June 3rd, 2014

Unions Buy Labour’s Support in London Taxi Wars

Guido’s London readers will know that the capital’s rival taxi firms have descended into open warfare in recent weeks. Militant black cab drivers are having a hissy fit about being priced out of the market by Uber, who use an app to calculate the journey distance and fee, relay the information to the driver and usually offer a considerably lower fare for the punter in a much nicer car. It is an example of the market working to provide the best price for the consumer. As the Institute of Directors points out:

“When the tide of new technology is coming in fast, it’s unwise to stand still and hope it stops at your feet. It’s all well and good to say that companies such as Uber must fit into the UK’s regulatory framework, but there’s a powerful case to make that the UK’s regulatory framework has been overtaken by digital innovation and, in some areas, is no longer fit for purpose.”

Guido understands that the GMB union has infiltrated the Licensed Taxi Drivers Association, the black cabbies’ trade union, to lobby politicians against Uber. Indeed it was a GMB-sponsored Labour MP, Graham Morris, who tabled the Westminster Hall debate on this issue in April.

To little surprise, Labour have sided with a closed shop producer’s protection racket against consumers. Today, Labour have officially adopted the black cab position. Shadow Transport Secretary Mary Creagh, who is also sponsored by the GMB, has launched an attack on Uber this morning:

“Labour welcome Transport for London’s decision to seek a High Court ruling on taximeters. Apps like Uber which involve a contract for vehicle hire must conform to the same high standards of safety, licensing and insurance as the rest of the taxi and private hire industry. It is neither black cab nor minicab, which is why it is vital that a court decides if it fits into the UK’s regulatory framework. The safety of the travelling public must not be put at risk.”

A Labour Shadow Secretary of State going back to the bad old days of formulating party policy based on the demands of her union paymasters. Not only that, Creagh is prioritising the vested interests of a party donor over the interests of the hard-pressed consumers her party is supposed to represent. Uber tell Guido that they go ‘above and beyond other operators in the industry in terms of safety’ and are confident that the High Court will agree with TFL. Guido thinks the rest of the industry should work out how they can bring their service up to scratch rather than trying to run a more competent rival out of town.


  1. 1
    RED LEN says:

    Fuck off !

  2. 2
    non taxable pikey says:

    There may still be some Renault Dauphins in the Docks from the last taxi war.

  3. 3
    RED ED - SON OF BROWN says:

    Relax, boss. We’ll sort it.

  4. 4
    Slave-labour Britain says:

    “It is an example of the market working to provide the best price for the consumer lowest wage for the worker.”

    There. Corrected it for you.

  5. 5
    still walking into darkness says:

    It’s called evolution, sunshine, 99% of us are slaves to some extent but certain among us attempt to improve our lot by adapting to the change in circumstances, you should try it

  6. 6
    BrindleFlyer says:

    It is not a “closed shop”. The black cab drivers do not belong to a union. There is a difference between a black cab and and a mini-cab. One has his vehicle checked every six months by the carriage office, one is has proper police checks done on them every year, one is not allowed to have a police record, and one has done extensive study and has a knowledge of London. The mini-cabs on the other hand do not have the above and are often staffed by illegal immigrants.

    You are not comparing apples with apples.

  7. 7
    Anonymous says:

    What an uninformed load of toss. Check out Uber surge prices. Uber is nothing more than an introduction service charging 20% to the driver. It is registered in Holland so pays No Tax in this country. I expect more from Guido.

  8. 8
    Luciana Berger says:

    Don’t make me angry. You wouldn’t like me when I’m angry.

    What do you mean you don’t like me now?

  9. 9
    Assem Allam says:

    I had that Ed Miliband in the back of my Roller once

  10. 10
    Lurch to the Left says:

    Labour dancing again to the tune of their donors, protecting vested interests to make taxis more expensive for the travelling public.

  11. 11
    Shooty* says:

    If only someone would open a competitor to the Tube…

  12. 12
    Taxes says:

    Would rather walk than listen to those boring farts and then be ripped off by them

  13. 13
    Blind_leading_the_blind says:

    “Uber tell Guido that they go ‘above and beyond other operators in the industry in terms of safety’

    Nothing like an unbiased opinion

  14. 14
    Bloke says:

    Don’t forget that Black Cabs also have the right to perform U-turns on any road with complete disregard for anyone else and have special dispensation to stop on crossings, double yellows and anywhere else they feel like.

