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Sunday, 24 September 2017

Sun Chuka Umunna Lies BUSTED

The Murdoch goons at the Super Soaraway Currant Bun have a problem as Labour gathers in Brighton for its annual Conference: few from the party want to give the inmates of the Baby Shard bunker the time of day, and certainly no-one from the top of the party. They have no chance of getting an interview with Jeremy Corbyn - that honour went to the Observer and Mirror today - and so are left to making it up.
No leadership challenge this week no shock horror

And the Sun has significant previous when it comes to inventing stories, especially when their hacks can calculate that the targets can’t afford to take them to the cleaners. So it came to pass that hack Ryan Sabey got his instructions and proceeded to invent a plot to remove Jezza from the leadership, which isn’t going to happen. But the paper wants to make trouble for Labour, and so he has to pretend it will.

Labour’s Chuka Umunna being lined up to wrestle power from ‘undemocratic’ Jeremy Corbynreads the improbable headline, followed by the equally untrue “CHUKA Umunna is being lined up to wrestle power from Jeremy Corbyn’s grip on Labour … The moderate is tipped to lead a charge against the hard-Left, a leading party figure has claimed”. And who might this “leading party figure” be, perchance?

He was on a list of future leaders from ex-frontbencher Lisa Nandy that included former shadow defence secretary Clive Lewis and shadow Treasury minister Jonathan Reynolds”. Do go on. “Ms Nandy, who quit Mr Corbyn’s team last year, said: ‘This for me is a battle not just for the soul of the Labour Party but for the future of this country’ … Ms Nandy called Mr Corbyn’s style of leadership ‘closed, top down and undemocratic’ and the years since he became leader ‘hell’”. But there was a problem with that claim.

And that is that it is simply untrue. There is no chance of Corbyn’s leadership being challenged at Conference. Were there to be a challange, it would not involve “wrestling” anything, but the same democratic process involved when Jezza came to power, and then retained it last year. Plus Ms Nandy had something to say about the “story”.
Addressing Sabey, she snapped “your article today is complete b***ocks. Please stop writing rubbish without even bothering to call me”. Well, well. The Sun has abandoned even putting stories to their subject before publishing. That is how low the Murdoch faithful have sunk. Once they get their orders from the 13th floor, that’s that.

So when the paper’s readers are asked “Will Chuka Umunna be the next Labour leader?” the answer is, not yet, and certainly not at Conference, nor, indeed, any time in the foreseeable future. But Ryan Sabey did get one thing right in his excuse for an article, although if you blinked, you might have missed it.

The article’s sub-heading tells readers “Labour's annual conference will start in Brighton today”. And that is actually correct! Pity about the pack of lies that constitutes the rest of it, mind.

Another day, another lame and failed attempt by the Murdoch mafiosi to disrupt the Labour Party and its Conference. Remember folks - Don’t Buy The Sun.

Boris’ Red Lines IRRELEVANT

A week after the supposedly shock intervention in the Brexit debate by London’s formerly very occasional Mayor Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson, we have yet another intervention, which, purely by coincidence you understand, has been splashed all over the Telegraph, the same paper that reported the last one, and the paper which for so long bunged Bozza £250,000 a year of “chicken feed” for a weekly feast of drivel.
An absolute Muppet. And Elmo from Sesame Street

The Sunday Tel has informed readers “Boris sets red lines on Brexit … No new EU rules for Britain after 2019, says Foreign Secretary as cabinet divisions on transition are laid bare”, which is preposterous nonsense, and had the Tel not sent so many of its best journalists down the road and gone so desperate and downmarket, one of the editors or sub-editors would have spiked this ridiculous idea.

Who is doing the negotiating for the UK next week? Is it David Davis and his team, or are they taking Bozza along to sit at the back and heckle? Does Davis have to run everything past this useless buffoon? Does Bozza not understand that this is about a nation of over 60 million people, and not merely an exercise in personal aggrandisement by a failed journalist, failed London Mayor, and amateur human being?

