Friday, January 05, 2018

Letter To Editor : This Whole Business Of Uber Carrying On Operating Is Beyond A Farce - by Laurence Green


What possible reason could there be for TfL not to revoke Ubers licence to operate - especially after Uber obtained the license using misleading information – notice how the weakest terms of expression are used and not the strongest, such as corruptly or fraudulently obtained a licence to operate – if TfL were to use the strongest terms, they would have no choice but to revoke Ubers licence.

Meanwhile this alleged corrupt organisation are continued to be allowed to plunder, because lets face it, that’s what is happening – Uber are using predatory pricing to plunder work away from licensed taxis, in an effort to starve us out of a living – while the regulator pulls every string it possibly can to prolong this corrupt strategy to devastate.

The licence extension awarded by TfL and the appeal all points towards TfL playing their part as the conscientious, diligent regulator, while buying time for Uber, who are conveniently allowed to continue operating.


I have written to Anand Nandha, head of compliance TfL regarding Uber P4H at the Saint Pancras set down area, I have also written to Valerie Shawcross - Shawcross wouldn’t reply to me, neither would Nandha – all I asked was a simple question:

Could I ask you who from your legal team supplied you with their legal opinion and what information or case law was used to form their legal opinion that the Uber vehicles at Saint Pancras were not plying for immediate hire?

I had replies from Chelsea Mckinley and Neil Hassett quoting opinions from TfL' legal department, stating that parking alone didn’t constitute P4H – 

When confronted with case law such as Rose v Welbeck, they run a mile! .... Why?

What they were actually quoting, were paragraphs from a book written by TH Button.

Below is the actual case law, published on Taxi Leaks Case Law blog. Click link below



Here is an extract from a email I received from Luke Howard, Senior Strategy and Integration Manager PCO/TfL from 2009, where he makes it quite clear what illegal plying for hire is:

Illegal plying for hire takes place if a private hire driver enters into or concludes negotiations for the hire of the vehicle or where a private hire driver waits in or patrols an area in a way which is likely to attract custom. TfL will look at the circumstances of each case to determine whether any actions taken amounted to an invitation to be hired.” ( Luke Howard)

In my opinion TfL are lying through their back teeth about not knowing Uber is a peer 2 peer service, the writing was all over the wall when it was established Uber do not accept pre bookings.

It clearly states in the 1998 PH Act (London) that all rides must be pre booked through a licensed operator. Time and time again TfL were informed Uber were operating outside of regulation, but TfL senior management refused to act. It is my opinion Uber were licensed illegally and this was done out of malice, to deliberately and malevolently damage the London Taxi Trade.


John Mason can spout all the rhetoric he likes on social media that there was no requirement to check how the Uber app actually worked; but there was a mechanism to protect the general public and enforce regulation, it's called due diligence. No doubt he will say there is no primary legislation for that either!

Now we get to the interesting part: Why is Sadiq Khan as a Human Rights barrister of some distinction denying these basic rights to London Taxi drivers, by failing to intervene using the powers of office he holds. The regulated London Taxi Trade has been subject to oppression, abuse and systematic intimidation since TfL' inception – the level of malevolent behaviour by senior management at TfL is unprecedented in the 300 years of the London Taxi Trade.

Why is Mayor Khan allowing this to happen – cab drivers health and well-being is being destroyed, some are facing financial ruin  - meanwhile the Mayor and MP' sit in their ivory towers with their noses in the air, oblivious to the stench of corruption!

Today I asked Gerald Gouriet QC via twitter, if defining P4H by statute could make make current case law redundant – his answer was “Depending on the definition... Yes!”

Now I've said it before and i'll say it again: It's my opinion and belief that getting P4H defined by statute is the last hand TfL and the Mayor will play to legitimise Uber - existing case law is the ONLY thing that Ubers collaborators can't challenge; the only way Uber can carry on, is if the case law is made redundant. I believe this is why Ubers licence hasn’t been revoked. The Mayor and Ubers stooges at TfL are looking to move the goal posts – And parliament will be the ones who screw the coffin lid down on the London Taxi Trade.

