Thursday, May 11, 2017
Uber Faces Regulation As Transport Company App, Not A Digital Service Outside Rules, Says Top EU Lawyer
Uber is really a transport company, not an internet company, in official advice given to the European Court of Justice. If it's followed by the court, the opinion will have significant impact on horizontally integrated platforms operating in Europe that present themselves as intermediaries and thus bypass many regulations.
Opinions from one of the court's Advocate Generals on any given case are significant, but not always followed by the court itself, notably in Max Schrems' "Safe Harbour" case. There the AG deemed that US-EU data arrangements met European privacy standards, only for the court to disagree.
The court will soon issue a clarification prompted by a case against Uber brought by Barcelona's licensed taxi association, Elite Taxi, which alleges that the unlicensed UberPop service is illegal. The case boils down to whether Uber can bypass local licensing requirements by qualifying as an information service.
Transport isn't covered by the European Single Market services directive, which is intended to sweep away local protectionism. So if Uber qualified as an "information service", it could sidestep the requirement to follow local taxi licensing regulations.
In the opinion of AG Maciej Szpunar, a Polish legal academic, however, it doesn't. In a press release issued by the court today, Szpunar recommends that the court reject Uber's defence in its judgement. His reason for doing so is interesting.
Szpunar set to two tests for an information service, both of which he concludes Uber fails to meet. One is that the information supply is "economically independent" of the customer-facing bit, as it is with airline reservation systems such as Amadeus and Sabre. The second test is whether "the provider supplies the whole service... so that the two services form an inseparable whole, a proviso being that the main component... is supplied by electronic means".
Uber fails to meet either standard. Drivers aren't autonomous of the platform, and wouldn't be driving around for hire if it wasn't for Uber. It's Uber, not drivers, who set the price.
"All those features mean that Uber cannot be regarded as a mere intermediary between drivers and passengers. In addition, in the context of the composite service offered by the Uber platform, it is undoubtedly transport (namely the service not provided by electronic means) which is the main supply and which gives the service meaning in economic terms.
"The Advocate General concludes that, in relation to the supply of transport, the supply whereby passengers and drivers are connected with one another by electronic means is neither self-standing (see point 1 above) nor the main supply."
Therefore, Szpunar concludes, the court should view Uber as a transportation company.
Wednesday, May 10, 2017
The recent Mail exposures have helped to let many Taxi Drivers who do not use social media about the Cameron/Osborne/Johnson /TFL corruption.
Cameron. Dacre. Osbourne
I knew when I gave the information to the Mail that they were motivated to report the story about Cameron and Osborne after the request was made to sack the Mail editor Paul Dacre by Cameron because of his stance on Brexit. I also knew that they were unlikely to report the involvement of Boris Johnson and TFL.
It has become extremely clear that no other main stream media is going to report the corruption; Have you noticed that there was barely any coverage of the Mail exposure anywhere else?
This is not accidental; it is a deliberate and conscious effort to cover up this toxic story and serious questions need to be asked as to why.
Some have stated that the Cameron /Osborne corruption is so toxic, and that along with the Tory 2015 Election expenses scandal it could be the reason why Theresa May called a snap election (after stating for months that she categorically would not do so)
It needs to be understood that it would have been very difficult for Theresa May to not be aware of what was taking place with Cameron and Osborne and even if she was not directly complicit, she is indirectly complicit by ignoring their corruption.
She was Home Secretary throughout Cameron’s time as Prime Minister and was the longest serving Home Secretary in 60 years. What that tells you is that alongside the Prime Minister and Chancellor she was in the most senior role in Government and that she was extremely close to Cameron and Osborne, otherwise she would not have stayed in the job for the entire time Cameron was Prime Minister.
The FOIs reported in the Mail exposure confirmed that Downing Street Staff were involved in setting up meetings with TFL and that they then tried to cover these meetings up by providing false information in response to the FOIs saying that the meetings had not taken place.