  15. 15
    Andrew Efiong says:

    Aha! The French cab drivers tried this and Mad Franky Hollande rushed to their defence.

    Labour are copying Hollande’s stance. We all know they long to copy many more of his madcap schemes!

  16. 16
    Anonymong says:

    It’s called progress. That’s actual progress, not the sort espoused by ‘progressives’ such as yourself, which is just attaching a positive word to party dogma.

    The great news is it’ll happen whether you like it or not. Driverless cars are not too far off now and I can’t wait for the union reaction to that.

  17. 17
    White Dee says:

    Better off to go on the dole then!

  18. 18
    Andrew Efiong says:

    One word: satnav.

    And don’t get me started on those retro boneshaker cars, no wonder they need to be checked every year, they’re rubbish.

  19. 19

    There is a legal distinction between a Taxi and a Private-Hire vehicle. The difference is not often appreciated and, in the rain, a potential customer would even get into a cardboard box if it got him there, such is the lack of concern.

    A taxi can be stopped in the street whereas a private-hire must be called. The Uber app appears to work away at minimising the difference.

    Taxi dr!vers in London have to do the “knowledge” which includes knowing the optimum route between any one road in London and another. One should be able to get into a taxi and say “Royal College of Needlework” (or some such) and the dr!ver should be able to take you straight there. There is no such constraint on a private-hire dr!ver.

    With the advances made in journey software, plus the ability to detect and avoid traffic jams, the present structure is coming to look outmoded. The previous regulations did serve a purpose as steering a vehicle whilst looking at an A-Z is not to be recommended, the more especially when going around Hyde Park Corner.

  20. 20
    Alf says:

    The rules are laid out for all. It isn’t only the Licensed Taxi Industry who have a problem with Ubers model. The Private Hire Industry are also up in arms over it. TFL have allowed Uber into London without even scrutinising the systems they have in place. Where would we be if every tin pot company started working with the public and the licensing authority retrospectively appled the law. It’s an open door for a free for all and at the expense and safety of the travelling public. Big money talks at TFL and the backers of Uber know this. TFL,rather than applaud the London Taxi Industry for being the finest Taxi in the world,as voted time and time again,seem hell bent on destroying it. Does TFL really want London to be associated with a Taxi service such as New York,where drivers haven’t a clue where they are going and charge the public exorbitant fares ? Wake up TFL and smell the coffee,and maybe appreciate what a great Taxi service you have.

  21. 21
    Winston says:

    When you say black cabs are you referring to the drivers?

  22. 22
    Nurse Surime says:

    Mary, Mary, quite contrary

    How does your garden grow?

    With silver bells and cockleshells

    And pretty maids all in a row.

  23. 23
    Justa Sking says:

    What happens if a road is closed?

  24. 24
    Basileus says:

    How DARE the taxi firm want best price for taxi CUSTOMER !!!

  25. 25
    Ed Balls says:

    Are they buying fish?

  26. 26
    Anonymong says:

    Does it provide a better service? If it does, it’ll thrive and the unions should not try to stop it from doing so. If it doesn’t, the black cab closed shop has nothing to worry about.

    So are you really arguing based on the free-market issue of price? If so you should also be arguing against anti free-market union involvement. You can’t pick and choose, do you want it to be competitive, or not?

  27. 27
    Norm Normal says:

    Outdated qualifications designed to create a closed shop. With accurate sat-nav and gps pricing apps almost anyone could be a taxi driver. What will they do when self driving cars make drivers obsolete?

    As for Labour, nothing surprises me. Their greasy union involvement has done untold harm to the nation.

  28. 28
    Basileus says:

    Taxi cabs don’t drive themselves, so I’d assume thats a given….(jesus….)

  29. 29
    Norm Normal says:

    We NEVER liked you.

  30. 30
    Anonymong says:

    So more competition is going to increase fares? Uber is also going to get business when they don’t know where their going and their service is poor?

    I don’t think you’ve got the soundest base for an argument there, sonny.

  31. 31
    TRurn around when possible says:

    So if Geedo gets his way, all cabs will obey Satnav Jane, and will be taking U turns, going the wrong direction up one way streets, swerving across 6 lanes of traffic and driving into the Thames.

    I’d rather have a driver who knows where he is going.

