Hogmanay massacre: cabbies and Jersey Lifts fight to the death
Warfare on the streets of St Helier as taxi rivalry spills out into mortal hand-to-hand combat
Firefighters have spent the morning hosing down the smouldering ruins of many of the town’s oldest and most loved stores after scenes of imaginable horror on the streets of St Helier last night when the long-running feud between rank taxi operators and Jersey Lifts finally reached a head.
It was approximately 23.45pm when a heated exchange of insults between rival drivers rapidly escalated into a roving street battle that has left seventeen people dead and has reduced entire areas of the central business district to rubble and ash.
After arriving for the same pick-up, verbal attacks between the two men quickly led to pushing and shoving, which quickly led to blows being exchanged, then more name calling, then a knife fight. The two bleeding drivers were soon joined by scores of armed colleagues, with the resulting violence engulfing the whole of the western and southern regions of the town.
As more and more combatants joined the melee, parties of post-pantomime-going children were whisked by their parents past flashes of vajazzles as micro-skirted wives and girlfriends of Jersey Lift operatives rumbled with cabbies along the length of Seaton Place and down onto Gloucester Street.
Car chases between the factions made the whole of town a no-go area from midnight onward. And perhaps surprisingly for some, it was Jersey Lifts who were feeling the heat. Trending on Google at 12:25am was ‘How to out-corner a midrange family car that hasn’t dicked about with its suspension’.
Tweets of support were coming in from Vin Diesel, as cheers of ‘Go big or go home!’ were being screamed out by the seething Jersey Lift clan, in homage to the late Fast and Furious star Paul Walker. The cabbies however played a trump card in luring scores of their opponents’ brightest coloured saloon cars down onto Broad Street and over the speed bumps. A least fifty are known to have had skirts, bumpers and back-boxes ripped from their chassis’, attempting to keep up with the wilier of the older generation, at speeds in excess of eleven miles per hour.
Both the States’ and Honorary police response units arriving at the various theatres of conflict were quickly overwhelmed. As officers desperately fought to gain some sort of control on events, the call went out from the new police headquarters on Green Street to mobilise the little-known island militias, which many believed had disbanded decades ago. Fresh on the streets from around 12:45am arrived the St Catherine’s Scallopers Alliance, the Sion Green Jackets, The Regiment of the Waterworks’ Valley Milliners, and the Belcroute Volunteer Force. Numbers soon swelled by approximately thirty or forty pitch-fork and lobster net wielding die-hards, who, despite their senior years, provided important logistical and moral support to the now floundering authorities.
As the battles raged, impetus seemed to be shifting to Jersey Lifts. The whole thing was turned on its head however when one quick-thinking taxi rank operator scaled the new telecommunications mast on Mount Bingham and managed to neutralise an Airtel phone mast using a tyre lever and his army surplus belt. Approximately one third of the Jersey Lift crew were then left without the ability to access WhatsApp, nor update their Facebook statuses – a move that defence analysts are already describing as a masterstroke of psychological warfare.
As they struggled to regroup, several Jersey Lift operators weaponised their vehicles by angling their exhaust systems in the direction of their older counterparts and then red-lining their engines as a way of further deafening them. Stereos too were used to the same effect. One cabbie with a blanket gaffer-taped around his head was witnessed bursting through a cluster of rival youths, then thrusting corned beef sandwiches and bean crock into the subwoofers of one of their lowered Renault Meganes – in a retaliatory strike after his colleagues had been left confused and disorientated when confronted with a drum and bass onslaught outside Natwest Bank.
‘This!’ said Superintendent Keith Honeydew, standing outside the burning shell of De Gruchy’s this morning, ‘is the worst incident of savagery Jersey has seen since Gulliver maimed all those swimmers on Christmas Day.’ ‘We all need to take a good, long look at ourselves after this. And I mean all of us.’ ‘Why in the name of Christ do we need so many taxis anyway?’
‘I realised that we were in unchartered territory’ said local business owner, Lionel Govan on Bond Street later in the day, ‘when I saw a matt beige honorary police Honda Jazz being rolled over by a baying mob outside Tiki Hut. That sort of stuff only happens during the Euros.’ Mr Govan sighed, looked over and across at the charred remains of his coffee shop. ‘I can’t’ he said ‘see any way Harry and Meghan are going to get married over here after all this’
Despite the tragedy of the loss of life, and the sad blight that the New Years’ bloodshed has stained Jersey’s proud heritage with, there are those who believe there are even darker forces in play. Breaking Jersey News spoke with award winning blogger, Zac Defranco of www.channeltoday.com ‘Russia has a hand in this’ he said ‘for months now they have been fanning the flames of division, propagating fake news on both sides: that cabbies are conspiratorial Mafioso’s operating as a cartel, and that Jersey Lifts are drug-taking hoodlums zooming about in death traps. And I tell you this:’ he said ‘a lot of people are buying it.’ ‘My fear’ he said ‘is that the Kremlin will continue unchecked on its current path, and that very soon the Bailiwick will become the arena of a new proxy war between the Russian State and Western backed corporations headed by Uber, GlaxoSmithKline and Jersey Potteries; and that Putin will gain his desired foothold on the West, allowing him to successfully exploit the frailties of what is an already teetering European Project’ ‘And it’s not just that’ he added ‘someone has bent the hour hand on the steam clock’
The French market scheduled for Liberation Square on January 20th will now take place in St Aubin on the same date.