Saturday, January 14, 2017

If You Have Tears, Prepare To Shed Them Now ..............by Semtex.


Not my own words, but the words of Shakespeare's Julius Caesar, Act 3 Scene 2.


Those words could just as well been my own, last night at the Bank Junction.

Whether a fan of the legendary Bard or not, you will not need me to outline the act of Betrayal in the story of Julius Caesar. As the betrayed Caesar lay dead with a dagger in his heart, Mark Antony quoted the above, If You Have Tears................


The UCG's hit at The Bank on Thursday afternoon, could not possibly have taken place in worse weather. It was freezing cold, with snow, hail and absolutely unforgiving rain.

I have been working with an Irish Garda Search & Rescue Dog Team on the windswept Dartmoor for the last week, and I have another two weeks to go. Nevertheless, my heart and passion in the London Cab Trade is always foremost, and I made the three hour journey up to London, from Plymouth.

Difficult, expensive and thwart with industrial action as the journey was, I wouldn't have missed standing back to back with my colleagues for anything.


Getting off the tube at Liverpool Street around 1615, I began the short walk to the Bank, cutting across London Wall and along Old Broad Street.


Looking at my watch, my attention was drawn to the cabs picking up on London Wall with less than an hour to go. Not the end of the world, I thought. There's still a while yet, and probably plenty of time to support the call.

Sheltering from the extreme weather, I stood on the top step of The Royal Exchange, monitoring the rapidly growing gathering about 100 meters in front of me.


The Police Commander and Met's Liaison Team were already in place, carefully observing the situation and the rapidly expanding black cab presence. With 15 minutes to go till the official demo start, cabs were now commanding every road and street to the Bank Junction, horns blaring and flags waving. By 1700, the UCG's request for back up had been answered and I witnessed members of every Trade Org we have, loyally mustering for duty, in a display of respectable strength and unity.

It was very frustrating watching our trade gather to this venue on such a dreadfully rain battered evening. Sod's Law, there were people wanting cabs everywhere. Had it not been a demo, our colleagues would have earned some well needed coin, but considering the importance of the UCG's request, our unity had to be seen as potent. 


And potent it was. By 1730 the whole area was in lockdown, as the Police Gold Commander professionally observed and allowed our trade to voice it's disenchantment.


The driving rain and freezing conditions showed no mercy and it continued to beat down unmercifully. At around 1800, I shook hands and congratulated the UCG's Trevor Merrills who, like everyone else there, was soaked to the skin.


My schedule was extremely tight for getting back to Dartmoor. I gave our youngest son a call who works in the City, to quickly grab a coffee with him, before heading off for my train. I told him not to attempt to drive down for obvious reasons, and arranged to meet him at the junction of St. John's Street and Clerkenwell Road.



The demo was still in full pelt as I crept away, and despite the weather, decided to tab up to the rendezvous with my son, shaking hands with a few of our trade before I left.

It was freezing, it was dark, it was wet, but I was well wrapped up, and not made of sugar............and felt a lovely warm glow inside.


BUT NOT FOR VERY LONG !!!


Walking back down Old Broad Street, the road was obviously gridlocked, as was West bound London Wall.

However, as I walked through Finsbury Circus and over Moorgate, I felt as though I had been punched in the head. There were cabs with yellow lights on, blue lights of POB and cabs waiting outside buildings with name boards in. Not just one or two, but dozens and dozens of them.

By the time I reached Clerkenwell Road, it looked every inch business as usual. Yellow lights, blue lights, name boards and cabs plying.


All this as their colleagues were going skint fighting for our very trade's survival not two miles away.


By the time I got to my boy, I was absolutely fuming. Fuming because of what I had just seen. Fuming because in all honesty, I felt a complete prick. All that way, seven hours travelling, £145 worth of fares, a day missed training my dogs, and for what ? To meet up once again, like I have done for over twenty years, in the pissing rain, freezing weather and witnessing the same two or three hundred faces, that bend over backwards to fight the good fight, in hope that we have something to fight for at the end of it. As hundreds more of 'our own' have an absolute field day bonanza on the back of it !


At first, my son thought it was funny, before realising how angry I was. "Calm down, Dad ! You will make yourself ill again over this. I said to Mum you were mad coming all this way !"