Anyhow … what’s his beef? The Tel has hidden itself away behind a paywall, but the magpies at the Mail have lifted the relevant parts of his latest outpourings (see how that works, Barclay brothers?). The Dacre doggies tell “The Foreign Secretary is apparently demanding that Britain does not accept any new regulations from Brussels during a mooted two-year transition period”. But there is a clear caution.
Brexiteers want the UK to be able to set our own rules and strip out red tape as soon as possible in order to gain a competitive advantage … But Eurocrats will try to insist that we must fully agree to all EU regulations while we have the benefits of our current membership terms”. You’re still in the Single Market, you don’t get to give yourself a competitive advantage. Rules are rules. No independent trade deals. End of story.

So when all those “close to Bozza” say “Boris will be one of those Cabinet ministers pushing to make sure we don't have any new EU rules and regulations during the transition … There should not be any new regulations during that period. We should uphold those we have already but not take any more”, this is total crap. It will get laughed out of the negotiating room. It’s not going to happen.

And in any case, as the Mail points out, “any new rules that come into force during the two years will in reality have been approved by the UK while it was still a member of the bloc”. Brave Bozza not engaging brain before shooting mouth off - no surprise there.

As to who may be behind Bozza’s dysfunctional drivel, one headline is all you need to read. “Boris Johnson’s Brexit demands are a breath of fresh air for voters during stale EU negotiations … The Foreign Secretary's words for The Telegraph will be a sign of hope for the millions of frustrated Brits who voted for Brexit”. Faithful Murdoch retainer Trevor Kavanagh in the Sun last week. The empire that is leaning on Bozza strikes again.

Thus the perils of having a failed journalist in Government: they get talked up when they’re not worth it, and get leaned on by those who know the content of their skeleton cupboards.

Uber - Tories Don’t Get It

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.

EyeSpyMP Creepiness EXPOSED

Many politics enthusiasts who use Twitter have in the past sent nuggets of information to the EyeSpyMP account, which then broadcasts them to its 42,000-plus followers. Much of what the account Tweets out is picked up by the established press, or by blogs and online news sources. But the wisdom of paying any attention to this social media feature has been put into question after a supremely creepy display yesterday.
Ex-MP Sarah Olney having a loud argument with her daughter in Kingston swimming pool, failing to get her to brush her hair” it trumpeted happily. Ms Olney is not an MP, and what she and her daughter discuss in their leisure time is well outside anything that could possibly have a public interest justification. And yes, it was seriously creepy.
The condemnation from other Twitter users was immediate: “All this does is make you sound like you've got people spying in changing rooms … Really inappropriate. Please delete this tweet and leave them alone … Reported to @twitter … Weird. Stop that … This is a safeguarding issue if a child is involved and you're identifying location. Please consider your motivations when tweeting … I think you should delete this tweet”.
Many were alarmed at the invasiveness: “why are you weirdos watching women and little girls at swimming pools? … This is really gross, you should take it down. A massive invasion of privacy … Who the fuck has their phone out and is tweeting in the changing room? Massive invasion of privacy … This is a horrible tweet and a horrible account. Please stop … This sounds like stalking … Parent has row with their child. So bloody what. Leave the woman alone and get a life of your own. FFS”.
Many reported the Tweet. Some unfollowed or even blocked the account. Others echoed the observations of creepiness, invasiveness, and even stalking, Who, indeed, would be a party to such behaviour? Ah well. It was not long before one Tweeter reminded us who is behind EyeSpyMp. Step forward Lloyd Jones to observe “Stay classy, Paul…”.
Wait, what? Yes, back in 2013, Political Scrapbook had postedEye Spy Guido Fawkes”, telling “Guido Fawkes accidentally outs himself as behind the @EyeSpyMP crowd-sourced MP-watching service with his own dialling wand moment earlier … All those lefty SW1A bag carriers (and MPs) that didn’t realise they were feeding Guido”.
Coming, if only virtually, to a swimming pool near you

The Great Guido had made the mistake of sending the same Tweet from his own account AND from EyeSpyMP within a couple of seconds. The perpetually thirsty Paul Staines and his rabble at the Fawkes blog have never shied away from calling “stalker” on others over the recent past - and now they have been caught bang to rights doing it themselves. Worse, despite being told by scores of Tweeters that this was out of order, the offending Tweet is still there, live, almost 24 hours after it was posted.