  32. 32
    One Pound Fish Man says:

    One Pound Fish, Very Very Good
    Ed Balls Deficit, Very Very Bad

  33. 33
    Hugh Janus says:

    Ditto driverless underground trains. We have the technology but the Son of Brown and his union wreckers won’t stand for it. Same principle applies – Liebour and its union chums just hate progress and efficiency.

  34. 34
    free market doesn't mean everything's free says:

    Agree. An example of this on a program last night. The arrival of the horse in the USA, Indian hunt more Buffalo, the arrival of the train, white man hunt Buffalo, 60 million Buffalo wiped out, Indians dependent on Buffalo end up in reservatons. No Buffalo, more long horned cattle, the heyday of the cowboy and cattle drives. Barbed wire invented, no more cowboys and cattle drives. the arrival of mechanised farming, the great plains given over to arable farming, and so it goes. Lefties only seem to agree with evolution if it disproves the existence of god.

  35. 35
    Anonymous says:

    actually it’s called progress: evolution is something you should try. The law is there for the benefit of customers who know that when they get in a cab it’s not driven by some idiot who is fresh off the ferry with a £40 suit and a dodgy sat-nav.

  36. 36
    Norm Normal says:

    Refering to sat-nav? Do A U-turn, drive 2 streets up and it will automatically recalculate the route.

  37. 37
    Diane Abbott says:

    Good. Black cabs won’t stop for me.

  38. 38

    Another big fiddle happens at airports. Taxis can set down but not pick up at LGW. The airport takes a cut from those whom they allow to operate from their Departures.

    That is why getting a taxi from an airport is so expensive. Another restrictive practice that most are unaware of.

  39. 39
    Anonymous says:

    Give me a driver with the ‘knowledge’ any day over a semi-comprehensible illegal with fuck all idea of the best routes through London – sat nav or no sat nav!

    The fuckers just can’t drive – lost count of the number of times I’ve had to give them directions to well known places.

  40. 40
    Labour are evil says:

    I do hope Labour don’t smear that brave woman who blanked Blinky Bollocks. They have a history of going after anyone who dares embarrass one of their Hauptsturmführers.

  41. 41
    Bradshaw's Ghost says:

    Much of this debate seems to ignore the fact that private hire operators are already allowed to use taximeters everywhere outside London.

  42. 42
    Taxi for Fatbot and her pals says:

    I’m on me way ‘ome mate and never go sarf of the river.
    Cab uber alles.

  43. 43
    Centre Parting says:

    Never like being picked up when the driver is still in his pajamas.

  44. 44
    Norm Normal says:

    They have limited cargo capacity? May I suggest a company that deals with oversized/abnormal/wide loads or all 3 at once, as in you case?

  45. 45
    Not in my name says:

    The black cab business model is based on a highly regulated and developed firm of consumer protection, for which a premium is demanded.

    Trouble is that their business model is outdated and they need to catch up. In which context lumpy political interventions at the behest of unions is always a road to Hell

  46. 46
    Anonymous says:

    Being a Black Taxi Driver is not a closed shop. Anyone can applied and complete the required standard to become a Licensed Taxi Driver.
    What is more alarming 22 sexual assaults in Minicabs each week in London. (Met Police Stats) Who do you want driving you?

  47. 47
    Labour are evil says:


    We know you like reading this site. So may I take this opportunity to ask: do your constituents know you have a £5000 personal number plate?

  48. 48
    Where is London? says:

    When I’m driving to the Smoke and it says London X miles. Where is the X?

  49. 49
    Neil Hamilton, voice of UKIP says:

    Asking questions for cash is dispicable and has no place in politics

  50. 50
    Anonymong says:

    There’s something particularly narcissistic and delusional about claiming to ‘own’ progress.

    Modern lefties, an answer to a question nobody asked.

  51. 51
    Labour are evil says:

    Watching the clip of Blinky being blanked, his expression was one of “You fucking bitch. How dare you embarrass me like that. Wait till I get Labour’s smearing machine into action against you”.

  52. 52
    Centre Parting says:

    UTW4T ?

  53. 53
    Labour are evil says:

    I’m surprised black cabs haven’t been banned for being racist.

  54. 54
    Justa Sking says:

    But do the Uber boys still charge the original fare or do they add the cost of the detour on?

  55. 55
    Anonymous says:

    Taxi for Miliband!

  56. 56

    Charing X, as any fule kno.

