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Wednesday 14 September 2016

Uber Lobby Smears Sadiq Khan

London’s new Mayor has announced measures to support the capital’s black cab trade, while taking steps to tackle air pollution: there will be more taxi ranks, more use of bus lanes, grants to help cabbies move towards zero emissions vehicles, and lots of charging points to help them charge up those electric taxis of the future. And there will be a requirement for private hire drivers to demonstrate competent use of English.
So far, so progressive, but for those who shill for driver and rider matching service Uber, this is nothing less than an affront to the purity of the free market dogma that they hold so dear. Never mind that black cab drivers are almost universally one-man and one-woman small businesses, and that Uber is an aggressive corporate driven by a war chest counted in billions of US Dollars, this has to be framed as unfair.
And so it has come to pass, as uber-creep Christian May, who has inexplicably been gifted the editor’s chair at freesheet City AM, has told “Khan bungs a massive subsidy to the black cabs and heaps new regulations on Uber and private hire. Disappointing”. The man who bridled at suggestions aired on BBC Newsnight he was taking bribes is now directly accusing the Mayor Of London of, er, giving out bribes.
May’s paper has wasted no time in backing behind Uber, as City AM Technology Editor Lynsey Barber has pennedUber accuses Sadiq Khan of favouring London's black cabs”, adding “In an email sent to customers, Uber claims that thousands of minicab drivers could lose their livelihoods with a knock on effect on waiting times and availability of cars”. The whole text of the Uber email was appended to the article - in bold.
May’s one-time flatmate, odious flannelled fool Master Harry Cole (aged 17 3/4) has, by no coincidence at all, echoed the Uber line. “Ah. He ran his campaign out of a Transport union building now Khan caves into to union vested interests … Uber: ‘While black cabs will get £65m from the taxpayer, the Mayor is piling extra costs and red tape on to licensed private hire drivers’”. Extra costs like having to learn English. Yeah, right.
London’s Mayor, through Transport for London, has a responsibility for the black cab trade, which he is using to drive measures for improving the capital’s air quality. Electric buses presently being introduced on to Central London routes will also contribute. We know what the result of relying on the market to provide this benefit has been: no action at all.
Those who use minicabs - including Uber - have registered concerns with the Mayor, such as the inability of some drivers to communicate in English. He is also addressing this problem. Instead of taking this on board, Uber’s useful idiots in the media are whining that it’s not fair, and that there should be less of those rotten regulations.

That would be the regulations that stop Uber from pleasing themselves. But it isn’t about them, it’s about the people who Sadiq Khan represents. He has a duty to them, and has discharged that duty as he has seen fit. That the response of the Uber useful idiots has been nothing more than smears tells you all you need to know.


Anonymous said...

I'm on Khan's side in this. To hell with Uber.

But the black cabs will have to come to terms with the new technology. It can't be unmade. People use it because it's convenient and sometimes much cheaper.

Anonymous said...

I'm torn on this. Lived my first 27 years in London and visit often. Rarely use black cabs (expensive and often unfriendly or off-hand re tips). Used Uber once recently, driver was fine, set fare was cheap, and it was very convenient. I don't want cabbies driven out but they need to change their ways, and quickly.

Anonymous said...

Uber are trying the same tactics that they used to bully Boris. But this time Sadiq's ideas, like a test for English, are actually what the public want. Also seen some new apps around like Karhoo that are probably chipping away at Uber dominance.

Anonymous said...

Tech isn't an issue for Taxis. Hailo was up & running in London before the arrival of Uber, & is now joined by a number of other Taxi apps.
It's ironic that Uber bemoan the use of Tax Payers money in order to help subsidise the migration to more environmentally friendly Taxis. The congestion caused by the massive upsurge in PH numbers in London (600+ each week) is affecting the quality of air for all Londoners. With Uber famously avoiding most of their Tax liabilities in the UK & paying drivers such poor rates (whilst still taking a hefty commission) so that many rely on the Tax Credit system, they should realise that citing anything to do with tax could be construed as a bit of an own goal.

LiamKav said...

You know, I always try and support local shops. Failing that, I'll try and go to any physical shop to help keep the staff employed. And after that, I'll try and look at non-mainstream online shopping sites. And only after all that will I use Amazon.

Except I end up using Amazon all the time. Why? Because it is cheap and convenient. Uber is the same. They use unfair business practises, treat their "staff" like shit and avoid tax. But they provide a very useful service. This is 100% why I want the government to step in and balance the playing field. I'm not strong enough to pay twice the price for something, or to sit around waiting for a taxi.

Anonymous said...

Wondering where Uber's politically inspired media strategy comes from? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rachel_Whetstone?wprov=sfla1

A London Taxi Driver Rites said...

Cor stown the crows, gav!

Wot gives wiv dis Uber crap?

Amean, evrywan nows der Yanks employin cheep lyber on de QT.
Its unFER dat’s worritiz. Owzer man supposter myke a livin wiv Poles, Rewmyneeans an refugees cammin over ere tykin ar jobs, shaggin ar wimmin an livin on bennerfits. An I’m sayin noffin abaht dem muzzlins, nowwarrameen gav?

I ad dat Philip Green in the backer me cab once. Proper gent eewoz. Wonnuvus, a REEL grafter oo cyme frum noffin terrav dat flowtin gaff of is art in Greece. Eez me eero, lyke Eenock Powell an Winstin Cherchill woz. A bit dodgee but so wot, a mans gorra myke a livin aznee?

Uber’s jus Yank refugees wiv computers, cammin over ere. Wy don’t dey jus sty arrome an shoot eech over, dat’s worrI wonner now.

Wer to, gav? Canary Wharf? Darral be fifty nicker a mile. Yeh, anno it’s stiff burrits orl dem Rewmyneeans, Poles and refugees cloggin Lahndan, gav. Tykes toym, gav. Wytin toym an all dat. Jus creeaytin a birra welf fer meself innit?

An don’t get me started on dem muzzlins.