diamond geezer

 Wednesday, October 09, 2019

What does the Mayor do all day?

You'd know if you could read his diary, which you can because it was published in an FoI last year. That's Boris's Mayoral diary, for the avoidance of doubt, all eight years of it rudely pasted into a 348 page pdf.

Over 1000 entries have been redacted for private, personal or political reasons, allowing conspiracy theories aplenty to take flight. But the vast majority of the daily appointments are merely meetings, visits and travel, revealing a treadmill of civic duties, conference room hangouts and showboating.

As a sample, here's just one entry from each year.
7 May 2008: Booze Ban Visit with Peter Hendy (High St Kensington Tube Station)
9 Nov 2009: Arrive at Bank Tube Station, lock up bike & meet Dan. DLR to Custom House (Change at Shadwell)
12 June 2010: Trooping the Colour, Queen Birthday Parade (Must arrive by 10am) - Smart dress
14 Mar 2011: Launch of the 500 Day Olympic Day clock - NO SPEECH
25 June 2012: Lunch with the Borough Leaders - WORDS OF WELCOME (NOTHING SUBSTANTIAL)
26 Apr 2013: Innotech Summit (Level 39, One Canada Square, Canary Wharf)
3 June 2014: Garden Bridge meeting with Lord Davies
27 July 2015: Portrait Sitting - Barbara Hamilton (The Mayor's Office)
16 April 2016: Vote Leave Tour - Newcastle & Leeds
They're all in there - the first ride on an Air Conditioned Train, an early site visit to the Dangleway, the day he got stuck on a zipwire in Victoria Park and the Olympic Opening Ceremony, not to mention Christmas lunches, Guido Fawkes' 10th birthday party and 'Test drive of a Porsche'.

But my cherrypicking may not give a proper flavour of the job, so instead let's see what Boris was doing on 9th October throughout his Mayoralty. Where 9th October fell at the weekend, I've picked the adjacent weekday instead.

Thursday 9th October 2008
Depart from home by car provided by the Today Programme
Today Programme (Millbank, Westminster)
Depart for the FCO
Breakfast Meeting with David Milliband FCO
Return to City Hall
Meet with Kulveer
Keep clear for planning over run
Depart for Kensington
UBS Annual dinner for Leading Women (20 Min SPEECH) Saatchi Gallery

Friday 9th October 2009
Speech Prep
Depart by bike for Leicester Square
Nick Ferrari show - (Global studios)
Meeting with Chris Humphries
Meeting with Ian Livingstone & Richard Sharp
Depart by bike for London Zoo
Tranquil Spaces Conference (15 MIN SPEECH)
Return to City Hall
World Skills Reception (5 MINUTE SPEECH)

Friday 8th October 2010
Photo with Stuart Smith Outside City Hall
Record Talking Heads Video for Low Carbon Project
Smithfield Market Meeting

Monday 10th October 2011
Radio Interviews (ISDN line from home)
Meeting with Bill Bratton
Team London/Small Grants Announcement
Depart for Mitcham
Train from London Bridge to Croydon, tram to Belgrave Walk
Sita Site Visit (Benedict Wharf, Benedict Road, Mitcham)
Local Press Conference - Team London Grants Visit (NO SPEECH)
Party Political
        Tuesday 9th October 2012
Speech prep
Main Conference Speech (Birmingham)
Party Political
Poss: Media
Lunch with Sarah Sands & Joe Murphy
Return to London

Wednesday 9th October 2013
Assembly Plenary - Chair of TfL Q&A
Regular Planning Decisions Meeting + REMA MD
Bureau of Leaders
Mayor's Fund for London Drinks
Lunch & signing
Phone call with the Guggenheim
Speech prep

Thursday 9th October 2014
Depart for Kings Cross
New Tube for London
Mayor's Advisory Group - London Ambulance Strike
Outstanding Media - 2 video messages
Meeting with Mark Rowley
Chat with Daniel Moylan
Meeting with Gatwick
Speech prep
Depart for the Royal Courts of Justice
Press Ball

Friday 9th October 2015
Depart for the Museum of London
Visit to the Crime Museum (Museum of London)
Tel call to Sir John Ritblat
Return home
Depart for Uxbridge
Visit to Uxbridge College

The day usually includes a trip out. Lunch is often 'working'. Mayors have to be willing to give a speech, but are warned in advance how long it needs to be. Not much of what they do is directly press-worthy. Only occasionally are they required to chair a public meeting. Decision-making must occur somewhere, but is rarely diaried. Some days don't look especially stressful.

By the time of that final list in 2015 Boris was also moonlighting as an MP, his diary regularly listing trips to the House of Commons for a three line-whipped vote. And by 9th October 2016 Sadiq was at City Hall instead, and Boris was merely Foreign Secretary, which shows how swiftly things move on.

The Mayoralty may not be the hardest job in the world - indeed if Boris held it down for eight years it can't be - but it's not the most exciting either.

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