Saturday, April 08, 2017

Dagenham and Rainham MP calls for investigation into David Cameron’s relationship with Uber


Jon Cruddas has written to Prime Minister Theresa May questioning her on alleged ties between former PM David Cameron and private car hire firm Uber.

The Dagenham and Rainham MP wrote to the PM about revelations published in several newspapers last month which suggested Mr Cameron and Uber put pressure on City Hall not to toughen up on regulating the car-hailing app.

He wrote: “I am certainly not opposed to disruptive technology and competition, but Uber’s conduct in London and other cities around the world has raised serious issues in terms of fair competition, workers’ rights, passenger safety and fair corporate taxation.

“It is alleged under your predecessor, David Cameron, that Uber had undue levels of access to the very top of government and this was used to influence policy in government and at City Hall in London under the previous Mayor Boris Johnson.”

Mr Cruddas claimed to have been “inundated with emails” from constituents about the matter.

According to the reports, both Mr Cameron and former chancellor George Osborne texted Mr Johnson asking him to drop proposals that would have helped black cab drivers fight against a growing tide of private-hire cars.

Among those proposals were five minute minimum waiting times and mandatory English tests.

Ajit Chambers, an advocate on behalf of black cab drivers, designed an e-petition which enabled drivers and constituents to email Mr Cruddas and other MPs to ask for a public inquiry into the alleged ties.

Mr Chambers said: “A public inquiry will allow the legal investigation into a number of individuals who have allowed Transport for London to attempt to get rid of the black cabs.”

Mr Cruddas called for an investigation into the alleged ties.

He wrote: “I do agree there is an urgent need to review the regulatory framework governing the taxi and private hire industry in London and other towns and cities across the UK in the interests of fair competition, passenger safety and decent working conditions for drivers.

“I am concerned that the conduct of the administration led by your predecessor may have hampered fair and impartial consideration of the issues by giving undue access and preference to one operator at the expense of an entire industry.

“My constituents would be grateful for your assurance that you will investigate the relationship between David Cameron, George Osborne, and Uber, and make public any findings.”

Uber declined to comment on Mr Cruddas’ letter, although a spokesman said: “More than 200,000 Londoners signed a petition in autumn 2015 against plans for things like five minute minimum waiting times.

“They were also condemned by consumer groups, the media, and even the Competition and Markets Authority.”

A government spokesman said: “We are aware of concerns regarding the increase in the size of the private hire market and the impact of new and innovative ways of working on traditional business models.

“The government supports choice for consumers and wants to see both taxis and private hire vehicles prosper.”

Source : www.romfordrecorder.co.uk

Every time Cabs Block Westminster, I Resolve To Only Use @Uber ...James Duddridge MP.


James Duddridge MP, who was caught up in an expenses scandal back in 2014...had this to say about yesterday's demo by desperate Taxi drivers in Whitehall. 

He not only tweeted this, but pinned it to the top of his account.

He said "Every time the black cabs protest, blocking the streets in Westminster, I resolve to only use @Uber in London for a month, obviously looking for good favour there then.

This, from the Southend Tory MP, with two homes in the capital, who claims £11k in expenses for accommodation.

Southend Echo carried a story about Conservative MP for Rochford & Southend East claiming over £11,000 in accommodation expenses for 2013/14.


A TORY MP has come under fire after for claiming £11,348 of taxpayers’ money, mostly on London hotels – despite having two homes in the capital.

In the latest round of MPs expenses for 2013/14, Rochford and Southend East MP James Duddridge claimed the bulk of the cash on overnight accommodation in the city, from April to December.

The rest of his claims were made up from renting a property in the city until March 2014.

According to his financial declarations, the MP owns two properties in London, which he rents out.

Interesting, no? He owns two homes in London, rents out another, and still manages to stay in hotels

Meanwhile he lives and represents a constituency which is less than an hour from London away by train.

Bear in mind that this all dates from before he was made a junior minister at the Foreign Office. I fully expect that the amount of expenses he claims will have, similarly to his salary, risen since his promotion.

In light of this, I’m not going to add a whole lot of ranting, because I do think it’s unnecessary. What I am going to do is leave these facts here, without comment, for you to contemplate.