Double standards and the Fawkes massive are frequent bedfellows. To this can now be added invasive creepiness bordering on stalking. Another fine mess, once again.

Top Six - September 24

So what’s hot, and what’s not, in the past week’s blogging? Here are the six most popular posts on Zelo Street for the past seven days, counting down in reverse order, because, well, I have to be out and about later. So there.
6 Spectator Editor Says Lying Is OK Fraser Nelson told his adoring followers that anything uttered by London’s formerly very occasional Mayor Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson was fine - despite Bozza being an habitual liar.

5 Guido Fawked - Sadiq Uber Smear BUSTED The perpetually thirsty Paul Staines and his rabble at the Guido Fawkes blog pretended that London’s Mayor had personally taken the decision not to renew the licence for driver and rider matching service Uber. This was totally untrue - so no change there, then.

4 Uber - The Pundits Bleat A succession of rich and selfish right-wingers lined up to whine about Uber not getting a licence renewal in London.

3 Tommy Robinson’s Pals CHARGED Paul Golding and Jayda Fransen of Britain First are up in court next month for religiously aggravated harassment.

2 Uber Tried To Mess With FoI The driver and rider matching service was revealed to have suggested that TfL not tell anyone about the upcoming launch of the UberEATS service, which they said they had no plans to do. But they did.

1 Nigel Farage - Blood On WHOSE Hands? Mr Thirsty bleated that the rotten BBC had caused him great distress, while managing not to notice that he used the same claim against others. Oh, and the FBI is closing in, Nige. Minor point, eh?

And that’s the end of another blogtastic week, blog pickers. Not ‘arf!

Saturday, 23 September 2017

Farage DOES Have Bloodied Hands

The protestations of former UKIP Oberscheissenf├╝hrer Nigel “Thirsty” Farage, that the rotten BBC had caused great upset to Himself Personally Now by broadcasting a vox pop where a member of the public had expressed the view that he “had blood on his hands”, was clearly a case of brazen hypocrisy, as I showed at the time. Farage is all too ready to level the same accusation at others for no credible reason.
Squeaky keep it quiet finger up the bum time

But the former head Kipper’s appalling double standards do not end there: it is also arguable that he does have blood on his hands, and as a result of a far more clear-cut, and much nastier, series of deliberate actions. For this, we must go back to the 2010 General Election, when Farage chose to challenge Commons speaker John Bercow for the Buckingham constituency - yet another Parliamentary campaign he lost.

Nige got in into his head that he would like to charter an aircraft to tow a suitably worded banner around the area, thus hopefully raising his publicity profile. To this end, one of his fellow Kippers recommended a pilot called Justin Adams. At first, Adams was not keen about his plane towing a banner, as it was not suited to the task. But he was somehow persuaded to take the job. He soon came to regret doing so.

The banner became entangled in the aircraft, causing it to adopt a nose down attitude: it subsequently crash landed, injuring both Adams and Farage. Adams was later convicted of issuing threats against Mr Thirsty, but as the Skwawkbox has told, he did not at first make any threats, doing no more in the first instance than calling Farage and asking him to make a call to the Civil Aviation Authority concerning the crash.

It is alleged that instead of calling the CAA, Farage called the Police and claimed he was being threatened. There were, it seems, two witnesses to this series of events. Later, Adams did indeed make threats, but by that time, partly because Farage had dragged his feet for so long, his income had dried up. He lost his pilot’s licence, his business, and ultimately his family. Adams subsequently took his own life.

On hearing the news of the pilot’s death, Farage suddenly came over all contrite: “This is a horribly tragic end and I'm desperately sorry for what happened”. Not sorry enough, it seems, to ‘fess up and tell the CAA that he was, at least in part, responsible for the crash landing for coercing Adams to tow a banner behind his aircraft so that UKIP could score a bit of less expensive publicity - when the plane was not suitable to do it.

Strangely, our free and fearless press has not seen fit to pursue this story, and has been absent elsewhere when Farage baselessly accused the EU of “having blood on its hands” over Ukraine, then whining like a spoilt brat when he thought the BBC had made the same accusation against him, which they had not.

