Cartel Protects Self

Sydney taxi-blogger Adrian Neylan has given up trying to defend his corrupt industry from reason:

Okay Yobbo, enough of your rubbish. No longer can you use Cablog to indulge in willful supposition, post sneering comments or twist my words to suit your own agenda. This constant negative attitude towards myself, other cabbies and the industry has become infantile and boring.

You want to change taxi industry policy ? Campaign somewhere else until you learn basic comprehension and honest debate. Congratulations on being Cablog’s first sin-binned commentor. All comments using the name ‘Yobbo’ are blocked for thirty days.

The comment that broke the cabbies back?

Whatever Lee. I have maintained a long-standing opposition to taxi regulation since before Adrian even started this blog, as he can tell you.

Yes, the taxi and hire car industry is regulated. Whether one agrees with regulation or not that’s the way it is.

Obviously not many people do Adrian, or the touts would be wasting their time.

It’s not good enough to just say “This is what the legislation says so this is the best way”. Not all laws are made with the intention of being beneficial. This legislation is purely in place to protect the profits of taxi-plate owners, a considerably powerful lobby group in most Australian states.

And the people who are harmed by it are the 99.9% of the general public who do not drive taxis.

I may be some sort of far-right radical, but I don’t believe in laws that advantage 0.01% of the population to the detriment of the other 99.9%.

Read the full thread here.

Explore posts in the same categories: Politics

37 Comments on “Cartel Protects Self”

  1. Scott Wickstein Says:

    Sam Ward’s guide to winning friends and influencing people, coming to a store near you!

  2. Mark Hill Says:

    Cabbies, but not plate owners would benefit dramatically from an abolition of licesning.

    The plate owners could be compensated for the present value of their asset plus a depreciated purchase price.

  3. AD Says:

    On January 28th the Man of Lettuce – Adrian Neylan was recommending Yobbos articles on Shed Drinking. Suddenly on Feb 1st the man of lettuce gives Yobbo the bums rush. most of us recognise that Yobbo is a stirrer but did he deserve this vitriolic reaction, I dont think so, Yobbos comments on cabs were hardly offensive.

    I have come to the conclusion that either

    1. The man of lettuce was tired and emotional (parliamentary term for pissed)
    2. Yobbo and lettuce have cooked this interchange up because they did not have anything to write about,

    I think the pair of them should get at least 10 minutes in the cooler.

  4. Glen Says:

    I wonder if Adrian will still be checking out Girl Friday.

  5. Perhaps Yobbo may like to look into why Taxi Licencing began. Oliver Cromwell, who gave us parliamentary democracy, also gave us cab licencing. I challenge opponents of taxi licencing to research Cromwell’s reasons for initiating licencing.

    It may help somewhat the anti-licencing case if opponents of licencing also research why Cromwell (years) later rescinded this.

    However the reasons for recommencing licencing some 35 years after Cromwell rescinded it definitely do not help the anti-licencing cause.

  6. conrad Says:

    I think everyone that thinks excessive regulartion works with Taxi’s or even benefits the drivers should go to Hong Kong and see whether people are really worse off with cheap taxis. Alternatively, they could go to many cities of France, and find out what even more regulation does (if they can find a taxi).

  7. Steve at the pub – here’s an idea; why not stop being a pain in the arse with all your smug recommendations of what Yobbo and others should research and simply make your point re. taxi licencing, there’s a good fellow. Otherwise you’ll find your contribution to this discussion is in danger of being roundly ignored.

    Mark Hill – if there’s a plate buyback, I don’t think the plates should be bought by the govt for anything more than their original purchase price (plus inflation) – it’s the private speculators who’ve bid the price up to the current $100,000+, profiting off the regulations that screw over consumers. So I say screw ’em – the plate owners, that is. I believe the WA govt used to sell plates for a few hundred dollars apiece.

    Hell, I don’t see why plateholders should be compensated at all.

  8. tmz_99 Says:

    sounds like someone has money tied up in taxi plates…

  9. James Waterton: You want to ignore me. Go right ahead. You don’t like my posts, don’t read them. Go & root a boot. I don’t take any notice of a pain in the arse like you.

    Conrad: I have news for you, the taxi industry in HK is HEAVILY regulated, possibly more so than anywhere in Australia.

  10. Sam, can you e-mail me? dariuskan-at-hotmail-dot-com

  11. You want to ignore me.

    Well, I do now that you’ve proven yourself to be a worthless windbag. I thought there was some possibility you might have an interesting contribution to make, but obviously I was mistaken. Next!

