Tuesday, 25 May 2010

MacAskill misrepresentation?

The recent News of the World exposé regarding Scotland's black market in taxi licences brought to mind comments last year by justice secretary Kenny MacAskill, which seemed to allude to and endorse the existence of the trade in plates, a trade which MSP Sandra White recently claimed is a "very disturbing problem" and indeed a week later ironically seemed to expect Mr MacAskill to ride to the rescue and sort out.

But going back to last year, in a letter published in the Edinburgh Evening News I mentioned the existence of the trade in licence plates - albeit in terms less stark than a 'black market' - and essentially accused Mr MacAskill of being irresponsible in effectively portraying an 'investment' in a taxi licence as equating to some kind of mainstream business opportunity, rather than the reality of something wholly dependent upon the (rather dubious) regulatory and legal environment.

Having had an interest in all of this for around 15 years I've been surprised that it's never been highlighted, equally surprised that it has now been exposed in the media, but similarly unsurprised that it disappeared as quickly off the radar screen as it appeared and is likely to be swept back under the carpet whence it came.

Anyway, for what it's worth, here's what I said in the letter last year:

"Perhaps misleading is Mr MacAskill's reference to "cabbies who borrow from the bank or mortgage their home to buy a cab". He is perhaps referring to the purchase of a taxi licence rather than a vehicle per se, since the former often costs significantly more than the latter.

"Which perhaps explains the reference to "mortgaging their home", because the value of the licence depends on the regulatory decisions of local authorities and/or central government, not to mention the possibility of adverse legal decisions, therefore banks won't accept the licence value as collateral in view of its inherent risk, thus a loan may be secured against the purchaser's home.

"But the point is that many people like to portray a taxi licence as some sort of gilt-edged investment, whereas the banks' stance on related lending clearly demonstrate that this is not the case. It is thus arguably irresponsible of Mr MacAskill to in effect misrepresent what can amount to a high-risk gamble on the family home."


Anonymous said...

The false Scottish Unionist has set up a blog exposing Ewan Malcolm's address etc. He posted a link to it on one of the other blogs.

It appears Ewan has made some mad enemies in the blogosphere from the Unionists as well. He is a bit of a creep mind you.

Stuart Winton said...

Gosh, and to think that he hasn't even honoured this site with a link!!

However, I think the fake Scottish Unionist is in fact a Nationalist, the idea being to discredit the real SU.

Elephant Man said...

The fake SU is no Nat so sorry to disappoint you. He posted threatening and sickening stuff on the Subrosa blog last year as well as on the SNP Tactical Voting blog.

He also posted on the Scotsman forums playing Nats and labour comments off one an other.

Even the real SU never complained that it was a Nat who was faking his site. Whoever he is, is one sick individual and my guess he is a Tory and has the Handel Ford Transit.

I think your problem along with your cronies in the MSM is you are always too quick to blame the Nats but refuse to point the finger at anyone else.

Anyway good luck in your next councilor adventures in Dundee Stuart.

Stuart Winton said...

What 'cronies' in the MSM would this be, Mr Elephant Man?

Wish I had some!!

I'll take your word for it about the fake SU, but given the complexity of all these fake IDs and the like I doubt if anyone can be certain about what's going on.