Is their memory really that bad, or have the victories been blotted out by the fake news put out by orgs who refuse to upset TfL and call any protesting Taxi Drivers 'Loonies'.
Let's just reflect on the list of victories that protests, demonstrations and Flash Mob hits have achieved.
A massive demo and coordinated rest day in the seventies stopped us having to collect VAT for the government on Taxi fares!
Another mass protested at the old GLA HQ stopped speed bus being introduced across London in segregated bus lanes similar to the cycle lanes we see today, which would have created large no-go areas for Taxis across the capital!
We demonstrated at Westminster Council House to stop Westminster council introducing licensed Private Hire offices across the west end, it proved successful even though the LTDA told its members to stay away!
Jim Wells led many night time protests which saw:
• Mr Ali's illegal operation finally closed down
• Rank extension at the Victoria Sporting Casino
• The booking desk at the Hippodrome removed
• Cab rank outside Stringfellows
•The lines of touts moved from outside Hombre and The Sports Cafe
• Ranks appointed in Coventry Street.
Under LCDC's chairman Jim Wells leadership, we also created a data base of the registration numbers of virtually every private hire vehicle in London. Ideas was to have an on line data base that people could check to see if secondhand cars had been used as Minicabs.
All these victories where achieved by rank and file driver protest, flash mods and demonstration.
When TfL sublet the bus stand in Whitcomb street to a private hire operator (WestOne Cars) with Marshals touting sending potential passengers to a booking office in Leicester Square, we had a massive demo and the cars were forced to moved into the car park on the courier of Panton Street. Once out of view, it finished them off and the Marshals (financed by Westminster) disappeared.
Killer on the Knowledge fiasco :
We then heard through in insider at TfL, there was a Private Hire driver, (who had murdered his wife and also seriously assaulted his daughter) on the knowledge, we held two mass demos outside Penton Street and not only was he slung off the KoL, but the Managing Director for TfLTPH (Ed Thomson), was moved on.
The TaG hit squads Flash demos at Tiger Tiger, Charing Cross Road and Swallow street led to new ranks being appointed as did the driver led action from the Mayfair Mob at Nobu, Hakassan and Novikov in the WestEnd and the Forge rank in the City.
Not forgetting the night time demos and flash mob protests at Smithfield to get ranks at Smiths and Fabrics.
I had a conversation over the weekend with a driver sitting on the Shard taxi rank who said "demos don't work". I pointed out to him, that the only reason he was able to sit comfortably on the Shard rank, was the fact that the LCDC had organised a protest at Palestra over Peter Hendy saying it was impossible to have a rank in St Thomas street for the Shard.
If protesting for the salvation of the trade that gives you and your family a living makes you a Loonie in the eyes of the LTDA general Secretary, then sign me up to the asylum
In my eyes appeasement for an easy ride and a seat at the table, is treason towards your trade and your fellow drivers.
TAXI LEAKS EXTRA BIT : by Lenny Etheridge.
Let's not underestimate the great British right to protest.
If the police got lemon - it would show the world how undemocratic the United Kingdom is (not via the BBC obviously).
The last #ITA 5 day demo got our message into the newspapers and onto TV, on all 5 consecutive days!
How do you think the rape stats got into the media and public consciousness?
Proper on foot #DDD marches with bespoke placards, banners and leaflets.
The public and TV cameras could not unsee our message.
The Christmas sticker campaign went smashingly.
I still see them around London, eighteen months later!
A demo without a message, is worthlessness.
TAXI LEAKS AND FINALLY BIT : by LTR
On merit, the LTDA COM should GO. The systematic erosion to our industry has culminated in over 100,000 minicabs plotting up all over the Capital. Evidence- if it were needed- of the LTDA’s utter failure to defend the best interests of the cab trade