Nothing would be easier than to join in but actually it’s all a bit unfair. Political campaigns, especially successful ones, are hard work. Long hours not only keep you away from family and friends but leave you mentally and physically exhausted and it’s undoubtably in everyone’s interest for the Mayor to have a few days away to recharge his batteries.
For their part the Mayor’s office are defending the holiday on the grounds that Richard Barnes, the Deputy Mayor of London, is around. That’s all well and good but the new administration have spent three weeks downplaying the role of Deputy Mayor and knowingly causing confusion over it.
Barnes wasn’t, as he should have been, the first appointment announced, the job title of ‘deputy’ has been handed out to every other one of the Mayor’s ten personal staff, unelected employees have been deputising for the Mayor and last week the role of ‘First Deputy Mayor’ was announced for what could more properly be described as Chief of Staff.
If the Mayor really has a desire to give out such grand titles – and given his promise to end cronyism he looks pretty silly doing so – it would have cleverer to give Barnes the ‘First Deputy Mayor’ moniker to mark him out from the paid employees.
In the meantime let’s hope the Mayor returns from holiday burning with great ideas for our capital including a way to ensure that those on income support can continue to enjoy the half price bus and tram fares he’s decided to scrap for wholly dogmatic purposes.