Laurence Green. 

Editor Jim Thomas with Laurence Green at the Blackfriars TfL Protest 

Uber Co-Founder Travis Kalanick Said To Plan Sale Of 29% Of Stake

Thursday, January 04, 2018

UBER’S LATEST LICENSING DEFEAT “A WAKE-UP CALL” SAYS UNION


Imminent expiry of Uber’s licence in York, is the latest in a year of blows to San Francisco transport giant in UK cities following landmark legal defeat over drivers’ rights. 
Contributor Mick Rix, National Officer for Transport – GMB.

GMB, the drivers’ union, has called on transport giant Uber as it faced yet another blow, with its private hire operator’s licence expired in the City of York on 23/12/17. Uber’s private hire operator’s licence expired following a City Council decision to refuse the transport giant a new licence, in the wake of complaints it received – and concerns about the company’s data breach.

The company had been granted a private hire operator’s licence in the City of York in December 2016 to run until midnight tomorrow. But the City of York council’s gambling, licensing and regulatory committee refused Uber a renewed licence to operate on Tuesday 12 December 2017. 

Uber were given 21 days to appeal the decision. 

The company can continue operating until the deadline on 7 January 2018 – 21 days after it received the official notification of the committee’s decision, or lodge an appeal.

It is set to be the latest blow to the multi-billion pound San Francisco giant, coming after the European Court of Justice this week rejected Uber’s claim that it is not a transport company, despite the company’s repeated insistence. Contesting Uber’s claim that it was not a transport company had formed a crucial part of GMB’s landmark October 2016 employment tribunal victory over Uber – with the tribunal rejecting the company’s claims.

In a monumental victory for GMB, the 2016 employment tribunal ruled that Uber drivers are workers and are therefore entitled to the minimum wage, holiday and sick pay. However, the company has continually refused to accept the verdict, even despite an employment appeal tribunal last month rejecting an attempt by Uber to have the decision reversed. The original ruling in GMB’s favour was upheld.

Since GMB’s employment tribunal victory in 2016, the beleaguered company has faced licencing battles in UK cities including London, Swansea and Sheffield. The suspension of Uber’s licence in Sheffield was lifted a few weeks ago.  A new application made by Uber to operate private hire cars in Sheffield is being considered and a decision will be made in early 2018.

GMB was this week granted permission to participate as an interested party in Uber’s appeal against the decision by Transport for London (TfL) not to renew its licence in London, which is expected to be heard in summer 2018. This week’s European Court of Justice ruling added further support to GMB’s longstanding argument that Uber is a transport company.

Mick Rix, GMB National Officer for Transport said: This latest blow should be a new year wake up call for Uber. It can no longer behave like it’s on another planet. How many times does Uber have to lose before it gets the message? “As we enter the new year, 2018 should be the time for this company to really turn over a new leaf and accept reality – that Uber is a transport company, that it’s drivers are workers with rights, and that it must comply with a level playing field of licensing to protect the safety of the public and the welfare of all drivers.

“Uber has been in denial for far too long. The company is fighting a losing battle, wasting time and money protesting against the decisions that have repeatedly gone against it. Uber should instead be getting round the table and setting out how it will change its ways.”

Source : The HRDirector online.

TAXI LEAKS BREAKING NEWS :
Uber have this afternoon submitted an appeal in court, against York Councils refusal to renew their PH operators licence. 

LONDON (Reuters) 4 Jan, 2018 5:21pm- 

Uber submitted an appeal in the northern English city of York on Thursday to overturn a decision by the council not to renew its licence over concerns about a data breach and the number of complaints it had received. 

An Uber spokesman said :

“While we have today filed our appeal, we are also seeking to meet with York City Council in order to address their concerns."

The firm can continue to operate until the appeals process is exhausted. 

Uber is also battling to keep its cars on the streets of London, its most important European market, after it was stripped of its licence to operate. 

Its London appeal will be formally heard in court in June

Fake Uber App Hijacks Your Password And Covers Its Tracks


A new imposter app for Android pops up a screen that resembles a user’s Uber login screen in order to steal their username and password, before automatically spawning the real Uber app so the user won’t realize anything’s amiss.