And of course, he was right. I will make myself ill over it and I was mad travelling all that way.


We had a coffee together, and to be honest, I cant even remember drinking it. I was so pissed off. My son drove me to catch my train and I gave him a hug as he waved me off.

As he did so, and all the way up to the station, yellow lights and our very own Roman Republican Senators, earning their money, whilst their very own Brothers and Sisters were earning nothing, soaked through to the skin at the Bank, in a brave attempt to fend off our attack, and imminent demise.


Melodramatic maybe, but I had a brief insight of how old Julius must have felt as Marcus Brutus stuck the blade in him. Betrayed by his own, and murdered.

My fate and that of my Brothers in Arms at The Bank was thankfully not as sinister as that of the Roman Emperor, but just as brutal and equally as hurtful, I wager.


What with the industrial action, inclement weather and everything else to hinder my journey back to Princetown in Dartmoor, I eventually got back to my hotel where my wife was waiting for me at just before midnight.

She knew instinctively that I was upset, and no doubt had her card marked by our son in London so deliberately body swerved any further conversation.


It wasn't just the odd rogue cab driver, it was hundreds of them betraying their mates at the Bank, fighting for the trade's survival and going skint in the process.

For many years I have been proud of rallying the troops via my writings as a trade scribe. But something had been knocked out of my heart walking from the Bank to Clerkenwell Road last night.

It was heart breaking to see so many of our colleagues joining the call, waving flags and doing their level best to support and fight our precarious futures, only to be taken advantage of by the two bob, betraying Judas's.


I realise of course that we all have financial restraints, we all need the money and we can all do without attending demos  on a wet, freezing cold Thursday night in winter.

But despite that, and even if they didn't agree with the demo, couldn't those drivers park up somewhere or stay at home in quiet solidarity, just for the short period of the trade's action ?

Coming out and cleaning up like that was reminiscent of watching a David Attenborough documentary. It was so disrespectful and lamentable.


Well, our trade is out again at the Bank soon. I will be back from Dartmoor by then, so taking into account of what I said above, will I be there ? You bet your life I will ! And I guarantee that the same 300 trade fighting colleagues will also be there, just as we always have been, and always will, each and every time we need to be.


To those staunch lovely people and passionate proud London Cab Drivers, I will see you again in the trenches. Fighting for survival, fighting for a fairer trade and fighting for tomorrow.


To the other two bob band of Marcus Junius Brutus's.....................thanks for your apathy and ungentlemanly felony. 

I hope you reap what you sow.


"For Brutus, as you know, was Caesar's angel. The Gods know how dearly Caesar loved him ! This was the most unkind cut of all. For when the noble Caesar saw him stab, he understood his beloved Brutus's ingratitude. It was stronger than the violence of traitors, and it defeated him, bursting his mighty heart."



Be lucky all.



8829 Semtex.

CITY POLICE IMPOSE SEC14 ON TAXI DEMONSTRATION MONDAY 16th JANUARY 2017



Section 14 Public Order Act 1986 ​

In order to prevent serious disruption to the life of the community, the following condition has been placed upon the event due to take place on the highway:

  1. A static assembly must only take place within the roads inside the area of (and not including) West of King William Street, West of Gracechurch Street, South of London Wall, East of St Martin’s Le Grand, East of New Change, East of Friday Street, East of Lambeth Hill, North of Upper Thames Street
  2. Any assembly may only take place for a maximum of 90 minutes from 1500hrs.

If you take part in the public assembly today you must adhere to this condition. Failure to do so may lead to arrest and prosecution.

The condition may be subject to change by the Senior Officer present – if in doubt please consult a Police Officer.​




As far as we can see, this sec14 only covers Monday 16th

Press release from the Independent Taxi Allience (ITA) 

On Monday if the police order us to move. We move.
We are entitled to work in the City of London; so after moving off, we are entitled to return to ply our trade.
If a policeman tell us to head off up Cornhill, we will.
And once we have complied, we may go to the area we feel we can best earn our living.

If we do not exercise our right to ply our trade in the City, that trade will be stolen from us, with the aid of the Metropolitan Police, the City of London Police, Transport for London and the Corporation of the City of London.
We must make sure we ply now or forever lose that right!

