Earlier this year you may recall I did a stint as a London Ambassador in Trafalgar Square. Read it it here. I wrote about how although I enjoyed the week I thought money had been ill-spent and many things were badly organised.
Since then I have received a few subsidiary items in the post including two thank you letters; one from from Boris's office and the other from Mr Cameron thanking me for being a Games Maker! D'uh!
This morning I took delivery of a lumpy and partially torn white bubble-wrap envelope. Ripping the package further open I found some more branded Ambassadorial items designed to further my experience – a baton in a box, a CD I haven't bothered to look at yet, and another silly little badge to add to my 'collection' – this one is 'gold'. Ooh the excitement.
There was also a sealed white hardback envelope in there too, but it was empty. I'd rather expected a third thank you letter to be in there, but no.
What an absolute waste of even more money.
Let's do the sums...
A pair of cargo pants, a fleece, 2 T-shirts, a storm jacket, a baseball cap, a trilby, a water bottle, a backpack, name tag and lanyard doobrey, 4 lapel badges, cardboard display thing to attach them to, various bits of stationery and printed ephemera, a baton, a CD, and probably more that I have forgotten about.
Now, multiply that lot by 70,00 Ambassadors. Oh, and add the postage and packing and man hours involved putting it all together.
Money well spent? I think not.
Update 2: I just remembered that they also gave us a Visa debit card pre-loaded with £25 (intended as £5 a day for food) and an Oystercard with about £53 on it (equiv to a zone 1-6 on week Travelcard). Assuming all Ambassadors recieved the same as I did, those two items alone, never mind the cost of the bits of plastic and the admin to implement them costs just short of £55,000.
Boris's office isn't exactly setting a good example here. What happened to the Olympics themes of sustainability and legacy? It's more of a case of "do as we say, not do as we do".