The security firm Symantec, which discovered the fake Uber app, says it’s a variant of a type of malware it calls Android.Fakeapp. Earlier versions have impersonated other popular apps.

The creators of this version”got creative,” Symantec’s researchers details were captured, with the use of a deep link, which lets one app link into inner screens in other apps. The fake user interface “pops up on the user’s device screen in regular intervals until the user gets tricked into entering their Uber ID (typically the registered phone number) and password.” After a user presses “Next” and the credentials are stolen, the user is sent to the ride request screen on their legitimate Uber app, where they would expect to be after logging in, the company says.



Last month, security firm Avast similarly reported malware that could impersonate common Android apps like the Google Play Store and Chrome, along with thousands of different banking apps, in order to steal credentials.

Symantec advises smartphone users to only install apps from trusted sources, monitor which permissions apps are requesting, and use mobile security tools to keep their phones safe. Uber for Android has been installed between 100 million and 500 million times from the Google Play Store, according to statistics from the site. Of course, some of those Android users were part of a breach involving roughly 57 million accounts that the company disclosed late last year.

Source : Glodaladvisors.biz

TAXI LEAKS EXTRA BIT : 
Many users in the Tech world are alleging that this is a double scam, put up to take the heat off Uber's massive data breach of 57 million accounts.

Uber became embroiled in scandal when it was revealed that they had paid off the hackers and we're trying to keep the data breach quiet. 


Campaign for Air Pollution Public Inquiry PRESS RELEASE www.cappi.org.uk ... By Dave Davies

Will Labour take action on Uber Corruption FOR THE MANY thousands who have suffered and NOT THE FEW who have pocketed thousands?
It is surely to job of the Opposition to hold the Government to account for its failures and ensure action is taken when serious corruption and failure is exposed?


In November 2016 thousands of Taxi Drivers protested in Whitehall about the utter corruption involving Uber and the failings of Transport for London which had led to congestion and toxic air pollution.

Theresa May promised an investigation but nothing happened. ( see Press Release below)

In March 2017 The Mail published 11 articles, some of which were front page headlines, exposing the unarguable utter corruption involving Uber, Downing Street, David Cameron, George Osborne, Boris Johnson and Transport for London.(see list of articles below)


The reporter who wrote the article said

‘’I have been investigating this murky affair for several weeks, and the more that emerges, the more I am convinced it is one of the great political scandals of our time.’’

At the same time more than 5000 Taxi Drivers used the Point Cab website to write to their MPs who in turn wrote to the Prime Minister demanding a Public Inquiry following the exposure of the corruption.

Theresa May ignored the 5000 Taxi Drivers and the many letters that she in turn received from MPs, and instead called a snap election.

In the 6 days before the election was called the Mail published 5 articles exposing the toxic Tory corruption; it is extremely difficult to believe that the two facts are unrelated.

If Theresa Mays intention of calling the snap election was to bury the story about the Uber corruption involving Downing Street and senior Tories, it worked.

After a few days there were no further stories published and the Labour Party and everyone else seemed to forget all about it.

In addition to the unarguable previous breaches of Public Law by senior politicians and Transport for London and the exposure of utter corruption, in recent months it has been exposed that 
• Uber Drivers were responsible for a massive increase in rapes and sexual assaults
• Uber had not co-operated with Police 
•13,000 Uber Drivers had not had proper Police checks
• Uber had not disclosed serious data breaches in which 57 million customer and driver details were hacked (they had also paid hackers to keep this quiet)
• Uber has never complied with the Legal requirements to be a Private Hire Operator
• Senior Uber executives had lied under oath in court (evidence given in two different court cases conflicted and therefore one persons evidence has to be false).

Despite all of this the Labour Mayor of London , who is a lawyer and knows better than anyone that Uber do not meet the Legal Requirements as a Private Hire Operator, has taken no action to stop Uber.

