I went along to see Boris Johnson launch the new Ravensbourne site on the peninsula this morning more for the photos than anything else. I’ve a theory that it’s almost impossible to take a bad photo of the mayor, and looking back through this morning’s shots seems to bear that out.
But if he stays as mayor, future generations of hyperlocal bloggers will need to develop a third hand. They’ll need to hold a video camera to capture his funny speech with. Topics included his cable car (which he says he’ll name after Vince Cable so he can look at Canary Wharf and appreciate the banks) and the well-evolved citizens of the borough of Bromley.
I’m sure he’s done those gags before, but they got a laugh and Rob at greenwich.co.uk got them recorded for your listening pleasure. If you want more, I understand the Greenwich Podcast managed to grab the mayor for a chat – you’ll be able to hear that next week.
I suppose I should have been buttonholing Boris too, but instead I settled for the displays of virtual graphics and taking in the fantastically awkward chemistry between Boris and Greenwich Council leader Chris Roberts – the Conservative mayor pointedly crediting Michael Heseltine with kick-starting the peninsula’s regeneration in the 1990s, and Labour people enthusiastically “hear hear”-ing Roberts’ speech.
The council leader didn’t look particularly comfortable following the mayor around as he got to play with Ravensbourne’s brilliant toys – but wouldn’t you, having to play second fiddle to a political rival?
But then Boris had an difficult time after his tour, linking up with LBC for an incredibly rocky interview about the fire strike. I saw what looked like an aide with his head in his hands while this went out – without being able to hear what was going out on air…
Tough business, politics. Especially when you can’t get out of a tight spot with a joke.
Incidentally, I’ve been asked to mention that Ravensbourne is building up a directory of local creative businesses, as part of its plan to make the peninsula into a “hub” for digital media types.
A clutch of companies are already being incubated at Ravensbourne, including Greenwich-based Fail Better Games, whose Fallen London game has built up a cult following over the past year or so. If you’re in the boroughs of Greenwich, Lewisham or Southwark, and would like to get involved in Ravensbourne’s plans, researcher Hayley Crompton would like to hear from you.
*It was actually the River Pool, a tributary of the Ravensbourne, that Boris fell into that day in Sydenham. Couldn’t resist, though…