For those new to CabbieBlog or readers who are slightly forgetful, on Saturdays I’m republishing posts, many going back over a decade. Some will still be very relevant while others have become dated over time. Just think of this post as your weekend paper supplement.
Shaggy Dog Story (25.02.09)
“Sorry Squire, I’m not going South of The River”.
I can now say that with impunity after a recent judgment by magistrates in Bolton. Last week they cleared taxi firm boss Mustak Bhuta, accused of discrimination against a blind woman, Toni Forest. The court heard that Miss Forest accompanied by her guide dog was told that the cab firm was not taking her because of hairs from her dog.
But the court accepted the taxi bosses’ version that two of his drivers on duty had problems in the past, one of which was the dog being unhygienic in licking the gear stick. The remaining available driver was scared of dogs.
So now I have a whole plethora of excuses for refusal; you’ll drop hairs, licking my gear stick (is that a euphuism?), and a phobia of South London.
Lost and Found
“You would lose your head if was not screwed on”, so I was told when young. The same could be said about cabbies’ passengers. A recent survey by Credant Technologies has found that over the last six months, 55,843 mobile phones and 6,193 other devices including laptops were forgotten by London black cab passengers. Thankfully, about 80 per cent of surveyed taxi drivers claimed that owners were reunited with their missing item once found, but having your hand-held device in someone else’s hands still poses a huge security threat for the owner. These devices are usually not owned by the people using them; either they are supplied on a contract or owned by their employer, so maybe that’s their excuse for not being so careful.
The same can’t be said for the high profile security breaches by losing data devices left in public areas, to be conveniently reported by the media. Am I being just a touch cynical when I think some of these lapses are helping to destroy the Government’s reassurance that they are safe with our personal data for ID cards?
Apart from the mountain of iPods, drivers have also found a sawn-off shotgun, 12 dead pheasants, two dogs, toilet seats, a casket of funeral ashes and £2,700 in cash in the back of their cabs. If all these were found on the same cab run, I wouldn’t be going south of the River again.
Leaving the Monopoly board
Having shut Grosvenor Square to vehicular traffic for the best part of four months, while installing the most elaborate anti-terrorist devices this side of Iraq, the United States Embassy has now announced it’s moving to Wandsworth.
Did we pay for these elaborate rising bollards, traffic lights, anti-car bomb devices, and if so will we get any compensation?
But at least the local residents won’t mourn the passing of the Americans; they cannot get anti-terrorist insurance cover for their valuable art collections.
But it won’t look so romantic for the great unwashed to demonstrate in Wandsworth, home of the Arndale Shopping Centre.
All together now:
What Do We Want? America Out!
When Do We Want It? Now