The recent announcement that Uber’s licence will not be renewed counts for nothing; they are still operating illegally on a daily basis and their licence which was granted amid utter corruption should have been  suspended with immediate effect. On a daily basis people are still breathing toxic air pollution and the illegal activities, including rapes and sexual assaults continue.

So the question is:
Will the Labour leadership , who have many thousands of constituents who are breathing toxic air pollution caused by congestion created by tens of thousands of Uber drivers, who also have many constituents who have been subjected to rapes, sexual assaults, abuse, and defecating in peoples gardens by Uber drivers, and who also have many Taxi Drivers as constituents whose pleas for urgent action they have ignored, finally stand up and take proper action?

Or will they just stand by like the Labour Mayor of London and allow the toxic Tory corruption which affects everyone, to go unchecked?

Perhaps in the next few weeks when Taxi Drivers start to protest on a daily basis Labour will listen and take action?

Perhaps if a reminder letter is sent from the 5000 Taxi Drivers who previously sent letters to their MPs using Point Cab, which have then been ignored, Labour will  listen and take action?



Will Labour stand up and take action for the ‘MANY NOT THE FEW’ as they keep telling us they will?

A chronological summary of the Mail articles and election announcement

The Mail decided not to report any more about the corruption as soon as Theresa May called the snap election.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4331490/No-10-rules-snap-election.html  20THMarch –Theresa May vows no snap election












http://www.dailymail.co.uk/wires/ap/article-4420938/UK-election-talk-builds-ahead-surprise-statement-May.html 18th April- Theresa May calls snap election after 5 Tory corruption stories in 6 days
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         



Why has the Mayor taken no action?

TFL are accountable to no one which in itself is something which should be investigated in the format of a Public Inquiry. The Mayor is Chair of TFL and therefore could not conduct an independent investigation. The GLA are supposed to be able to scrutinize the decisions and policies of TFL but have no statutory power to take action about TFL failures. 

A GLA report in 2014 which deemed TFL to be ‘Woefully Inadequate’ has been ignored.

 

Why has the Department of Transport taken no action?

Formal complaints have been made to the DFT over a number of years and even though this is a national issue  they have continually stated that they have no jurisdiction over TFL and that it is a matter for the Mayor to deal with. The Mayor is Chair of TFL so therefore cannot taken independent action.


What are the requirements of Public Law ?

It is a requirement of Public Law that decisions made by a Public body or someone in Public Office follow correct procedure, are rational and evidence based, for proper purpose, proportionate and properly reasoned. These criteria exist to ensure that decisions made by a Public Body result in 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 the reason why TFL’s decisions and  strategies have failed.

 

The legal requirements for a Public Body are to

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

 

TFL have failed to comply with these requirements.

Wednesday, January 03, 2018

TO BE, OR NOT TO BE .... SHOULD WE PROTEST IN JANUARY?


The ITA have called a number of protests later this month, against TFL's decision to allow an unlicensed Private Hire eHailng app to carry on working with the public, after refusing to relicense the compan who they consider to be not fit and proper. 


The article below was first published on the Dads Defending Daughters website on Monday 1st of January 2018. 


Let’s not forget Uber are still operating as they have been for the past five or so years. In that sense, what has changed?


Despite the following, TfL have allowed Uber to continue to operate under appeal:
• Uber's approach to reporting serious criminal offences including a rise in sexual assaults & rapes.
• Uber's approach to how medical certificates are obtained.
• Uber's approach to how Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks are obtained.
• Uber's approach to explaining the use of Greyball in London - software that could be used to block regulatory bodies from gaining full access to the app and prevent officials from undertaking regulatory or law enforcement duties.
• An increase in road traffic accidents.
• VAT avoidance allowing 'Uber' the ability to directly undercut taxi drivers regulated fare*


*Orthodox licensing looked at the licensable activity and didn't concern itself with the financial background; R v Warrington Crown Court, ex p CC of Cheshire:
https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/ld200102/ldjudgmt/jd020620/wngton-1.htm

However, the climate has changed and now all sorts of criminality is taken into account; see para 11.27 of the s.182 Guidance:
https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/ld200102/ldjudgmt/jd020620/wngton-1.htm

And see Hanif v East Lindsey:
https://www.docdroid.net/ENML8VD/ac9800809qbdadmin.pdf#page=2

(a) Why should Taxi drivers have to fund a VAT case against 'Uber' when TfL have the legal tools to ensure Uber pay their correct taxes?

