and states to raise starting pay significantly above the U.S. minimum wage of $7.25.

Justin Berisie, 34, drives for Uber in Denver and is joining Tuesday's protests.

"Someone who lives in America and goes to work every day, that person deserves a decent living," said Berisie, who has a 5-year-old daughter and is struggling to make ends meet. He said he earns $500 or less, before expenses such as gasoline, during an average week where he is on duty for 50 to 60 hours.

The four-year-old "Fight for $15" movement includes fast-food workers, home care aides, airport baggage handlers and other low-wage employees. Organizers from "Fight for $15," which is backed by the Service Employees International Union, say the campaign's Nov. 29 demonstrations will take place in 340 cities and nearly 20 of the nation's busiest airports.

U.S. policy is expected to become less worker friendly following the election of Trump, a international businessman who will be president as fellow Republicans control both chambers of Congress as well as federal agencies that govern the formation of unions, overtime rules and more.

Uber drivers have sued the company in several states, accusing it of depriving drivers of various employment protections by misclassifying them as independent contractors.

The lawsuits are a test for companies such as Uber Technologies Inc [UBER.UL], a high-profile player in the so-called "sharing economy," which say that their contractor model allows for flexibility that many see as important to their success. A legal finding that drivers are employees could raise Uber's costs and force it to pay Social Security, workers' compensation, and unemployment insurance.

Source: Rueters. 

Uber could have to pay out billions if it's drivers are employees.

Here's what it would cost Uber to pay its drivers as employees

Source : Fortune Magazine 

Taxis Could Lose More Road Space, CoL To Trial Bus And Cycles Only At Bank Junction.

     This iconic sight could soon disappear.

Just when you thought the City of London's traffic  couldn't possibly get any worse, we've now been  informed that officials have announced an experimental scheme will go ahead which will see all traffic except for buses and cycles banned from the bank junction. We are also informed that City of London officers will be recommending to their members Taxis be excluded.

CoL say there has been 111 accidents with two fatalities. It's blatantly obvious that officials haven't done their homework, as when asked how many Licensed Taxis were involved, they didn't have a comprehensive breakdown of the statistics. 

The Cab Ranks Committee have asked CoL to conduct another survey with Taxis, as they've done with other groups such as buses and cyclists etc.

We've all seen the photos, the videos, of Uber cars involved in horrendous crashes in the city. Its alleged that most of these accidents have been caused by Uber drivers taking their eyes off the road to constantly look for SatNav directions as they are unfamiliar with the road network in the City. 

     Well at least they're cheap !

With London's Taxi trade facing a very bleak new year, we've learned we are to lose a huge chunk of road space, which will be taken away from us irrespective of the fact, we are the only 100% wheelchair accessible transport service in the capital. 

We will be appealing to TfL board members Tanni Grey Thompson  and Dr Alice Maynard later this week if they will launch/support an objection to the scheme.

Unfortunately in the past, we received no help from Ms Thompson when we asked for her support for Taxis to be given full access to Oxford Street/Tottenham Court Road, when plans became public pointing to their pedestrianisation.

    "Sorry luv, next time you'll have to go by bus"

Now just take a step back for a minute:

Do you honestly think anyone could be so incompetent, as to get the traffic flow in London so wrong. Even the Chancellor Philip Hammond offered Mayor Khan the money to tear out the cycle lanes and get London moving again as it's costing the capital billions in lost hours.

Now, who do you think is behind this madness?

Have you heard a similar speech somewhere before?

“We are working with the City of London and other partners to develop and assess options for a complete redesign of Bank Junction, which aims to transform the junction into a safer and better environment that all drivers, cyclists and pedestrians can enjoy. We are supporting the City in delivering a scheme that will help reduce the number of collisions and ensure safer routes and improve bus journey times.”

Now where have you heard these words before....

Here's a little clue!

That's right, 10 out of 10 if you said, Leon Daniels, Managing Director of TfL's Surface Transport

The Elephant And Castle....A place where people will want to be said Leon the liar!

Many believe, as I do, this chaos has been caused by design. There seems to be a clear agenda to put people off using cars, Taxis, buses and get them packed onto the tube at times outside the rush hour. 

Think about the mass of road works which suddenly spring up, with no one appearing to be working.

Completely unnecessary four way traffic light systems, again with no sign of life. 

