It feels as though we've spent the last 5 years amidst the perfect storm, no not the Hollywood blockbuster starring my very own doppelganger, Mr. Clooney, I'm referring to the whirlwind attack on our historic trade.
It goes without saying, the alleged connections between David Cameron, George Osbourne and faketaxi heavyweights Uber, has to be looked upon as a complete mismatch when going up against approximately 23,000 sole traders. The sheer disregard to us all will never be forgotten, no matter the final outcome of a battle that will surely come to a fearsome end somewhere down the road.
It's also hard to ignore the absolute ignorance of our licensing authority. I can't help think that if we were still controlled by the Metropolitan police, we wouldn't be in this mess. PHV licences are racking up quicker than sexual encounters on an episode of Geordie Shore. Apparently there's no one with the co-honers to say "enough is enough, this needs capping!". The streets of London are now flooded with sat nav jockeys desperately seeking guidance through our amazing city. London, quite frankly, is bursting at the seams.
London is not all bad though, well not for the Lycra clad individuals who enjoy participating twice a day in 'Tour de twats'. This is when an elite group of men and women compete to see who can annoy more drivers whilst on route, to and from work, wearing clothes that expose bulging sacks and camel toes. For them, London is a playground. There's endless Cycle lanes growing from the depths of the earth cutting main arteries causing our streets to bleed a slow sorry death. And who's to blame? some would say a loony in a wig.
Being a Taxi driver has always been considered as one of the most stressful jobs anyone can do, well now it's a whole lot worse. With all of the above to take into consideration, we're now having to also deal with a lifespan being placed on our iconic vehicles. With costs that are currently at a frightening all time high, one has to wonder how many drivers can actually afford to commit to such a price. Any takers?.... no didn't think so.
How have we managed to keep our head above water and maintain road space on the streets of London and up and down the country whilst being targeted from every angle? Through pure grit and determination. An elite group of proud men and women who refuse to give in. It's forever embedded in our DNA. The knowledge of London wasn't just designed to ensure all those that drove for the greatest Taxi force in the world knew where they were going, it was also designed to ensure only the strong survive, life in it's purest form.
We have no doubt, in my opinion, survived the eye of the storm. This far down the line in the quest to kill us, we were expected to be a mere memory. Some drivers we have lost. Some we have gained. The circle of life continues.
We all thank Guy Adams for bringing the outrageous levels of alleged corruption to the public's attention, although I can't help but think we were just background noise in a battle of newspapers and hidden agendas. Nevertheless I'm happy to tag along to witness such a story unfold. Ubers image has taken quite a battering of late, whilst ours remains intact. Love us or hate us, we are undoubtedly still the heavyweight champs of the Taxi and private hire industry.
Some wear Green, some wear Yellow, and some wear neither, but if you're Hackney carriage, you'll always be considered the very best.
Roll up your sleeves and prepare to get dirt in your fingernails ladies and gents because this year is big for our trade. Make or break. Do or die. We must do whatever it takes to reign supreme. No excuses, everyone to a man must pull their weight.
Stand up tall and be proud. We've made it through The Perfect Storm. And do you know what....
I'm feeling stronger than ever!