(b) If TfL decided that 'Uber' was not a 'fit & proper' company on public safety grounds they had the power to revoke Uber's license without allowing them to operate while under appeal on public safety grounds [s 17(2) 1998 PH act].

(c) Was TfL's decision not to renew Uber's license a financial decision or a public safety decision?
Given the fact point (b) granted TfL an immediate right to revoke Uber’s license on public safety grounds, we believe that the Mayor took the option not to protect the public, but instead to protect TFL financially – If the Mayor had revoked Uber’s license on public safety grounds and not allowed them to operate while under appeal, TfL would be exposed to a financial claim for any losses should Uber have won the appeal.

(d) So ask yourself, does TfL really want a legal battle with Uber?

(e) If the answer to (d) is Yes, then why didn't TfL revoke Uber’'s license and protect the public while the appeal process was carried out?

(f) TfL instructed Deloitte to undertake a review of Uber's 'booking process'; they claim that the driver accepts the booking before the operator. If TfL believe this to be the case, why are they still allowing them to operate illegally?

(g) Uber’s T&C's claim that the driver is contracted to Uber BV, the customer pays their fare to Uber BV, the customer’s receipt is provided by Uber BV.

If TfL/Deloitte are correct it'd suggest that the booking investigation would confirm (1) the customer makes the request to; (2) the unlicensed Uber BV, who  are making the provision for the invitation of the booking (3) the driver accepts the booking (4) Uber London do nothing, and just record the booking after the driver has accepted.

(h) If we are not going to peacefully protest over this illegal process, what happens when we are steamrollered byTaxifyLyft or any other Private Hire tech company who want to break the rules and operate here. After all, Taxify have already admitted the driver accepts the job before the operator.

(I

                With thanks to Chris Johnson

Editor's note:
Will this email to Mike Brown, ever receive a reply?




Taxman No Longer Taking Credit Cards Payments For Tax Bill After January 13 2018.


You should be receiving a letter from HMRC with your taxi bill, saying no credit card payments will be taken from January 13.

Hundreds of thousands of taxpayers, including over stretched Taxi Drivers, hoping to defer the pain of their annual tax bill by paying on plastic will be hit by an HM Revenue & Customs when the ban on personal credit card payments which comes into force. 

The ban is a response to new rules that mean HMRC will no longer be able to pass on the bank charges for processing credit card payments. 

Especially ironic for London Taxi drivers who have been forced to accept this type of payment for over a year, plus told they must absorb the transaction costs. We had no choice, to quote our largest Org's General Secretary..."It was a done deal".  

The timing is likely to cause difficulties for some of the 11m Britons trying to complete their annual tax return, as it comes just before the January 31 deadline for settling 2016-17 tax liabilities.


HMRC have sent out written warnings with tax bills this month stating: 
“From 13 January 2018 HMRC will no longer accept payment by personal credit card. Debit cards and corporate credit cards continue to be accepted.”

Taxpayers are advised to settle their bills using direct debit, online or telephone banking services provided by their bank. 

Observers said the ban might surprise some taxpayers, especially the self-employed like London's Taxi drivers, who often pay by credit card in order to spread the cost of a large bill. 

We've had an extremely lean few years ago d are expected to pay our tax up front. Man drivers won't have this kind of ready cash laying around and will have to resort to loans of one kind or another.

“I know that I will not be able to pay my tax bill in cash — and why should I?” complained Brian Barrett, an accountant from Chipping Norton who said he only received a letter outlining the ban in mid-December. 


“Pulling the payment rug out from beneath me at such short notice should simply not happen. I understand that the legislation banning card payments may have been around for many months — why has HMRC not given people more time to plan their payments?”

