Racist Facebook postings are condemned by taxi drivers

Viv Young
Viv Young
jpns-19-08-17 retro Aug 2017

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  • City Wide Taxis shareholder faces council investigation over Facebook posts
  • Driver says he’s unsure whether he posted comments or if he was hacked
  • Muslim community says it finds comments ‘incredibly racist’
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A TAXI firm boss is at the centre of a storm over a stream of racist posts on a Facebook page in his name.

Viv Young, who represents hackney drivers and has a share in City Wide Taxis, has come under fire after offensive messages published under his name were exposed.

I find them incredibly racist. It’s like he is making fun of his customers.

Former taxi driver, who is Muslim

One shocking post read: ‘I was driving me cab today and picked up a tribe of, shall we say (not typically English coloured people).

‘I was wondering by having them in my cab, am I leaving myself open to catch malaria, cholera, dengi fever, and of course tics??????’.

And a picture of a bowl of dog food was captioned ‘Islamic Xmas Dinner’. Another post of a man wearing a burkha while holding a can of lager was uploaded – with each getting likes from Facebook users.

Other messages called Muslims ‘nonces’, a derogatory remark was made about a taxi passenger’s ethnicity and another made a racist slur about Nelson Mandela.

Now Portsmouth City Council’s licensing officers will carry out an investigation.

Should they choose to, they have the power to strip Mr Young of his taxi licence.

The posts have appeared since the end of 2012.

Mr Young refused to comment when approached by The News – other than to say he was unsure as to whether he or someone else had posted the rants.

Critics say they are appalled by the posts and they have caused major upset among ethnic communities.

A former taxi driver, who is Muslim, said: ‘I find these messages deeply offensive.

‘I find them incredibly racist. If he has made them then it is like he is making fun of his customers.

‘People can have a laugh – but looking at some of these comments you can’t tell whether they are a joke or not. Some of them are quite serious.’

Another of the Facebook posts on the page in the name of Mr Young read: ‘Taxi driving is a 2 bob immigrant job, picking up scumbags for the price of a bag of crisps... UK people, wake up in a few years time you will have no British (English) taxi drivers.’

And another said ‘we... should not be offended if a sandal wearing camel hockey (sic) wants to start squawking Allah Akbar’.

Hackney carriage driver Chris Dixon, who has been in the trade for 40 years, said: ‘There is no place for that kind of talk.

‘I haven’t seen these messages, but if you were to ask me as a man on the street whether I find them racist, then yes I do.

‘Viv is not racist and you would not see him demonstrating outside one of the mosques.’

One taxi driver said he doesn’t expect Mr Young to be in the job any longer if it is found he posted the remarks.

‘In this day and age, you shouldn’t say things like that, you should know better,’ he said.

Another driver said: ‘They (the customers) pay your money, and he shouldn’t be in the job if that’s how he feels.’

Lib Dem councillor Les Stevens, who sits on the council’s licensing committee, condemned the posts. ‘It’s racist and disgusting,’ he said. ‘To put that on Facebook – whoever it may be – is just sheer stupidity. You just don’t do that sort of thing.’

Derek Stone, the council’s principal licensing officer, said: ‘We take any complaints about taxi drivers very seriously and now this has been brought to our attention we will be investigating.

‘We have a legal duty to make sure licensed taxi drivers are fit and proper and will continue to enforce this.’

A spokesperson for City Wide Taxis was unavailable for comment.