If Monday’s announcement that City Hall would soon be able to supply low-cost and clean energy to Transport for London had a very familiar ring to it, that’s because it’s a scheme dating back to March 2013 which has already been announced at least twice by Boris Johnson.
Unfortunately City Hall forgot to highlight the scheme’s pedigree in its press release, an omission which means current Mayor Sadiq Khan got some positive write-ups in the Evening Standard and elsewhere for a scheme which he had, if we’re being generous, very little to do with.
You’ll notice too that while the list of other press releases appearing alongside today’s announcement do predate Sadiq’s mayoralty, it omits to include links to announcements trumpeting earlier steps in the scheme’s development.
This means the only half dozen or so london.gov.uk visitors with any chance of stumbling on the application’s Johnson-era origins are those who visit this blog post and are sufficiently interested that they click on the link strategically placed on the very final line.
If you ask the Mayor’s office directly whether the today’s scheme is the same one as announced in 2013, they admit it is. They just don’t go out their way to ensure everyone realises that’s the case.
Perhaps it’s because Sadiq last month claimed Boris had left behind “a record that is mediocre at best” on clean energy that he felt reluctant to admit that today all he’s doing is announcing the latest regulatory step in a process his predecessor started?
Or maybe he’s just taking a leaf from Boris’s book and like him thinks no-one will remember that we’ve heard it all before?