James Daley, managing director of Fairer Finance, a research group that campaigned to have card charges outlawed, said the outcome was “never the point of the campaign”. He said the decision amounted to “penny pinching” by HMRC and would cause problems for taxpayers. It just goes to show the truth in the old saying 'Be careful what you wish for, it might just come true'.

“More people are self-employed these days. Tax bills can be quite large and some people need to put them on credit cards,” he said.

Jordan Marshall, policy development manager of IPSE, a professional body for freelancers, said: “This change has not been well-publicised by HMRC. Banning credit card payments just before the self-assessment deadline is likely to create problems for both freelancers and the tax authorities. 

HMRC said that, as a public funded body, it was unable to absorb the cost of personal credit card fees because this would ultimately mean charging the fees back to customers through the public purse. Funny how those in authority expect Taxi drivers to absorb credit and transaction charges!

When HMRC introduced the ability to pay by credit card in 2008, there were fears it would encourage people not to put money aside to pay for tax. It has become a popular option, especially after credit card payment charges levied by HMRC were cut to around 0.4 per cent in April 2016. 


Taxpayers who want to use credit cards are being urged to file their returns and pay their tax bills before 13 January. After that, the options open to those currently reliant on credit cards to fund their tax payments include taking out a personal loan. 

Alternatively they could use money transfer credit cards to borrow money and transfer it to their bank accounts. They might also be able to negotiate “time to pay” with HMRC. 

Taxpayers are also, no longer able to pay by cash or cheque at the Post Office, after the Post Office Transcash service ended on 15 December 2017. The ICAEW, the accountancy body, said the move followed the expiry of the contract with Santander which allowed this method of payment. 

Tuesday, January 02, 2018

Exclusive : The enemy is much closer to home. By Sean Paul Day.


It could be that we are seeing an end to Uber’s diabolical plan to rule the world by presenting itself as something that exists outside of human comprehension. The reality being, the vested interests (of which there were many) wanted Uber to exist outside the parameters of regulation. And the Conservatives bought in to the faux ideology, hook, line, and sinker. 
 
The European Court Of Justice (ECJ) ends a prolonged legal battle started in 2014 by the taxi drivers' association in Barcelona. Uber claimed it was just an intermediary for connecting drivers with passengers. Absurdly - to guarantee the cab trade got well and truly mugged off - TfL still granted Uber a Private Hire Operator’s licence.
 
The ECJ ruled that since the Uber app is "indispensable for both the drivers and the persons who wish to make a journey" and since "Uber exercises decisive influence over the conditions under which the drivers provide their service," the company provides a transport service, not an information one. European countries must now regulate it as such.
 
I remember the case being referred to Europe and being told that it’d be 2 years before the Courts there got to look at it. The impenetrable façade presented by Uber made it seemed like the death knell was set in place to knoll firmly over the Cab Trade
 
The cab trade came late to the table, partly because The LTDA had always considered themselves to be part of the establishment. I always thought that the old coppers club up at Woodfield Road eased policy to the trade, but now, TfL had a ‘partner’ in town, one that came with REAL benefits. 
 
I maintain to this day that Oddy’s position on TfL’s Board was the biggest disservice ever served to the cab trade. Conversely, I do not think TfL and The LTDA had a chummy relationship during that time, in fact, I believe Oddy, in TfL’s eyes, represented the face of the cab trade. 

As if that wasn’t enough to do us all an injustice, then the realisation that the cab trade was impotent and couldn’t do anything, was all TfL needed to set about dismantling us as an institution. After all, Uber now provided the tools with which to do it.
 
Even though we are in a slightly better position than we were under the last administration, it’s worth remembering that political persuasion against the cab trade hasn’t gone away. The Conservatives are still there, acting unlawfully I might add, by going on social media to rally support for Uber and Teresa May voiced her objection to the Mayor’s decision notto renew Uber’s license. It was, in fact, what May didn’t say that spoke volumes. Whatever we may think, Uber’s influence runs very deep on both sides of the house and we dismiss it at our peril.
 
