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PanAm Podcast: London’s Uber-Hypocrite Mayor Seeks to Deny Choice and Competition to Consumers

By: David Unsworth - @LatinAmerUpdate - Oct 19, 2017, 1:49 pm

London’s transportation regulator Transport for London (TfL) has recently denied ride-sharing app uber a license to continue operations in the city, deeming the company to be not “fit and proper” to do business in London. Many consider the bureacratic snafu to be a smokescreen, as the city gives in to the powerful and well-established taxi industry. However, consumers love Uber, and the safe, convenient, and affordable services it provides, especially at night.

London’s mayor Sadiq Khan, has weighed in on the side of TfL, claiming that Uber should be shut down because it is allegedly not playing by the rules. While TfL claims that Uber has not submitted necessary paperwork on driver background checks, and medical issues, Uber claims it has fully complied. Regardless, Khan was recently revealed to be a hypocrite of the first order, after a video from two years ago emerged, in which Khan claims to patronize the services of Uber in London. Seems like London’s sagacious mayor doesn’t care to practice what he preaches.

But the hypocrisy doesn’t end there: Khan and his Labour Party claim to champion the interests of a certain set of people: immigrants, the working class, non-native English speakers, the poor. But when it comes to Uber, they take action that harms the very people they claim to support, while giving in to a lobby (the taxi industry) which uses arguments tinged with more than just a bit of racism and nativism to seek to perpetuate their lucrative monopoly.

Uber’s 40,000 drivers in London alone, are largely working class people and immigrants, many of whom speak English as a second language. They depend on driving for Uber to provide for their families. Uber’s estimated 3.5 million London users, are working class people, who need safe and reliable transportation to get home. They can’t afford to use London’s black cab service, and Uber offers the same thing for 30% or 40% or even 50% less. Real working class people love Uber and perhaps their experience with Khan and friends will open their eyes to the fact that the Labour Party does not always have their best interests at heart.

So ultimately, mayor Khan is a hypocrite. He wants to ban Uber, after admitting he enjoys taking Ubers himself. He champions immigrants and working class every day people, but he wants to take away their jobs, and limit their choices for transportation. Hopefully, London residents will make a wiser choice in the next mayoral election.

David Unsworth David Unsworth

David Unsworth is a Boston native. He received degrees in History and Political Science from Washington University in St. Louis, and subsequently spent five years working in real estate development in New York City. Currently he resides in Bogota, Colombia, where he is involved in the tourism industry. In his free time he enjoys singing in rock bands, travelling throughout Latin America, and studying Portuguese.