Policemen who are also Taxi drivers have warned us to keep your cameras rolling. And report any officer who is not displaying identification.

Some of these City of London officials who want us out and buses in, belong to the same lodge as the Commissioner. So do not expect fairness.

If the City plays dirty, we will have to change tactics. We may go on foot protests, or choose another venue within the Square Mile.
If we feel threatened, we will lock our taxis up and leave them where they stand.


Remember Ian Tomlinson, the innocent newspaper vendor who was killed by police.

So the bottom line is do what the police tell you to do. But you have every right to return to find work.



Friday, January 13, 2017

WhatsApp messages can be intercepted by governments or hackers – but there's an easy way to fix it


WhatsApp has a gaping secuirty hole in the middle of its app. But it can be easily fixed.


An issue with the way that the app deals with the security keys central to its encryption mean that people can actually spy on messages, one security researcher has found. End-to-end encryption is intended as a way of ensuring that messages can only be read by the sender and their intended recipient, but the encryption keys that power that technology can be a weak link if tehy are wrongly used.


WhatsApp's implementation of end-to-end encryption – which is a large part of the company's focus on privacy and security – uses the widely-respected Signal protocol. That protocol relies on unique security keys that are swapped between users so that each device can check that they are sending and receiving messages to and from the right one.


Gadgets and tech news in pictures


But WhatsApp can force users to change those keys, and they won't be made aware. That means that theoretically a hacker would be able to poke around messages without the app knowing that someone else is actually reading them.


The problem means that WhatsApp's encryption can be circumvented, allowing people to look in on messages, The Guardian reported. But the issue isn't necessarily new and the means to fix it are present within the WhatsApp app.


It isn't clear why the option isn't turned on by default, but it is probably because it is thought to be rare that people would look to exploit the issue and because any messages would probably mostly serve to be confusing. But turning it on is easy and the notifications are simple 


The option is found by opening up WhatsApp and heading to the Settings menu by clicking the cog. In there, click account and then Security – that page has just one option, "Show Security Notifications", and they are turned on from there.


Once that option is switched, the app will alert you every time a key changes. In most cases, that will probably be nothing to worry about – the app changes those keys when someone gets a new phone, for instance – but will serve as an alert if something is amiss with the app.


The change doesn't actually stop the messages coming through, and so if the notification is triggered unexpectedly it is best to stop chatting until a secure method of chatting can be established instead.


On that same page, WhatsApp explains the function of the notifications. "Turn on this setting ot receive notifications when a contact's security code is changed," it writes. "The messages you send and your calls are encrypted regardless of this setting, when possible".


How to opt out of new WhatsApp's terms of use


That "when possible" refers to the fact that WhatsApp only enables encrypted chats when both people communicating are on an up-to-date version of the app. If that is in place, the app shows a yellow label alerting its users to it.


The Truth About TfL's Responsibility In Regards To Cross Boarder Hiring, From HM Government, No Less.


TfL have always claimed they have no jurisdiction over their licensed vehicles working in other areas....but that's not true and now we've just been told it's not true by the The Petitions team, UK Government and Parliament. 

Here are the important paragraphs.

Licensing authorities remain responsible for ensuring that the drivers they license remain fit and proper throughout the period of the licence. Any complaints about a driver can be investigated by the authority responsible for issuing the licence, regardless of where the driver was working at the time.

If vehicles from neighbouring areas present a problem, licensing authorities can work together to take joint enforcement action against all vehicles and drivers licensed in their combined areas. For example, in Merseyside, five licensing authorities allow each other to enforce against all vehicles and drivers across all of their areas.

Legislation allows taxis to provide pre-booked journeys outside the area in which they are licensed, without a separate PHV licence. The Government considers that it is in the public interest to encourage taxis to accept fares that may take them out of the area in which they are licensed, for example to airports or train stations. 

This concession has, in the past been open to abuse, with taxi drivers working predominantly accepting pre-booked fares outside the area in which they were licensed. The courts, while careful not to direct how a licensing authority should exercise its discretion to grant licences, have commented that it would be “difficult” to justify granting a taxi licence where a licensing authority knows the applicant has no intention of plying for hire in its area. It is the local licensing authority’s discretion as to whether or not to license such a vehicle, however to remain within the spirit of the legislation, the authority should consider the intended use of the licence.