  57. 57
    Stu says:

    Then why do you use them?

  58. 58
    non taxable pikey says:

    On the 1st November 2014 the right of Parliament (you know them, the people we voted in to govern for us) to legislate over us in 43 areas, THE IMPORTANT ONES, will be removed and be made subject to EU approval via QMV (Qualified Majority Voting)
    The following shows just some of the areas of competence that will switch from requiring unanimous approval of all member states to QMV:
    Border Controls.
    Initiatives of the High Representative for Foreign Affairs.
    Administrative Co-operation.
    Civil Protection.
    Common Defence Policy.
    Crime Prevention Incentives.
    Criminal Law.
    Criminal Judicial Co-operation.
    Diplomatic and Consular Protection.
    Economic and Social Committee.
    Emergency International Aid.
    I doubt if the majority of the good people of Newark are aware of these changes, but basically they are voting for a person to wield a rubber stamp for the EUSSR.

  59. 59
    a smith (ret'd) says:

    whether they are tube train drivers accountants lawyers politicoes or black cab drivers – they are all members of a racket

  60. 60
    non taxable pikey says:

    Just beat me to it.

  61. 61
    Vlad the Loudhailer says:

    These MPs don’t seem to worry about smartphone apps such as Grindr where they can find some charming boy ready and waiting, but an app that can help the public to save money they are up in arm. I wonder why that is?

  62. 62
    Stephe Byers says:

    I’m a cab for hire.

  63. 63
    Gregg_Man says:

    You know every taxi driver confuses me for the Minister for Education.
    That’s right – they finish every bloody sentence with the word “Gove”.

  64. 64
    Taxi Drivers are the worst drivers in England says:

    Haven’t been to the smoke for ages but just about every cab in England these days is grey in colour, with a white tea cosy wearing P@kistani at the wheel, and drives like something out of Whacky races.

  65. 65
    Anonymong says:

    The usual dissembling.

    ‘We can’t possibly try that, it’s too dangerous for you, I only have your best interests at heart.’

    ‘What’s that? It serves my interests as well? What a coincidence, I guess we’ll go with it then, but not for me, for you. You do understand?’

  66. 66
    Socialism is theft says:

    If the unions had their way we would still have lamplighters on every street.

  67. 67
    they're just very naughty boys says:

    Aha, lefties, narcissism and messiah complexes, don’t even go there, it would take a series of books.

  68. 68
    A lefty, anywhere says:

    I must point out that the term ‘black cab’ is waaaayyyyciiist.

  69. 69
    Socialism is theft says:


  70. 70
    Stu says:

    It’s an open door for a free for all and at the expense and safety of the travelling public. Big money talks at TFL and the backers of Uber know this. TFL,rather than applaud the London Taxi Industry for being the finest Taxi in the world,as voted time and time again,seem hell bent on destroying it.

    Evidence please. particularly the first bit. Oh you don’t have any what a surprise.

  71. 71
    UKIP Hacking at the roots with the truth says:

    Giving honours for cash is OK though, oh and illegal wars, oh and surrendering the sovereignty of the British people to an unelected body, that’s OK too.

  72. 72
    pookie snackumberger says:

    They never used to go Saath of the water to New X in my day.

  73. 73
    Socialism is theft says:

    She must be a bigoted woman.

  74. 74
    Norm Normal says:

    Sat-nav is added safety in their case. It knows one way streets and more importantly it knows what ONE-WAY and NO-ENTRY mean!

  75. 75
    pookie snackumberger says:

    What is it: M1NGE ?

  76. 76
    Socialism is theft says:

    What is the point of Westminster these days? It seems like even the 25% of the laws it comes up with can be overridden by the ECHR or Brussels.

  77. 77
    Neil Kinnock says:

    It’s a million light years away from all the British politicians who have given away our country to Brussels in return for gold plated non jobs and pensions though.

  78. 78
    Aardvark says:



  79. 79
    Long John Silver's parrot says:

    Surely if you can use your iphone to get a private cab at the drop of a hashtag and at the end of the journey you get a receipt journey route and a cheaper invoice that has to be good for the punter and should be heralded.

  80. 80
    The Growler says:

    “tube train drivers accountants lawyers politicoes or black cab drivers” well if you will live a God forsaken place like London what do you expect, they are all trying to rip each other off and the powers that be encourage it, for when they are fighting each other, they are not fighing the powers that be, set one against another, olest trick in the book.

