Zac Goldsmith: the London race will be tough for me – and the Conservative Party

The Tory mayoral contender explains how he plans to sell himself to a city that’s now solidly Labour

2 January 2016

9:00 AM

2 January 2016

9:00 AM

As soon as votes were counted in the race to be Tory candidate for London mayor, Zac Goldsmith’s problem became clear. He had won comfortably, but just 9,200 party members bothered to vote — compared with the 80,000 who took part in Labour’s contest. Goldsmith praised his party for a ‘civilised and constructive’ debate, unlike the ‘divisive and vicious’ battle won by Sadiq Khan. But if Labour can call on a machine whose activists outnumber the Tories by nine to one, the Conservative candidate faces a real disadvantage.

The size of Khan’s vote, Goldsmith thinks, is deceptive and swollen by trade union members. But in May, he concedes, ‘They will be out en masse, combined with the Corbyn-istas. So yes, they know that this matters. They know that they have to throw the kitchen sink at it. And they will.’ He doesn’t sound like he’s looking forward to it.

Goldsmith’s first political battle came in 2010, when he won Richmond Park from the Lib Dems. He was tipped for greatness but, on arrival at Westminster, showed no interest in climbing the greasy pole. Instead, he tried to make it more slippery — campaigning for voters to have the power to sack their MPs and threatening to resign his seat if David Cameron granted a third runway to Heathrow. If he wins in May, he says, he’ll resign his seat anyway. ‘I don’t think that you can do both jobs.’

We meet in an upcycling shop in a West London council estate, where he’s talking to former soldiers who have started a business saving furniture from the skip. He remains a keen environmentalist and is standing on a pledge to make London the ‘greenest city on Earth’. But his priority, he says, is housing. ‘If you are disadvantaged enough to qualify for social housing, or wealthy enough to buy or inherit a home, you’re OK. But if you are anywhere in the middle you are more or less stuffed. That is a real problem for London and it will dominate the life of the next mayor — and the mayor after that.’

He has much praise for the outgoing mayor, but says that the prosperity Boris Johnson oversaw has spread unevenly. ‘The problem is that, over the last seven years, that prosperity wasn’t felt across the whole of London. So we are, undoubtedly, at a point now where Londoners have been priced out of their own city. It is like a giant social experiment and we don’t know where it’s going to end — but it’s not good news.’ So he may well position himself as a social avenger, despite being the son of a billionaire. Not that his background as a disadvantage. As he once put it: ‘I was born into a position of privilege and am, therefore, not corruptible.’

He describes his relationship with David Cameron as ‘very good’ — but it isn’t too good. ‘He never fails, when introducing me at events, to say that I have been a pain in the arse. But I don’t think that’s a bad thing. I’m not a pain in the arse for the sake of it. I only cause trouble where I think the government has got it wrong.’

He says that it is essential for the mayor of the capital to have a working relationship with the government. Londoners, he says, are ‘hopelessly infantilised’ because the city ‘only holds on to about 7 per cent of the wealth we generate. You have to beg for some of that back to pay for transport infrastructure, housing grants, police — all the things that London needs. I accept that it’s not a wildly sexy message, but the first line of any mayor’s job description is getting a good deal from government.’

He concedes that he has much work to do in selling himself. ‘Part of the problem I have is that I’m reasonably well known in my constituency and very well known in the Westminster bubble. But there’s a difference between someone knowing your name and knowing who you are. So my job is to meet as many people as possible in the boroughs that I have spent less time in, to build bridges. And to mobilise Conservative-minded people — because without them, I don’t have a campaign.’

When Lynton Crosby was called in to help Boris, he was aghast at how few Conservative-minded people were available. The activists, Crosby grumbled, were having their afternoon nap at the times they were needed to push leaflets through doors. Crosby then built up a machine that twice took Boris to victory in what is now a Labour city. Goldsmith is using CTF, Crosby’s firm, but the soon-to-be-Sir Lynton won’t play a hands-on role. Goldsmith wants to make the campaign his own, rather than try to recreate the Boris formula. ‘I’m certainly not setting out to become Boris Mark II; anyone who does that now is deluded. He is unique.’