Local licensing authorities are therefore able to address any local concerns that there may be about this issue. A number of local licensing authorities have already introduced a taxi ‘intended use’ policy when considering licence applications. 

These policies are reducing the number of taxis working predominantly on pre-booked fares in other areas. If there are particular concerns in a specific area, these should be raised with the relevant licensing authorities.


Thanks,
The Petitions team
UK Government and Parliament


This isn't what TfL have been saying, in fact they have been lying to us....but that's no surprise, TfL directors have plenty of form for telling porkies. 

TfL Licensed Uber Driver, Convicted Of Touting In Cheltenham, Keeps His TfL Licence.


Editorial News Extra:


Uber driver arrested in March 2016, convicted of touting on January 2017, carried on working with TfL blessing.


A London Uber driver has been found guilty of unlawfully plying for hire in Cheltenham, during the National Hunt Festival.


Abdifatah Hagi Abdikadir, from Emanuel Avenue in London, was parked near Cheltenham Spa railway station at around 12.14am on March 17, Cheltenham magistrates heard on Monday, January 9. 


A group of men approached the defendant's vehicle and after a short exchange got in and the vehicle and it drove off.


Further inquiries by Cheltenham Borough Council revealed that the defendant was licensed by Transport for London as a private hire driver. In interview under caution he admitted he was an Uber driver, said a Cheltenham Borough Council spokesman.


This man is still licensed by TfL today. 




Both Tweets above, outright lies from TfLTPH.

It's obvious that TfLTPH managers are lying to the staff who service this information account. 


He was fined £1,500 and also ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £150 and costs of £1,000.

The prosecution was brought by Cheltenham Borough Council and Councillor Andy McKinlay, cabinet member for development and safety, said after the hearing: 

This is the fifth successful prosecution by the council of an Uber driver who tried to unlawfully ply their hire in Cheltenham.

“This puts public safety and protection at risk because there is no assurance that these drivers are properly vetted, their vehicles are fit for use and they are not insured to do what they are doing.

“As we begin to plan for this year's Gold Cup Festival week, this should serve as a stark reminder that the council will catch unlicensed drivers and bring them to justice."


Sarah Hughes, licensing enforcement officer, said: 

“These prosecutions give a warning to drivers who wish to capitalise on the additional footfall to Cheltenham during Gold Cup week that we will take action should they operate unlawfully. 

This is just another example of a driver being prosecuted by the council for operating unlawfully during Cheltenham Gold Cup week and as a result we will continue to put additional staff on the streets during major races to monitor such activity."


Sarah Hughes, how do you fancy a job at TfL, I know of 25,000 drivers who would support your application.  

Mayor Khan Must Act Immediately : How Have These Two Still Got A Job At TfL ....by Jim Thomas.


We don't like being repetitive, and I know that so far this week we've already had two posts on this scandalous story. 

But a new video has been made available for viewing on YouTube which shows just how serious the problem has now become. And it's getting worse!!!

    

Please listen to this YouTube video of the Sadie Nines show on BBC radio Essex.



Mark Jennings (SLTDA) says:
"It's not just drivers, residents are asking, how has this been allowed to happen?"


Councillor Tony Cox (Southend Council) says:
"It's a scandal of epedemic proportions"

We know directors from TfL have lied on multiple occasions, covering up contraventions made by a couple of their highly regarded licensed PH operators. The RubyLee signage was illegal, so TfL changed the rules on liveries. 


More recently they've massaged and spun the minicab related rape and sexual assault statistics in fear they might frighten away the public from using another premium stake holder's service.

Crimes against passengers have been hidden by TfL!
And we are not about parking on ranks, touting, over charging or driving down oneway streets the wrong way....we are talking rape and serious sexual assaults. Soon we could be talking about murder as well.


The Taxi trade have a Freedom of Information request which showed154 attacks in just 6 London boroughs and yet after months of delay, promised figures requested from TFL for the whole of London's 32 boroughs, showed a substantially lower amount....with no viable explanation. 

