Politics

Zac's campaign is as good as over; Labour will retake London

9 April 2016

9:00 AM

9 April 2016

9:00 AM

The Labour plotters who dream of ousting Jeremy Corbyn had high hopes for the local elections on 5 May. They envisaged a moment of humiliation for their leader in Scotland, Wales and England; a moment that would prove beyond doubt that the party’s leftwards lurch had narrowed its appeal and consigned it to the electoral wilderness. A good time, in other words, to stage a coup. Corbyn’s loyalists, for their part, had been preparing to blame the rebels and their constant sniping. Neither side imagined what now looks likely: that Labour might soon be celebrating a stunning victory in London.

The party is expecting a sharp decline in its total number of English council seats. This is quite a failing for a party in opposition: Labour has only twice before managed to lose council seats when not in government: in 1982, after the formation of the SDP broke the party in half, and in the local elections that followed the 1984–85 miners’ strike. A third failure would be bad news for Corbyn and his apparatchiks, who claim to be one of the most successful oppositions in history. In the elections for the Scottish Parliament, too, Labour finds itself in the humiliating position of having to vie with the Tories for second place. And in Wales it faces not just a Tory renaissance but a Ukip surge.

There are plenty of excuses. A Labour wipeout in Scotland could be written off as the result of decades of complacency and neglect. Problems in Wales can be put down to a backlash against being in government. And Corbyn could well blame his ‘Blairite’ critics in Parliament for poor English local election results — a huge compliment to the Labour rebels, given how few voters can name any of them.

But the countrywide councils failure will be shrugged off if Boris Johnson is replaced as London mayor by Sadiq Khan, a Labour candidate with close links to the Corbyn machine. Khan started this campaign as the underdog but is now leading the polls by a healthy margin. Bookmakers put his chances of victory at 88 per cent (see graph, above). Those around Tory candidate Zac Goldsmith are in despair, and think the race is as good as lost. Tories in Tooting, the constituency Khan will resign from if elected mayor, are already bracing themselves for a by-election.


Goldsmith’s campaign has struggled for a number of reasons. He doesn’t give the impression he’s all that bothered about winning — a problem given that he’s up against the scrappy, energetic Khan. Goldsmith spent his earlier years trying to avoid the media, who were always interested in the son of a billionaire. In showbiz, the photographers chase you. In politics, you need to chase the photographers. Senior Tories are frustrated that their candidate doesn’t seem to have made the switch. One says: ‘Boris won in London despite the party, but if Zac wins, it will be because of the party.’

That bodes ill for Zac, because the Conservative party has an ageing and dwindling base, especially in London. When Lynton Crosby helped Boris campaign four years ago, he complained that many Tory members were taking their afternoon naps when he needed them on the streets. Those members haven’t got any younger.

Tory MPs are ordered to help Goldsmith as much as possible. Behind the scenes, however, a number of them point to the upside of losing the capital: an impressive Khan victory could well mean a few more years of abysmal opposition from Jeremy Corbyn. They would do better to ask themselves why the party is failing so dramatically in the capital. Some of Goldsmith’s allies grumble that Khan was the biggest single beneficiary of George Osborne’s last Budget. The recent rows over welfare cuts and the EU referendum have made it much harder for London campaigners to get their message across.

Some Labour rebels, meanwhile, are dreading a Khan victory. As a backbencher says, the 5 May elections ‘will be mixed enough for everyone to get what they want from the results. Corbyn’s guys can say they’ve won London and a council here or there, and they’re making progress.’

If the Corbynites can make this claim, the nervous majority of Labour MPs will be even less inclined to support an immediate coup. The most aggressive plotters are already conceding that not enough of their colleagues are ready to support even ‘unity candidates’ such as Angela Eagle and Hilary Benn.