Goldsmith speaks of his victory as being possible, but not probable — after all, he says, Labour won 400,000 more votes than the Tories in London in the last election so there’s quite a gap to close. ‘It’s going to be very, very tough,’ he says. ‘For me, and for the Conservative party.’

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  • Bring Back Free Speech

    The problem that Goldsmith, a principled and honourable man, has is that the majority of the inhabitants of London are no longer British, and those who chose to remain are those who are happy to be in a cultural minority. Immigrants with little interest in the home culture and ethno-masochists are not likely to return a Conservative majority. Many of those who work in London no longer wish to live there, as do not feel at home in a third-world/international super-rich environment, so there is a large unemployment rate/benefit dependency among London residents. In addition, though Goldsmith is honourable, his party, largely is not, having sold out to politcal correctness and corporate/supra-national interests, and many who love the former English homeland no longer like his party.

    • Mongo

      not everybody ‘chooses’ to remain in London. Some of us have little choice. It’s not always possible to just uproot yourself and head for pastures new

      I look around in dismay at what is happening to London – a city more divided than ever – most inner areas are fast resembling Third World slums and ethnic ghettoes surrounding pockets of incredibly wealthy enclaves where the rich gate themselves away. It’s becoming pretty dystopic

      I doubt that Goldsmith or the Tories will make any real attempt to rectify the problems, but a Labour Muslim mayor seizing power is pretty much the Sum of all Fears

      • alfred5

        Too true , mate , too true !

      • Bring Back Free Speech

        Yes, fair point. I should have said ‘many of those who choose to remain’ since work , schooling and moving costs keep people chained to a place. I, too, as a Londoner born and bred, am dismayed at what has happened to my home city, How can one have a sense of belonging to a Babel of competing, aggressive Third World mini-nations which is what multi-culturalism is, an aggregation which increasingly excludes the host nation.

        • alfred5

          London used to be the most authentically ”British ” of all cities in the UK , but has now mutated into a foreign land …the past is indeed another country , they do things differently there !
          Remember London in the Blitz ?…the community spirit of ”maybe it’s because I’m a Londoner ” ?…now , try to imagine a similar spirit today ?

    • Tony

      Yes your right dreadful place to live, the overcrowding, crime, racism, just awful.

      • Bring Back Free Speech

        The old racism ploy doesn’t work any more. Lefties like you have so over-used it that it has lost its force. We have a right to the country our forefathers died for, and there isn’t room for all the world.

    • M P Jones

      Well, if the Londoners elect Saddiq Kahn as their mayor they conclusively demonstrate that they no longer wish to be part of the country.

    • Leftism is a societal cancer

      Liking Goldsmith but opposing native dispossession in Europe is dumb. A form of Stockholm syndrome. The man is married to a Rothschild.

  • alfred5

    Goldsmith will win ! Boris has won twice before so it’s possible that Zac can win …furthermore , Khan is a very poor candidate with two major handicaps insomuch that he was one of those who nominated Corbyn and did in fact ride to victory on Corbynmania , but as the Corbyn ship sinks I suspect he will be dragged down in it’s vortex ! Crosby will paint Khan as ”Guilty by association”

    Secondly , Khan is a Muslim and in a city that suffered the Tube bombings ,the Tower Hamlet fiasco and with the recent Paris massacre fresh in their minds ,it just seems to me that asking Londoners to elect a Muslim is a bridge too far with regards to multiculturalism and ”tolerance”

    Any polling should be carefully ”read between the lines ”in a similar way to the last G E as there are sure to be folks who do not feel comfortable with a Muslim Mayor at this troubled time but may not admit that to the pollsters out of political correctness …in a poll earlier in the year 31% of Londoners admitted not feeling comfortable with a Muslim as Mayor ,( and they were the ones who actually admitted it) , and that was before the Paris massacre !

