Thursday, 4 October 2007

Cabbies slam scheme to assist black drivers

This week hundreds of London black-cab drivers protested against London Mayor Ken Livingstone’s scheme to get more ethnic drivers working as cabbies.

The scheme will enable this target group to have special help so they can pass the industry test, The Knowledge. They will also have free numeracy and language classes and childcare. Other freebies include maps and scooter hire. The white male members say these benefits are not available to them.

Is this fair? Let’s look at both sides. In parts of East London, like Newham, unemployment is so high for black males.

In such areas in East London, a large chunk of the population are black, and rather than have these people turn to crime to make a living, surely it doesn’t hurt if they are offered help to get jobs as cab drivers?

Ken Livingstone on his part dismissed the LDA’s as a group with an outdated attitude. Only 5% of London’s taxi drivers are from ethnic minority communities.

On the other hand, it is likely to create tension between the new ethnic drivers and the established white ones. Alan Flemming, the head of the London Drivers Club said it will create tension between those ethnics who have completed The Knowledge without financial assistance.

Whatever folks, have a nice weekend!

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