  81. 81
    Aardvark says:

    Beautifully said.

  82. 82
    Cochise says:

    The Indians in the USA ended up in reservations because whitey put them there – that’s the benefit of mass immigration for you.

  83. 83
    Bob from Platow says:

    The problems with these fancy computer systems is that there is no cash.

    Everything is recorded and traceable and does not get into my back pocket.

  84. 84
    Ed Balls says:

    That was a disaster. Well I just … should never have put me in with that woman. Whose idea was that?

    It was Harriet I think. It was just ridiculous.

    She was just a sort of fishy woman. She said she used be Labour. I mean it’s just ridiculous.

  85. 85
    Fuck the Phone says:

    But what about the 99.999% who haven’t got these I Phones?

  86. 86

    That is the taxi rank for you! :-)

  87. 87
    Anonymous says:

    “When the tide of new technology is coming in fast, it’s unwise to stand still and hope it stops at your feet”.
    Much like the rules of politics recently being revisited? The party is more important than the people. The principal is more important than the party. The principal and the party, are infinitely more important than any principle. If that indolent ideology doesn’t cry out to evolution for a kick up the genome, what does?

  88. 88
  89. 89
    Trevor the Luddite says:

    This is truly terrible news.

    Can we not just block off Central London for a day so that people can appreciate the wisdom of sticking with the black cab system?

  90. 90
    Name calling is fun! says:


  91. 91
    M­a­­q­b­o­­ul says:

    It has been made redundant by the Uber parliament in Brussels and Strasbourg.

  92. 92
    Err, what's the problem says:

    World Cup.

    Put top ten applications into a hat and draw a winner. Winner is not allowed to re-apply for say 20 years.


  93. 93
    Olly Gark says:

    I had that Mandelson in the back of my super yacht once.
    My deck hands are still trying to remove the grease.

  94. 94
    Gordon Brown says:

    My catarrh is always corrupt.

  95. 95
    Norm Normal says:

    What about doing the unions bidding for cash?

  96. 96
    Gorgon McMental says:

    I wouldn’t be surprised if it was Sue raising her ugly heed.

  97. 97
    Oy Vey ! says:

    Eurozone inflation is even weaker than we expected and it’s got the ECB scared


  98. 98
    Cameron's Black Ops says:

    Hamilton was cleared of that charge.

  99. 99
    Cameron's Black Ops says:

    We occasionally have some spare capacity for smearing, can we help?

  100. 100
    Diane Abbott calls Black Cab drivers racist. says:

  101. 101
    Mr S Fry - BBC luvie says:

    Sounds like I need a sat-nav?

  102. 102
    M­a­­q­b­o­­ul says:

    Better to champion the cause of the consumer than to protect the producer.

  103. 103
    Steve from Cupertino says:

    Haven’t you heard of E bay ?

    You should definitely get out more.

  104. 104
    Appel says:

    Buy one now mofo or we’ll bust a cap in yo ass

  105. 105
    M­a­­q­b­o­­ul says:

    Black cab drivers are generally self employed ie bosses not workers. What about the consumers?

  106. 106
    Hossay says the complete opposite says:

  107. 107
    Long John Silver' s parrot says:

    Deflation makes Dave and his mates brick themselves.

    A healthy bit of inflation keeps the gap between them and Kenny Clarke’s “real people” nice and wide.

    Deflation narrows the gap though with these “real people”.

  108. 108
    kikin Orf says:

    Brits have been warning about the likelihood of Eurozone deflation for about a year at least and the ECB has done nothing.

    They are heading for a Japan style 20 years in a deflationary hell-hole without the benefit of Japan’s monoculture and willingness to pull together.

  109. 109
    How to totally screw up savings says:

    They are considering negative interest rates too.

  110. 110
    Anonymous says:

    Harriet Harman, Yvette Cooper, Mary Creagh. All strangely robotic. Can we have a competition to find the production line and destroy it.

  111. 111
    Bert says:

    Don’t forget also that black-cab drivers (phew! — thank heaven for the hyphen, nearly got rounded up there) are licensed to subject their fares to a continuous stream of prejudiced, bilious and asinine opinions while the cab is in motion.

    Whereas minicab drivers just play Heart FM on their radios because they don’t speak English.