    Furthermore , the Blairites will be happy to sacrifice Khan if it will help get rid of Corbyn ; naturally , they will still claim to be voting Labour out of party loyalty when answering polls , but when it comes to election day they will either stay at home or simply vote for Zac !…something similar happened in the last G E when some Labour and Liberal voters told pollsters they were voting for their respective parties but when they entered the voting booth actually voted Tory !

    • Mongo

      I hope you’re right. There could be a healthy chunk of traditional Labour voters who (secretly) won’t be comfortable with a Muslim mayor, and are (secretly) deeply concerned about uncontrolled immigration, who will either abstain or vote for an alternative

      • alfred5

        It happened just as I predicted back in May when a minority of Labour/Liberal folks voted for the Tories ….I just knew they were lying to the pollsters out of party loyalty , or out of Tory stigma ….I was absolutely CERTAIN that the folks in middle England would NEVER take the chance of a weak Labour government being held to ransom by an odious national party from Scotland led by Lady Macbeth !….there are simply not enough gormless people around….I suspect there are not enough gormless folks in London either

    • Kennybhoy

      “Boris has won twice before so it’s possible that Zac can win…”

      Aye. An indisputable fact strangely missing from both these articles and the below the line comments…

      Sound post man.

  • Mongo

    wait for Labourites/leftists to play up the fact that this mayoral race is essentially Jew v Muslim

    I’m expecting things to get ugly with a lot of mud slinging. I just hope Goldsmith and his supporters will conduct themselves with dignity rather than descending into the gutter with the Corbynistas

    • kitten

      The only person I repeatedly see pointing this out is you and you don’t post like a left wingers/Labourite to me.

      • Mongo

        I’ve already seen quite a few Labour/Khan supporters post anti-semetic and veiled anti-semetic remarks about Goldsmith, as well as attacking his privileged background

        • Alex

          How ironic that you bemoan all the anti semitism that you claim to have seen – and I’m sure you reallllly care so much about jews – whilst spewing out plenty of islamaphobic crap. Do you even live in London?

    • Leftism is a societal cancer

      If you think a Jew married to a Rothschild will be any friend of native English in London then you are a bit deluded.

  • alfred5

    The Tory print media will frame Khan as a Corbynite and a ”dodgy Muslim ”…all he has to do is sow the seeds of doubt into a minority of Labour voters to tip the scales ..they don’t necessarily have to vote for zac , just so long as they stay at home due to apathy !

  • new_number_2

    The caricature of Zac Goldsmith seems far more friendlier than that of Sadiq Khan.

    • Mongo

      if that’s friendly, I’d hate to see what you consider hostile

      political caricatures are supposed to be grotesque, although there is a whiff of stereotyping on this one with the hooked nose and all

  • Tony

    Is postal voting allowed in this election.

    • Mongo

      yes, in fact many postal votes have already been cast and sealed in ballot boxes and are sitting in the backrooms of mosques across London

  • Paul Tavares | Independent Can

    After 16 years of Labour and Conservative Mayors, none of the major candidates offers any real solutions that will help solve the social & economic challenges that London faces. The only way to change that is to set aside party politics & look at the policies on the table. Not only is it important to know what candidates will do but HOW they will do it. Is it realistic? Is it achievable? Will it fundamentally change things for the better in London? If you do that, if you look beyond all the political hype, you’ll then find that one person may surprisingly come top of the list and show themselves to be the best Mayor London could hope for – Paul Tavares (@PaulForMayor)

    • Mongo

      except it’s a two horse race, so an independent candidate or one from a lesser party has no chance

      thus we have no choice but to vote for the lesser of two evils (in this case Goldsmith) – as is the case with almost all elections

      otherwise, good luck

      • Paul Tavares | Independent Can

        The Mayoral elections are different to General Elections because of the two-vote system.

        The fact is, we stand at a crossroads where we must make a pivotal decision; one that will decide our future and that of all Londoners. And so we must ask ourselves this: Do we want to continue on this path to destruction or do we truly want things to change for the better?

        If it’s the latter, people must vote with their conscience first and then tactically (if they so wish) with their second vote.

        Those who vote for the lesser of two evils because that is how the political elite and the press / media frame the argument will never allow us to bring about the positive change that we so desperately need – socially and economically.

