Christmas broadcasts by London Mayors have yet to embed themselves in the festive viewing habits of the capital, but Sadiq Khan has made a decent job of looking back at a year scarred by terrorist attacks and the Grenfell fire to find hope and fortitude amid the horrors. As ever, he sends a strong message about the value of inter-faith understanding, including with footage from his carol concert held at Southwark Cathedral.
By contrast, the somewhat impromptu 2013 Christmas message of Khan’s predecessor Boris Johnson was able to concern itself with more prosaic matters, such as the summer temperatures aboard his then recently-introduced New Routemaster buses.
I can find no Christmas message online from the first London Mayor, Ken Livingstone. However, there is a diverting piece of yuletide local news coverage from way back in 1981, when Livingstone was Labour leader of the Greater London Council and had just lost a court battle over his “fares fair” policy of slashing public transport fares by 32%.
It might look primitive today, but the red-suited “Red Ken” was demonstrating one of the ways in which he was different from other Hard Left politicians of the period – he understood the power of PR.