After the weekend’s revelations, it might seem a big ask for anyone to generate sympathy for those working in the service of driver and rider matching service Uber, but one appallingly snobby pundit with an excess of self-regard and total lack of self-awareness has achieved it: step forward Julia Hartley Brewer, Talk Radio host and eager promoter of More And Bigger Self-Promotion Opportunities For Herself Personally Now.
Excuse ME, don't you know who I am?
Ms Hartley Dooda wants the world to know that, whatever the grim news regarding Uber’s corporate attitude and behaviour, and the occasionally wayward conduct of its drivers, she is an enthusiastic user of the app, not that she’s a philistine cheapskate, you understand. But she has taken grave exception to one driver who had the audacity to engage her in conversation without first seeking approval of his chosen subject.
It seems one of her recent Uber journeys was in an electric vehicle, and at first you might wish to applaud this climate change denier for at least making an effort. But hold the compliment for a moment: “My Uber driver just proudly told me that his car has ‘zero emissions’. I replied ‘I couldn't care less.’ Now he's looking sad”. Proud driver put in his place by the 21st Century’s Lady Bracknell, and no mistake.
So she’d put an oik in his place, observed one Tweeter. Was she boasting about that? Nothing so simple: “No, that you think a cab driver is an ‘oik’. I've worked in many service industry jobs and you don't impose your political views on customers”. Someone tried to impose their political views on her? Wait, what? When did that happen? Did I blink and miss it? Whatever did Ms Hartley Dooda mean by that?
And hadn’t she been gratuitously rude? Couldn’t one tell something about character from how rude people are to service sector workers? “You can. I wasn't remotely rude. I simply asked him, with that response, not to impose his politics on me as a customer”. Er, two things here. She was, by her own admission, pointedly rude, and we’re still no wiser about how the driver was imposing his politics on anyone.
He was, as another Tweeter pointed out, just telling her something about his car. He seems to have been proud of the “zero emissions” idea. How on earth could it be read as political? “What he said was absolutely a political statement. It was also nonsense”. Ah, hang on a minute, eventually the truth comes peeking out into the light. Climate change denier doesn’t want to hear about emissions. Silly green stuff and nonsense, eh?
And so it was: never mind just accepting that her driver was proud to have done his bit for cutting emissions in London, where the air quality is frequently abysmal. Never mind politeness. Never mind the reality of climate change. “I was perfectly polite and friendly. His statement required me to applaud his car. Electric cars aren't powered by thin air. Not interested”. His statement required nothing of the sort.
In any case, his car could be being powered by (looking at 1000 hours) the 11% of the UK’s electricity generated by wind power, or the 6% from solar. Or, don’t forget, the 23% from nuclear energy. That’s 40% of our demand. So his statement wasn’t nonsense.
Once again, Julia Hartley Dooda gets it wrong. So no change there, then.