TfL's Directors and managers have allegedly formed corrupt connections with third party companies and are disregarding not only regulation but legislation laid down by Parliament. Regulations are being changed regularly to suit third parties who refused to conform to standing legislation. 

A new PH driver's licence is issued every 4 minutes.
An average of 600 per week.
TfL are processing so many new PHVs licenses, it has become impossible to do efficient criminal records checks, credible medical fitness examinations and the suitability of most applicants as fit and proper persons, is highly questionable.

A few months ago we saw Mahiddin Mire, an Uber driver with a long standing history of recorded mental health problems, try to murder a passenger at Leytonstone underground station by slitting his throat. 
We then heard, Uber drivers were/are being coached through topographical tests -given the answers with the questions. 

At the same time we found applicants were/are able to purchase fake medical passes. 

And yet TfL have done little to stop this practise. 
Many, if not all the drivers in question have retained their PHV licenses on an understanding that they may have to resit a medical when their licence compensation up for renewal in three years time. So far, we've heard of no prosecutions which have taken place. 

Cross boarder problems at Southend, care of Baroness Kramer.
Taxi and Private Hire drivers who have been banned from driving, some who have even served time in prison, are back driving for Uber after being licensed by TfL. 

Do we have to wait till a member of the royal family, or another daughter of an MP is murdered before action is taken by the a Mayor?
This situation is disgraceful, it begs the questions: 
Why are Mike Brown and Leon Daniels still employed by TfL ?
Why haven't they been sacked for gross negligence ?

When canvassing support in the mayoral election, Sadiq Khan said if their was so much as one impropriety with one Uber driver, he would revoke the operators licence. He went on to say he would be the Mayor to run Uber out of town. 
Yet now, he's completely reneged on his former promise. 

This problem is not centralised in just London and the south east, it's happening all over the UK, with TfL registered drivers working for Uber and other companies in Reading, Oxford, Brighton, Bournmouth, Portsmouth, Bristol, Leeds, Manchester, Liverpool and Newcastle.

What will we be finding out next.
Will Taxi and Private Hire drivers struck off and banned for being rapists or even involved in Paedophile rings such as we've seen in Rotherham be found relicensed by TfL and back driving for Uber ?

Thursday, January 12, 2017

*HAPPY NEW YEAR FROM THE MAYFAIR MOB*



It was encouraging to see the taxi Orgs and others coming together to debate on London Taxi Radio on Monday.

It would be a shame to lose this momentum at such an early stage and lose the opportunity to unite us all initially under one practical banner to take our trade forward.

We in the MM consider that the only practical way forward at this time is to fully back the Mayor and TFL'S Action Plan.


This is a published, tangible document with which to hold to account those in immediate control of our trade.

We will be able to check off stated aims one at a time as they are achieved and to demand explanations when they are not.

We do not offer this as a solution to all of the Taxi Trade's problems but as a solid base with which to advance our cause as a coherent, united trade. 

We hope all drivers, regardless of trade allegiances, will join us in supporting the Action Plan in the spirit of unity.


Thank you,

              The Mayfair Mob.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

More Insight To What Life Will Be Like Without London's Taxis...



A wheelchair user says he was left on the side of the road by an Uber driver who refused to take him.

Joshua Gardner, had ordered an Uber to take him to the pub to meet his friends on Monday. He regularly uses the ride-sharing app, and sometimes travels with it three times a day.

However the driver refused to take him, apparently saying ‘Disabled people need disabled cars’ before driving off.

Ordering a minicab when you have a lightweight foldable wheelchair is plain and simple,’ Mr Gardner, a 20-year-old freelance journalist, said. ‘It will always fit in a car somewhere – either in the boot or on the seat of a car.

‘Also ordering a minicab in the UK when you’re human is plan and simple. It’s against UK law to refuse a customer because of their disability, race, sex, age or sexuality.

‘Uber broke this law when one of their drivers drove off and left me at the side of the road on Monday night in Leeds. This should never happen.’

Gardner was able to film the driver abandoning him and later post it on social media. It has since been viewed thousands of times, and has received hundreds of comments in support.