  112. 112
    The safety of the travelling public must not be put at risk.” !!!!!!!! says:

    - please understand, Labour, the party of the working class, are working for ordinary hard working families to protect them from the wicked Tory boss-class exploiters

    to say anything else is wacist

  113. 113
    Bert says:


  114. 114
    Bert says:

    Thanks for the summary, but I think we got that already.

  115. 115
    a smith (ret'd) says:

    that’s it!

  116. 116
    Taximeter Cabriolet Operative says:

    Trouble is, unless they are smiling you can’t see them in the dark.

  117. 117
    Bog Paper says:

    But, as passengers already they must be in transit. The whole thing is a can of worms, (red and yellow ones).

    Does she mean prospective passengers?

  118. 118
    Lets short the Euro says:

    Mr Cameron wants to take us out of the EU so that we can become the inflationary Kingdom of Europe.

    That is why all these foreigners are buying up property here and housebuilding is at a standstill.

    Now thanks to this site I understand what is really happening.

  119. 119
    Idon'tneednodoctor says:

    TRASH. Ummuna gave her the number plate.

  120. 120
  121. 121
    Taximeter Cabriolet Operative says:

    You know, it never occurred to us that if we knock say 10% off our prices, we might be able to compete with these upstarts.

  122. 122
    Idon'tneednodoctor says:

    Mary Creagh has certainly made a name for herself.

  123. 123
    Colonel Mustard says:

    Socialists pre-empt UKIP plan to acquire the UK’s second most influential communications channel (after Guido) but risking losing the immigrant non-licensed cab vote.

  124. 124
    Taximeter Cabriolet Operative says:

    So when do the casinos in Tower Hamlets open?

  125. 125
    Anonymous says:

    He who pays the piper…

    Another good example of why we hate politicians, we all know this is about protectionism and looking after the closed shop, but no, its all about health and safety apparently. Can someone please explain why this is supposed to be dangerous?

  126. 126
    Stuffed up nose, er, dose says:

    My grabaphobe plays old records.

  127. 127
    Time for lunch says:

    Remember dear, we all know that bergers are bad for you.

  128. 128
    Mr S Fry - BBC luvie says:

    No it’s:
    BA11 BUST3R

    Shadow chancer doesn’t like it.

  129. 129
    Time for lunch says:

    Round my way a new app has been launched recently named ‘call a cab’ which hundreds of local official registered cab drivers have signed up to. When activated the nearest free cab responds with vehicle reg number and driver’s name and tells you he is on the way. Seems to work ok and there have not been any complaints about it.

  130. 130

    It’s delight to see the black cab spivs finally getting it up the arse ,they’ve had a protected monopoly for about 150 years .

  131. 131
    Time for lunch says:

    … or the rank taxi?

  132. 132
    Lets short the Euro says:

    Under these new money laundering regulations if a cabbie picks up a criminal and drives him around he risks five years in prison just like the lawyers and accountants.

    Lawyers and accountants have to insist upon ID searches before taking on anyone these days.

    Do Cabbies have direct access to CRO searches to verify the identity of punters?

    What is good enough for lawyers and accountants is surely good enough for cabbies.

  133. 133
    Fishy says:

    Perhaps it’s because, I her case, they don’t want the suspension wrecked.

  134. 134
    Time for lunch says:

    .. but you can usually find one loitering outside Kings X station

  135. 135
    Time for lunch says:

    * a taxi I am talking about – not that other kind of ‘ride’!!

  136. 136
    Norm Normal says:

    No one knows, walking out for ‘ Health & Safety’ reasons no expert can fathom is a decades old Union game.
    Yet more evidence this MP has had words inserted in her mouth by her Union bosses.

  137. 137
    Fishy says:

    You forgot Foghorn Reeves

  138. 138
    Time for lunch says:

    What about just doing the unions – period? They are outdated dinosaurs and unwanted and utterly unneccessary in this century.

  139. 139
    Weird Ed says:

    It’th the cotht of cabth cwithith.

  140. 140
    Anonymous says:

    ffs its taxi driving not brain surgery.

    if someone has a license, no criminal record and insurance whats the problem?

  141. 141
    Time for lunch says:

    We are an island. so if we so decide we can just close every border we have and tell Angela and her mates to get lost. The whole world out there is waiting to trade with us so let’s just get on with it.

  142. 142
    Anonymous says:

    Why is there not an internet company booking minicab firms return journeys from the the Major airports, to many one way trips not good for business.
    Book your cab from the other side of the world, and its green.

