Leaving London on the 23rd of December, I asked the hotel concierge to get me a cab to take me to Green Park (where I intended to take the Piccadilly line out to Heathrow). He immediately hailed a black cab and - when I explained to the cab driver that I was only going literally a mile up the road - the driver ranted that the hotel staff were "a bunch of crooks" and that, if I had been going directly to Heathrow, they would have called a private car instead. And that the pre-Christmas period had been bad for him as a driver and that the £5 sterling fare to Green Park was "barely worthwhile". He also said that he thought all black cab drivers should get together to decide how to combat this alleged "crookedness" on the part of hotels.
Though I could understand his anger, I'm a bit of a free marketeer and I didn't explain to him that hotels can do what they like (subject, of course, to any overriding wishes of their customers). If they want to use the services of other drivers then (provided they are properly licensed), that's their prerogative.
But I just wondered whether my understanding of the situation was a bit too simplistic. Is there anything intrinsically wrong in not engaging black cabs on behalf of your guests for longer runs to the airport. I can see how the guests might lose out in the sense that the private car might cost them more money. But I can't see where exactly black cab drivers have any rights in relation to this issue.