        And remember this, the most successful Mayor New York ever had was not a politician but rather a businessman; someone who knew and understood the city and its people; someone who inspired the city with his vision and with his progressive ideas and policies – Michael Bloomberg.

        BTW – thank you for the good wishes.

        • Mongo

          what are your policies on mass immigration and how will you tackle the problem?

          • Paul Tavares | Independent Can

            I’m completely against mass immigration because it’s unsustainable economically and it presents an unacceptable risk to the country’s security, along with putting the lives of Londoners in jeopardy. However, let’s be very clear, the London Mayor has no power whatsoever over immigration. That is in the hands of the government.

            Any candidate that suggests otherwise is lying to you, and I simply will not do that. Its disrespectful and patronising to Londoners, and I believe people deserve much more respect than that.

  • Fenman

    The deprived minority in London is indigenous white Englishmen. So Zac has no chance.

    • Alex


      • Leftism is a societal cancer


        • Alex

          Do you want to define indigenous for me because I don’t think it means what you think it means.

          • Leftism is a societal cancer

            “Originating or occurring naturally in a particular place; native:” – http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/indigenous

            http://europepmc.org/abstract/MED/22560092/reload=0;jsessionid=Ex1l76DwTiCwb3huDcM9.6 – Most European genetics originate from migrations to here 12-19 thousand years ago

            http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Origins-British-Prehistory-Detective/dp/1845294823 – “Two thirds of the English people reveal an unbroken line of genetic descent from south-western Europeans arriving long before the first farmers. The bulk of the remaining third arrived between 7,000 and 3,000 years ago as part of long-term north-west European trade and immigration, especially from Scandinavia – and may have brought with them the earliest forms of English language.”

          • Alex

            Aww bad luck mate that book has been well and truly discredited (the study of DNA has moved on quite a lot in the last 10 years). Must be quite disappointing for people with your world view.

            Good summary here:

            ” This book , published a decade ago , is now hopelessly out of date . The central thrust of the text is as follows ; Brits and Irish are descended primarily from Iberian Hunter Gatherers who trekked along the Atlantic coast about 14,000-12,000 years ago . Their genetic legacy accounts for 75% of modern British ancestry. All subsequent migratons had little impact on the genetic makeup of Brits. Anglo-Saxons , as well as other migrants including Neolithic farmers , had a very small genetic impact .

            These claims can no longer be supported.

            The world of genetics has advanced with breathtaking speed since the publication of this book , leaving Oppenheimers work looking like a quaint throwback to a time when genetic studies had advanced only in baby steps ,and the prevailing theories had an over reliance on decades old anti-migrationist archeological theories , as well as a determination (politically motivated?) that Britons were indigenous Western Europeans ie descended from hunter gathering ‘Spaniards’.

            The study of ancient DNA has revolutionized the field .Oppenheimer has been shown to be way off the mark. Big cultural changes were by and large brought about by migration .Very little of British ancestry can be traced to Iberian Hunter Gatherers .Comparing ancient and modern DNA in various PCA plots , this is blindingly obvious .The lack of any R1b (the dominant male UK lineage) in ancient DNA ancestral to British males in Europe before the Late Neolithic is also telling.

            Ancient DNA is telling us that the Neolithic saw huge migration from the Near East . Farming was spread by people – the evidence points to a spread from Anatolia to Greece and into Central Europe , and also across the Mediterranean to Iberia where , incidentally , Basques received a substantial genetic input from farmers , again disproving Oppenhiemers theory that Basques represent native Hunter Gatherer purity.

            The Copper and Bronze ages saw Brits becoming more like modern inhabitants of these isles ( a period around 2,500 – 2,000 BC ) ; it is very likely that R1b-L21 males entered at this point through a massive founder effect . They likely brought with them proto-Celtic languages although this is still debatable.