So now the moderates are changing tack. One group has been holding discussions about using Khan as a stalking horse — hoping that, after a decent interval, he will turn on Corbyn and prompt a leadership crisis. One Labour rebel explains why: ‘If Sadiq wins, the Corbynistas will go on a week-long bender on their own Kool Aid. But most people will see he won by rejecting everything Corbyn stands for and, after their initial triumphalism, Sadiq will have an enduring platform to demonstrate an alternative way of delivering Labour values.’ Khan will be one of the few Labour figures actually in government. Another plotter says: ‘Look at the way Sadiq turned on Jeremy after he was named the candidate: he’s not someone who could resist twisting the knife when the time is right.’

While Khan nominated Corbyn for the leadership, they are by no means allies. As a whip in Gordon Brown’s government, Khan had the grim duty of regularly calling Corbyn to establish whether he would be rebelling against his party (the answer was invariably yes). So the current calls from the leadership for MPs to toe the line must be particularly frustrating for him.

Those Labour MPs who refuse to fall into line behind Corbyn have spent the past few months looking lost and angry. They have always known that they wanted to get rid of him, but didn’t know how. Now they are edging closer to a solution — one that, bizarrely, will involve the Labour leader appearing to do well in an election in which he was supposed to fail, and a man who nominated him becoming the great hope of the Labour moderates. As the Corbynistas like to say: the struggle takes many forms.

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Show comments
  • misomiso

    Shame about having an islamist sympathiser for mayor though.

    • milford

      Yes I wish Zac would put a bit of effort into his campaign. HIs demeanour says ‘If I win I win, if I don’t I’m still a very nice good looking billionaire. How much better can it get?’ Whereas the Mohamedan is hungry for power, a driven man, who will put tremendous effort into getting where he wants to be.

    • rationality

      Exactly what TPTB want. They love seeing non white people in positions of power in our lands to make us feel impotent and seeing our decline. I suspect that this was a stitch up anyway and Goldsmith had no intention of becoming mayor.

      I’ve seen the electoral roll and the future is Islamic. Our best bet is to keep them in London unless we can kick em out.

  • Graham Thompson

    Racism just doesn’t play as well in London as certain other parts of the country.

    It’s difficult to make people hate and fear immigrants or muslims when they actually know some.

    • Rbeastlondon

      It is knowledge that has many people hate and fear Muslims which is why they move away from them.

      • Graham Thompson

        Ah, that will explain why the London housing market performs so badly compared to the rest of the country.

        • rationality

          The banks and big landlords own much of the property. Its the blueprint for the Brave New Third World they have planned. Cheap, low IQ workforce paying most of their wages for a tiny property. This is the future.

        • Steed

          Try having a look at the most expensive areas… they ain’t the Muslim areas…

          • Graham Thompson

            From that bastion of the hard left and propaganda sheet for multiculturalism, the Daily Mail…

            Wealthy families from the Middle East are buying up London’s luxury homes in the wake of the area’s instability and now make up a tenth of all buyers in
            the exclusive Mayfair area.

            In recent years, Middle Eastern governments and sovereign funds have
            ploughed their vast resources into the capital, buying development sites
            and high-value buildings, according to research by a Mayfair property
            firm.

            They have spent £4.4billion since 2006 and now control nine of central
            London’s largest development sites, equating to 28,000 new homes.

            The super-rich have also bought prime residential properties in Knightsbridge, Mayfair, Kensington, Belgravia and Regent’s Park – so
            much so that half of all buyers of Mayfair property worth more than
            £10million are from the Gulf.

            Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2727212/How-wealthy-Gulf-Arabs-buying-huge-swathes-capital-including-150m-Mayfair-property-year-alone.html#ixzz459oiYRls

          • mohdanga

            test

          • mohdanga

            Err, these are all areas populated (still) by that vanishing breed, the white, English speaking Brit. Perhaps you could focus more on enriched areas such as Tower Hamlets, and other cities that have been overrun, oops, enriched by the Muslims. Odd that Middle eastern wealthy families aren’t setting up shop in predominantly Muslim enclaves, but choose to live where the infidel is.

          • Steed

            The above article refers to the ownership of developments not actual people moving here. The facts do not support you here.

