Staying alive

Bit of a shock the other day – a postcard dropped through the letterbox, featuring a large picture of a young girl, in great distress, soaking wet, make-up running, apparently covered in bruises and clutching a few shreds of clothing around her naked shoulders. She’d obviously had a horrible time – raped, battered, something horrible had definitely happened to her. Who on earth was was sending me this, and why? As someone with teenage daughters, I felt it was quite threatening. Definitely disturbing. I turned the card over, to find it was from a minicab company. “You should look just as great coming home as you did going out, so don’t gamble on the weather – get one of our minicabs.”

Well, this girl did not look as though a spot of bad weather was her problem. Not by a long chalk. The card seemed to playing on a girl – or a mother’s – worst fears. We’ve all heard the warnings about picking up unlicensed cabs in central London. And, when you consider that a licensed black cab driver, the sort who are supposed to be checked, regulated and safe, ¬†was recently convicted of multiple rapes, it is really not on to use people’s legitimate fears against them.

I’m sorry, opportunistic cab company, but your ad doesn’t work. It doesn’t tempt me one little bit to use your firm. In fact, it makes me want to stay at home and draw the curtains.


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