Whilst we know Uber is our adversary (or at least the catalyst that was used for our demise) we are reluctant to face what I consider to be a more insidious enemy; the enemy that comes from within, one that utilises the service of an established product to compete with Uber’s phoney gig economy explosion and one whose stake in the trade is maturing at an alarming rate. 
 
I’ll go on record as saying, the heavily invested Corporate owned apps, are the single biggest threat our industry faces today. We need to summon the strength to tackle it head on. It’s not easy, mainly because it is a case of the Lord giveth, and the Lord taketh away. 
 
The transgression in Uber’s booking procedure does not apply to the taxi hailing apps. Extensive training undertaken by a taxi driver coupled with additional regulation means  unless the booking happened outside of their licensed area Taxi drivers can accept a direct hiring as we are also operators in own right. We cannot therefore blame TfL for licensing these apps illegally as they did Uber, simply because there is no licence to be had.
 
For the taxi hailing apps, Uber has never been their main competition. The main competition for these apps is, the humble street hail. For the taxi hailing apps such as Gett and MyTaxi, the work generated on the street is a massive impediment to them competing with Uber on a global scale. For either of them to make their name as players in the ‘Logistics’ business both companies need to eliminate or at least minimise our street work. Even then, the Taxi trade is too restrictive a market to use as sample base in the field of logistics. Both Gett and MyTaxi will need to transcend our industry sooner or later if they are to grow
 
I clearly remember the coal miners strike during the Thatcher administration. Their downfall was due to working too efficiently. They had literally produced mountainous coal reserves, so when the time the stand off became about endurance, the miners were left with no bargaining power, and no bargaining power ripped the life out of those communitieswho’s very survival was reliant on mining trade. Likewise, the street hail represents the very nucleus of our modus operandi, but considered as lost revenue by the apps. Simply, fewer jobs on the street, the more we are beholden to shareholders. Once the balance has tipped there’ll be no clawing our work back, and this time we’ll have no one else to blame but ourselves.  Like I mentioned previously, this is not a call to return to the good old days, that’s never going to happen, but we need to get organised, and quick.
 
You could say, Uber made us more equipped to tackle future competition that might emanate from our own Silicon Valley. So much so, that London is the first City in the world where the officially licensed taxi trade has developed its own app. A little like how the Soviet threat in the 50’s was neutralised when Britain announced we had developed nuclear energy to be used as a bomb, the Taxi Trade has its own solution to the Corporate ‘asset grab’ of our industry. If you haven’t heard of Taxiapp yet, you should have. It’s a great equaliser and is the only app in existence run as a cooperative by its drivers. If we don’t soon realise it’s significance (and huge potential) it might be too late. 
 
Even if Gett & MyTaxi don’t consider themselves as the destroyer of our industry, their endgame is automation so there is no incentive for them to strengthen our position as taxi drivers. Nor will we have to wait that long, expect there to be a shift over to connected transport systems where ‘usership’ as opposed to ‘ownership’ is the order of the day. Any wonder then why the established apps seem unconcernedabout the purchase price of the new electric cab? 
 
The authorities are beginning to realise that the modern world is multifaceted, with no prescriptive model that works for every city. The one thing the ECJ ruling doesn't do, and that isgrant cities a license to stymie competition. It establishes a more accountable playing field, not a protectionist environment. 

No doubt TfL will purposely misunderstand that as they disingenuously try to balance business interests with their role as regulator. Which, ironically, is not too dissimilar to our dilemma of biting the hand that feeds us. Remember the movie, The Beast With Five Fingers, the hand that is feeding me is ultimately the same hand that’s priming me to be strangled. 
 
The cab trade needs to face up to some stark decision making whilst we are afforded a rest-bite. I’ll leave you with one of my favourite quotes ever,
 
“One day Alice came to a fork in the road and saw a Cheshire cat in a tree. ‘Which road do I take?’ she asked. ‘Where do you want to go?’ was his response. ‘I don’t know,’ Alice answered. ‘Then,’ said the cat, ‘it doesn’t matter.”
 
Lewis Carroll
 
As with the miners, we reap what we sew, only this time we have a choice, 
 
Sean Paul Day