  12. yobbo Says:

    What James said Steve.

    Leaving aside the fact that Cromwell died hundreds of years before the automobile was invented, it simply doesn’t follow that regulations that made sense hundreds of years ago make sense now.

    If you want to make a point, post the relevant similarities and make it. I’m not going to spend hours researching your pet topic just so I can debate with you.

  13. Brendan Halfweeg Says:

    Irrespective of the lack of rational argument, Adrian can ban whomever he likes from his forum.

    As far as taxi regulation goes though, less regulation equals more taxis, lower prices, more jobs. Regulation of drivers would be done by operators through police checks, maintaining reputation in a competitive industry would be more than enough incentive for taxi companies to employ good rivers.

    As for airport taxi restrictions, again, it is their property and they can regulate the way anyone does business on it. Deregulate airports and you may find more taxi (and passenger) friendly policies. However, due to capital requirements of airports, competition is unlikely.

  14. James Dudek Says:

    Steve at the Pub, I suggest you research what the Mayor of Hiroshima said.

  15. I agree with James… there is no need to offer any compensation to taxi licence owners. The current laws are nothing more than an artificial restriction on supply designed to drive up the price to the consumer. It is simply poor policy kept in place by a noisy industry lobby. Corporate welfare.

  16. Irrespective of the lack of rational argument, Adrian can ban whomever he likes from his forum.

    Of course. No one is suggesting otherwise. However, in light of these developments, Adrian’s credibility might well take a bit of a battering.

    And that’s exactly the way it should be.

  17. conrad Says:


    I agree that taxis are regulated (with plates etc,) in HK — but it isn’t nearly as bad as Australia (let alone France), or at least the government is far more decent in finding regulation that actually works, which bascially boils down to allowing there to be enough plates such that there are enough taxis (cf. Australia where there simply are not enough) and that they are cheap enough to be a serious alternative to owning a car. Personally I don’t care about regulation for colors etc. — I care about regulation that actually means there is a decent service. I’ve never not been abe to get a Taxi in HK, excluding a few exceptionally weird areas, but getting them in Australian is a constant pain (and given the I live in inner city Melbourne, its not like I’m living in no-where land asking for a taxi from no-where to no-where-else). The only time I heard taxi-drivers complaining about not getting enough work was when SARS was on, which is not exactly typical.

    Actually my preference is for a service like other Asian cities where there are even different size taxis that are different prices, but I doubt most people would have been to them to see. I don’t see why I need to get to work in a massive V6 falcon when the smallest car that runs on LPG would do. I can imagine small gas/electric hybrids are probably a decent fiscal investment for taxi drivers, and I don’t see why they shouldn’t be using them.

  18. Umm,,, there seems to be some confusion here.

    Yobbo, taxi regulation is the topic of the post we are commenting on, and the topic which got you into a duke up with Adrian. Somehow it has migrated to being MY pet topic?

    I challenge your point Yobbo that the invention of the internal combustion engine changed in any way the basics of the cab industry. The concept of carrying a single passenger in a non-shared hire directly from a random point of hire to the pasenger’s choice of destination, has changed little since roman times.

    It doesn’t follow that regulations made hundreds of years ago in respect to this trade are somehow need be less relevant today.

    Cromwell was the first person to regulate hackney carriages. He is also one of the few, if not the only person, to then completely deregulate the trade. As you are an opponent of taxi regulation I thought his reasons may interest you. If you wish to get snarky about it that’s up to you, although an unusual way of responding to people who are trying to help.

    I have no idea why Cromwell made either move. I have never yet argued a case in public either for or against taxi regulation.

    Conrad has posted immediately above about how smooth the (extremely) highly regulated taxi industry is in HK. Compared to the HK taxi laws, Australia is an unregulated open slather.

    Problems with taxi regulation in Australia stem from allowing speculative ownership of plates by non-operators & non-drivers, from the logistical stuff up of taxi flow which most airport operators seem to have instituted, and from the complete lack of peak demand flexibility by the regulators.

  19. conrad Says:

    SATP: I agree with your last statements. However, I think what it shows is that a small number of exceptionally bad regulations are worse than a large number of trivial ones (like Taxi color — which exist in most cases). However, I think you have forgotten the main regulation causing problems which is number of plates. Even if you stopped plate speculation and they became cheaper, there still wouldn’t be enough taxis (presumably it would also cause some increase in demand making the service even less reliable), so those of us that happen to work still wouldn’t use them.

