Boris blows his top and rips lid off government interference re. Uber

At last the cat is out of the bag!  Fedup with months of government silence in public as they exerted monumental pressure in private, Boris Johnson has made plain exactly how much damage Osbo and the PM have caused in the Uber situation.borisangry2As reported in Opptrends*:  “Mr Johnson expressed his exasperation over the government’s failure to curb cab running company Uber’s way of operation in London. He says the government does not do anything about it because it is besotted by US tech firms.

The Mayor of London Boris Johnson has hit out at the government for not taking suitable action to curb cab providing company Uber’s actions in the city of London. Earlier this year, Mr Johnson had proposed a cap to be put on the number of cabs that Uber can hire so as to ensure that the city of London is not overcrowded with vehicles and to do justice to the traditional Black Cabs of the city. However, the proposal was dismissed”.

Opptrend makes the explosive revelation that as has long been suspected in the UK,  the Government refuses to limit PHVs due to its close relations with Uber PR chief Rachel Whetstone, who incidentally, once worked for the Conservative Party. Sources have even said that on the evening when Boris Johnson submitted the proposal for consideration, he received a text message from the Chancellor to drop it.

The Mayor said:

“The Government is still so absolutely besotted with this idea they’ve got to support Californian tech titans, even though they don’t pay a dime of tax in this country, that [ministers] are … not yet doing enough about this.”

Boris is not against Uber as such, but he is furious at the government refusal to limit their licences,  and even angrier at their refusal to comply with regulations. Boris always strives for balance.

He only wishes them to address issues such as congestion, illegal hailing,  illegal parking by the drivers and the increasing pollution due to the large numbers of private cars popping up on the streets. As of now, nearly new 1,000 private cars hit the streets of London every month.

David Cameron and Osborne have interfered in this issue from the word go,  and owe it to BC drivers to explain why they are interfering. The high professionalism and knowledge of black cab drivers is maintaining their position as number one in the city.   Uber drivers are being shown up by the matchless expertise of the best taxi drivers in the world, and Uber chiefs must realise they could be on to a loser if they try to take over London.

*Opptrends.com is a news source for Bing and Google news as well as Google Finance and MSN Money.

27 responses to “Boris blows his top and rips lid off government interference re. Uber

  1. Boris is always aiming to strike a balance. He likes it that there is a cheaper option for people who can’t afford black cabs.
    However, Uber cheap fares are based on criminality. Boris hates the lawlessness, pollution and congestion.
    Uber break regs. all over the world, treat drivers like dirt, take 20% of their pay, no complaints procedure! One Uber driver tried to form a union. He was told Get out!

  2. Wow! I had no idea Mr Johnson was such a dinosaur. He is so anti-freedom, it’s unbelievable. Congestion? That’s what the congestion charge is for. It’s a blunt instrument, nowhere near as good as real ‘road-pricing’, but it’s all we have and all drivers (including cabs and buses) should be treated equally. Refusal to comply with regulations? Well that’s what the courts are for! Just prosecute the offenders! That said, remember that we only have Sunday trading today because increasing numbers of businesses ‘refus[ed] to comply with regulations’ back in the 1980s. The regulations were an unconscionable restriction on our freedom to shop, and had to go. (Those that remain should be abolished as well.)

    The so-called ‘gig economy’ is here to stay, and ‘King Canutes’ like B Johnson will not make the waves recede for all their hubris and cosy relationships with entrenched interests in the LTDA.

    • Anti-freedom? To insist regulations are followed that are for customer safety? What a pathetic, and what is more, irresponsible argument!

      If Uber’s intention is to drive black cabs out of the London, it isn’t working.

      • It’s hard for you drivers to understand that for an outsider, this situation is complicated. There are lots of things we don’t know that you understand because you have done the job for years. At first it seems great, new company, cheaper fares, providing employment, etc. etc.

        It’s only when you delve into it, you realise that their cheaper fares are based on cheating. They break rules all over the world, skimp on safety checks probably insurance too. Then you realise they are ripping off their drivers, exploiting them, bribing the press, and good though their PR is, the actual service is provided by drivers with little knowledge of London who often don’t speak good English.

        Then you realise that the real aim of Uber is to drive black cabs out of work, take over, and whack their prices right up when there is no other choice. Once you realise all these things, you realise that Uber is a very ruthless, dangerous option. But it takes a lot of research to realise this and a lot of time spent talking to drivers.
        That is the only way I can explain it, what is easy for you guys to understand is not at all easy for us to understand straight away.