            The borough of Westminster (which is incidentally where I live) and which contains Mayfair is about 18% Muslim, so above the average of 12% Muslim in London but hardly a “Muslim area”. Mayfair certainly isn’t, although certain areas of Paddington are. It would be more accurate to say that s**tholes such as Tower Hamlets (35% Muslim) or Newham (32% Muslim) are. When you look at the house price performance of these areas you see them drastically under performing the wider housing market – http://blogs.ft.com/ftdata/2013/08/16/safe-as-house-prices-the-data-behind-londons-boom/

    • Blindsideflanker

      Well Anglophobic racism seems to work , for Khan views English people as ‘ Little Englanders’ something he was happy to broadcast on the BBC’s Question Time.

      • thomas_paine2

        Are SNP supporters ‘Little Scotlanders’ (England is 50,000 square miles, Scotland is 30,000).

    • trobrianders

      But it’s easy to make people fear speaking truth if it means being labelled racist.

  • steven_green

    Was this article written in the back of a taxi – shallow and fatuous – Spectator readers expect a bit more analysis and insight than this lazy piece.

    • Maino1

      Not anywhere near as shallow and fatuous as your comment.

  • rolandfleming

    Persuasive analysis. Logical conclusion: Sadiq Kahn = next labour prime minister.

  • TheJustCity

    Sadiq will have an enduring platform to demonstrate an alternative way of delivering Labour values.

    Those will be Islamist values and, sorry, these have no alternative. Whether you’re Sadiq Khan or Mishal Hussein.

    • Bonce

      The islam victim groups, islam QUANGO’s, must be rubbing their hands with excitement. They will be receiving large amounts of money to do “important work” over the course of the next 4 years.

  • Bonce

    Tory SHOCK.
    Put up a Liberal Democrat-Conservative, who holds the same ideas about everything as his opponent…and then scratch your heads and wonder why no one who is actually a real conservative or, would ever vote for you.
    It was another example of a tactical blunder by the Conservative party.
    To beat Khan you would need someone who could attract all of the conservatives plus a number of UKIP supporters.
    Someone who is also a normal human being, not a millionaire toff…
    This was an appointment in Dave’s own image, and it has Dave’s Lib Dem finger prints all over it.

    • tjamesjones

      Yeah, a normal human being, not a millionaire toff, someone like Boris. Oh, wait..

      • Bonce

        He gets a pass by most of the voters in London for that, because of his charismatic personality…
        Do you disagree with Goldsmith being a lib dem tory?
        This is essentially the real problem…but I guess Dave made the decision, because its the kind of tactical error Dave makes on a regular basis.

    • Dacorum

      Zac is a supporter of Brexit. He should therefore get all the UKIP second preference votes.

      • Bonce

        I did not know that. I assumed with all of the other lib dem policies he has, that he would also be pro-EU…I do not think many UKIP voters will be voting for him, just call it a hunch. I think many will sit on their hands, as the UKIP candidate is very meek.

        • Dacorum

          Zac has been a long standing supporter of Brexit on principle. His late father founded the Referendum Party.
          It would be a big mistake for UKIP supporters NOT to vote for him as second choice.

          • thomas_paine2

            You’re right, the late James was trying to convert the Conservative Party and humiliated David Mellor at Putney ; even Heseltine had a sneaking regard for him probably because he was hugely wealthy. But you can’t buy your way out of the cemetery, pancreatic cancer got him at the early age of 64.

          • gunnerbear

            But Zac is a massive green and wants UK heavy industry destroyed.

  • tjamesjones

    No evidence is provided here that Khan was ever “the underdog”. Labour won the first 2 London mayoral elections with Ken Livingston, and it was quite an achievement by Boris to win what is essentially prime Labour territory (lots of bureaucrats, lots of immigrants, lots of students). Zac isn’t particularly inspiring but London is natural labour territory, and the Tory candidate will always start as underdog.

    • Bonce

      Good points.
      But you do not win as a Conservative in London, by being centre-left>left.
      The Labour party has that sewn up.
      You win as a Conservative in London, by being a conservative. There are actual Conservatives in London and if you could mobilise them to vote in large numbers, its still winnable today. (Although, not in 8-12 years if population trends continue, given the ethnic makeup of most London school kids)
      Boris won by using the force of his charismatic personality to attract voters from everywhere…

      • jennybloggs

        Boris also won because many people were fed up with Ken. Ken was past his sell by date.

