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Boris Johnson supports cartels and high prices

Boris Johnson wants people to pay more for transport in London because breaking up a taxi cartel is bad apparently. And people paying less to move around the city is bad for the economy apparently. And in an age of ubiquitous GPS, ‘The Knowledge‘ should be used to limit the numbers of people driving cabs in order to keep prices up.

Bear in mind this fuckwit may well try to be Prime Minister one day.

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22 comments to Boris Johnson supports cartels and high prices

  • Paul Marks

    I have not had much regard for Mr Boris Johnson since I found out that he had a bust of Pericles as a student.

    Remember Mr Johnson was classical educated (and was studying Classics at Oxford) so he is either incredibly stupid (and does not know that Pericles followed policies of turning “the poor” against “the rich” and turning the allies of Athens into first subjects and then enemies – by looting) or he thinks such Populist politics is a good thing.

    So when he comes out, for example, in favour of the “Living Wage” (rather than understanding that wages should be set by supply and demand) I am not surprised.

    I am not surprised by his support of the taxi cartel either.

  • mojo

    Memorizing “The Knowledge” (of London’s illogical streets) take on average what, seven years?

    Yeah. Like that.

  • Rob Fisher

    What? And there I was celebrating that he’d been rude to a black cab driver the other day. Rubbish.

  • Mr Ed

    Mr Johnson is the son of a former Euro-MP, and World Bank and EEC official, you can tell from this item what he really thinks, what more need you know about him?

  • AndrewWS

    And there I was thinking that London cabbies were more likely to live in Gants Hill than Uxbridge … he really must believe this crap.

  • It starts with a “living wage” and then improves to a “living large wage”.

    Why not?

  • Nicholas (Self-Sovereignty) Gray

    Well, Parliament is a cartel of politicians, really. Why should we think that any of them would not approve of cartels?

  • Thailover

    I feel your pain every time I hear Donald Trump drop his “wisdom” on the topic of his pro-Protectionism policies and anti-trade rhetoric (supposedly ‘pro-domestic jobs) in his run for republican president. Both parties, lefties and righties, say they hate cronyism, and then run on a platform of cronyism. It’s disgusting and intelligence insulting.

  • Mr Ecks

    The only reason to ever vote for Johnson was Ken Leninslime. With that done it is obvious that Johnson is a self-serving con man. Letting him anywhere near the anti-EU cause would also be a massive error.

  • I once had an argument of this sort with a (Tory, sadly) local councillor who was also a physiotherapist (or some profession like that) who expected me to be outraged that Australian physiotherapists were coming to the UK and working in the profession. Her principal source of outrage seemed to be that Australian physiotherapists could qualify with one less year of training than British ones, and that this was unfair. She was further outraged further by my reaction, which was that I simply didn’t give a shit as long as as they could do the job properly. Members of protected cartels are usually like this.

    The scary thing is that despite Boris having essentially taken the black cab drivers’ side on this issue, the cab drivers still consider that he has betrayed them, hence the little incident last week in which Boris swore at a cab driver after the cab driver apparently swore (or at least heckled) at him first. Truly, cab drivers are a dreadful bunch. Nearly as bad as doctors.

  • The most worrying thing about Boris Johnson’s tenure has been his love of flagship, publicity generating projects with (usually) his name on them that subsequently turn into enormous financial black holes. Boris Bikes. Boris Buses. That stupid cable car in east London. That kind of thing. As the mayor of London doesn’t actually have control over much, he hasn’t been able to do too much damage – the national government can explain that Boris Island is a stupid idea, for instance, and not consider it. If he were Prime Minister, this aspect of his character would be horrifying, however.

  • Cal

    Why stop at Uber drivers? Black cab drivers are not only in competition with Uber drivers, they’re also in competition with people who have the chutzpah to drive themselves. Or who give their friends lifts. They should have to learn the Knowledge as well before they’re allowed to drive in London.

  • Lee Moore

    Boris is being perfectly sensible.

    1. Licensed cab drivers are a useful source of Tory votes.
    2. People who use taxis are (a) private sector rich, bankers, toffs etc – who will vote Tory anyway (b) the publicly funded apparat – ie BBC executives, arts luvvies, higher civil servants, who won’t vote Tory even when hell freezes over and (c ) foreigners – who don’t have a vote. Normal people use the tube or the bus or their feet.
    3. Ergo – no votes to be gained from keeping taxi fares down.

    Likewise abolishing the need for The Knowledge could only piss off the existing cartel, who’ve had to waste years learning it.

    There is a world of difference between the ideological purity of blogging and the seedy business of grubbing for votes in the sewers of London. The first rule of politics is – if it is absolutely necessary to charge the enemy guns, lead from behind.