It takes some brass neck to be suspiciously close to being part of what drove a desperate man to take his own life, and than get all righteous that someone said something rotten about him. Nigel Farage gives every impression of being that man. I doubt that anyone in the aviation industry will be taking on a job for him any time soon.

Florence - The Brexit Delusion

Most of the EU’s leaders took little notice of it; none thought it warranted their turning up to listen. Theresa May’s trip to Florence, to give a speech to a room filled with her own party colleagues and with British journalists making up the numbers, might as well have been given in Westminster. The delusion continued. And out free and fearless press approved.
So this morning, the campaign of misinformation has continued unabated. That Ms May said nothing of any consequence - why break the habit of a lifetime? - was not allowed to enter when the likes of the Mail’s odious Quentin Letts (let’s not) filed their copy. Sneering “Outside, a tiny group of Chiantishire expat Brits warbled Remainerishly. They were led by a former Labour MP, Roger Casale, and they were moaning that Brexit was going to ruin their sun-kissed rights”, Quent told readers we were being nice to the nasty foreigners.

It is hard to see how, short of giving Jean-Claude Juncker a life peerage, Mrs May could have been more placatory to the EU” he sniffed, ignoring the inconvenient fact that she had said precisely nothing. And the delusion continued with the Mail claiming “EU chief negotiator Barnier praises the 'constructive spirit' in May's Florence speech as he says the landmark address is a 'step forward’”. What he actually said was rather different.

His response includedPrime Minister May's statements are a step forward but they must now be translated into a precise negotiating position of the UK government … Today's speech does not clarify how the UK intends to honour its special responsibility for the consequences of its withdrawal for Ireland”. And there was more.
As Jason Farrell of Sky News has pointed out, M Barnier has already said “‘not possible’ for UK ‘to have the same benefits as the Norwegian model but the limited obligations of the Canadian model’”. That rather limits our options, not that you would guess from the alternate reality inhabited by today’s editorial in the Murdoch Sun.

The EU can hardly moan about our decision to leave when we've offered so much in the way of concessions particularly when it comes to budget contributions”. They aren’t. They just want us to say what we want. Ms May hasn’t. And the Murdoch goons persist with their idea that we can appeal to other EU leaders over the heads of negotiators.
They will not decide our future partnership with the European Union … It will be Angela Merkel, Emmanuel Macron and the elected leaders of the 25 other EU countries who make the real decisions” they bluster. But the reality is that, next week, David Davis will have to face Barnier and stop pissing about. And the Sun won’t save him. Or us.

Did this get through to the Sun’s Saturday pundit James Forsyth? You jest. “Theresa May sensibly bought us more time with a transitional period” he gurgles. But she hasn’t. And, for those in the Baby Shard bunker pretending that M Macron will ride to our rescue, he has already given a de Gaulle style “NON” to that idea.
The reality has been left to those able to look at the UK from the same perspective as all those mainland European politicians with whom we must get agreement, typified by the Economist’s Berlin bureau chief Jeremy Cliffe. He has summed up succinctly on Twitter.

The @SZ reports Number 10 invited ‘European politicians of rank’ to May's Florence speech but they all declined”. Nobody who mattered cared about that speech. And while that is sinking in, Cliffe had more hard truths to set out.
@SZ: Florence accreditation granted to journalists who hadn't applied for it - No 10 giving away seats to avoid images of half-empty room … So lack of interest from EU27 invitees explains the odd spectacle of May going to Italy to speak to a room full of British journalists … Symptomatic of broader British delusion: May described Brexit yesterday as a ‘shared challenge’. That's just not how it's seen on continent … It's seen as baffling & rather sad act of self-mutilation (motivated by countless untruths) which it's the unhappy job of UK govt to inflict”. The British Brexit delusion summed up in one.

And on top of that has come the news that, as the BBC has reported, “The UK's credit rating has been cut over concerns about the UK's public finances and fears Brexit could damage the country's economic growth … Moody’s, one of the major ratings agencies, downgraded the UK to an Aa2 rating from Aa1 … It said leaving the European Union was creating economic uncertainty at a time when the UK's debt reduction plans were already off course”. It is our worst-ever credit rating.

