Lawyer
Taxilogoweb2014

October 2017

Hamilton councillor reveals true colours: complete lack of interest in plight of taxi drivers

To the editor,

(Editor’s note: This letter first appeared as a blog posting by Hamilton taxi owner and writer Hans Wienhold.)

A Hamilton cabbie friend of mine told me that she had recently received a follow-up call from her council rep, Maria Pearson, Ward 10, over a recent licensing issue.

After some small talk, the councillor asked my friend, I’ll call her Molly, how things were going in the Hamilton taxi business now that Uber had been formally exempted from Hamilton’s “old category” of taxi licensing bylaws.

Molly told her that things were really bad. Then Molly suggested that if Maria wanted more information on the Uber impact, that she should talk to “Hans.”

Maria replied, “Hans Wienhold?”

Molly: “Yes.”

Maria: “Oh. I just delete his emails.”

When I heard this I laughed. First, Maria feigns interest in the plight of Hamilton’s cabbies (probably just fishing for a vote) and then, when offered a source of information on the Uber impact, Maria unconsciously intimates that she is not remotely interested in the subject.

“Oh. I just delete his emails.”

As I have said on many occasions before, most politicians are phony people who pretend to care about their constituents, but demonstrate by their actions that they care much more about their own careers. Once you know what to look for it becomes very easy to see.

Step one: Do they put on a big show about how much they care about the poor, downtrodden, and marginalized members of our community? (Like Hamilton’s cab drivers?)

Step two: Ask yourself if their proposed solutions to any given problem involve digging into their own wallets or purses, or someone else’s?

Need I go into any more detail?

I call this Hans Wienhold’s free, two-step course on Everything you Ever Need to Know about Politics and Politicians.

Molly was absolutely mortified when I told her just how juicy the information she just gave me was, and that I intended to use it in a future blockrant.

“I don’t want to get into any trouble,” she said.

I could write an essay on that response alone. Where did a person develop the impression that telling the truth about something could get them into trouble?

Of course, this reaction disturbed me. I told Molly that she should not have to fear retribution from a politician, and that the politician, theoretically, is her servant, NOT her master.

“When the people fear the government, that’s tyranny; when the government fears the people, that’s freedom.” -- Thomas Jefferson

Poor Molly. No citizen should have to live in such fear of politicians.

Hans Wienhold.

 

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