  • James Duddridge has voted “moderately for” the bedroom tax, according the The Public Whip — including voting against an exemption for disabled persons or in cases where there is no alternative smaller accommodation available.
  • James Duddridge has voted “strongly for” reducing spending on welfare — including voting for the benefit cap to limit the amount that those on lower incomes can claim for, er, accomodation.
  • An annual season ticket from Thorpe Bay (James Duddridge’s local train station) to London Fenchurch Street, including travel card, costs £4,640.00. The journey from Thorpe Bay station to Westminster takes around 1 hour and 20 minutes.
  • The salary of a Member of Parliament is £66,060. The salary of a junior minister (such as, for example, a Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs) is £68,710.
  • The average salary in the UK is £26,000. A full-time job on the minumum wage amounts to £13,124. 
@JamesDuddridge is your typical Tory MP, preferring to use a company who pays negligible tax, utilising under paid drivers, over the capital's icon Taxis, with his sweatshop mentality. 

I suppose James is worried, that all this talk over Tory Corruption may bring up his past record. He obviously doesn't want anyone digging into his MP's expenses scandal. 

Let's see who shot who in the foot James! 

Sources : Basildon Canvey and Southend Echo : Matthewsdent.Wordpress.com : Lenny Etheridge 

ITV London Fake News, To Show London Cabbies In Bad Light.


...

We've already seen the Evening Standard caught out this week, promoting a fake news story about London's Taxis. Now we see ITV London News trying to fake a story to blacken the name of London's licensed Taxi trade.

As the Taxi demo was getting underway on Thursday afternoon...an ITV London news team was busying instigating a fake news set up of London's Black Cabs. 


Disabled actress Samantha Renke had been hired and asked to change from her normal method of booking a licensed Taxi (through a Taxi app) -which she never has trouble with- to take part in a fake news sting, to make it look as if Taxis won't stop for disabled wheelchair users. 

Unfortunately for this sick news crew,  a witness driver realised what they were doing, and has made a statement. He said all the cabs that were flagged down who stopped for Samantha, were hurriedly sent on their way. 


Taxi driver David said :
"As I drove past her with a fare on board, I noticed her flagging. I dropped off just 20 yards past her, so I spun round to see if she wanted a cab. I was told I wasn't needed as they were filming. 

"This news item is literally lies, she was hailing ghost cabs...Utter B/S and I will be complaining to the BSA watchdog about this."

In the clip shown on the news, Samantha was filmed allegedly flagging a Taxi. The vehicle in the clip carried on without stopping and she appears to raised her arm as if to show frustration at the driver. (Nice bit of acting).

If you look carefully, it's easy to spot that the Taxi light of the Vito in the footage shown is most certainly not illuminated and therefore the vehicle is not for hire. 

But the voiceover try's to make it look as if the driver is ignoring actress Samantha, because she's in a wheelchair. 
 
Come to think of it, didn't Cameron used to work for (@ITV) Carlton Communications? 

This will now be reported to The Broadcasting Standards Commission.


EXTRA COMMENT FROM MIKE CANTY:
On the very day that thousands of Professional Licensed Taxi Trade protested in Whitehall against The Cameron/Osbourne corruption in pressuring Mayor Boris & TfL into accepting a tax-dodging US billionaires dangerous minicab app into UK but they decide not to report this ?

Instead they fabricate this nasty lie of a story using a professional disabled actress !

This plainly shows disruptive technology & dodgy politicians controlling the media by manipulating propaganda news.

Dirty tricks brigade are working hard against all professional trained & skilled workers & encouraging deregulation of skilled professions.

EDITORIAL COMMENT : 
Samantha is a disabled jobbing actress. 

She was hired to do a job (which in hindsight, she should have turned down) but as she's stated on social media, she is desperately struggling to finance a new electric wheelchair, after being refused help. 

She obviously needed this money, and never thought about the consequences of her actions. 
I really hope professional Taxi drivers do not hold this against her personally, surely we as a trade are bigger than that.

She will always be welcome in my Taxi.
I would never drive by a wheelchair, regardless of who was in it.

Friday, April 07, 2017

BREAKING NEWS : Italian Taxis Win Appeal Against Predator Pricing, Uber Given 10 Days To Clear Out 😜

  • After months of ugly demonstrations which featured batten charges from right police against working taxidrivers, Italian court has upheld the Taxi and Private Hire industry appeal against the online immediate hire app.

