Tag Archives: London

My London

For once, the polls weren’t far off. Sadiq Khan won with a record share of the vote, which I found affirming. And relieving.

Ironically, as the results rolled in pictures were circulating of Sir Lynton Crosby, the architect of the racist politics that Zac espoused in his campaign, being awarded his knighthood for “services to politics”. He’s also the mastermind behind Boris’ previous campaigns and the Tory party General Election win so I can see why they adorn him with laurels.

But London? My London said no.

I don’t think there’s much more to be said on this than what was written by Media Diversified’s Chimene Suleyman.

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London: A Question of Character

I’m genuinely concerned.

Tomorrow London may vote in Zac Goldsmith, endorsing his racist, scurrilous campaign. Like so many others, I used to like him. I respected his independence and his environmental campaigning. But the fact that he has allowed his campaign to be so debased has become a matter of character.

And character shows when the chips are down. Yes, he was behind in the polls, but the decision to go negative like this (and, worse, double down) shows that at best he’s weak and at worst, he agrees.

But the question now is, what’s London’s character?

Polls are meaningless after the General Election. They consistently show a Khan lead but the fact is, in the privacy of the ballot booth, people may vote for Zac – either as dyed in the wool Conservatives, or because he’s cute, or because the dog whistling has worked.

The only reason that will matter to the Tories (and all political parties) is the latter.

I really don’t care if we elect a labrador with a colander on its head I just don’t want Zac’s politics to win. I desperately don’t want my city to choose that. Even better would be if Khan, who has fought an honest and hopeful campaign (even while disowning Corbyn) wins.

It’s a question of character.

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London’s Housing Fix

One of my favourite columnists, Aditya Chakraborty, has written (as usual) a searing article on social affairs, this time a snapshot of London’s housing woes – the working class people left homeless by millionaire property developers, including a Tory MP.

“They make us turn on each other. Bloody asylum seekers are the problem; people on benefits are the scum of the earth. And we’re coming to a point where people like us, working people, finally say, ‘You know what? you’re the problem. We’ve had enough of people like you.’”

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There’s a lot to be discussed when it comes to President Hollande’s indiscretions with French actor Julie Gayet. Privacy, celebrity culture, press standards, the status of First lady/partner/girlfriend – and just how he found the time – but pushing all those meaty issues to one side, Hollande’s response to one of the two tentative questions about the affair in this week’s press conference amuses me. English translations run:  “Hollande said his indignation is total.”

I know this sounded so much more badass in French. It really sums up the all-encompassing fury. I can think of further uses:

– When someone finishes the last cupcake/biscuit: My disappointment is TOTAL.

– When people stand on the left hand side of the Tube* escalator: My frustration is TOTAL.

– When Borgen ended: My grief was TOTAL.

* Becoming a Londoner involves tapping into rage that you didn’t know you had. It’s only since living in The Smoke that I’ve added things like standing on the wrong side of escalators (or at the top of escalators, or at Tube entrances) to my list of absolutely unacceptable things that human beings can do.




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