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Thursday 23 August 2012

Guido Fawked – Taxi Not For Yeo, But For Boris

The campaign to “get” Tory MP Tim Yeo by the Guido Fawkes blog has already been noted here. What had not been clear, however, was where the Fawkes blog had got its steer: after all, the operation is at present in the hands of intern Alex Wickham, while the perpetually thirsty Paul Staines suns himself at another of his four residences, and the flannelled fool Henry Cole is also on leave.

Cripes chaps, these cabby coves aren't happy!

And the answer is not only not a secret, but also shows how the Fawkes blog slants others’ stories to match its own line, while protecting politicians that Staines idolises. The disquiet among some London cabbies – though how many is unclear – was not primarily over Tim Yeo’s involvement, but the behaviour of occasional Mayor Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson.

In fact, when you look at the material that was used by Wickham to produce the items on the Fawkes blog, it is not difficult to blink and miss the mention of Yeo: it’s all about Bozza. Moreover, it’s equally about pollution and poor air quality – yes, someone concerned about the environment has gone to the one well known blog that specialises in kicking environmentalists.

You think I may be jesting here? Have a look at this press release, on the website of National Taxi Association (NTA), on behalf of a group calling itself “Cabbies Against Boris”. Or another missive from that group carried on the Sack Boris site. Both these pass severely adverse comment on the age limit, which is held to be “improper and unlawful” and will “do nothing to reduce emissions”.

Plenty of attacks there on Bozza. None on Yeo. Now consider this post on the SuperCabby site, authored by Dave Davies and again citing Cabbies Against Boris. After berating Bozza for his closeness to the Murdochs and Barclays, Davies returns to criticism of the age limit for taxis, restating the position that it will do nothing for emissions and claiming that its only purpose is to sell more new cabs.

Then he says this: “Boris implemented the Age Limit after it was proposed by his close Conservative colleague Mr Tim Yeo who is Chair of the Environmental Audit Committee. Mr Yeo is also Chairman of Eco City Vehicles who sell the new taxis that drivers are forced to buy at a price of more than £35k”. And that is where the Guido Fawkes blog got its ammunition.

Never mind that the twin clear concerns of Cabbies Against Boris were a suspicion of less than totally ethical behaviour by the Mayor, and the number of deaths each year attributable to poor air quality. Bozza is an heroic figure to Staines and Cole, and so in the retelling he comes out smelling of the proverbial roses. And the environmental argument also gets lost in the Fawkes laundry.

Just so they can go after an MP they don’t like. Another fine mess, once again.

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