This man made chaos is creating resentment from Taxi passengers, as fares become artificially inflated by TfL caused congestion. 

LCDC Chairman Grant Davis at the Bank Junction.


Monday, November 28, 2016

WANTED: Replacement For Liuetenant John Chard. VC. Good Package For The Right Person. Immediate Start. by Semtex.

As my mates in the trade will know, I have had some serious problems to cope with this year, not just with myself, but concerning my beautiful wife too.

As a result, my keyboard has gathered dust, as issues of greater importance with my family have been concentrated on.

Despite it all, I have kept a close eye on the trade that I have loved and served for almost thirty years now, and what I see doesn't make life any more optimistic.

However, as a scribe for many years now for various publications, I know how difficult it is to convey passion from the heart, onto paper and the written word. 

It's not easy to write down what the heart and mind feels and thinks, but reading our colleague Harry Wall's brilliantly written piece this morning, not only persuaded me to blow the dust off my own keypad, but reminded me that although I have had my own problems, there are many, many others all fighting their own personal battles. Harry's account of his son's brave fight choked me up, and I convey my love and best wishes to Harry and his family.

Our great trade colleagues therefore, do not need me, to point out at the extremely precarious position that we find ourselves in. I know it's annoying when people say it, I know it doesn't makes things any easier either, but how on earth have 25000 men and women allowed this to happen to them? It's ludicrous, isn't it ? 

What makes it even more extraordinary is the fact that to complete the world famous knowledge exams, as we have all done, is a massive test of one's heart and tenacity in itself. 

So, it is relatively safe to assume that any person who has suffered the ordeal of this strange, long winded, professional ritual, can be counted upon to dig deep and replicate that same act of commitment and passion they demonstrated to gain their badge, would be just as ferocious in protecting it. Right ?

Well actually................for reasons probably only explainable by Sir Richard Attenborough or Dr. Desmond Morris, we lay back, roll over and take it, when anybody, any authority, or any rival dodgy service deem it appropriate to attack us. 

In fact, not only do we roll over, we have actually encouraged it and even accelerated our own demise by facilitating the assassin's logistics.

As much as I have tried to understand it and make sense of it, I can't. It's one of the wonders of the world. Many of these wonders though, have a happy scientific or biological explanation to them, but the case of The London Taxi Driver is neither scientific, biological or happy. In fact, we are in grave danger of becoming prehistoric any minute now, and every second of the time spent navigating through ice, rain and snow on a moped to learn our craft, would have been in vain. We are in grave peril of survival, and surrounded.

I don't want to point the finger at individuals, but I have always believed that our trade orgs have a hell of a lot to answer for. 25000 drivers is of course a large membership, but six or seven clubs, unions, associations or whatever, should be able to represent that number with no problem at all. In fact, a well led, well subscribed and well organised organisation with teeth, sincerity, skill and spunk should be able to look after the lot of us on it's own, easily.

But neither of them have, have they ? 

Look at the bloody state of us, for Christ sake ! Kicked up the nuts by every Tom, Dick & Harry, bullied to death by a bent, untrustworthy, inept, unprofessional, corrupt licensing gang, who make Ronnie & Reggie look like Ant & Dec, and forced out of business by a shrewd, internet savvy whizz kid, who has learnt how to attract and befriend the above mentioned slags into his well endowed pocket. 

When rank and file cab drivers say that the trade orgs should have done more to stop it, they are right. 

Of course they bloody should have ! 

It's insane the danger that we are in to pay our mortgages. Its not all austerity. 

How has that happened ?  

How have we become victims of all this ?  

I will tell you how, shall I ?

The World Famous Knowledge Test for aspiring London Cabbie's is designed by purpose to self select only the most professional, the most honest, the most able, the most fittest and the most trustworthy of candidates to wear the coveted badge representing platinum standards and integrity, around their necks. 

It is no wonder then, and no surprise, that people with these decent life qualities were unable to deflect the fatal blows from opponents who are deceitful, dishonest, corrupt, unprofessional, bent, misleading, underhanded unpatriotic snidey bastards...........onto a world class proud trade and infiltrate honest, decent, law abiding professionals. We weren't expecting it, and neither should we have. In these circumstances though and to prevent being bullied, you have to fight fire with fire for the ruck to be equal. Bear that in mind for a moment.