            Oppenheimer was unaware of the true nature of British R1b sub groups (called clades) or any groups for that matter. They actually tell a far more detailed and definitive tale than he could have anticipated thanks to much more reliable genomic sequencing . The crucial clade is the aforementioned , very Celtic looking group R1b- L21 . It is dominant in Ireland , Scotland and Wales . Less so in England , which is more diverse in its paternal lineages . He could not date his samples adequately .We know R1b- L21 is far too young , to have been established much before the Copper Age. It wasn’t brought by Iberian hunters 14,000 years ago.

            The other major R1b clade in Brits is the very Germanic looking U106 , which likely became frequent in the UK due to Germanic Migrations ( Anglo-Saxons and Vikings ) which also included spreading lineages I1 and R1a . Other lineages (E1b , G2a , J2 etc) are mainly farmer derived, with a light sprinkling of native Hunter Gatherers ( probably I2).

            It can now be estimated that around 40% ,or more, of male English lineages can be assigned to Germanic settlers . Their influence wanes in the Celtic west and the far North . In the case of Orkney , Shetland and the Western Isles, the later Germanic settlers, Norse Vikings, left a detectable trace of male line descendants. The People of the British Isles project suggests around 1/4 or 1/3 , of English ancestry as a whole is Anglo-Saxon . I would also include Vikings as part of that proportion , which the study did not , as it is extremely difficult to differentiate between the Saxons and Danish Vikings by testing modern populations , as they both derived from the same places in or close to Denmark / N.Germany.
            The study of Celtic and Anglo-Saxon ancient DNA by Schiffels et al (2015) concurs with the modern study – about 30% of English ancestry comes from the Germanics. There was substantial migration but no genetic wipeout . Celts and Anglo Saxons mixed – but the Anglo-Saxons became the ruling elite and their culture and language quickly became dominant . Oppenheimers idea of Germanic languages pre-dating the Anglo Saxon migrations in England remains highly unorthodox .

            It is now known that Brits , like other Europeans , descend from at least three ancient populations – Hunter Gatherers , Neolithic Farmers and Ancient North Eurasians. As I write , a further population can be added to the mix , one from the Caucasus that likely mixed with farmers and/or steppe people before coming west with those populations . We are seeing the effects of repeated population turnovers leaving a mixed population derived from hunter gatherers , farmers , steppe folk , Indo-Europeans , Celts , Anglo Saxons , and more besides. In essence , the genetic makeup of Brits is far more complex than Oppenheimer could have dreamed in 2006.

            Avoid this book . It is now irrelevant . Since its publication there have been no revised editions incorporating the mass of data both from ancient and modern DNA studies . That alone suggests the author knows the game is up . If you wish to read a work based on more up to date information and aimed at the general reader , try Jean Manco’s Ancestral Journeys instead.”

          • Leftism is a societal cancer

            Very interesting. Do you have a link to this? Explains quite a lot.

            As for the problems that this causes for my “worldview”, as you put it, I do not see how this makes the slightest bit of difference or even what exactly you are getting at. I presume you are making some absurd point about everyone being an immigrant which is not only obvious nonsense but wouldn’t actually matter.

          • Alex

            Hah no that’s EXACTLY my point, that it doesn’t matter. The original poster (maybe you have a different opinion tbf) was bleating on about the ‘indigenous englishman’ being a ‘deprived minority’ and because of that Zac was not going to win. The simple fact is there are practically no indigenous Britons, and whoever he is referring to (white people with English names im going to guess) why would they be any more likely to vote for either candidate?

          • Leftism is a societal cancer

            Well then that is completely absurd and he is right to think so. “They are no indigenous/native Englishmen” therefore there is no difference between people who have ancestry of living here for hundreds and possibly thousands of years with millions of inbred Pakistanis who came here under 70 years ago.

            Which people in the world are native/indigenous?

            You got that link?

          • Alex

            Oh wow we got to the truth pretty quickly there – so is it Pakistanis on one side and everyone else on the other then? Shall we just forget about the indigenous label as you actually seem to mainly just care about Pakistanis. Lucky for goldsmith I guess that racial hatred has mainly have moved on from Jews to Pakistanis/Muslims or presumably he would have been the target of your ire.

            In terms of indigenous peoples, it tends to be countries or communities that are quite closed off to the rest of the world. Unfortunately for you Britain has a proud history of being a great country and therefore somewhere a lot of people have wanted to go to for a v long time.

