The ridiculous red-baiting of Sadiq Khan

Red KhanThe news that London Labour activists are working their butts off to secure a victory for Labour’s candidate in the London mayoral elections, on the grounds that Labour electoral success is good news for the leader of the Labour Party, is hardly the stuff of Pulitzer Prize-winning journalism.

Yet such is the substance of a recent front page splash in the London Standard, published online under the somewhat lurid headline of ‘Revealed: Hard-Left plot to back Sadiq Khan in bid to strengthen Corbyn’.

In what is breathlessly described as ‘a setback to the Tooting MP’ that ‘damage[s] Sadiq’, the Standardcan reveal that leaders of the controversial Momentum group told activists to support the Labour candidate’. How very dare they! I’ll have words with that Lansman fella next time I bump into him, you see if I don’t. Continue reading

Labour needs internal democracy to win in London

Sadiq Khan LONDON MAYORWith campaigning kicking off for the London Mayoral Election it would be easy to forget that Labour’s manifesto is yet to be written. We can all see that winning in London requires a strong set of policies which deal with the issues facing Londoners, particularly housing and transport.

As Labour Party members, we understand that good ideas do not come from individuals alone but from discussion, debate and democracy. This means that the best way to ensure that we get the radical manifesto we need is through a genuinely open and democratic policy-making process within the London Labour Party. Labour’s members are its links to communities across the capital and the stronger the voice they have, the more likely it is that we will get the manifesto we need. Continue reading

Tory candidate Zac Goldsmith should be made to answer tax avoidance allegations

GoldsmithOn Friday came the least surprising political announcement at the end of a summer full of surprises: That Zac Goldsmith, MP for Richmond Park and North Kingston, would be the Tories’ mayoral candidate in 2016.

Goldsmith won 70% of the 9,227 votes cast in the primary, more than the other three candidates (Syed Kamall, Stephen Greenhalgh and Andrew Boff) combined. This has rightly angered the TUC, who have blasted the Tories, asking, “If online balloting is good enough the Conservative Party, why can’t working people use it?” in reference to the Tories’ continued opposition to the use of online ballots for strikes. Continue reading

Can you blame Sadiq Khan for wanting his cake and eating it?

Sadiq Khan facing two waysSadiq Khan was a former radical human rights lawyer and doing a good job as shadow secretary for justice when he also became shadow minister for London, and responsible for running the general election campaign in London. Perhaps it is too much to expect any politician who wants to be London’s mayor to turn down such an opportunity just because it would give an unfair advantage.

But if you take the opportunity and are the approved candidate of your party’s still-well-oiled political machine, you might choose to get someone else to deliver lectures to other candidates for mayor about focussing on the general election campaign rather than diverting resources from it. But not if you’re Sadiq Khan. Is that honest, or foolish? Continue reading

Diane Abbott is Labour voters’ choice for London Mayor says YouGov

DIANE AbbottIn a YouGov poll for the London Evening Standard today, Diane Abbott emerges as Labour voters top choice for London Mayor with 29%, beating Tessa Jowell who topped a similar poll eight months ago but now has 24% (figures exclude don’t knows and those without preference). Sadiq Khan who is said to be Ed Miliband’s preferred candidate (hence his additional Shadow Cabinet responsibility as ‘shadow Minister for London’) emerges in fourth place with a disappointing 14%, behind David Lammy.

Although there is a year before the campaign will seriously get underway (and voting not until Autumn 2015), this does seem to consolidate Diane Abbott’s position as the candidate of the left. She was the keynote speaker at the London political conference of Unite the Union ten days ago and has strong support for their backing in the election. Continue reading