Greenwich Time’s riverside folly


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?

9 comments

  1. Oh dear dear 853 – no wonder you gave up the day job at the BBC…

    You give the impression that the council started the campaign just two weeks ago – and certainly after Feb 18 when you state the decision proper was made.

    If you checked your facts you would see that was incorrect – but why let facts get in the way of a good story.

    You also overlook the fact that the lead story quotes Boris extensively – yet you then go on to suggest that the council was patting itself on the back. How funny…

    And finally if the decision was taken on Feb 18 – why no reference to how laughable it was that Boris gave rise to this story by confirming the plan during the same week?

    Maybe there is some truth in the slogan vote blue,get green after all…

  2. Er, where do I give the impression the council started the campaign two weeks ago? Unfortunately, the council website doesn’t date its website news stories, but the campaign was certainly happening at the same time as TfL were in talks with Thames Clippers, during February, as TfL’s board papers show. I don’t understand what your point about Boris, further down.

    And please, no personal jibes. This ain’t a nursery.

  3. Why just talk about the website? This post is about GT – so why not point out that GT has covered the Clipper issue well before the TfL meeting date of Feb 18.

    Your story lacks all credibility when this huge crack in it is exposed.

    And my point on Boris is simple – you say the council was patting its back over this story. Yet most of the story is given over to Boris saying why he values the Clipper service and why he extended the Oyster tickets to it. Doesnt sound like the council patting its back to me…

  4. I imagine you won’t be satisfied until I suddenly turn around and agree with you, so I think we’ll end it there…

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