The fact that Theresa May has called a snap election could well have been influenced by the exposure of this toxic corruption because if the full facts are reported she could well be implicated. If she wins the Election, it will provide her with separation from Cameron’s Government and from the 2015 Election expenses scandal.
The only person who can initiate a Public Inquiry into the corruption involving Cameron, Osborne, Johnson and TFL is the Prime Minister.
The only time that she is vulnerable to the further exposure of the corruption is now.
As things stand she is likely to have a significant majority after June 8th and will then be invincible.
The only time that protests are likely to have any affect is NOW before the election; afterwards she won’t care what Taxi Drivers do.
Remember 2012? I tried to persuade people to protest BEFORE Johnson was re-elected as Mayor because that was when he was vulnerable and would be most affected by Taxi protests.
Taxi Drivers protested in 2012 in massive numbers AFTER he was re-elected . He ignored all protests and instructed the Met to use anti terror laws to stop protests.
It is likely Teresa May will do the same after June 8th.
There are groups of drivers across the country who will support action.
If London Taxi drivers protest about the corruption then many will support it. Those who think that they need to have a protest exclusively for London Taxi drivers exclusively about London Taxi issues have been proven to be wrong.
The corruption affects everyone in one way or another. The improper and unlawful policies of TFL are having an effect throughout the UK.
The congestion and air pollution affects everyone. Air Pollution creates more than £50 billion a year in health costs so everyone who uses the NHS is affected.
Tens of thousands die each year from cancer, heart and lung disease and many other health issues caused by toxic air pollution which has been caused by corrupt policies.
Throughout the UK many Taxi and Private Hire drivers operate alongside each other. In some areas drivers associations represent both. In some areas drivers can hold a Hackney and Private Hire License at the same time.
It is acknowledged that in London some Private Hire drivers have acted without regulation and have ignored the rules as much as Uber, which has been allowed to happen by a corrupt TFL.
That should not prevent London Taxi Drivers protesting ; it should motivate them to protest at the corruption of TFL .
The idea that London Taxi Drivers would somehow be standing ‘shoulder to shoulder’ with Private Hire Drivers if those drivers support the same call for the corruption to be exposed, is not valid.
If there is a protest there needs to be as much support as possible from as many people as possible.
It doesn’t matter if they are Private Hire Drivers from elsewhere in the UK (who have been affected as much by TFLs corruption as London Cabbies have), Cyclists, Air Pollution Campaigners, Campaigners supporting the NHS or anyone campaigning against corruption.
The more people that protest calling for the same thing the better chance of exposure in the media and the better chance of success.
This is not an issue just affecting London Taxi Drivers ; its a national issue of a corrupt Prime Minister, Chancellor and Government.
It needs to be exposed BEFORE the same Tories are re-elected in bigger numbers
The recent campaign which has seen thousands of letters sent by Taxi Drivers to MPs demanding a Public Inquiry was a great idea, but unfortunately most Tory MPs just ignored their constituents requests and those Labour MPs who have written to the PM have not made any difference.
Why would people not want to expose this before the Tories are given another free ride for 5 years after June 8th?
In the recent Anthony Joshua v Klitschko fight AJ made a spirited effort in the 11th Round to knock out his opponent. If he had not made that effort he would have lost on points.
He had the guts and spirit to fight and is now World Heavyweight champ
It’s now the 11th round for Taxi drivers and it’s time to come out fighting. Wait until the 12th round and you’ve already lost; it’s no good fighting after the final bell!
No criminal charges are to be brought against Conservative MPs or officials in relation to allegations of spending irregularities in the 2015 general election campaign, the Crown Prosecution Service has announced.
One file, relating to the victorious Tory candidate in Thanet South, Craig Mackinlay, remains under consideration.
But the CPS cautioned that this should not be taken as an indication of whether charges will be brought in this case, which was referred more recently than the others.
The CPS head of special crime Nick Vamos said that prosecutors considered files from 14 police forces, but determined that – while spending returns may have been inaccurate – there was insufficient evidence to prove that any candidate or agent was dishonest.
