Thursday, January 19, 2017

So what drives me? .... By Lee Ward.

I am sure that the regular readers of Taxi Leaks have noticed that I have supplied posts to this platform, but I have never explained why.

Let me give you a little background to myself first.

I have been in this industry for over 20 years, I started as a weekend telephonist to supplement my income as a new father, that went on to dispatching by voice (the good old fashioned way) and then by computer. This lead me to be a qualified Taxi/Private Hire driver and have held this badge with the Sheffield City Council ever since.

During this time, I have also been a part of the management team of two of the largest Private Hire companies in this are, Mercury and City (450 and 1000 cars respectively) and between these two posts I owned in partnership a company we called Phoenix (started with 4 cars and built it up to 180)

I am now back as a full time driver.

So why did I start this crusade that I find myself on morning noon and night?

Very simple, I found myself in a dark place, a very dark place....

The industry has been very good to me, it has provided for my family and myself, it has given me friends for life and it taught me a few good lessons in life, but it left me...

It left me when I could not make the living I was making.

It left me when I had to say NO to my wife and kids basic requests for simple things.

It left me when I worked on a day to day basis to pay bills and put food on the table...

It left me and I wanted to leave this world, thats how dark that place was that I was in.

I would have probably gone to that place too, if it was not for the ever present thought that my wife and kids would be distraught and with nothing at all coming in, not even what little I was providing, and the thought that if I went to that dark place and did what those little voices were saying to do.... my mother would have fooking killed me !!!!

So I looked at that dark place and stared at it and searched in that recess what it was that had done me in such a way to make me have these thoughts and feelings, and the more I looked, the deeper I searched, I found it... and it was not me that had brought me to this, or even made this dark place I looked, it was this government, and all the authorities that continually shout out that they are their for public safety...

I understood that, I totally got it, but...but what about my family and myself? what about OUR safety?

What about us having food, having heating, having clothes?

Is that not safety also?

Is that not a part of why I pay my license, so they can police the industry that I am in?

I guess not...

So I decided that my dark place was going to be my driving force, and thats why I do what I do....

I do it because I am proud, I do it because I have responsibilities...

I do it because I love this industry...

And I do it for ME....

I may be a small fish in a big pond, but a lot of small fish together are a dangerous thing....Piranha spring to mind...

And as for the house brick through my family home's window, if you are reading this 'boy' thats not going to stop me just fuels me.

As Eminem said...

Yeah, it's been a ride
I guess I had to, go to that place, to get to this one
Now some of you, might still be in that place
If you're trying to get out, just follow me
I'll get you there......................




Anonymous said...

Great Post Wardy;
The insight that you showed with your previous detailed article is excellent and valuable to those around you who do not have the ability to have the same understanding of the facts
hang on in there!

Anonymous said...

You're on a roll Lee ! Two blinding posts in the same week!
Ease up mate, I'm getting jealous !

God bless Brother.


Editorial said...

The battle of the bloggers 😱😂😂😂
As it happens you've all been a godsend as it's just me running Taxi Leaks now.
Understandably others have to move on as it gets very stressful.

Fortunately it's the stress that keeps me focused..
But I am always glad of any contributions 👀👍🏼


Anonymous said...

Without sounding patronising Jim, you make a fantastic job of it too mate. I wouldn't describe it as stress though.I would describe it as out and out frustration. I don't think anything has ever frustrated me in life as much as the London Cab Trade.
I think it's because by the very virtue of the job, it's made up of individual independent people.
That's all very well being a lone wolf of course, but when there is ever a need to unite........we've had it !
In the wild, predators will normally track and stalk a lone victim of prey. They know only too well that there is safety in numbers. Sadly, us lot haven't learnt that yet. Thus our current punishment.

Keep punching Governor. Love ya to bits Jim.


Anonymous said...

why don't we realise that, the ORGS, who are just a gravy-train, for the chosen few, are our biggest enemy & the major cause of our current woes?

lee ward said...

I have just fired off a letter to NALEO and IOL Chairs, I will send it to Taxi Leaks next week, hopefully with a reply from them.

I have also asked my local authority to read my arguments about Uber being illegal and to put it into writing to me that if they believe them to be legal, then say it, no more sitting on the fence. That will follow when I also receive a reply.

Thanks for the kind words guys, I dont do this for kudos but appreciation is always an energy provider.

Keep up the posts Semtex and everyone else, and you keep this awesome industry blog going my friend, its needed by everyone.


Anonymous said...

Parliament made Laws, from years of evidence, which showed, the need to protect the Public

now we have, the highly paid & expensive Authorities, charged with administrating & enforcing those Laws & Acts, TOTALLY, being a Law unto themselves

Anonymous said...

Thanks Lee, it's not just the government and local licensing authorities that have led us all towards the darkness; the trade orgs here in London have had a hand in our demise too...
Which is why my subscription will be cancelled.

Lee, what you and the ITA have done independently this week has shown the trade orgs what a shower of s#*t they really are!

Great effort Lee

Anonymous said...

Well said Lee.

"Brothers in arms"

Anonymous said...

I myself was a mini cab driver for eleven years before I done the knowledge 25 years ago.
I know exactly what your feeling.
The private hire the real ones should join the black cabs in there drive ins and demos.
There was and is enough work for both of us if we unite and get rid of this uber scum.
What we need is one United Union and a strong leader someone of the calibre of the late Bob Crow.
We ain't going away so let's sort these scumbags out once and for all.
We could start by putting the word out that every cab and mini cab drivers should withhold there income tax this January under protest.
Let's all pay the same as uber fcuk all.
Protest outside Palistra house the town hall and uber a backers the great Goldman Sachs.
Every single day a running protest until we win also calling mass drive ins at a moments notice.
Fcuk the police they ain't putting bread on my table.

Anonymous said...

Great article Lee. Feel your pain but love your fighting spirit :) Keep posting!

Anonymous said...

Fantastic post if I could have 1 wish it would be that all the trade orgs unite as one and have just 1 union who can stand up to TFL

Dark Star said...

Hang on in there Lee, you ain't alone... Like minded, active people who have been working in the background on issues "UNPAID" will contact you soon, with a plan that will move things foreward!

lee ward said...

I look forward to that Dark Star