        And I agree with your last sentence. They ARE trying to drive you out, but it isn’t working! And I blame top government, not Boris. What they are doing is really unfair. You guys have served London for centuries, and have faithfully followed the regs. set out for you. They should protect you. But you will beat Uber anyway, you are all too good.

      • Freedom? What about the freedom of those who are wheelchair dependable, the elderly, frail, the hard of hearing, and those with impaired vision. A guide dog should never be discretionary. Choosing to infract upon the instant hire market but only cater for one demographic should fall foul of discriminatory laws.

        What about those who can’t get credit or use a smartphone? What about those who don’t want to sign their life away just by downloading an app (Read Uber’s T&C)? Maybe freedom to you is someone else’s 80 hr working week? If any of these prejudiced against you, I’m sure you’d be screening prejudice from the roof tops.

    • @ Steve Doerr. Freedom? Try, Uber has an army of at least 161 lobbyists and they’re crushing regulators > http://www.theverge.com/2014/12/14/7390395/uber-lobbying-steamroller
      And this. Uber are known to be bullies…A senior executive at Uber suggested that the company should consider hiring a team of opposition researchers to dig up dirt on its critics in the media…
      http://www.buzzfeed.com/bensmith/uber-executive-suggests-digging-up-dirt-on-journalists

      • Well said Tom. I have heard this – Uber try to ffind out dirt on any journalist who criticises them, as you say, this is not freedom.

        The way they treat their drivers is equally appalling, there should be a complaints procedure.Any driver with a valid complaint is either suspended or told to get out!

  3. That’s what the courts are for. To waste millions money on a company who should know better if they want to be taken seriously, but increasingly their reputation is becoming so tarnished, they look like a very dodgy option.

    More and more customers are being turned off by such an irresponsible organisation. Apparently they treat their drvers like dirt, the first 2 months are great, then the drivers have to work 18 hours+ to keep afloat.

    Sleeping in their cars? Peeing and worse in private gardens? Many can’t speak English, and get lost all the time?

    Boris wants to be fair to Uber, but in the face of such unprofessionalism, no wonder he wants to restrict them.

    • Angela, I know you have had a lot off negative reaction from taxi drivers in the past , I too am a taxi driver, but you seem to have recently changed your view of uber , I just wondered why the change of heart, genuine question x

    • Thank you for taking the time to look into this. It’s nice to see an outsider understand what black taxi drivers are up against.

      • Took me a long time to understand the finer points.

        We would be mad to sacrifice such a high quality taxi service for a poorly trained bunch of law breakers. I don’t blame Uber drivers, I blame the top people, they are sharks.

  4. You were 100 correct regarding outsiders not understanding what’s going on. It needs to be made clearer. It makes it harder when journalists are bought and paid for, but there’s a bigger picture to all this. And it’s exactly what people should be standing against – corruption on the grand scale (and it is) – regulations being ignored, regulators being silenced and shut down, journalists paid for – which is exactly what journalism shouldn’t be about!
    If only there was a way to get the message out to people all the more (although, even with what you’ve done here, every little helps). Again, thank you.

  5. You have summarised the problem. Ethical papers like @CityAM do not understand the ins and outs of it. They listen to Uber PR and believe it is simply a question of modernisation versus dinosaur mentality.

    The best thing the BC drivers can do is maintain their high standards. Customers are slowly beginning the realise the inefficiency of Uber, and how dreadfully their drivers are treated.

    Secondly, black cabs need to get their own app. Hailo no good. It must be one with your name on it – the Black Cab app.

    What I’m thinking is could the LTDA do a deal with Hailo? Allow any black cab driver who wanted to have an app. from Hailo, but with your name on it, the Black Cab app. or even the Black Cab Hailo app. they could still use Hailo for other customers, but if yours said BLACK CAB you could be promoted through it. You would also get more work.

    Uber attack you as being behind the times. Show them you are not and you guys have things they will NEVER have! I tweeeted the LTDA with my suggestion. but they probably won’t listen to me.

  6. I am a self employed builder who has played football at a high level & done the green badge after bad injury hit.
    The 5 1/2 years graft I put in to getting my badge was harder than leading to be a brain surgeon
    The tests that you are to endure not only on your knowledge but on your temperament to see if you can handle the job
    Not only that.
    So you don’t rip off your fare.
    Uber takes from this country
    As do Google Starbucks & Amazon.
    We all need to pay less tax but nothing?
    Too many people have been found out that are dipping the till
    I vote conservative
    If this doesn’t change I will never vote again for them
    Maggie would be spinning in her box if she saw this happening to our country.
    Britan must come first not a fast buck or people’s Liberty.
    Time to put real people first.