Fortunately or unfortunately, I'm not sure which, but my remit whilst serving in the Guards equipped me with dealing and spotting the flaws of such untrustworthy international snides, so I had an advantage in seeing it coming to us too. Thus my "Men Are Coming To Kill Us" campaign, some six years ago now. 

And that is the reason why I have always screamed that it is absolutely futile trying to fight corruption with democracy. 

It will never work. 

Having MP's and Government Ministers on board is a waste of time and optimism. Some of the most respected and well judged colleagues I have known in our trade had utter true faith in Tom Watson. Why ? 

Why did they ?

I actually almost fell out with a fantastic trade friend over this mug. I told you he would do nothing from he start, and he didn't . Just another Government official pretending to share the worries of our trade on board, because he or she know that we are by virtue of our numbers, worth lying to. Writing to MP's should be effective and provide results, but it doesn't. That's because despite their denial, most MP's want to end up as Prime Ministers and high ranking Ministers, and wouldn't dream of rocking the boat early in their career to assist humble cab drivers.

We are by nature too, a compliant, law abiding profession. That's why for the last 350 years or so, we have been entrusted to safely drive and deliver children to schools, ministers to parliament, gold to bullion dealers, and valuables to banks and safe deposit establishments. 

And because we are so trustworthy, accountable and compliant, the hierarchy take the piss out of us. They take politeness for weakness and treat us like shit on their shoes. Could you imagine entrusting Uber to take two unaccompanied five year olds to nursery school, or 100 grands worth of diamonds to Graffs ? 

Don't even dream about it. You think David Blayne is good at making things disappear ? 

Folks, our battered old profession has been knocked and smashed from arsehole to breakfast. Take absolutely no notice of the deception tricks. Mike Brown's attempt at inviting HALF the trade up to Palestra last week was another insincere, stalling tactic. Whilst on the subject, not only was I immensely saddened to see that the RMT and UCG were uninvited, I was absolutely fuming that ANY of the trade heads accepted the invite at all. 

Surely if ALL the representatives are not invited, then it cannot be seen as a bona fide, sincere meeting at all, can it ? Why didn't they decline the meeting from Brown, until ALL LONDON TAXI REPRESENTATION were present and correct ? You don't have to be a criminologist to suss that the groups omitted from the Palestra Tea Party, were the pro-active groups known for spotting insincere bollox a mile away. 

I am unsure of what was discussed with the chosen few, but let me cast a few guesses. The statistics about the rapes by licensed mini cabs will eventually come out. But what do you think will happen when it eventually does ? 

I will tell you. Nothing. 

Why are the trade so excited about this rape figure revelation ? 

Even when it's divulged, it wont make paying our mortgages easier. You watch. It's the same as our wishes for a Public Enquiry. Even if we get one, the best we will get is that certain figures in our cross hairs will be named and sacked. All very well, but there are hundreds of others who are queuing to take their places. The bent shysters will be replaced with the same attributes and insincere candidates as their former colleagues. Not only that, all of this bollox takes time, and it is time that the London Cab Trade just cannot afford. Tick, tock, tick, tock, tick effing tock folks ! 

As soon as Brown put his party invites out, I immediately thought that a deflection trick was about to be launched. Let the cab trade think theyr'e important enough for us to talk to, and when they are comfortable up here dipping their custard creams in the Tetley, one of us can meet Travis in Claridges to strike another deal. The tea party was another trade ruse folks. Don't trust them !! You must be mad if you do.

I am always honestly amazed at how some good trade leaders of ours actually believe this bollox that TFL and MP's spout out ! It's a deception, a ploy, a trick, each and every bloody time.

Despite the traffic out there, despite the allegations of rape, despite the evidence, despite the infrastructure meltdown of our Capital, despite the gridlock, TFL continue to issue 600 mini cab licences a week ! 

Can you believe that ?

 Forget the Opium and Cocaine trade, that's for amateurs ! 

A good printer, impressive offices, some mannerquinns dressed as Enforcement Officers and a personal integrity score of zilch, and your'e made for life ! 

I bet Richard Branson can't believe he didn't think of it !

Folks, I have operated and worked on the law abiding side of militancy all my life. Candidates in Government and Authority with the required skills are head hunted and offered huge salaries for their ability to talk, spiel, delay and connive. Politicians are trained to reply to questions with answers that confuse and derail what was initially asked. To the cab trade, we know it as "bollox," and be fair, even to the most politically minded of us, we have listened to enough of that to last a lifetime.