    To get a really good system you need both a) cheap fares; and b) a reliable service. This means you can think about getting rid of your car. In case you also have (c) cheap and easy to orgnaize hire cars (its common now in many places for the uber-high rises to have a pool that the resisdents use — I believe some places in Sydney now have it), then lots of people would sell their cars and use taxis all the time. This benefits everyone except plate holders. It would be especially good in places like Australia which have spread-out cities that make public transport less of an option.

    Its surprising that most places in the world have never worked this out.

  20. yobbo Says:

    I have no idea why Cromwell made either move. I have never yet argued a case in public either for or against taxi regulation.

    So why bring it up? Oh that’s right, to make it sound like you know what you’re talking about….

    Conrad has posted immediately above about how smooth the (extremely) highly regulated taxi industry is in HK. Compared to the HK taxi laws, Australia is an unregulated open slather.

    Can you defend this in any way at all? Every aspect of the taxi industry here is regulated. I don’t see how it could be any more regulated. I’ve caught taxis in Hong Kong and in Australia, the only difference as far as I can see is that Hong Kong’s are cheaper and more readily available.

  21. adrian Says:

    Yobbo, you’ve managed to generate more debate here and at Lefty’s on taxi cartels than you’ve ever done at Cablog, despite my largely agreeing with your position.

    Rather than being defender of cartels (no, I’m not a plate owner) the issue bores me witless and these days I avoid it like the plague, considering it a total waste of time. Hence my refusal to entertain your constant baiting on the topic which had become little more than trolling.

    Whilst I’ve now rescinded your ban from commenting, the explanation for my action still stands.

  22. Umm,,, there seems to be some confusion here.

    Nup, there’s no confusion here. It’s quite clear what’s going on. You’re trying to shift the goalposts to avoid looking like an idiot.

    Somehow it has migrated to being MY pet topic?

    No, your (ostensible) pet topic that Yobbo was referring to was 17th century London’s taxi regulations. In your first comment, you sounded like you knew what you were talking about when you mentioned this. This was a falsehood you deliberately perpetuated, as the following snippet illustrates:

    However the reasons for recommencing licencing some 35 years after Cromwell rescinded it definitely do not help the anti-licencing cause. (my emphasis)

    How can you be so sure if you’re not aware of these “reasons” and that you’re just suggesting others investigate them? Oh, sorry. Perhaps you don’t know why Cromwell deregulated taxis but you do know why they were re-regulated 35 years later. Right?

    although an unusual way of responding to people who are trying to help.

    Don’t act as though you were only “trying to help” – no one’s buying that. You were trying to look clever on the cheap and you were called on it. The sensible thing for you to do now is to stop digging.

  23. John Says:

    Cromwell regulated cabs in an attempt to curb the growing practice of interference with female passengers. Each driver was required to display a oil portrait of himself in the cab as well as his Scroll of Hire. Unfortunately, due to an influx of Huguenot drivers fleeing religious persecution in France, sexual assaults on passengers actually increased and Cromwell disbanded the regulatory regime, stating “I would not seek to set up that which Providence hath destroyed and laid in the dust, and I would not build Jericho again.”

    The Restoration refers to the reissuing of cab licences by Charles II in response to the bubonic plague. Drivers were required to inspect passengers for buboes and forbidden from queuing outside St Bartholomew’s Hospital on pain of disembowelment. After his unsuccessful rebellion, Lord Monmouth booked a hackney for the coast but the driver took him the long way around via Salisbury and Bath, and Monmouth was captured and beheaded for fare evasion.

  24. Angharad Says:

    I’m personally happy to have some form of regulation of Sydney taxis because otherwise I would never get home from the airport. It’s just a $12-13 taxi ride to my place so no-one wants to take you (even the touts) and certainly not for that price. At the moment they are forced to take me if I’m next in queue. That might not be a very compelling argument for some, I know but it’s one I’ve appreciated every time I come back to Sydney at 8pm at night and I just want to go home.

  25. Mark Hill Says:

    You reckon Taxi regulation makes your fare affordable?

  26. Angharad Says:

    I don’t know, but I know how much it costs to own and run a car and how much it costs to live in Sydney. I’m not sure that it would get much cheaper than that without someone cutting corners somewhere. It’s true, I don’t know the cost per ride of plates.