He continued: ‘This Uber driver is one of many minicab drivers who have refused me over the years and not only me but many of my friends who have disabilities.

London Black Taxis are all wheelchair accessible, have vivid yellow handles for the visually impaired and have hearing loops built in to intercoms for the hard of hearing. 

When the public kill off the Taxi trade in London by using this company that depends on slave labour, who have fake medical and criminal histories, have no knowledge of the streets and continually take their eyes off the road to study SatNavs, resulting in horrendous accidents, a company that puts up its prices when busy, pays no tax and uses predatory pricing to kill off all competition....this is all that you will have left. 

A company that discriminates against the disabled, the blind, gay and lesbian, a company responsible for massive increase in Passenger sexual assaults including rape.

You gets what you asked for folks.  


BBC News Criminals Are Dodging Council Ban And Driving For Uber In Southend

Tony Cox, Southend councillor for Transport, says Sadiq Khan should imediatly suspend Uber’s operating licence over banned driver claims.
   
   

And a quick word from our regulator


REGULATORS CRITICISE BANKS OVER UBER BILLION DOLLAR LOANS. 

Federal regulators criticized several Wall Street banks over the handling of a $1.15 billion loan they helped arrange for Uber Technologies Inc [UBER.UL] this past summer, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

Led by Morgan Stanley, the banks helped the ride-sharing network tap the leveraged loan market in July for the first time, persuading institutional investors to focus on its lofty valuation and established markets rather than its losses in countries such as China and India.

The Federal Reserve and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), which are trying to reign in risky lending across Wall Street, took issue with the way in which the banks carved out Uber's more mature operations from the rest of the business, the people said, declining to be named because talks with the regulators are private.

This so-called "ring-fencing" of certain markets makes companies appear a safer bet because it strips out the parts of their business that are loss-making.

Scrutiny of the Uber loan by regulators was not a surprise because it is rare for young, unprofitable technology firms to tap the leveraged loan market which is traditionally restricted to companies with long histories of generating cash.

Regulators have said that loans with more than six times leverage may receive a closer look. Goldman Sachs Group Inc, Barclays PLC and Citigroup also helped arranged Uber's loan. Representatives of the banks declined to comment. Uber was immediately not available to comment. 

Representatives for the Federal Reserve and the OCC declined to comment.

Uber does not disclose its financials but Chief Executive Travis Kalanick has said that the company is profitable in its most developed markets in the United States and Europe. The company is losing money in regions such as China, where it has been locked in a battle with rival Didi Chuxing. Last August, Uber said it would sell its China operations to Didi.

Uber spends millions of dollars to attract riders and drivers and lost more than $800 million in the third quarter, according to Bloomberg. But Uber proved a popular draw for investors because of their familiarity with its business and because it had recently closed a $3.5 billion round of financing from Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund, giving it a valuation of $62.5 billion, dwarfing that of blue-chip companies such as General Motors Company.

Debt investors usually focus on a company's ability to generate cash, or EBITDA, relative to its debt when they are deciding whether to lend money. Uber, however, was analyzed on a loan-to-value metric, which focused on its equity valuation relative to its debt, investors said. This is not the first time that regulators have scrutinized Wall Street banks for leveraged loan transactions. Regulators have been clamping down on risky lending in the wake of the financial crisis.

Last year, regulators cautioned Goldman over risks involved in two loans totaling $1.8 billion that backed a $4 billion buyout of Ultimate Fighting Championship. Regulators had focused on accounting adjustments that inflated the mixed martial arts group's future profitability.

So far, these warnings have not resulted in any fines but banks may avoid riskier lending in the future to avoid the possibility of any punishment from regulators.

"Increased scrutiny from the federal regulators could certainly prompt banks to reduce the supply of credit in the leveraged loan markets," said Shawn Thomas, a professor at the University of Pittsburgh's business school who has written about leveraged lending.

Banks are often willing to help raise debt for high profile companies, even if the deal risks regulatory scrutiny, because they hope to land a role in their eventual initial public offerings.

Source : mobile.reuters.com

You Ain't Seen Nothing Yet............ by Semtex.


It was a difficult day for London Commuters on Monday. With most of the underground tube network out of action due to industrial dispute, moving across the capital was a game of strength, luck and stealth.