    • Thank you for sharing your experience Simon. I agree with everything you say. Maggie would be appalled. Our sick, homeless, unemployed must come first. Those big companies you mention, Uber, Starbucks, Amazon, are employing people sure, but they must not be allowed to pay their staff low wages, nor must they pay hardly any tax, this is neither fair nor right.

  7. Finally you have seen the light Angela and you articulate all points perfectly.
    Talking to passengers makes me realise just how little they know. We need a voice!

    • Nick, believe me, to an outsider, it’s not at all easy to understand. At first it seems like the Uber argument that they are tech savvy and black cabs are the past seems believable.

      It is only when you delve and research the whole thing that you realise what a danger Uber is, safety checks unreliable, often no insurance, bad drivers, who hardly earn a thing, so sleep in their cars….. lawless the world over, they are no asset to London in any way!

      And the government is not helping! What is the link with Whetstone that means PM and Chancellor want to give Uber a free ride? I think everyone has a right to know what their angle is!

      • Peter Hathaway

        Angela, the link with Whetstone is clear. She, i believe was Godmother to David Camerons son Ivan who has now sadly passed away, she also happens to be married to former Cameron aide Steve Hilton. On the technology point black cabs were the the first vehicles to install GPS dispatching systems. I was on Comcab and as far back as 1998 i had a GPS dispatching system and a credit card facility long before the minicabs had so we are far from being dinosaurs, we were actually pioneers.

      • Thanks for the info. Peter. You are not dinosaurs! You are all a class act, as Boris says,the gold standard. Black cabs have devotedly served London since 1643, the time of Oliver Cromwell. What a terrific record.

  8. Angela, this is a 180 % turn around on your views on the Black Cabs / Uber debate anyone seeing the light and admitting they were wrong should be applauded . You have always been very vocal in your support and trust of Boris , he keeps saying his hands are tied by No 10 but surely he is the Mayor and ultimately in charge of all Transport Decisions in London, he seems to have done an about turn on Uber many times, as there are only months left on his Mayorship I think he should act now or his legacy of how he left London will be a very dismal one .

    • I agree I have come full circle. You must understand it is not easy for an outsider to appreciate such a complex situation without loads of research, which I did.

      You must also understand that sometimes the Mayor’s hands are tied, he is outranked by Osborne and the PM. Boris hasn’t really done any U turn. He thought and still does that it is good to have cheap alternative to black cabs. But he is totally against so many PH vehicles clogging the roads.

      Legislation is needed to limit PHVs. That needs the agreement of the government. Sadly, they say No right now, so that’s it. He can’t impose legislation without their agreement. I know lots of cab drivers don’t believe this, and want to blame Boris no matter what. They can’t. That’s the situation. end of.

  9. Investors are getting twitchy. London didn’t fall as predicted, the French rebelled, Germany banned, and China…..well, enough said. These are markets outside of the US that Uber need to crack to assume global domination. Additionally, mitigating factors such as congestion, pollution, are augments that won’t just go away. History has shown, once one investor pulls out, a subsequent avalanche follows. But, (and this is crucial) if Uber does go under- and it’s a big IF- the licensed taxi trade needs to be on top of its game if it wants to secure its spot as the finest in the world. Make no mistake about it, Uber’s shortfall makes for lessons learned, and I’m pretty sure Uber #2 is poised, waiting in the wings.

    • Totally agree with your assessment. Uber’s evil plan was to force black cabs off the roads, and it isn’t working. In London black cabs are fighting back brilliantly, in the best way possible. They are showing they are the best service in the world. London needs you guys. Who knows what will happen, but Uber are clearly feeling the strain.

  10. Pingback: Why Sajid Javid is tragically wrong about Uber | CYBERBORISjohnson

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  12. Could of got police involved to persue drivers insurance status & used that to racing ubers operators licence..but no…him saying he’s really really unhappy months before leaving office after 8 years there is just a limp wristed political manoeuvre & let’s not forget his half brother Max has worked for Goldman Sachs for many years (main investor in uber)

    • You should be careful about accusing Max Johnson of wrongdoing without a shred of evidence. Max works for Goldnan Sachs in Hong Kong. Just what are you accusing him of? Millions work for Goldman Sachs and they handle millions of accounts. You need to take care, you could be libelling him.

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