    But I’m prepared to pay the current price in order to get the guarantee of getting a ride home, especially on a cold wet night. If the taxi owners can increase their profit under reduced regulation and still guarantee to drive me home, well I’d be happy (as a maker of economically rational decisions that is).

  27. No one should have to guarantee you anything, but you’d get a ride home anyway. You’re assuming a cabbie wouldn’t do business with you because you’re still thinking the price would be fixed. However, in a deregulated market it wouldn’t. You’d tell the cabbie where you want to go, he’d give you the price to get there. It may be more than the $13 or so you currently pay – after all there are hidden costs to the driver associated with the airport run like waiting in cab queues etc – then again, it may not. In a deregulated market you won’t be guaranteed a ride, but if cabbies are in the business to make money, you’re as good as guaranteed.

  28. Angharad Says:

    James, I’m thinking you don’t hang out at Mascot airport very much!

    The principle of price negotiation I can understand but the infrastructure sure provides some problems that would mean I would pay way more. Most of them have to sit in the holding bay for 1-2 hours. They all want to $70 fares across the bridge.

    The arrivals / departure area is much more compressed than any of the other major city airports in Australia, and indeed most of the Asian centres I’ve been to.

    Also, couldn’t be arsed bargaining with anyone.

  29. So let me get this straight. You want everyone else to chafe under taxi regulation just so you can get home from the airport at a below-market price?

    Also, if I were a cabbie and I had to wait 1-2 hours to pick up a passenger at the airport (which I think is ridiculous – I’m amazed any cabbies service the airport), I would be mightily pissed off at being forced to accept $13 for a few hours work plus expenses. What if you were a cabbie working under those conditions, Angharad? Would you like that? Would you think regulation is a good thing? Just curious because I sense a double standard in the offing.

  30. Angharad Says:

    No – I’m sure it’s not fair on the cabbies at all. Indeed I would propose a different regulations -e.g. a quick turnaround short drive queue and longer trips for drivers prepared to wait in the pool for extended periods.

    I don’t know why they wait either – I guess they are gamblers hoping to pick up a long distance fare. Maybe that happens. I only meet the ones who get to take me home and are mighty pissed off.

    My big issue is a guarantee that I will get home – if the price goes up to reflect market conditions, that’s fair enough. I don’t want to rip anyone off. If it gets too high then I’ll reluctantly spend an hour or so getting home on public transport or even walking – but maybe not in the dark in heels with luggage.

  31. Why should you get a guarantee of anything? When you walk into a shop you don’t have a guarantee of service – you’re on someone else’s property, after all. Same as being in a cab. The fear that makes you look to regulation – the fear being you won’t be able to get home – is most logically, effectively and simply negated by the airport management not imposing the imbecilic taxi queueing system that you describe on its patrons. The market will do the rest. If you’re willing to pay a fair, market price for private transport, someone will provide it. If you don’t want to haggle, then that’s entirely up to you – however it means you may have to take the price offered or attach a premium to whatever you think is a fair price.

  32. conrad Says:

    “I don’t know, but I know how much it costs to own and run a car and how much it costs to live in Sydney.”

    I can answer this question because I’ve lived in Sydney, Hong Kong, Melbourne, and Marseille. The price of cars and running them go in this order:

    Hong Kong > Marseille > Sydney = Melbourne.

    The price of fares goes

    Marseille > Sydney = Melbourne > Hong Kong.

    Thus it turns out that the most expensive places for running cars has in fact the cheapest taxi services. I’m just going to assume that in all the other places we are therefore paying for a lot of stuff that isn’t to do with car prices, excluding stupid car regulations, like Marseille, where you get driven around in a V6 Mercedes.

  33. Bill O'Slatter Says:

    Your full of shit arsewipe. Do you really know what you are talking about. If you are so keen to solve the taxi problem get out and drive one yourself. The reason there is a shortage of taxi drivers ( not not taxis) is becuase they have gone up north fuckhead

  34. Mark Hill Says:

    No, you are full of shit.

    The cost of plates is $270k and State Governments will not print more.

    There are more drivers than taxis.

    What lead to this outburst? Do you own plates?

  35. Steve Says:

    Mr O’Slatter,

    Well put sir! With a response as eloquent and cogent as that how could ANYONE possibly retort!

    My hat is off, and my arm salutes you!.

    Kind Regards,

  36. Yeah, it’s not the not taxis, you idiots.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: