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Decision against Uber: incompetence reigns in the mobility file

An opinion from Doriane de Lestrange, freelance writer.

New foray into absurdity Monday morning when the Brussels resident learns by going as best he can to his daily tasks that Uber is prohibited by the Brussels administration from the right to let his drivers use their smartphones to accept shopping orders on the grounds smoky that the practice would not respect the by-laws on car rentals with drivers. In practice, such a decision results in a total paralysis of all activity; or even a practical ban in the long term?

If we could have believed that the series of judicial beatings of the famous VTC service had ended (after the ban of Uber Pop in 2015) and that the fellow citizen, no longer having to demonstrate how much Uber serves him, could now to take full advantage of it and freely, it would have been better to remember that we are in Belgium, and that the rulers who make the laws, willingly do without reason when it comes to imposing the measures that are skillfully suggested to them. The Minister-President of the Brussels Region Rudi Vervoort is obviously no exception to the rule and once again creates controversy by announcing a measure which seems far removed from the realities on the ground and which threatens a colossal number of jobs, just as precarious. be they considered by some.

It is therefore in complete disregard of the constant mobility concerns of its population that the Region has decided to put a new stick in the hubcaps of the Brussels VTC drivers. If the decision does not fail to scandalize, it no longer surprises anyone. That the Brussels politicians decide, by hiding behind hazy legal and legal considerations, to impact a little more on a service as useful as Uber is no longer surprising. Yet we have known too well for a year what it is possible to do with the law when it becomes embarrassing … Like most of the decisions that have emanated from this body politic for years, nothing is surprising.

A city that claims to be the capital of Europe

The opportunity is too good not to ignore the notorious inability of our governments to set up a mobility and public transport system worthy of the name (regular subways, trams out of traffic, suburban trains, phantom project of the RER which will never see the light of day…) in a city which nevertheless claims to be the capital of Europe. It is also necessary to come to bludgeon the private companies having taken the place of the non-existent public authorities by offering to the citizens, desperate to move in the Brussels doldrums, an additional means of mobility. One can only wonder about the advisability of such a decision, if not to shed a little more light on the incompetence which reigns in the mobility file. As for what makes a capital more attractive, both culturally and in terms of real estate, the impossibility of moving around does not seem to be taken into account by our leaders in their management of the city.

The politician also seems to forget that his entire population does not enjoy a sacrosanct company vehicle, cannot do everything perched on his bike, or sometimes even objectively decides not to invest in a car (necessarily recent and expensive since otherwise prohibited to stay in Brussels) precisely to use a VTC service when the occasional need to travel by car arises. The only method that seems acceptable in the eyes of our elected officials seems to be that of coercion and sanction. Ever more expensive parking, ecological measures denying the purchasing power of Belgians, laborious pedestrianization, ever more invisible Minister of (im) mobility … We have come to think that our inaction would be an objective to be fulfilled for each government !

Safeguard privileges and not the common good

As we know, it is obviously a question of safeguarding the privileges of taxi drivers (at the origin of the said measure which responds to one of their innumerable legal actions), a corporation long overtaken by digital progress, and which does not hesitate moreover to very often impose the payment in cash to its customers (we will not advance on the fact of knowing if all this cash money is indeed declared by the aforementioned taxis and imposed by the tax authorities. ..). Its main competitor, he offers a service that is not only flexible, practical, but in addition 100% declared for tax purposes, the recurring bludgeoning which Uber and its acolytes have paid the price by making sure. We must therefore believe that it is the nerve that wins the political battles of the 21st century and no longer legitimacy or the common good.

What use then, for those rulers who, after having ingeniously put in place a constitutional system of a globally recognized complexity and voted for a federalization almost completely dispossessing their people of their power of democratic participation, are today in a position to take the most appropriate decisions. most absurd and the most disconnected from reality without any fear of contestation. What has been happening for nearly a year will have finished proving it to us: a government of current affairs arrogating to itself the right of special powers, another laboriously formed government continuing without depriving itself on the path of authoritarianism, a inability of the levels of power to agree on the measures to be adopted.

If our politicians are no longer responsible for anything, no longer assume the consequences of their decisions and no longer have the answer to the dissatisfaction of the people than to point the finger at the “real” responsible who are supposedly binding legal texts , expert doctors who know better than them, an unfair competition that it is not possible to let continue, or an ecological emergency erasing everything in its path, is not the fellow citizen in law, him, to ask himself: what use can these rulers still have today in his daily life?

>>> Title, chapter and sub-titles are from the drafting. Original title: “Do our rulers still have any use?”

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