Meanwhile, across the Atlantic …

If you thought that the presidential race in the US was ugly, you should see the race for mayor of London that will be voted on May 5. Robert Mackey brings us up-to-date on the campaign pitting the Labour Party candidate and human rights lawyer Sadiq Kahn and the Conservative Party’s Zac Goldsmith.

Stop me if you’ve heard this one: an outsider politician who owes his station in life to the hundreds of millions he inherited from his father is running a failing campaign for office based on stoking fear of Muslims.

The word “failing” — as in 20 points down in the polls days before the election — is a clue that we are speaking about someone other than Donald Trump.

In this case, the politician’s name is Zac Goldsmith, and he is the millionaire scion of a prominent British family. He was thought of, until recently, as a mild-mannered Conservative member of Parliament, known mainly for his environmentalism and his sister’s friendship with the late Princess Diana.

For the past two months, however, he has generated waves of disgust and, polls suggest, not much sympathy, by pursuing a mayoral campaign filled with racially divisive innuendo about the supposed danger of electing his Labour Party rival, Sadiq Khan, a son of Pakistani Muslim immigrants.

Goldsmith’s campaign has tried to insinuate that Khan, the son of Pakistani immigrants and currently a member of parliament and whose father was a London bus driver, would fail to defend London from Islamic terrorists. Mackey provides example after example, including some that backfired quite hilariously, of the divisive campaign waged by Goldsmith.

London mayor race


  1. says

    That reminds me of Harper’s appeal to Islamophobia in our recent election here in Canada. It’s great seeing appeals to bigotry fail.

  2. Who Cares says

    Reminds me a bit of the referendum on the U.K. staying in the EU or not.
    Same type of campaign by the fearmongers to try and persuade people that it should stay.
    And then Obama endorsing to stay inside the EU backfired in the same way.

    My personal opinion is that it is better for the EU that the U.K. stays to at least have one influential voice of skepticism. The problem being that that same skepticism is what is driving people to vote no in the referendum.

  3. sonofrojblake says

    One of Goldsmith’s own Conservative colleagues has condemned his campaign, saying “It was effectively saying that people of conservative religious views are not to be trusted”.

    I heard that and thought … “Yeah… and?”

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