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Tuesday 21 August 2012

Guido Fawked – Taxi To Crewe

[Update at end of post]

Alex Wickham, left to produce the Guido Fawkes blog alone as the perpetually thirsty Paul Staines suns himself at his French retreat and the odious flannelled fool Henry Cole also imposes his presence on the unfortunate French, must have thought he was on a winner last week when he chose to continue the blog’s series of attacks on Tory MP Tim “Shagger” Yeo.

Nah, the intern did it. I was pissed, shit, no, I mean on the bottle, oh bollocks, no, I mean holiday. Yeah, I was on holiday getting pissed, oh shit no, I meant relaxed. By getting pissed. Oh sod it

Sadly, poor Alex did not tell the blog’s adoring readers the whole story as he suggested that Yeo was about to make a shedload of the folding stuff as chairman of a company called EcoCity Vehicles (ECV). This is a distributorship which has the rights to sell an adapted version of the Mercedes Vito, the most important part of the adaptation being compliance with the turning circle rules, as a London taxi.

The Fawkes blog does use the term “compete”, but doesn’t actually tell its readers what that competition may be. Fortunately, we in Crewe get a weekly free paper, which goes by a name hated by the Fawkes folks – the Guardian – which has revealed that the capital’s cabbies not only have an alternative to the Vito, but a rather more practical and likely less expensive one.

Click for full size version

How so? Well, here in Crewe there is a company called Voyager MPV, which adapts people carrier designs for use as taxis (you can see their products on the taxi rank outside the railway station). They have been working on the Nissan NV200, which they have now made compliant with the turning circle rule, and so are gearing up to offer this product as a replacement London cab.

The Crewe built cab meets the emissions standards that the Fawkes blog has been grumbling about, it even features a metre square clear roof so that punters can get a better view of all those nice new skyscrapers, and there has been a glowing reference from Bozza himself. Export orders to the USA and even Japan look to be in the offing. Voyager MPV also sells Mercedes taxis.

Not that you will read any of this on the Guido Fawkes blog, where the introduction of low emission taxis is being spun purely as an attack on Yeo, with the deliberate suggestion that those lower emissions aren’t really necessary. That the Capital’s air quality more often than not is unacceptably poor does not enter, which figures for something run by a foreign citizen with two homes outside the UK.

So remember: next time you read anything on the Fawkes blog, you’ll know you aren’t getting the full story, and it’s slanted and spun to suit their agenda – just like the Murdoch Sun and the empire of the legendarily foul mouthed Paul Dacre, two media figures that Paul Staines reveres. Now you know why.

Another fine mess, once again.

[UPDATE 1840 hours: the Fawkes blog has now run another attack on Yeo, making the ridiculous suggestion that ECV's CEO Peter da Costa somehow had a hand in the ruling that London will not licence taxis that are over 15 years old, from this year. How can he be? He's not part of any legislature. The assertion is complete tripe. It's down to their pal Bozza.

And the photo used of da Costa was published in the Telegraph back in February 2010. It has been in the public domain for at least two and a half years. And the Mercedes Vito adaptation has been available since 2008, so the idea that Yeo is somehow now trying to swing things their way, as the vehicles already have a 30% market share, is crackers.

On the other hand, ignoring the market presence of Nissan is also not a good move by the Fawkes folks: this manufacturer has a very good name among London's cabbies, having produced the 2.7 litre diesel engine that has powered thousands of them. This power unit was described by the General Secretary of the Licensed Taxi Drivers' Association as "one of the greatest engines ever put in a cab".

So the Voyager MPV Nissan NV200 taxi - which also has sliding doors, so no swinging and striking passers-by - will be a significant player in the capital. And that benefits Tim Yeo by not one penny.

So what is this "Taxi for Tim Yeo" that the Fawkes blog talks of? He's not a minister or holder of any other Government office, and the only objection to his chairing the Energy and Climate Change Select Committee has come otherwise from the likes of James "saviour of Western civilisation" Delingpole. The Fawkes blog story is so full of holes as to be laughable. Another fine mess, once again]


Anonymous said...

You are factually incorrect on many points that you have made.
Tim Yeo initiated the Age Limit at a meeting with Boris who then announced at the 2009 Tory conference that he intended to introduce it.
Boris then condcuted a sham consultation which included the 2 taxi manufacturers; LTI and Eco-City Vehicles.
They do not represent the interests of the taxi trade and it was improper that the entities who would benefit form this were involved in any consultation.
Boris was asked on many occassions by Assembley Members and MPs why he had conducted no tetsting whatsover to prove that the newer taxis were cleaner than older taxis. He flatly refused. He ignored the Department of Transport who strongly advised local authorities AGAINST imposing age limits for taxis, as there was no evidence to show tha newer taxis are any cleaner.
In fact technical evidence shows that the older taxis with a proper emissions system are cleaner than the TX2s and TX4S which are newer.
The only technology used to improve the Mercedes is a Diesel Particulate Filter which could have been retrofitted to the older cabs anyway.
The Age Limit which was formally announced in 2010 allowed EcoCity Vehicles to gain that 30% market share and without the Age Limit they would not have done so.
They even said this in reports in 2008 BEFORE the Age Limit was announced.
The story is that that Tim Yeo used his political power to implement a public policy which directly benefiited his own company.
Boris did not comply with any of the requirements of Public Law in the implementation of this strategy ie to be evidence based.
The Nissan Taxi is likely to be vey successful but has not yet been approved.
There are other taxis which are just as clean and have been waiting for approval by TFL , which is deliberately delayed.
There are emisions clean upo technologies available which would clean up alln taxis and are deliberately ignored by TFL ; they want to help M rYeo sell his taxis.
The Guido article is fatcually correct and you are not.

Tim Fenton said...

I will let London folks know of this singularly ungrammatical and cite-free intervention, and leave them to make their own observations.

The Guido Fawkes blog does not major in "factually correct" material. And these commenters who sing its praises are inevitably anonymous.