Union action is nothing new, Industrial disenchantment has always been part and parcel of working in the centre.


Next day however, the media, the newspapers, the news channels, Twitter, Facebook and many other social platforms are clucking around like headless chickens. 


Not because of the Industrial Strike Action...................but because they all appear to be shocked and astonished but at how mini cab firm Uber, made the best of the situation by massively hiking their prices.


And they didn't just put prices up a tad either. No, Uber tore the arse right out of it today and claims of FIFTEEN times the normal fare have been reported on the media.


This wasn't a unique set piece from Uber either, it's been done thousands of times before. Christmas time, bad weather, extreme busy periods and even the atrocious and murderous attack on Paris, ensured that Uber were able to deliver their 'Coup De Grace' under the respectable and respectable operating cloak of "Price Surging."


Although Uber's slick Marketing Guru's will try to convince you that price surging is an effective tool to ensure vehicle availability and ample coverage of driver attendance in such times as the aforementioned situations, in reality of course, it is simply a ruse to bend you over and rob you.



To be honest, and in their defence, Uber have never hidden this adulterous operating arrangement either.

Like many others, I spotted this coup way back in 2012, when I first studied their business model. It didn't surprise me, one jot when they deployed it again on Monday.


What has surprised me though, is that very few people have the foresight to realise that this futuristic phone app lark, dubbed "the way forward" and my favourite " moving with technology" is what all of London's (and beyond) commuters will end up with, if they fail to support and patronise the London Cab Trade.


The London Taxi Trade have NEVER in their history surged their pricing structure due to bad weather or terror attack. And neither will we ever. The London Cab Trade NEVER make a profit from National Emergencies, and at times when our capital have been cursed with such, have volunteered our professional services for FREE. Many, many times.


Naturally, we have our supporters and loyal patronage who support us through good and bad, rain and shine. However, and much more since the birth of the Yankee mob, there are also millions of travelling public in London, who just don't deserve us.


I am not by and large a naturally nasty, vindictive person. But in all honesty, it gave me a lot of pleasure watching the Uber supporters struggle into work today. I only wish there was an App that I could put on my phone, that would let me know if the hand going up on the pavement, or the person standing in the long queue.........was supporting the Uber App. Because if they were, I wouldn't take them. I would rather save my professional, rock solid services, to the regular customers that use us all the time.


There were hundreds of whinges and moans yesterday, that the Californian syndicate were charging £60 for what would normally be a £7 job. Excellent ! Long may it continue. I hope they treble it to £180 next time.

What amazes more than anything at all though, is that Londoners and Uber supporters in particular should really be careful for what they wish for.


London Taxi Drivers are leaving our profession at an all time high. Knowledge candidate numbers are on the floor. TFL are trying to kill us off, and the Government have been complicit in our hopeful demise.

What people would be very mindful to realise though, is that if The Great London Taxi was to disappear from our capital, like so many other fine traditional services..................a £5 ride turning into a £60 one, will be the norm overnight.

There will be no need for inclement weather, industrial action or terror attack to prompt Uber's Control Centre to press the "Surge" button. London mini cab prices in Uber would be at this level PERMANANTELY !!


In my dreams, and of course, totally unrealistically, I would love to see every single London Cab off the road for two solid weeks. Only then, would the travelling customers of the capital, see what will really happen should our great service be gone forever one day.


And they wouldn't know what had hit them ! Never mind sexual attack, there would be more wallet rapes reported than at any other time in history ! Uber would absolutely fleece the lot of you. And to be honest, for everyone out there who patronise these cowboys, it couldn't happen to nicer people.


Be under no illusion though, the scenario I made above, is what Travis Kalanick envisaged in his mind, the very day he let these Highwaymen out of the Tavern.


Uber's model was simple. Saturate London with cheap travel, using unqualified, unchecked, untested cheap labour. He knew that there was no way that a bona fide legitimate business model could compete with inferior, imitators. Especially as their insurances and medical criteria were not examined thoroughly. If he could do this for long enough, the London Cab would disappear and Uber could introduce the REAL operating model ! The model that Travis had promised his investors and believers from the start. The model that would change the £5 ride.......into a £50 one. And you either took it........or used public transport or walked.


