Rainer the Cabbie

About Rainer the Cabbie

Rainer is a Sydney-based old-time cabbie. Although he adores the general public, he much prefers listening to smooth jazz than being engaged in conversation. His ears are secretly in love with Julia Lester of ABC Classic FM.

Uber riots: We don’t want love, only justice

Rainer the Cabbie makes the case for us to follow in the marching footsteps of the French Uber riots, outlining a thoroughly Australian solution.


You have to love the French. I do anyway; the food, the wine, the lifestyle, the artists…all good and highly civilised. The other thing worth appreciating about their culture is they never forgot the lesson learned from their own revolution and have thereby adopted an attitude of protest when things of injustice are perceived to occur. They eat cake, but only after the bloodbath. Our current government would survive in France, oh let’s estimate, about two and a half seconds.

Anyhow, this is not about Tony or his front bench, this is about a cabbie’s nightmare – a mob called Uber. Some of our Labor pollies are already planning to incorporate illegal activities dressed up as the “shared economy” into our system. No doubt these new business inventions will benefit all of us just like demutualisation and globalisation has done in the past, aren’t we all so much better off than before these thoughtfarts took over?

Uber, banned in France for operating an illegal business are following their Mexican narco business model just like they do all over the world, including our humble surroundings. They keep doing what they do best, flaunting the law and regulations. French cabbies had a gutful of this type of behaviour and started protesting, blocking roads and access to the airport plus a nice little demonstration in central Paris. OK, maybe a few Uber cars got scratched or perhaps demolished by baseball bats, but hey, you can’t have a decent protest without making a point or two. Even poor Courtney Love got caught up in it, precious little thing she is, and tweeted that she would feel safer in Baghdad than in Paris. Obviously she has never been to Baghdad. What would Kurt think?

Personally I am a bit over this Uber business. The first time I actually saw the bulldozer attitude upon which Uber prides itself was when I came out of a meeting that discussed what can be done to stop Uber. Drivers, representatives from the Dept of Motor Transport, taxi owner associations and the NSW Taxi Council were in attendance, and as we left the venue, we were greeted by a massive electronic message board placed across the road advertising Uber and its services.

I do call them narcos because like their counterparts, they are a foreign company that waltzed into Australia and set up a totally illegal operation, one that doesn’t pay any tax and transfers its profits back to the States and then the Cayman islands. Their drivers don’t pay any tax as well, which is an insult to someone like myself who labours for ten bucks an hour and then keeps books to calculate my GST. So much for the “shared economy” – some share more than others by the looks of it.

To have clueless individuals like the NSW opposition leader Luke Foley endorse Uber with a plan to legalise the service comes as a surprise. Luke, whilst you’re at it, there are plenty of people who like to score drugs legally and the dealers are getting sick of being hassled by the cops, how about legalising them so they can pay some GST?

So what are Ozzie cabbies doing against the biggest ever threat to face their industry?

There’s been plenty of talk around the ranks no doubt and by golly, the NSW Taxi Council has designed a sticker to be placed on cabs. Pure genius that sticker, a two tone message that reads “Risk it”, “Don’t catch a cab”. Or did I read this wrongly, getting the colours mixed up?

Truth be told, it’s business as usual; the government makes money leasing plates, the taxi networks keep getting their compulsory radio fees and every bloodsucking link in the chain is being fed. OK, there are the drivers losing twenty percent by now, but never mind they have no proper representation anyway.

But hey, she’ll be right mate.

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