Militant black cab drivers went beserk at Mayor’s Question Time at City Hall today, exploding in a wave of foul mouthed rants and violence. They started shouting and heckling Boris before he even mentioned anything to do with black cabs, and the language around me was just awful.Never one to suffer in silence, Boris used the word “Luddite”. This is not a term of abuse. The Urban dictionary definition is:
“1. One who fears technology (or new technology, as they seem pleased with how things currently are…why can’t everything just be the same?)
This is nothing but the truth, and not an insult. Some cabbies though were spoiling for a fight and erupted into further abuse, and later violence. They took huge exception to Tony Arbour, who was acting chairman. Mr. Arbour said “It’s time these people should be removed” and the cabbies went beserk, barking like junkyard dogs. Five City Hall security guards were attacked and hurt, (punched or pushed) and one was knocked out.
Ninety-five percent of black cab drivers are lovely people, reasonable and civilised, who realise, in my opinion, that Boris’s hands are tied over Uber by a goverment intervention. The decision of the High Court is due at the beginning of the October.
Anyone of any sense would wait for that decision, not behave like drunken yobs at a brewery pissup.
SKY News reported: Footage of the meeting showed Mr Johnson attempting to answer a question but being shouted down by protesters in the public gallery
Afterwards, Mr Arbour said: “Londoners are very welcome at City Hall’s public meetings, but we can’t tolerate people disrupting proceedings.
“Today, at Mayor’s Question Time, after constant heckles and interruptions, I had no choice but to stop the meeting and ask our guests to leave.
“Not only did they riot inside the building, they beat up several security guards, one was even knocked out and taken to hospital. I hope those responsible can be identified, and have their licenses removed.”
This incident shows that there is a destructive, militant streak in the black cab industry that is badly harming the trade. Len Duvall tried to dump the blame on the Mayor and failed. Use of the word “Luddite” is not an insult. Not a good day for militancy. When I left, at least 30 police had been summoned, some in riot gear. Footage shows exactly who was to blame for the rioting.
It is good Tony Arbour put his foot down. Heckling is illegal. Cabbies have been allowed to get away with it for far too long. It needs to stop now.