London Commuter guinea pigs had a dry run of Yankee Boy's wilful intent today..........and it hurt them. It hurt them very much. Their wallets had ben pillaged, their loyal allegiance to Uber shattered.


Pardon my complete lack of empathy for the American Surge Mob's wallet autopsies on London Commuters today, as I know only too well what betrayal tastes like.


Later this week, I shall be standing shoulder to shoulder with my Brothers in Arms, men and women of the 400 year old Great London Taxi Trade. A globally respected and award winning International Service For People provider.

A band of brothers who were willing to sacrifice four years of their lives, to learn, train, perfect and deliver the art of driving in total knowledge and safety, through some of the most congested, precarious and difficult road conditions in Europe. A loyal group of 25,000 men and women, whose families propped up their loved ones with belief, hope and undying moral support, during the mind blasting world famous topography test known as "The Knowledge".  


Any one of us could have taken the easy way out. 

Any one of us could have traded four years for one week.

Any one of us could have signed up to be part of the conniving imposter Uber platform. But not one of us chose to do so. Why is that, do you reckon ?

Do we like pain ? 

Do we like the uncertainty that maybe we may not reach the extremely high grade ? 

Do we enjoy going out on a moped in ice, snow, rain and ninety degrees sunshine and either boiling to death freezing our limbs off or getting soaked to the skin ? 

Do we enjoy sitting in a classroom until 11pm at night, missing our beautiful sons and daughters having their bath time and bedtime story without us ? 

Do we enjoy going through the humiliation of constant monthly interviews, being orally tested on millions of London's streets, roads, points of interest and theatres ? 

Do we enjoy investing around £30,000 over four years with no Government backing, incentive or financial assistance ?

Do we enjoy going without holidays, unable to buy the best Christmas toys for our kids and swatting up information as our mates get drunk, enjoying themselves at parties?


OF COURSE NOT !!


My colleagues and myself chose this voluntary purgatory four year studying sentence, because we wanted to be professional. We wanted to be the best. We wanted to reach and the raise standards. We wanted to carry the legacy and fly the flag of professionalism through the next 400 years as our forefathers did from the first days of the horse drawn Hansom Carriage.


We wanted to prove through repetitive and thorough training and continual assessment that we were experts in our game, trained in safety, trained in customer care and trained in knowledge.

We wanted to wear our coveted badge with pride and passion, knowing that we represented the very best Taxi service on the planet, barring none.


We wanted security for our families, in loyal repayment for years of staunch love and moral support.

We wanted to earn an honest living, being proud of how our superior training enabled us to put the steam on our family table. We wanted assurance that our huge investments of time and finance, were not given in vain for nothing.


In short, drivers of the Great London Cab Trade, were willing to take this enormous test of expertise, knowledge  and investment, to allow us to wear the badge that epitomises EXCELLENCE.


Since 2012, and ever since the spawn of Travis Kalanick's dream of total dominance arrived in our beautiful city from Los Angeles, Transport For London, The Government and hundreds of thousands of Londoners have deserted The London Taxi.


The cheap, dubious and unprofessional cowboys have somehow managed to convince many people, especially the younger ones, that Uber are worth betraying the London Black Cab for.


Of course, there are thankfully still millions of faithful, grateful supporters, who wouldn't dream of travelling across our metropolis in anything other than a professional black cab. To those loyal people, I would like to thank them with eternal gratitude, and God willing, we will ride the American storm. 


To the Uber defectors...........Thanks for nothing.  Spare us you're whingeing on social media. You have only yourselves to blame. If you think you were shafted this morning , rest assured that the Uber real price structure hasn't hit you yet. This morning's price hike was nothing.


If our trade go, then you best invest in a very good pair of trainers, a bike or stand and wait for a crowded bus to get you to work ninety minutes late. As I mentioned earlier though, me and my mates know only too well what betrayal tastes like, and it's not very pleasant.


 So to all the London Commuters who deserted the London Black Cab Trade in support of the cheap ride Uber, roll your dice again.  And as you do so, remember the words of Bachman-Turner Overdrive ..........


" You Ain't Seen Nothing Yet !"



Be lucky all,



8829 Semtex