          • Leftism is a societal cancer

            “Oh wow we got to the truth pretty quickly there” – No, we haven’t.

            “so is it Pakistanis on one side and everyone else on the other then?” – No, of course not.

            “Lucky for goldsmith I guess that racial hatred has mainly have moved on from Jews to Pakistanis/Muslims or presumably he would have been the target of your ire.” – I spoke out against Jewish subversion a number of times here.

            “In terms of indigenous peoples, it tends to be countries or communities that are quite closed off to the rest of the world. Unfortunately for you Britain has a proud history of being a great country and therefore somewhere a lot of people have wanted to go to for a v long time.” – Because of the people who lived here and built it. Also it doesn’t logically follow that because people want to move here that we should let them.

          • Alex

            Whether we should let them or not is a different argument, that is not what we’re discussing – people HAVE been coming to this country in huge numbers for a very long time, continually adding to what was already here, both subsumed in to the culture and adding to the culture. What level of immigration we allow from now was not the subject of this thread.

            I don’t understand what you mean by speaking out against Jewish subversion? What subversion?

            So where exactly is your dividing line on who you consider ‘British’? Do you have to have ancestry going back to the ice age? Or does it only have to go back one generation like Goldsmith? Do you wish people like Goldsmiths father hadn’t been allowed in to this country?

          • Leftism is a societal cancer

            The numbers we are seeing now are unprecedented in the history and the people coming in differ far more greatly than the people came in the past. Also the people who you are referring to (Saxons) came here as a result of invasions and not purely economic migration.

            Jews have been disproportionally involved in a number of subversive ideological movements including communism, feminism, homosexual promotion, anti-racism, etc. They are disproportionally in positions of power in the media, finance, law, etc. and use this power to subvert the culture of the native peoples of Europe.

            People of majority British stock going back a couple of generations. There does not need to be a hard dividing line.

            “Do you wish people like Goldsmiths father hadn’t been allowed in to this country?” – Yes. They were the ones we absolutely should never have let in as their preceding behaviour shows.

          • Alex

            Haha “homosexual promotion”. PLEASE tell me you are 80+ years old or I will actually feel quite sorry for you.

          • Leftism is a societal cancer

            Yes: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-politics/wp/2013/05/22/biden-jewish-leaders-helped-gay-marriage-succeed/

            I’m in my early twenties as are an ever growing number of rightists like myself. You’d be surprised. Although you are delusional and probably think that “progress” will go on for ever.

          • Alex

            Sorry to disappoint you but you guys lost! Even the Tories are pretty socially liberal now. Who else is there.. Ukip? Not even sure you can count them in if you listen to Carswell and many other leading members. Equality legislation is locked in place now, gay rights, disabled rights, etc, we are fairer and more progressive in how we treat minorities and the disadvantaged than we have ever been so think you might have to just get used to it.

          • Leftism is a societal cancer

            So delusional if you not only actually think that the political parties matter much at all but also think that these progressive ideas will last for ever. You clearly can’t see the wood for the trees if you can’t see what is coming.

          • Alex

            Tell me more mate, I’m all ears! You planning a revolution?

          • Leftism is a societal cancer

            There will be civil war in Europe within 3 decades.

          • Alex

            OK and then what?

          • Leftism is a societal cancer

            It depends on the outcome.

          • Leftism is a societal cancer

            Also good job ignoring the rest of the post.

          • Wake up people

            Regardless of whether you agree with homosexual promotion or not?.It’s the jew activists/lobbyists who have instigated and pushed it on us because they believe it will divide and degenerate us gentiles,most of these lobbyists don’t give a damn about homosexuals and their rights.Also, these jew lobbyists advocate the exact opposite for Israel, just like immigration where jew activist hypocrites like Barbara Spectre demand that us Europeans cram in as many immigrants as possible while she defends Israels anti-immigration policy.

  • Maureen Fisher

    I like Zac but would have voted for Tessa had Labour put her forward. An incomprehensible decision to sideline her.