Conservative Party chairman Sir Patrick McLoughlin said: “These were politically motivated and unfounded complaints that have wasted police time. We are glad that this matter is finally resolved.”
The Conservative candidate for Lincoln, Karl McCartney, who was interviewed as part of the investigation, said: “This whole saga amounts to no more than a politically-motivated witch-hunt.
“It is clear that those who lead the Electoral Commission who followed and allowed this action to take place are politically-motivated and biased – actions that have rendered this organisation wholly unfit-for-purpose.”
Police investigations into the 2015 Tory campaign centred on allegations highlighted by Channel 4 News and the Daily Mirror that expenses relating to busloads of Conservative activists sent to key seats were reported as part of national spending rather than falling within the lower constituency limits.
In March, the Conservative Party was fined a record £70,000 by the Electoral Commission for “numerous failures” in reporting its expenses for the 2015 General Election, and three by-elections in 2014.
Answering questions after a speech in Leeds, Mr Corbyn said he was “interested and surprised” by the CPS decision, but would have to look at the details of it.
“Quite clearly the Electoral Commission is independent, the Crown Prosecution Service is independent, the Director of Public Prosecutions is independent, they have to make a judgment on it,” said the Labour leader.
“But our election laws must be enforced and must be adhered to, there are strict spending limits for a reason, so that money can’t buy power, only votes in the ballot box should be able to get power.”
Mr Farron said: “The observation I would make of the Conservative Party is it appears to have stayed the right side of the law by the letter of it, but has driven a battle bus and horses right the way through the spirit of it. It’s a shame, in one sense, it would appear there is a cloud hanging over British politics.”
Tuesday, May 09, 2017
Five Teenagers Jailed Over Spate Of Terrifying Attacks On Taxi An Private Hire Drivers In Redbridge.
Monday, May 08, 2017
Sunday, May 07, 2017
Black Cabs... Or ... Brexit?
Was this why the mail exposed Cameron and Osborn?
David Cameron asked Daily Mail owner to sack Paul Dacre over Brexit | Politics | The Guardian
David Cameron pressed the owner of the Daily Mail to sack his avowedly pro-Brexit editor, Paul Dacre, in the run-up to last year’s EU referendum.
A source indicated that Lord Rothermere, whose family owns the newspaper, told Dacre that the then-prime minister had suggested he sack him, in a story that was first reported by the BBC’s Newsnight programme.
The Mail was one of the most vociferous voices for Britain to leave the EU before the 23 June referendum.
Dacre and Cameron met at the PM’s Downing Street flat on 2 February 2016, the day after Cameron’s planned new deal with the EU to ward off Brexit was announced.
There Cameron asked Dacre to “cut him some slack”, but was rebuffed - although the account has been denied by a spokesman for Cameron.
Early the following month, Dacre was told by a “Westminster source” that Cameron had sought to persuade Rothermere – who inherited French nationality, along with the newspaper, from his father for tax reasons – to sack him, making the editor “incandescent” and all the more determined to push for Brexit.
It was only in July, after the referendum, that Rothermere personally told his editor of the pressure from Cameron.
A spokesman for Rothermere refused to deny the story.
The spokesman said: “Over the years, Lord Rothermere has been leant on by more than one prime minister to remove Associated Newspapers’ editors but, as he told Lord Justice Leveson on oath, he does not interfere with the editorial policies of his papers.”
Dacre said in a statement: “For 25 years, I have been given the freedom to edit the Mail on behalf of its readers without interference from Jonathan Rothermere or his father. It has been a great joy and privilege.”
A spokesman for Cameron said: “It is wrong to suggest that David Cameron believed he could determine who edits the Daily Mail. It is a matter of public record that he made the case that it was wrong for newspapers to argue that we give up our membership of the EU.
“He made this argument privately to the editor of the Daily Mail, Paul Dacre, and its proprietor, Lord Rothermere.”
Source : The Gaurdian