    IF THE ITALIANS CAN DO IT... WHY CAN'T OUR ORGS AND UNIONS?
Below is a Translation from the Italian news paper, Libero Quotidiano 
 
  • The Civil Court of Rome, upheld the appeal for unfair competition posed by major unions and economic structures of the taxi industry and car hire with driver against the Group chauffeur service Uber Uber. The Court section of Rome, adhering to the thesis represented by a legal team led by lawyer Marco Giustiniani ensured "the conduct of unfair competition takes place on the Italian territory by Uber-resistant parts B.V., Uber, Uber Uber Italy srl International B.V., International Holding B.V.".

    Judges in Roman have also banned the Group Uber "from engaging in non-scheduled public transportation with the use of similar and Uber Uber-app app Lux, Uber-Uber-Uber-Suv, X, XL, UberSelect, Uber-Van, sorting the blocking of these applications with reference to the requests coming from the Italian territory as well as to the promotion and advertising of those services on the national territory".

    Uber will then have to pay a fine of 10,000 euro and every driver to 100 euros per day of delay in the fulfilment of the order after the tenth day following notification of the decision of the Court. 

  • The judges of Rome finally condemned Uber to pay the costs of the proceedings. "Following this decision of the Court of Rome, a few weeks following the Turin Court that confirmed the blocking of the service known as Uber Pop-they know the attorneys of taxi drivers in a note-the Uber group runs the risk of having to stop all its activities in Italy, because the services offered to date were recognized in contrast to the Italian law."
This from Taxi Leaks Italian corespondent, Rosaria Tavernese

BREACKING NEWS ... Taxi winner UBER looser...

BREACKING NEWS taxi vs UBER 5 - 0 👏👏

Taxiblu is happy to inform the whole class that, earlier today, was published judgment by which THE COURT OF ROME ORDERED THE BLOCK AND INHIBITION OF BLACK UBER-SERVICE THROUGHOUT THE ITALIAN FOR ESTABLISHED AGAINST UNFAIR COMPETITION NCC TAXI OPERATORS AND REGULAR.

Despite the intervention of the State Senate last February which suspended the changes to art. 29, paragraph 1-quater of the Civil Court of Rome has shared the appeal and the oral arguments of lawyers Marco Giustiniani, Nico Moravia, Giovanni Gigliotti Tommaso Massari and the law firm Pavia e Ansaldo and the lawyer Alessandro Fabbi interest of all the taxi category and nCC regular.

The scriventa thanks, therefore, our lawyers and the law firm Pavia e Ansaldo for the incredible work done especially after the intervention of the Senate, which threatened to blow up the cause.

But above all, we would like to thank the entire category for the trust you gave us in this war against one of the biggest multinational economic giants come to Italy to escape the work in violation of existing laws.

Finally, a heartfelt THANK YOU to the judiciary ... that proved to be the only one in Italy Power worthy to bear that name

Wednesday, April 05, 2017

The Company Behind MyTaxi, To Develop Autonomous Taxis.

Why do you think the cycle lanes are so wide ?


Is it TfL's intention to clear the streets of Taxis, to make way for autonomous pods ?

During trials in London, five cameras and three lasers will help this pod navigate a two-mile path along an area also used by pedestrians and cyclists.

Over the next three weeks, about 100 people will travel in a prototype shuttle on a route in Greenwich, London.

The vehicle, which travels up to 10mph (16.1kmph), will be controlled by a computer.

However, there will be a trained person on board who can stop the shuttle if required.

Oxbotica, the firm that developed the shuttle, said 5,000 members of the public had applied to take part in the study.

This one fits nicely in the embankment Cycle lanes 


In Other Autonomous News This Week.

German automaker Daimler (DDAIF, -1.27%) and automotive supplier Robert Bosch Group (ROBERT.BOSCH) are partnering to develop and deploy autonomous taxis that customers can hail using a smartphone app by the start of the next decade.


The autonomous driving system that Daimler and Bosch plan to develop will be designed for city driving, the companies said Tuesday.

The alliance will combine Daimler's auto manufacturing expertise with Bosch's systems and hardware skills to accelerate the development of self-driving taxis—a product the companies said will improve traffic flows in cities and road safety. The autonomous taxis will also increase the attractiveness of car sharing, the companies said.

