The London Mayoral election is reaching its denouement and getting dirty. The Tory’s fires of pandering to islamaphopia, lit presumably by the serial racist Lynton Crosby and fanned by Cameron, would have thought to have ended with the disclosure that the dangerous islamist that Kahn allegedly associates with is in fact a Tory. It’s a degrading campaign, damaging the reputation of two good men. Furthermore, there can be little doubt that the timing of the story about Naz Shah’s anti-semitism is designed to damage Labour’s campaigns across the country and has aided by the stupidity and dishonesty of comments made by Labour’s own right and left. Kahn recognised from day one that racism was going to be an attack vector on his credibility and good will in an attempt to win the Mayoralty and become the Mayor that London needs. He has worked hard to establish his position and record and proposals for all Londoners, in particular he has worked hard to establish good relationships with London’s Jewish community. Personally I was underwhelmed by his positioning his crime fighting promises in the light of anti-terrorism and the new enemy within but it shows his commitment to keeping all in London safe from harm and hate crime is absolute. He has also picked up and stands to improve enforcement against the day to day crimes that some of us meet every day.
There remain other crucial issues to be determined by the London elections. The central powers of the London Mayor are about strategic planning (which today means affordable Housing), transport & the police, and now because of roads and planes, air quality. In his own words, we have these promises,
- Tackle the housing crisis, building thousands more homes for Londoners each year, setting an ambitious target of 50 per cent of new homes being genuinely affordable, and getting a better deal for renters.
- Freeze London transport fares for four years and introduce a one-hour bus ‘Hopper’ ticket, paid for by making TfL more efficient and exploring new revenue-raising opportunities. Londoners won’t pay a penny more for their travel in 2020 than they do today.
- Make London safer, with action to restore neighbourhood policing, tackle gangs and knife crime, a plan to tackle the spread of extremism, and a review of the resourcing of our fire service.
- Be the most pro-business Mayor yet, working in partnership with industry to deliver on skills, infrastructure, and growth.
- Restore London’s air quality to legal and safe levels, with action to make travel greener and pedestrianise Oxford Street, while protecting the green belt.
- Set up ‘Skills for Londoners’ to ensure all Londoners have the opportunity to train in the skills that our economy needs.
- Tackle low pay, working with employers to make London a Living Wage City.
- Challenge gender inequality, working to close the gender pay gap and support women to break the glass ceiling while helping to remove the barriers to women’s success.
- Make cycling and walking safer, with more segregated cycle routes, action on dangerous junctions, and safer lorries.
- Make London a fairer and more tolerant city, open and accessible to all, and one in which all can live and prosper free from prejudice.
London needs Sadiq Kahn, we know what we need to do next week.