Remember me saying earlier that you can only fight fire with fire ? Well, in my opinion that is true. Sucking us into insincere meetings, promising to look into this, investigate that, is merely an age old stalling trick. Going up to tea parties with brief cases will never ever work and we will expire with the Trafalgar Square pigeons if we continue standing for it.

Authorities and Governments HATE direct confrontational challenge. Demonstrations on foot and in vehicles seriously derail London's infrastructure.

Direct Action works because they can't control it. That is why The Brilliant Mayfair Mob and Fantastic Dads Defending Daughters are small forces who achieve more than the so called big boys, ever do or ever will. They don't deal in blah, blah, effing blah, they fully deploy in a heartbeat, they are accurate, active and lethal. 

They don't have drawn out meetings three weeks before they do something and then wonder why they are surrounded and blocked in with traffic cones, and neither do they have centrally heated offices. They drive their cabs, see the problem, decide, deploy and attack. That is what Authority hate and that is why the teams behind these tactics such as MM & DDD are so successful.

2016 must surely go down as a very worrying year in our nigh on 400 year legacy. I said the same in 2015 and thought we may take an advantage, but we haven't. How long we can sustain such battering is anyone's guess.

We have done London and Londoners proud in our platinum history. We have always been there, through wars, uncertainty, recessions and bombings. 

It is immensely difficult and drawn out to become a London Licensed Taxi Driver. One could have dedicated four years of one's life learning something else to earn our coin. But for 25,000 of us and so many more in the wings, learning the skills of driving the public, royalty, business people, the rich, the famous and sports people around London in safe expertise and pride of knowledge............must have ticked the boxes for completing something so very worthwhile and respected. 

That's why we did it.

Unbeknown to us of course, was how viciously and unceremoniously we would be betrayed and shat on. Our legacy and supreme service to London for so many years through such perilous conditions, means nothing to a group of lying, career chasing civil servants and ministers, who would sell their mothers for two bob. Camaraderie, pride, integrity and respect mean nothing to these parasites. 

The very same parasites are trading our culture, our heritage our British way of life, our decency and even our faith in a disrespectful treason parade. My Grandad's blood and the blood of two of my uncles drained from their poor bodies into the soil of the poppy fields in the Somme. They would be mortified at how our national pride has been disrespectfully diluted.

Nothing is sacred to these people. Service, loyalty, pride and professionalism are not words they either care about or are interested in.

Brown envelopes, perverted sex, fraudulent claims, inflated dinner expenses and nest feathering is their forte, and as soon as our London Taxi Trade Organisation Representatives realise this, the quicker we might progress.

There's an old saying that if you want something done well, do it yourself. Nevermind politics and trying to fight the Mafia with democracy. Lets start fighting back for our survival. We worked bloody hard to earn our badge. Most of the ponces that want to take my badge were at school when I did my knowledge. And if they want it, they can fight me for it. London's infrastructure are the arteries of London's survival. If they want a scrum let's go down for one. What have we got to lose ?

I know it looks grim. I know we have a mountain to climb, but we simply have to fight back. If we chose the political route, they will kill us. We MUST let them know that we are up for a fight. 

Its a big call, but it can be done.

For those of us who are familiar with the Battle of Rorke's Drift, you will be under no illusion of what can happen when a minority are fighting for survival, and have to create a miracle to win. Furthermore, you will be under no illusion either of the part that a good LEADER such as Lieutenant John Chard can play to his men when the chips are down and the odds of survival are stacked against them. 

The irony is, one of our very own played an enormously important part in that skirmish in Africa. 

Fred Hitch was awarded the Victoria Cross for his bravery in that terribly bloody battle. Fred was from Chiswick and was one of London's finest like us, a London Taxi Driver. He would be sad to see the current state of us, I bet.

In the hour of need, we are going to need some realistic challenge and some very good people to lead this trade to safety. 

The hour of need is here. 

The hour of need is NOW. 

Who is going to lead us ?

Who can be the next Lieutenant John Chard ?

Never has our trade needed a good leader as it does right now. In fact, our trade need him as much now, as they did in Rorke's Drift, 137 years ago. Let's hope we can find him, before we are wiped off the London Map forever. 

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

Be lucky all

8829 Semtex.