  • The Dybbuk

    I realise that this is hard for for many to stomach but the level of dissent in the tory ranks far outstrips anything within Labour. When Gove can accuse his own Government of timing the publishing of the case to Remain as a way of deflecting attention away from Cameron’s tax and inheritance problems then whatever else it shows it is that post the referendum the internecine fighting will be impossible to control. This, I think, rather than a Khan win in London will be the fillip to the Corbyn camp. Cameron is now dead meat but will his followers be ready to embrace the alternatives now using anything to undermine his leadership. Both Labour and Tories now have the same problem. Whichever the voters choose is seemingly beyond the control of either party machine at the present time.

  • Billo Qasira

    Watch out for the ‘Shy Zac’ vote!
    Are Labour really putting their hopes in the man who propagandised and promoted the al Qaeda recruiter Babar Ahmad who mentored jihadis? Who sided with Islamists? Who peddled the Islamist narrative that ‘we’ are responsible for extremism? Who played the divisive game of racial politics all his life? Who is part of the diversity scam? Who says anyone concerned about his past positions is ‘Islamophobic’ and ‘racist’? Are they really going to put all their eggs in this basket? Is that the man they want as their flagship anti-Corbyn leader? To propose him as a possible Prime Minister?

    • judyk113

      This is all based on bookie odds and betting that failed to predict the outcome of the 2015 General election. There are an awful lot of Jewish voters in London, they are in the habit of turning out to vote, and they will vote solidly against Khan, that you can count on. The Jewish vote helped Boris win against predictions in both 2008 (when it was predicted that Livingstone would win) and 2012.

      • Billo Qasira

        the most insidious part of this is the constant declaration that to call into question his judgment because of his association with various Islamists, and his peddling of the victimhood narrative, that we are ‘Islamophobic’. That should be a wake up call to everyone. He has questions to answer and he gets away with it because of that shield. Let us also not forget he was at the forefront of the push for blasphemy laws under Labour under the veneer or outlawing ‘Islamophobia’ and said before the last election that Labour would push those laws again. There is a conspiracy of silence about him. He is shifty and untrustworthy. He was pushing for Israel boycotts in the past!

        • anonuk

          I saw him on HIGNFY. What a humourless, touchy snowflake he is! I thought it was just the Labour wimmin who were like that…

      • Billo Qasira

        Put it this way. If a Tory mayoral candidate had supported and lobbied for a convicted propagandist and recruiter for a neo-Nazi pro Anders Breivik terrorist organisation he’d be hauled over the coals for it. Khan supported, lobbied and effectively propagandised for Babar Ahmad for years. Its outrageous!

        • BritishPatriot

          Yes, but while we would expect better behaviour than that from Tories we don’t expect it from Muslims 🙂

      • trobrianders

        Our culture has swapped Reason, upon which all our prior success was based, for Correctness. And there’s no means of redress unless you vote for Adolph Hitler apparently.

        • gunnerbear

          And you know that in some of the ‘shires, AHs policies on law ‘n’ order would be seen as a bit ‘wishy-washy’.

      • Frank

        Not sure that (on your numbers) 100,000 voters will make any difference. I also suspect that having Khan in place will allow the Government to be much tougher on the dodgy mosques, etc as they can point to Khan to show how open-minded the town is.

        • Billo Qasira

          Khan is bad news. He has a long history of siding with Islamists and Jihadis like Babar Ahmad. He has constantly peddled Islamist victimhood narratives and lobbied for a blasphemy law protecting Islam under the veneer of ‘hate crime’. He lobbies for special privileges and rights and affirmative action for Muslims, using the ‘extremist’ card, ie, to stop Muslims becoming extremists we must bend over backwards for Muslims. No other minority group in London or Britain receives this patronage.

          • Frank

            Don’t disagree that he is probably bad news, just making the point that his election may allow for stronger reaction against our lovely home-grown nutters.

