The decision by Transport for London not to renew the licence for driver and rider matching service Uber has so far generated rather more heat than light in the right-leaning part of the political spectrum, and nowhere moreso than with the Tories’ elected representatives, those who might be expected to engage brain first. Sadly, this ability was nowhere to be seen as many of them failed to get the reasons for the ban.
No, all the Tories wanted to do was score points and ignore the real issues. And specialising in this technique for some years now has been Dan, Dan The Oratory Man, who stepped up to the plate in no style at all to tell “Labour is hip and street and down with the kids - until it comes to embracing some new technology”. Rule-breaking? Safety? Not for Hannan! And MP James Cleverly fared no better.
“What message is Khan sending about London to tech innovation firms which might be thinking about investing?” That you can make money, but you play by the rules? Sam Gyimah, another MP, was equally unfussed: “It is possible to have effective regulation of @uber without penalising the consumers who benefit from more choice and lower prices”. No thanks, I don’t want to look over there. How about someone local to London?
Daniel Moylan was your man there. “It would be a hugely backward step for London if @TfL cancelled @Uber licence. Politically foolish for @SadiqKhan too”. A Kensington and Chelsea Tory ignoring safety. Classy or what? Parliamentary hopeful Greg Smith was equally ignorant: “Labour’s Uber decision is an outrageous attack on competition and consumer choice. Showing their ‘state knows best’ mentality at its worst”.
It got worse: Sajid Javid - a cabinet minister - whined “Have 600 cities around the world got it wrong? Right now it's vital that London shows it's open to innovation, competition & consumer choice”. Stuff the issues, kick Labour. And then came a sneering Richard Holloway with “South of the river... naah I don't fancy going that way”. ANOTHER Kensington and Chelsea Tory who couldn’t give a damn about safety.
Croydon South MP Chris Philp did no better: “Cancellation of Uber licence step too far. Issue to address but this tips 40,000 drivers out of work & denies 3.5m Londoners cheap travel”. According to Uber, they aren’t working for them. And there had to be an intervention from Harry Phibbs: “The Mayor of London's decision on #Uber sends out a message to the world that ‘London is closed’ to innovation, enterprise and new ideas”.
Phibbs by name, and all that. Would someone like to tell this convocation of cluelessness exactly why the public may not take kindly to their behaviour? London Assembly member Tom Copley is that man: “@Assembly_Tories are more interested in political point scoring against the Mayor than Londoners' safety”. Got it in one.
If anyone needed to know how much Tories care about playing by the rules, not treating their drivers like so much slave labour, and the wellbeing of the Great British Public, this collection of self-proclaimed idiocy has told them loud and clear. Bunch of tossers.