Never has the gulf between reality, and the delusional claptrap being fed the British public by an increasingly irresponsible and out of touch press, been greater. We are being misinformed, and worse, on an industrial scale. Why that should be I will leave to others to figure out.

Uber - The Pundits Bleat

After yesterday’s decision by Transport for London not to renew the operator’s licence for driver and rider matching service Uber, the right-wing punditry has offered its entirely predictable response. The clear reasons for TfL refusing licence renewal were all but ignored, the story was framed as the personal intervention of Sadiq Khan, who took no part in the process, and the decision was held to be all about choice.
Thus the ardent free marketeers ignored the inability of Uber in London to abide by the rules, the effective servitude imposed on its drivers by having no job security, no control over rate cuts, and the constant threat of being “deactivated”, should a punter take exception to them. That there are several other transport options available to Londoners, including other app-based services, was not allowed to enter.
Typical of the sour and partisan tone was that struck by Alex Deane, another of those Clever People Who Talk Loudly In Restaurants: “Well done Sadiq. Next up, smash the spinning jenny”. It was nothing to do with Sadiq. But do go on. “A concentrated minority of determined campaigners will often overcome a diffuse majority. Millions will pay higher fares now”. Stuff the sub-minimum wage offer for the driver, eh?
But at least Deane had engaged brain first, which Spectator editor Fraser Nelson had not: “World over, approach to #Uber is a proxy for whether a gvt/city is on the side of the vested interests (the few) or consumers (the many)”. Very good Fraser - Uber IS a vested interest. And a very large one. How about blaming Khan? “Sadiq Khan declared himself anti-Uber while on the mayoral election campaign. He has been consistent”.
Blub! Sniff!! Snot fair!!! Meanwhile, Sohrab Ahmari, ex Murdoch Wall Street Journal, complained “A regular black cab to Heathrow can easily cost as much as your roundtrip flight to many European destinations. Uber was a life-saver”. But he hadn’t heard of all the other app-based offerings or existing minicab firms either. And then came the loathsome Toby Young: “Awful. Monopolists successfully stifle competition”.
Brilliant Tobes - Uber ARE monopolists. Did the Mail on Sunday’s not at all celebrated blues artiste Whinging Dan Hodges have anything useful to say? “Tories struggling for popular distinction between their vision of capitalism and Corbyn's socialism. Uber have handed them one”. Sadly, no he didn’t. How about the serially clueless Tim Montgomerie? “The Uber decision. Appalled at @SadiqKhan's attack on consumers? Sign the Petition. I just have”. Stuff safety standards and rule breaking, just think selfishness.
Isabel Oakeshott fared no better: “Stunned by Uber ban. So anti free market! Don't believe it will actually happen but if it does, suspect @SadiqKhan will come to regret it”. No, it’s Uber that is anti-free market. Was there no sense to be had from those on the right? For once, it was left to the attention seeking Julia Hartley Dooda to think before whining: “I use @Uber all the time & want to continue doing so. But they should vet drivers properly & report criminal allegations to police”. There was more to the decision, but a good start.

Uber is an aggressive corporate looking to drive its competition out of business and impose its own monopoly. Ultimately, it does not give a rat’s arse about consumers. Yet all these ostensibly sensible pundits fall for it every time. I’ll just leave that one there.

Friday, 22 September 2017

Guido Fawked - Sadiq Uber Smears BUSTED

After the news broke that Transport for London had taken the decision not to renew Uber’s London operating licence, the right-leaning part of the Pundit Establishment was bereft. They had assiduously promoted the driver and rider matching service for years, turning a blind eye to all the bad behaviour and that aggressive corporate culture, instead telling anyone who would listen that it was all about technology and choice.
Behold the arbiter of morals and high principles

In this regard, no-one was more enthusiastic for Uber than the perpetually thirsty Paul Staines and his rabble at the Guido Fawkes blog, who were more than happy to cheer for Uber at the expense, especially, of London’s black cab trade, because that meant people who were members of trades unions, which meant they were Very Bad Indeed.

