Uber Tries To Kill Hailo

App War

Uber have offered black cab drivers the chance to use the ride sharing app for no fee for the first twelve months. It’s a move unlikely to placate all the irate cabbies, 5,000 of which plan to protest in the capital on Wednesday over the deregulation of the industry. But could this “olive branch” actually be part of an attempt to kill off the black cab apps Hailo and Gett?

The most telling part of the press release states:

While both black cab and licensed Uber drivers go through exactly the same background checks, taxi drivers have additional hoops they have to jump through. The Knowledge, for instance, is rightly legendary. But it means memorising 25,000 streets and 20,000 landmarks – a skill that can take up to four years to master.

In the age of GPS and live traffic apps, is such an onerous test still needed? Could a modern version of The Knowledge that took advantage of new technology and only took a year to complete be just as effective? And when a black cab typically costs more than £40,000 to buy and thousands a year to run, shouldn’t taxi drivers be given a broader choice of cars, including green and hybrid vehicles?

Somehow Guido doesn’t think that Uber suggesting abolishing the knowledge is about altruistically helping out the cabbies and leveling the competitive playing field. It looks like bringing Black cabs onto the app is more an attempt to standardise the qualifications required for Uber drivers and cabbies, and destroy Hailo and Gett in the process. We wait to see how many cabbies will be tempted…

Another Corbynomics Guru Slams Dividend Ban Plan

Last month John McDonnell’s economics adviser David Blanchflower savaged Corbyn’s plan to ban businesses from distributing dividends as “silly stuff“. Now Richard Murphy, the so-called guru of Corbynomics with his People’s QE, has twisted the knife into Jezza’s mad idea:

“I think it was one of those ideas that has been floated which… didn’t fly. Jeremy floated an idea – I don’t think we are probably going to hear of that one again. I would be surprised if we did. I don’t think that’s a runner.”

One of the more peculiar consequences of Corbyn’s leadership is that he makes the likes of Blanchflower and Murphy seem almost reasonable…

Ruth Rules Herself Out: “I’ve Got No Interest in the Job”

Some optimistic Tories hope Ruth Davidson might at some point make her way to down to Westminster via a by-election, leaving her open to run for the leadership. The Lobby consensus following her smashing conference speech last year was that it marked the beginning of a bid for the top job. Yet Ruth tells the Daily Politics it’s not going to happen:

“I will rule myself out, absolutely, I’ve got no interest in the job.”

Ruth doesn’t want to come down to fight an English seat, but if she could become an MP in Scotland…

Calamity Corbyn’s Comical Campaign Cock-Up

Corbyn was up in Nottingham to launch his party’s local election campaign this weekend. Lucky Nottingham voters were the first to hear Labour’s campaign message for the May elections:

“Our message in the local government campaign is clear: Labour is standing up for you and a Labour council is the best protection for your community and local services against the onslaught of Tory cuts. People are better off with Labour.”

Just one problem. Nottingham has no local government elections in May. Amateurs.

Parliamentary Pancake Race (Insert Mandatory Tosser Joke Here)

Trust Stephen Pound to lower the tone at the Parliamentary Pancake Race – all for a good cause.

The Lords were duly paraded around the track like Kentucky derby steeds:

Pound got in a party political point as Cathy Newman counted down:

And they’re off!

One of the most intense battles came in this mid-race scuffle:

And the MPs won:

Even more cheating and skulduggery than usual this year.

How Tories Hid Hotel and Transport Bills in Newark

Guido can shed some more light on how the Tories hid their by-election hotel bills in Newark. On 31 May 2014, over 350 young Tories boarded coaches and minibuses up to Newark for a day of campaigning. At the end of the day’s door-knocking, they needed something to eat and somewhere to stay. Paying for travel and hotels for that many people would rack up thousands in by-election expenses. So, the Tories ferried their activists to the Crowne Plaza hotel in Nottingham, outside of the constituency. There, Tory donors treated them to curry at an event named the “first annual RoadTrip dinner” – pictured above – where Rob Halfon and Eric Pickles gave speeches. After that they boozed at the Coco Lounge and NG1 bars, before returning to the hotel, where they made contributions to their room bills. The transport costs of ferrying the activists up to Newark and around Nottingham were apparently undeclared.

A source present says the meal and hotel were deliberately booked outside of the constituency, under the pretence of an “annual RoadTrip dinner”, to avoid appearing on the Newark by-election expenditure. They say this was by no means the only time this happened. A nifty little way of dodging the rules…

Europol Co-Operates With 18 Non-EU States

Dave’s scaremongering got even sillier yesterday when he claimed Brexit would mean Britain loses intel on “terrorists running around Europe”. Last night the director of Europol, Rob Wainwright, joined in, claiming Britain would be “much less effective” at fighting terrorism if we left the EU. Really?

Europol says on its website that

“because organised crime does not stop at international borders, it is also essential to have cooperation initiatives with non-EU countries”

16 years ago, the EU authorised the director of Europol to enter into negotiations on cooperation agreements with non-EU states. Today, Europol has operational agreements with 14 non-EU countries:

Albania, Australia, Canada, Colombia, Macedonia, Iceland, Moldova, Montenegro, 
Norway, Republic of Serbia, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Monaco and the United States.

It even has strategic agreements in place with Bosnia & Herzegovina, Russian Federation, Turkey and Ukraine.

Why would Europol share information on terrorists with these non-EU countries and not Brexit Britain?

Tory Overspend in UKIP By-Elections

Michael Crick reckons he has enough to call in the cops on alleged Tory by-election overspends. Did the Tories break the rules with their hotel bills in Newark, and while fighting UKIP in Clacton and Rochester?

Sadiq Loses It With BBC Journalist Over TFL Fares Sums

SK: “I don’t accept this nonsense that’s been bandied about… TfL haven’t said there’s a £1.9 billion…”

BBC: “They have to me, Sadiq Khan, they have to me.”

SK: “… Hold on a sec, you’ve asked me a question. You’ve

[…]

+ READ MORE +

Is Overwork Clouding Powell’s Memory?

POWELL-WORKLOAD

Lord Powell’s posthumous conversion of Margaret Thatcher to the Europhile cause has led her friends and admirers to question his judgement. Could it, Guido wonders, be clouded by tiredness after him having to Chair board meetings at LVMH (Moet-Hennessy Louis […]

+ READ MORE +

French Government Disputes Cameron on Calais

EU REFORM

The French interior minister last year rubbished the idea promoted by Cameron today that France might tear up their agreement with Britain on border controls if we left the EU. Bernard Cazeneuve said:

“Calling for the border with the English

[…]

+ READ MORE +

Ex-Labour Minister Comes Out For Brexit

Tom Harris

Former Labour minister Tom Harris has come out. Writing in the Telegraph Harris professes his “relief” at being able to admit he’s an EU referendum “outer”, and his happiness at not having to explain his decisions to constituents now […]

+ READ MORE +



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Quote of the Day

Liam Fox shreds Cameron’s Calais scaremongering:

“Sad and disappointed to see our Prime Minister stoop to this level of scaremongering, especially as he knows the Calais agreement is nothing to do with the EU and agreed between the two govts”

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