I have been undecided for a while in regards to who I would like to be the next mayor of London. Part of me likes Zac’s rebellious, think outside the box thing. Also, I have worried that Sadiq winning would be a victory for Corbyn. But now I’ve weighed up everything and come to a decision: I would like Sadiq to win in May.
Yes, Sadiq overdoes it with the whole “I’m the son of a bus driver” shtick, but you know what? One, the only way to get anything across in politics is by saying things over and over and over again and two, he’s just pointing out reality. Sure, we shouldn’t look at race, religion, socio-economic background, all of that, in an ideal world. The mayorality should go to whomever is the best person for the job. I’m someone who believes more than most people in the pluses involved in a straight up meritocracy (which has been noted, me being described as “Mr Centre Right” at a Labour conference fringe event less than a year back), but really, on that note, don’t you think it was a lot harder for Sadiq to get where he’s got to than it was for Zac to get to where he’s at? So there is a meritocratic argument built in for Sadiq if you consider everything carefully. I have also been turned off by the frankly racist or Islamophobic stuff that has been flung Sadiq’s way so far. Not by Zac or any of his people, I’d like to stress, but by enough supporters of Zac’s to help that put me off.
But the real clincher, I think, is that if you’re looking for the relatively conservative choice then, weirdly, Sadiq is your man. He knows what he’s doing, having had the different jobs he has had. Zac is actually nothing but a serial, rebellious backbencher – a bit like Jeremy Corbyn, in fact. Zac is the wildcard here – Sadiq is your straight man. Sure, Zac can paint Sadiq is the career politician, but I don’t mind that quality in a mayor, when all’s said and done. I want someone who knows what they’re doing, basically. And on that point, I think Sadiq wins.
Is there a fear that we could end up back in Livingstone territory with some of the unions taking the piss with the tacit (or even explicit) approval of the mayor? Actually, this used to worry me, but increasingly I very much doubt it. Sadiq clearly wants to forge a path for himself that is his own as mayor, very much distancing himself from Corbyn and his acolytes. I can see him wishing to be a very centrist mayor, looking to show Londoners of all political stripes that he can represent them. So like I say, for me, it’s Sadiq in May.