  • Mr Ed

    The most worrying thing about Boris Johnson’s tenure has been his love of flagship, publicity generating projects with (usually) his name on them that subsequently turn into enormous financial black holes.

    Mr Johnson is perhaps this generation’s Michael Heseltine.Back in the 1990s, the Sage of Kettering told me about a plan that Heseltine had for a new city to the east of London, informally dubbed ‘Hezzaville’, and there was a mischievous (I hope) rumour that the city was planned for its boundaries to sketch Heseltine’s face. Nothing came of it, but it is the same grand gesture, what is seen and what is not seen, politics, and the same Eurozeal too, and with that comes an inevitable contempt for principle and liberty.

  • Johnnydub

    The thing that puts me off Boris altogether is his support for Turkey joining the EU.(I believe he is partly Turkish)

    Yes that’s just what we need. The state that turns a blind eye to ISIS, to have open borders all the way to Calais; I mean what could possibly go wrong?

  • Normal people use the tube or the bus or their feet.
    3. Ergo – no votes to be gained from keeping taxi fares down.

    I’m not sure I am a normal person, but as a neither rich nor poor Londoner I largely conform to this in terms of the foot leather, bus, and tube aspects. (I also conform to the extent that I once did take black cabs, but that was when I had an employer that was willing to pay for them). Most regular Londoners will also take a minicab when absolutely necessary, though. I’ve stopped doing that, because Uber is simply so much more convenient, and I am now using Uber much more often than I used to use minicabs, although still not very often. (We are talking maybe once a month rather than a couple of times a year). Take that away from me, and you will piss me off. There are already a lot of voters who are happy about the new options available. A good politician could take advantage of this.

  • Mr Ed

    Lee, I agree absolutely that Mr Johnson is simply being a politician, and doing their equivalent of what bears do in the woods. Politics is about rewarding failure and penalising success, the market rewards success and penalises failure, that’s why one uses force, the other choice.

    Likewise abolishing the need for The Knowledge could only piss off the existing cartel, who’ve had to waste years learning it.

    Indeed, but there is surely scope for a simple app to be provided by the Mayoralty, (if it must) setting out routes and prices for black cabs based on satnav and traffic data that could be shared between customer and driver in the cartel system, as ‘the Knowledge’ is as redundant as chess grandmasters in this day and age.

    The next arguments are ‘heritage’ the ‘iconic’ black cab disappearing from London would be losing a ‘landmark’ and ‘part of what makes London special’, and then ‘the disability bomb’, as London cabs are designed to take some types of disabled people.

    Although if anyone is worried about missing black cabs, I saw one once in Tindouf, Algeria in December 1990, but with a City of Liverpool cab licence plate. It might still be there, if a bit sand-blasted.

  • Mr Ed

    Meanwhile, reports of violence in Paris over Uber:

    http://order-order.com/2015/06/25/french-taxi-drivers-burn-ubers-and-attack-courtney-love/#_@/UWblAtqU6oc2Bw

    Courtney Love reported tweeted:

    “they’ve ambushed our car and are holding our driver hostage. they’re beating the cars with metal bats. this is France?? I’m safer in Baghdad”

  • I expect cabs in North Africa to be the legendarily indestructible W123 series Mercedes. A London cab is a little peculiar, yes.

  • Runcie Balspune

    Boris did get the Oystercard/Smartcard scheme on the overland rail working, something Livingstone failed to do because he wanted the rail operators to cough up for it.

    The other transport elephant in the room is why we still have tube drivers, even overpaid ones, especially as he’s proposing a 24/7 tube. I don’t think I’ll see that cartel broken in my lifetime.

    Indeed, but there is surely scope for a simple app to be provided by the Mayoralty, (if it must) setting out routes and prices for black cabs based on satnav and traffic data that could be shared between customer and driver in the cartel system

    Didn’t they have Hailo? And when Hailo decided to take on private cabs a la Uber, the black cabbie thugs trashed their office.

  • Mr Ecks

    Johnson can insert his Oyster card up his oyster. It serves as a means to track Londoners as they use public transport.

  • Rational Plan

    As a separate issue from the Knowledge but some regulation of cabs can be considered a god idea.

    Many disabled think London’s Black cabs are great as it means they can catch a cab without having to book a specialist cab for a wheelchair. Many cities cabs have no such requirements. It can range from hiring a special vehicle where they can only give you a three hour window, to having to hire a special bus at a cost of $1,000 or having no options at all. But London is good at that in general.It’s bus network is 100% low floor with automatic extending ramps and with most bus stops raised to the buses height to speed loading. Contrast to many American systems where they wheelchair lifts are attached to buses and it requires the driver to physically get out of the bus to operate it!

    If it wasn’t for how old the UK rail system is, it would have a great accessibility there as well.