The development alliance aims to make a system for fully automated Level 4 and driverless Level 5 vehicles designed for city streets. The Society of Automotive Engineers has designated five levels of driving automation. Level 4 autonomy means the car takes over all of the driving only in certain conditions, like when the Uber driver falls asleep. 

 For example, it could drive fully autonomously in a certain geographic location such as a specific route in a city centre -such as London's cycle supper Highway. 

Level 5 means the vehicle can operate in all conditions and doesn't require any human intervention at any time.

It's All Political, Smoke And Mirrors...by I'm Spartacus


So the Mayor has announced the air strategy and as expected Taxis are exempt as there is a well developed plan for us.

As expected Uber put there oar in, so for Tom Elvidge's education who seems to know about all this as much as his drivers do about London, perhaps even less than the taxes they avoid (but not for much longer mate)

1. Taxi drivers can only use TfL approved vehicle types, Drivers have always bought the lowest polluting available to them.

2. Gross over licensing of PH has lead to ever increasing pollution so when Uber depart this will improve no end.

3. Soon the only approved taxi types will be Euro 6 or ZEC, there will be a scrappage scheme to encourage take up.

Anyhow Uber in their own words don't own or operate vehicles, so any data from them is wholly unreliable, they wont even say how many vehicles they 'control'.

To conclude then Uber, obey the law, pay your dues and then and only then can you comment.

Until then don't pollute London with your PR tosh!

I'm Spartacus 

Evening Standard Launches Attack On The Taxi Trade With Fake News... By Carrie Harrison

  

I'm sure most of us read the Evening Standard story yesterday, whereby Zipjet the "specialist dry cleaners" carried out research, analysing contamination of the most popular modes of public transport. Remarkably, Black Taxis came out as the most contaminated. 

They even went so far to say that: 
"On the contrary, the seats of an Uber was found to be the cleanest mode of transport in the city. The double decker red bus was the second cleanest way to commute followed by the tube" ... 

Well don't you think it's very strange that one of the directors/board members of the said "specialist dry cleaners" has the same correspondence address at companies house, as the registered address of the Evening Standard!

  

To be honest, we've been expecting a broadside from this paper, after the incredibly bad news week their friends at Uber have received from the Mail and FT this last week. 

The Press Complaints Commission has been replaced by the IPSO, but the Standard isn't signed up to it, so the only complaints procedure open to us is the one within the Standard itself. 

This is the intern they used to produce this article.
  
 
Please fill in the Standard complaint form below. 
It will go to the Independent offices. 
I didn't know this, but they are under the same ownership. 
We must capitalise on this instead of just commenting amongst ourselves.

http://www.standard.co.uk/service/complaint-form-8539291.html


  

Just to be clear :
Zipjet's address, registered with companies house is 76 Oxford Street W1. 
Whereas the address in the images above, is for one of the directors/board members of Zipjet, Stephen Riley and is stated as his correspondence address (coincidentally, It's the registered address of the Evening Standard). 

With thanks to Carrie Harrison and Murray Gordon 

Let's see the comments readers left on the Evening Standard online article:




Let's see what Zipjet customers have to say about their service:



Tuesday, April 04, 2017

UCG Demo On Thursday Is Calling For A ‘Parliamentary Inquiry’, Which Is Extremely Worrying... By Dave Davies.


It seems the Mail article has led to some positive things and the website sending  letters to MPs which has been set up is a great idea which should get political support for a Public Inquiry. 

The VAT legal case is also another positive development. 

 

I have noticed that the UCG demo on Thursday is calling for a ‘Parliamentary Inquiry’ which is extremely worrying.



  This is the very last thing that is wanted.


It is exactly what could be used to cover up the wrong doing because it would have no judicial power.

People need to have a clear understanding of exactly what they are calling for.

 

I know I sound like a broken record but what is needed is a Statutory Public Inquiry , which is Judge led and has the power to call  witnesses and have them testify under oath.

(Please see below)


It would be great if this info could be communicated  to the UCG/LTDA or anyone else that is calling for a Parliamentary Inquiry


Regards Dave



 

A Parliamentary Inquiry is NOT a Public Inquiry

I have noticed that some are calling for a ‘Parliamentary Inquiry’ which is extremely worrying.

This is the very last thing that is wanted ; it is exactly what could be used to cover up the wrong doing because it would have no judicial power.

