Previously Posted: The lunatics have taken over the asylum

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.

The lunatics have taken over the asylum (13.10.09)

The lunatics have taken over the asylum (13.10.09)It’s now been four weeks since London’s Black Cabbies protested about the Public Carriage Office (“PCO”) who allowed an unsuitable person to start the Knowledge. The gentleman concerned has now been removed from the course but the public have a right to know if there are any other criminals driving London’s Black Cabs.

As reported extensively in London’s media the PCO have allowed a paranoid schizophrenic with convictions for manslaughter and assault to study for the Knowledge. Even worst when a spokesman for the PCO was interviewed by James Whale on LBC recently he could, or would not give assurances that other criminals with convictions for serious offences were not aspiring cabbies. He even went as far as to state that the whistleblower within the PCO, if discovered, would be subject to a “serious reprimand procedure”.

When I did the Knowledge part of the test was putting the student under pressure to see how they would react. For, how can I put this politely? Some of you can be awkward when you have had a drink, or when we have taken an incorrect route. Unlike other occupations these disputes have to be resolved between ourselves in isolation. If a person with mental health issues has to confront that situation there is nobody around to give them support.

By allowing rickshaws (see previous post) and the blatant touting in the West End every night I’m beginning to lose confidence that this regulatory body has the ability to protect the public. It shouldn’t be cabbies who have to draw the public’s attention these dangers and put pressure on the PCO to do its job.

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