So when the news broke, The Great Guido was ready with his king size onion: “Extraordinary decision. 3.5 million Londoners and 40,000 drivers use Uber, Sadiq is now going to have to explain to them why they are out of a job and out of pocket. Khan pays back the taxi unions who put him in City Hall” was the predictable outburst.
Sadiq Khan - not involved

There was more. Under the headlineKhan Chooses Union Backers Over 3.5 Million Londoners”, the Fawkes massive asserts “Faced with the choice between 3.5 million Londoners and his taxi union backers, Sadiq chose the unions. Khan promised he would not be a mayor for vested interests, well he has just hit Londoners in the pocket to please his GMB union backers who have been running the campaign against Uber”.
This is followed by including a photo of the Mayor and LTDA man Steve McNamara to suggest some kind of congratulation is being depicted - but sadly this is the usual Fawkes fraud, the photo being some months old. Still, the Fawkes rabble want readers to know “Londoners seeing first hand what a Labour mayor in hoc to the unions does for them”.
But, as Captain Blackadder might have observed, there was only one thing wrong with this idea - it was bollocks. Uber had its licence renewal declined for clearly explained reasons, none of which had anything to do with Sadiq Khan, Steve McNamara, the black cab trade in general, or any trades union. The licence refusal was down to Uber not behaving as the law, and regulations, require, as Jon Elledge has pointed out at City Metric.
TfL is supposed to ensure the safety of taxi passengers: Uber wasn’t cooperating, so no more Uber. TfL is quite literally doing its job”. It’s not about “tech” or “choice” - TfL has a duty to its customers, in other words, to all users of public transportation systems in and around London. And it gets worse for The Great Guido.
The idea that Sadiq Khan was even tangentially involved is bunk. As Adam Bienkov of Business Insider points out, “This wasn't Sadiq's decision. Entirely a decision by TfL regulators. Mayor was not legally allowed to take part”. The Fawkes rabble has been telling its adoring readers a pack of lies. And not for the first time.

Once again, the Fawkes folks get it totally wrong. Another fine mess.

Uber Licence NOT Renewed

When it comes to major shifts in public transport thinking, the rest of the UK invariably follows London’s lead. Thus it was that cities around the UK abandoned their tram networks after they saw London going that way (the capital would have abandoned its trams a lot earlier than 1952, had the war not intervened). The same happened in the wake of London abandoning the trolleybus in 1962.
These precedents will already be known by those in charge at the London end of driver and rider matching service Uber, whose licence was not renewed, so much as rolled on, earlier this year, with the decision kicked down the road for a few more months while someone stepped up to the plate and took the hard decision.

And that decision, announced at 1100 hours today, was that Uber London Ltd would not be getting its licence renewed when it expires on the 30th of September.

Transport for London has spelt out the grounds for its decision. “TfL’s regulation of London’s taxi and private hire trades is designed to ensure passenger safety. Private hire operators must meet rigorous regulations, and demonstrate to TfL that they do so, in order to operate. TfL must also be satisfied that an operator is fit and proper to hold a licence … TfL has concluded that Uber London Limited is not fit and proper to hold a private hire operator licence”.
Why so? “TfL considers that Uber’s approach and conduct demonstrate a lack of corporate responsibility in relation to a number of issues which have potential public safety and security implications”. These are also spelt out.

Its approach to reporting serious criminal offences … its approach to how medical certificates are obtained … its approach to how Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Services (DBS) checks are obtained … its approach to explaining the use of Greyball in London, software that could be used to block regulatory bodies from gaining full access to the app”.

The decision also explains that Uber London Ltd can appeal the decision, and their licence will remain in place pending the exhaustion of that process. As a result, the lawyers are about to get even more heavily involved than they have been previously.
TfL’s decision has not come as a surprise here on Zelo Street, and nor will it to anyone else who has been watching recent goings-on. The welter of unfavourable publicity regarding inappropriate behaviour by drivers, the concerns of the Metropolitan Police, and the way in which Uber has been obtaining licences in London only to have many of those licensed working in other areas, all have counted against them.

The aggressive behaviour of management - Travis Kalanick left it too late to go - along with apparent disregard for the niceties of regulation, and the accident rate for its “partners”, will also count against them. London’s taxi and private hire trades are regulated not merely for fun, but with good reason: punters need to know they are safe.

For Uber in London, as Winshton might have said, this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.