People need to have a clear understanding of exactly what they are calling for.

 

What is needed is a Statutory Public Inquiry , which is Judge led and has the power to call  witnesses and who testify under oath.

 

Public Law

It is a requirement of Public Law that decisions made by a Public body or someone in Public Office are rational and evidence based, for proper purpose, proportionate and properly reasoned. These criteria exist to ensure that decisions result in fair and effective policies and strategies.  It is extremely important to acknowledge that these criteria are not just an obligation they are legal requirements and the failure to comply with these requirements is a breach of Public Law

 

The points below define the legal requirements for decisions made by a Public Body. It is the case  that the decisions MUST comply with these requirements  in order to be legal; it is not optional

1/ Follow correct procedure

2/  Be Rational and Evidence based

3/ Have proper purpose

4/ To comply with the European Convention for Human Rights

5/ To be Proportionate

6/ To be properly Reasoned

 

Public Inquiry
It seems that the Government has taken no notice of numerous requests to intervene and take action about the blatant improper conduct of Osborne and TFL.

The ONLY reasonable solution is for the failures to be properly investigated in the format of a Public Inquiry


In 2012 ALL of the London Mayoral candidates formally supported a call for a Public Inquiry to investigate the failures of TFL.

In 2014 the Environmental Audit Committee made a formal recommendation to the Government for a Public Inquiry into TFLs failed air quality strategies (which includes the Taxi Age Limit and the Defra report which proved that it was unlawful)

Cameron rejected this ; he probably knew that it would expose corruption.

Certain characteristics can be identified in those public inquiries that have taken place:

·         Widespread loss of life

·         Threats to public health or safety

·         Failure by the state in its duty to protect

·         Failure in regulation

·         Shocking events

1.     Allegations of serious misconduct and prima facie merit have been made against those acting, or purporting to act, on behalf of the state and

2.     Those allegations are sufficiently widespread and are being treated sufficiently seriously by those outside Government to undermine the public’s confidence in the integrity of the State and in the rule of law and

3.     The allegations relate to a sufficiently defined event or series of events to allow an inquiry to be given proper and clear terms of reference and

An inquiry would represent the most effective means of establishing the merit of the allegations made and so of restoring public confidence.

 

 

file:///C:/Users/Authorised%20User/Downloads/SN02599.pdf

 

 

A Statutory Public Inquiry has the ability to call witnesses but a non statutory does not 

If you use the language that you are calling for a ‘Parliamentary enquiry’ you will end up with a Parliamentary Select Committee conducting a powerless investigation which TFL do not have to comply with (non-statutory)

 

 

If you allow a non statutory Public Inquiry to take place then it could be the case that key TFL witnesses are ‘on holiday’ or ‘unwell’ at the time of the hearing.

Update, From The Good Law Limited Regarding Crowdfunding StretchedTarget


Thank you for your support. 
As you will have noticed we have now hit the initial fundraising target. This means we are in a position to commence proceedings against Uber. The legislation gives Uber a period of time to provide us with a VAT receipt - until the middle of this month - and this means we can't sue it until that period of time has run out. But we will not drag our heels. Last week - even before the fundraising target was hit - I asked the barrister team to start drafting the claim again Uber and I hope and expect we will be in a position to start proceedings against them in the High Court before the end of the month.
Some people have asked why the funding target has been raised. 
If you read the original listing it explains that it is very difficult to work out how much a case like this will cost and it points out that £75k is unlikely to be enough. I also said this on twitter a number of times whilst we were raising the £75k. And although £75k is a lot of money, remember, the case could well be worth billions of pounds to Uber. 
Because the barristers and solicitors are working at low rates, I think £75k will take us most but not all of the way. If we don't hit the raised target I am likely to need to seek more crowdfunding later on. But we will still take the initial steps. Indeed, I cannot absolutely rule out the possibility that we will need to raise more money even if we do hit the raised target. But I will try very hard to avoid that possibility.
Yes, I could have asked for more money to start with - but sometimes people like to see how you spend the money they've given you before they give you more. And if you ask for too high a target you run the risk that you won't hit it and you won't be able to do anything. So I exercised my judgment.
In the meantime, you should make sure that your MP understands your frustration at the fact that it is you who is having to pay to challenge Uber's tax avoidance. You should ask him or her why HMRC isn't doing it.
Thanks, again, for your support. I know the money you pledged was hard earned.
Jo Maugham 
Editorial Comment 
News just in 
Uber has now refused us a VAT invoice. We will issue proceedings before the end of the month. 

