As I sit here on a train going into London listening to some Henry Rollins Band and a bit of Black Flag interspersed with some Iron Maiden for good measure I am struggling for words as to what to type in relation to the looming general election and what it could mean for the Licensed Taxi industry and its future.
Whilst we should be voting as to which party closely resembles our political leanings rather than voting for the personalities involved I for one am finding myself pretty disenfranchised right now. On a local level there are some fabulous politicians who do an incredible amount of hard work and are a credit to our great democracy, however on a national level a proportion of the aforementioned are forced to toe the party line, quite often against their own good judgement, this is apparent on all sides of the house whether you be a Blue, Red, Yellow, Green or any other colour based on the political spectrum. This leads us down a very uncomfortable corridor of uncertainty; In the Red corner we have support as an industry from some very proactive MPs who are doing a sterling job for us.....led by an individual who has been surrounded by allegations of anti-semitism and whos general views and leanings somewhat baffle his own party to the point of grotesque disdain.....In the Blue corner we have a party that is systematically trying to dismantle our industry on a national level, allowing (yes allowing) multi-national companies to operate in a questionable (yet legal) way surrounding their taxation responsibilities whilst the rest of us bare their fiscal burden, a party that is entrenched in 2 scandals, one that allegedly could've seen the expulsion of up to 30 sitting MPs and a second scandal regarding the "chumocracy" surrounding Cameron and Osborne to name but two individuals. Yet they have what seems on the surface at least to have a strong leader of a party that has typically been pro-taxi in the past and this has been reflected in areas of London where there has been a large representation of taxi drivers who seemingly favour the Blue corner.....The Yellow corner to me is a bit of a mystery. We have support from this particular quarter and seemingly as a party, certainly in the past they have more of a handle on the needs and wants of the public in general in my opinion, yet they systematically fail to get off of the starting block. The Yellow leadership is utterly ineffectual and therefore fails to convey what should be some intelligent policies, i believe this does both the Yellows and the public a grave diservice....Finally we have the remainder, the fringe parties, the ones who have one or two major defining policies but ultimately no wider remit nor long-term policies, the quick bang for your buck parties.
I therefore believe we as an industry have a major problem right now in relation as to which way we swing politically, we are one small piece in a very big jigsaw puzzle.....this is something we must remember. Whichever party may be bad for us as an industry may well be good for the country in other aspects politically and vice-versa.
I believe that this election has been called due to the alleged scandal surrounding 30 MPs and the ensuing investigation. Bare in mind that if potentially these 30 MPs were to stand down or be forced out then the current government would no longer carry an overall majority and therefore carry no mandate to govern, in fact the government would need to lose only 18 MPs. This would then force the dissolution of parliament and in turn force a general election. Theresa May could well have cut this possibility off at the ankles, in which it could be argued that there is already a presumption of guilt surrounding this scandal. The "chumocracy" scandal is nothing more than an irritation, an inconvenient sideshow, the alleged two major players at governmental are no longer sitting MPs so it jas become a superfluous issue, horrendous for our industry but a dead issue at governmental level. There will probably be a parliamentary enquiry and then will be swiftly swept away.
I would not presume to tell any individual how to vote as it is a very personal thing, look at your own constuency first and foremost and how your local MP conducts him or herself locally, then look at what they may be able to do for the industry and then look at what they can do for the country.....try not to base your vote on personalities or rhetoric. Understand this though, whoever we vote for keep one eye on the proverbial knife going into our collective professional backs.
Disenfranchisement isn't a reason not to vote.....it's an excuse.
Oh my sweet lord, Bon Jovi is just entering my sweet sensitive ear-drums now......time to turn the sound down to zero.
Lets be careful out there and keep those doors locked.