  143. 143
    Idon'tneednodoctor says:

    …….and big gob Caroline Flint.

  144. 144
    Jack Ketch says:

    London cabbies are still the best in the world and well worth the price. In New York you have to know the route to where you are going and a working knowledge of Bengali, Punjabi, Albanian, Jamaican Patois or Serbo-Croat is advantageous. In Paris you can be insulted or ignored and heft your own luggage at no extra charge, except the ten Euros on the meter before you get in. In Italy you can not only enjoy the smell of your driver’s mamma’s cooking, but get a (chargeable) tour of the city and experience the most creative mathematics since Hawking’s Phd. Most other cities don’t bear talking about except Tokyo where the drivers are now all over 70 seem deaf and blins and drive at 15kph.
    Where but in London can you receive a commentary on the current political situation, a weather forecast, details of the sex lives of celebrities, a tip for the races and jolly good, old-fashioned, non-PC racist rant–all for the price of a meal for four?

  145. 145
    Fred the pensioner says:

    I don’t have a so-called smart phone either. My cell phone is 7 years old, allows me to converse with those I wish to, send and receive text messages, has a clock, a calculator and an alarm – all the things I need to see me through the day. It has been referred to as a “granny phone” by younger members of the family – but do you really fink I’m bovvered?

  146. 146
    Fred the pensioner says:

    Anyone who has been to that part of the world knows that in Arabic the word is pronounced like ‘gutter’.

  147. 147
    John Bellingham says:

    Who had Miss “Incurable Rage”? (anagram: 2 words,)

  148. 148
    Fred the pensioner says:

    Don’t be so mealy-mouthed. Negative interest rates means the banks annually helping themselves to 10% of your savings – just like they did to the Cypriots.

  149. 149
    Time for lunch says:

    She’s standing in the window by the front door, just past the check-outs.

  150. 150
    John Bellingham says:

    The problem is that sat-nav software needs regular updating. Few mini-cabs invest in the top-end services that require a cell-phone link that will also provide live traffic and road closure updates.

  151. 151
    G. Brown says:

    Savers experienced a growth rate of -10%.

  152. 152
    Avoid at all costs says:

    Japan taxis are immaculate, clean and pleasant, the drivers are very competent, safe and drive commensurately to the road conditions. The fares are reasonable, there is no chat unless you press them, the whole thing is just excellent.

    Cf…UK cabs, often feel unsafe, mechanically and driver skill level, driven by someone other than the given photo though immigration makes it hard to tell, appears constantly vexed(whitey) and doing you a favour.

  153. 153
    Ewan Pipe Cleaner Bl.. says:


  154. 154
  155. 155
    John Bellingham says:

    Perhaps it is time to introduce voting by text message/4G tweet. Not just at elections, but on every issue. MPs and the Lords would be redundant and the country could save £billionsandbillionsandbillions and the Palace of Westminster converted into a venue for raves or housing for asylum seekers.
    After all, our political system is still based on one that emerged in the mid 16th C and technology has gone forward since then. We would need just a small group of officials and a nominal leader to carry out the will of the people, possibly Simon Cowell and a panel of experts.
    I wonder how the general public would vote on kicking all foreigners out of the country, reinstating the Death penalty for being a Guardian reader or instituting a 90% tax cut?

  156. 156
    Flaming Torches R Us says:

    I used to book an out and in ride with my local minicab company – using that ancient gadget that used to be called a landline telephone.

  157. 157
    Dr. Moreau says:

    Who is that creature in the photo with the Genetically Modified Being badge? Is it Glenda Jackson, Dan Hodges, Igor or a passing extra from a zombie movie? I think we should be warned.

  158. 158
    Flaming Torches R Us says:

    Can somebody please ask Boris if he is reading this thread.

  159. 159
    tigerowl says:

    Yep. “When the tide of new technology is coming in fast, it’s unwise to stand still and hope it stops at your feet”. Britain’s race to the bottom. get an app. and a car and why bother learning the roads? Anyone can be a taxi driver it seems. Not a closed shop but when a taxi driver spends years learning the road system and adhering to all the rules, it is a bit unfair to find anyone can just become a cabbie. Is cheap the best? Seems it is for the institute of Directors. Those people who see regulation as a burden. Glad we have the EU to regulate employment laws. Just think how low employment safeguards would be with the Institute of Directors making the rules.