Use this link below to donate 

Uber Uses Psychological Tricks To Make Drivers Work Longer Hours.

Uber uses psychological tricks through cleverly designed apps to make their drivers work longer hours and earn more money for the company, according to a recently released report by the New York Times

Most Uber drivers don't have the traditional 9am-5pm schedule. They have free range to set their own pace while working.

However, Uber software introduces earning targets and uses them as incentives when drivers try to log off 

In the past, Uber has also experimented with video game techniques, graphics and non-payment rewards, which are used to encourage drivers to work longer and harder.

For example, Uber has utilized a tactic known as earning goals, which in their case, alerts drivers that they are very close to hitting a target when they try to log off the company's driving app. 

Uber uses psychological tricks through cleverly designed apps to make their drivers (file) work longer hours and earn more money for the company, according to a recently released report

This means the company has a clever algorithm set up that sends drivers their next job before their current ride is over.

'We show drivers areas of high demand or incentivize them to drive more,' Michael Amodeo, an Uber spokesman, told the Times. 

Amodeo made sure to mention that the 'decision whether or not to drive is 100 per cent theirs'.

And in reality it is, and there is technically no coercion. However, the added emphasis on reaching a goal, can be tempting for employees to just keep driving. 

Uber has also made efforts to create a more cheery atmosphere, especially after the company's chief executive, Travis Kalanick, was caught on camera on Super Bowl Sunday shouting 'bulls***' at Uber driver Fawzi Kamel who confronted him at the end of a ride in San Francisco for lowering prices. 

The footage added to the company's growing list of woes.

Uber is already facing horrific allegations that sexism, racism and homophobia are commonplace throughout its offices from former female employees who say they were routinely harassed.

And in order to combat those woes, Uber has taken a softer approach toward drivers in an attempt to compete with rival Lyft, which is known for being driver-friendly.

According to the Times, Uber exists in a type of legal and ethical purgatory because its drivers are independent contractors, who don't have most of the protections associated with employment.

See full article >CLICK HER<

LTR interview : with Sean Paul Day and LCDC's Grant Davis. 

   

Monday, April 03, 2017

Bombshell News As insurers Change Terms And Conditions Of Hire And Reward Policies.


It has been bought to our attention, that Tradex Insurance, who cover both Taxi and Private hire insurance, have allegedly closed a loop hole and placed an exclusion in their terms of Insurance. 

It is said they will now refuse to honor any claims made by licensed vehicle found accepting trips while working outside their own Licensed Area. 
This means that PH drivers who are licensed by TfL as Private Hire Drivers, found to be accepting trips from their operator while outside the Greater Metropolitan Police District of Greater London are basically uninsured. 

It's also alleged that Tradex are not alone in this and other insurers will also follow and add a similar caveats to their T&Gs.

Westminster Insurance have had a clause in their terms and conditions, in regards to PH drivers working outside their area since 2014 (see below).

This means Uber drivers, waiting for a ping, sitting around Gatwick Airport, are uninsured. As are the Uber drivers working the Uber app in Oxford, Reading, Bristol, Southend, Brighton etc. Drivers are breaking the law by being uninsured as soon as they accept work from Uber (or in certain cases illegally Touting)  

This notice above was recently out out by St Albans City and Distric council. Steve Garelick of the GMB said 
"If St Albans can so this, then why can't other councils and the Police?"


It also works in reverse... PHV driver's licensed in Liverpool, Manchester, Birmingham etc, who come to London at the weekend to work in the capital, are also uninsured and breaking the law.

The legislation on cross border hiring is complicated and open to interpretation. See this article which explains the 2015 act in detail. >http://blog.itaxi.co.uk/?p=294<

But the terms and conditions of the insurance companies is very clear. Accept a job and pick up passengers for hire and reward outside of your licensed area, and you are uninsured.

As I write this post, thousands of PH drivers are accepting work, picking up people outside their licensed area, driving their vehicles without any insurance cover.

See below, from page 11 sub (ii) of the Westminster Taxi, PHV, PSV terms and conditions: