Thursday, 17 September 2009

Boris saves the Thames (from himself)

So anyway, the big story of the day is that Boris has saved the Thames:

"Boris saves the Thames

This is what Mayors are for.

Boris has returned from his trip to New York to find the Thames has been evaporated in his absence.

We reported yesterday how some jobsworths at Transport for London had decided the current Tube map was a bit too "complicated". Unbelievably, they felt that removing the river would be a good idea...

Anyway Bojo has saved the day."

Now if Boris has saved the Thames from anybody, it's from himself.

You see when Boris isn't working for Disney, British Airways, or the Evening Standard, he occasionally does his job as Chair of TfL.

And surely at least a small part of that job involves knowing what the body he chairs, finances, and directs, actually does.

"'I'm told that he was amazed at what had been proposed while he was away and has now ordered that the Thames should be reinstated as soon as practicable."

I'm sorry but this wasn't "proposed while he was away."

The new maps were actually installed almost a week ago.

And if even us lowly bloggers knew about that, then shouldn't the Mayor have known as well?


Anonymous said...

Good to see Boris dealing with the big transport issues affecting Londoners!

diamond geezer said...

The first Thames-less tube maps were installed first thing on Saturday 12th September.

Boris's twittering proves that he must still have been in the country at the time.

AdamB said...

Thanks DG. I'm trying to find out when the design process started as well.

Mark Lee said...

Could this not just be a publicity stunt for the mayor? Let's face it, 95% of voters (save maybe design purists) will see Boris in a good light over this.

Or am I looking for planning and coherence where there is none?

As an aside... Yes, the mayor has been busy on commercial endeavours and maybe losing control with what he's actually *supposed* to do... BUT do you really think even if he was 100% focussed he'd be worried about tube map design? Historically changes are about as uncontroversial as they get. Why would he have reason beforehand to even enquire? Personally I'd prefer he spent time pushing through infrastructure projects than worrying about whether or not to reduce the amount of text next to Blackfriars Station on the tube map.

AdamB said...

Well he obviously *is* worried about tube design.

But yes, I was being flippant. I don't expect him to know every detail of what TfL does, but I do expect him to take the buck just occasionally rather than pleading ignorance every time something goes wrong.

I'm also a bit fed up with media coverage treating TfL as if it is somehow out of Boris's control.

See the Daily Mail who refer to it today as "the government body".

When TfL does something popular it's a victory for Boris, and it's unpopular, it's 'oh no, look what evil Transport for Livingtone have done.'

prj45 said...

It would be very interesting to know if Boris' name is on any of the minutes regarding this.

AdamB said...

Indeed. Remember his supposed ignorance over the Muslim Safety Forum:

prj45 said...

It rather sad that Paul Waugh appears to be repeating the City Hall spin on this:

"Anyway, Bojo has saved the day. I'm told that he was amazed at what had been proposed while he was away and has now ordered that the Thames should be reinstated as soon as practicable."

AdamB said...

Hang on, hang on, hang on.

If Boris wasn't aware of this, how does he explain this tweet he made in August?

prj45 said...

I'm having quiot a fun barny about this

prj45 said...

Paul Waugh jsut aded this to his blog entry:

UPDATE: Adam Bienkov points out that this new map was known about before Boris when to Noo York and says that as chair of TfL he should have been aware of it. I'm as much a critic of the Mayor's dippiness as the next man, but I suspect that given the level at which these decisions are made, the TfL bozos who came up with the idea didn't think it was worth referring up the line. I suspect that if Ken had been chair of TfL, he wouldn't have been aware of it either.

AdamB said...

Thanks prj45. I don't think the decision was anywhere near junior as he suggests. Far from it in fact. More hopefully tomorrow.

Appealing of Ealing said...

Lonely? depressed? suicidal?

Can't get a press conference with the mayor?

Click here for our confidential service.

(Requires charity).

AdamB said...

Ooh and it's in Greenwich as well!

Come on London business men and women. Cough up your pennies