  160. 160
    Flaming Torches R Us says:

    Taxis in Oslo also take credit cards. They have little machines on the dashboard. Mind you it costs a bloody fortune to get out from town to the airport and departing passengers are not very likely to have a couple of hundred spare kroners in their pocket on their last day in the country.

  161. 161
    Flaming Torches R Us says:

    Owl, you will already know of course that the IoD is in the very forefront of the battle to keep us in and firmly tied to the EU commie empire.

    So long as everyone knows where they are coming from and their agenda, suitable attention or otherwise can be given to their utterances.

  162. 162
    Anonymous says:

    The company I worked for used them thinking they saved money – not when you’re wandering round the houses for hours because the driver couldn’t find his arse with both hands. never use them if I’m paying myself !

  163. 163
    Lets short the Euro says:

    Get a GPS and a car and you are in business.

    Cheaper fares all round.

    Good for business and good for the customers.

  164. 164
    bleubottle says:

    Whatever happened to Mr Cameron’s “light touch” business regulation ?

  165. 165
    Jobs for the boys says:

    No no no.

    If you want to be a taxi driver in future you will need a degree.

    If you think degrees are costly don’t worry we can provide you with a loan at a nice rate of interest.

    The average punter is pig thick and will fall for any old bull.

  166. 166
    Long John Silver' s parrot says:

    Have you heard of Google and driverless cars………and buses……….and lorries………….and trains ?

  167. 167
    Robert the Biker says:

    Specifically it’s the equestrian statue of Charles 1st at the south east corner of Trafalgar Square.

  168. 168
    Pub Landlord says:

    Union type people stay away from my pub!!

  169. 169

    It s called progress you myopic people !!

    From when the combustion engine replaced the Hansom and a filament bulb a candle to the here and now when we have self service check – outs , robot lawn mowers and driverless trains as a reality ( pace Bob Crowe R I P ) there is no way you can stop progress and the Luddites who try to will be crushed underfoot.

    The only figleaf of decency they have left is to cite the ” regulatory aspect ” well .. …. what happens if uber meet and EXCEED said aspect ??!!!

    will they hire the by then available driverless motor car itself

  170. 170
    Progressive wanker says:

    Black cabs = overpriced racket. As with socialism generally. The rest of us pay over the odds to subsidise union bullies. As with public transport generally.
    Apps provide quicker, better, cheaper service and represent the democratisation (groan) of a dated closed shop industry that needs to modernise to compete. Of course, socialists don’t believe in modernisation or competition.

    Plus black cabs are noisy, cold and slow. Except for the new mercs, which are nice and modern.

    “The knowledge” is an anachronism is the days of intelligent gps with auto traffic updates.

    At least tourists get to see all three branches of Harrods whilst the meter is running.

    Perhaps if a few black-cab drivers signed up to über the whole case would come crashing down.
    But then the union bullies would label them scabs, as socialists tend to revert to bullying when their cushty status quo is under threat.

    Unions. I sh1t ‘em

  171. 171
    São Paulo resident says:

    Anybody daft enough to come here shortly, you need the app 99taxi

    Book cab using app. Get drivers details including name, photo, car registration number.
    Details of all journeys saved by the app provider.

    Equals better security for passengers and drivers.

    Or you can try your luck and call one on a street. Street cabs being obviously not as safe.

    End of World Cup public service announcement.

  172. 172

    Which is the precise site of the original Eleanor Cross, one of the twelve which King Edward I had erected from 1291 to 1294 in memory of his wife Eleanor of Castile. Originally wooden, they were replaced by beautifully decorated stone monuments placed to designate the nightly resting-places along the route taken when her body was transported to London for her burial at Westminster Abbey.

    It was called Charing Cross before Charing Cross was called Charing Cross!

  173. 173
    inside out says:

    If you can find an Addison Lee driver who speaks or understands English thats a result.

  174. 174
    todge says:

    Surprised you are not still trying to remove the deckhands

  175. 175
    I 'ad the Queen's Mum in the back of me cab last week says:

    Bit like reading the comments sections on Guido really then…

  176. 176
    I 'ad that Genghis Khan back of me cab last week says:

    Black cabbies like John Worboys perhaps

  177. 177
    Anonymous says:

    maybe because your so annoying and up your own backside.

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