Oh dear – they just couldn’t help themselves, could they? Greenwich Council’s propaganda rag, Greenwich Time, decides to splash on the agreement that’ll allow Oyster card users to use Thames Clippers boats from later this year. The council had held a “campaign” to make this happen which concluded a few days before the announcement, even though Transport for London’s own board documents say: “A demonstration of the potential use of Oyster Pay As You Go using Portable Ticket Issuing Devices on river services was made to Thames Clippers on 18 February. A commercial proposal is currently being considered by Thames Clippers. The earliest date for implementation is August 2009.”
So anyone familiar with the workings of Thames Clippers would have known such a deal was likely to happen anyway – and the council has good relations with TC’s parent company, Dome owner AEG – yet council tax cash was used to fund the “campaign” anyway. This is a bit like starting a campaign for Charlton to be relegated from the Championship… but starting it at Easter when they’re at the bottom of the league.
But while the council’s website was relatively restrained in claiming a link between their almighty 1,000-strong petition and the announcement of the agreement, its propaganda weekly decided to, er, push the boat out.
“RESULT! Just two weeks after pledge cards with more than 1,000 signatures had been hand-delivered… Boris Johnson has announced that one of the campaign’s key demands will be met.
“[Deputy council leader] Peter Brooks added: “It is great news that GT’s Clipper Campaign has had a hand in bringing riverboats up to speed with the rest of London’s transport network.”
Did it really, Peter? Or was it just a few bob of council tax money spent to make you look good?