December’s monthly musings

🚓 What Cab News

Rishi Sunak has said the so-called ‘golden era’ of relations with China is over. His speech, at the Lord Mayor’s Banquet, came after a BBC journalist was arrested, beaten up and kicked by police while covering a protest in Shanghai. The Prime Minister told the audience: “We recognise China poses a systemic challenge to our values and interests, a challenge that grows more acute as it moves towards even greater authoritarianism.”

Website Taxi Leaks then asked: So where does that leave the Taxi trade in regards to the LEVC TXE, the only London Taxi on the market produced by the Beijing company Geely?

Geely is already struggling after losing £118m last year, forcing them to lay off 140 of its staff. It’s also been reported in ‘Wired’, that the company may concentrate on manufacturing an electric vehicle for Uber, which it sees as a much larger market, compared to the Taxi trade.

With the danger of a monopoly, London’s regulator was asked: “What plans have TfL in place should Geely stop production of the only available London Taxi? So far, no reply!

One alternative would be converting ‘classic’ taxis from diesel to 100 per cent electric, which is what Clipper Cabs does, but this has not been approved by TfL.

🎧 What I’m Listening

London Undone is a podcast about City of London churches. Twice a month journalist and Blue Badge Guide Catherine Cartwright takes you to a church and gives you an in-depth tour.

📖 What I’m Reading

The Hidden Lives of Taxi Drivers: A Question of Knowledge by Ruth Finnegan. As an anthropologist, Emeritus Professor of the Open University, Finnegan takes a detailed look at the intriguing subject of taxi drivers’ lives, considering work practices, life stories, immigration and their social mobility. The work is claimed to be the first piece of research into those behind the wheel hidden in plain sight.

📺 What I’m watching

Mark Monroe on his Secrets of London YouTube channel has made a video titled ‘London’s most famous taxi driver!’ It is a great watch featuring among others Fred Housego.

❓ What else

This year on 1st January, for reasons that now escape me, I decided to blog every day. Now at the 364th day I’m nearly there, despite also taking the decision to self-publish my memoir with all that entailed. In fact it wasn’t until I read Cathy Cade’s piece: My Fourth Mini Bloganuary in late January I realised WordPress were encouraging one to daily blog. So here it is, my penultimate post of 2022

2 thoughts on “December’s monthly musings”

  1. I can’t help but fear the demise of the genuine London Taxi. It feels as if the mechanism is being put into place to get rid of The Knowledge, and the iconic taxis on London’s streets.
    A sad day indeed.
    So Sunak wants to cut ties with China? How is that going to work with Apple, Nike, and so many other ‘western’ companies having 99.9% of their products manufactured in China and imported into Britain?
    Best wishes for 2023, Pete.


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