          • Billo Qasira

            I think rather than that Khan will provide a platform for opposition to meaningful action against them, as well as against Islamisation in general, for things like the growth of parallel sharia law courts. His instincts are to view Britain as the enemy and at fault for all evil, and to view everything in terms of Islamophobia. I can see him empowering those who oppose crackdowns on Islamists and jihadis in our society

          • Billo Qasira

            Mind you, if Khan does govern according to his instincts and obstruct the govt cracking down on Islamists it will condemn Labour even more in the eyes of the rest of the electorate outside London

          • jennybloggs

            All of that may be true. Khan is a consummate politician and Goldsmith isn’t.
            Consummate politicians tend to win political fights. I heard Khan speaking on tv re housing. He was very good on that topic. It is a topic of fundamental importance to many.

          • Jeffrey Vernon

            The Babar Ahmed case is very well known. His website published two articles supporting the Taliban 15 years ago. This led to a quite extraordinary campaign to prosecute and extradite him. I might tell you that at that time, white boys were dropping out of Cambridge and going to join the mojahedin as soldiers of fortune, but that’s by the by. Ahmed pleaded guilty to a charge of conspiracy and served 12 months in a US jail. The judge went out of her way to say that he had never supported terrorism or was engaged in a plot. The defence campaign in Britain was huge, and not confined to Sadiq Khan (who called for him to be prosecuted in the UK). If this is your idea of dangerous jihadis and islamists, I don’t think we have much to worry about. As for the divisive politics of race and censorship, all of that is now, alas mainstream – I do not go along with the politics of offence myself, but Sadiq Khan is not its most prominent spokesman.

  • Arclight101

    How did the Conservatives ever imagine that Zac Goldsmith was a good candidate for Mayor of London? Aloof and detached, he acted like it was still 1956 and he could breeze in simply for being a Tory. It’s all been a massive mistake.

    More’s the pity because Sadiq Kahn is a race baiting Islamist, who’s going to spend the next 4 years dividing London.

    • Billo Qasira

      Khan’s links with Babar Ahmad will damn him to the rest of the country, and the fact that he leads London for Labour, and Labour will push him as a high profile figure, will make Labour even more unelectable outside the capital

    • thomas_paine2

      London was created by our Roman occupiers, nobody has changed it since, except superficially.

      • anonuk

        The Luftwaffe had a good go- and if Islam”ists” get their teeth into London’s governance, the damage could be even worse. I can’t see Jews, Hindus and Sikhs wanting to stick around for a start. If you were Jewish, Hindu or Sikh, would you want to stay in a city where Islamists were in government?

        • thomas_paine2

          Have faith in the Church of England ably led by the Very Reverend Dr Justin Welby who resides in Lambeth Palace right on the South Bank across from Westminster.

          • anonuk

            In 50 years, 20% of the present C of E membership will be in what remains of the RCs, another 20% in the various dissipated Protestant groupings which remain and 60% will have either lost faith in God altogether or joined the Muslims. A constitutional Church is an anachronism and its last vestiges will die within a decade of the present Queen.

          • thomas_paine2

            I’m not so sure you’re not being a little too pessimistic. Actually I believe and have for years that the London the Romans created still exists and always will : money will always trump Muslems in that capital of ours.

          • uglyfatbloke

            One could always hope.

  • Chingford Man

    My view is that Labour would have won the Mayoralty in 2012 if it could have kept Red Ken away from the nomination. Even then Boris won only a very narrow victory and I think Tessa Jowell would have beaten him easily. Given demographic changes in London, noticeable even in the “doughnut” suburbs vital to the Tories, and Johnson’s departure, it is now Labour’s to lose. Goldsmith’s presumed inadequacies as a candidate, whether real or otherwise, aren’t material. I am sure the Remainiacs will set Goldsmith the Brexiteer up as a scapegoat if the Tories do lose, but that will be more to do with Tory infighting in advance of 23 June.

    • thomas_paine2

      Tessa who?

  • Nonsense. London is as Tory as it comes, just like the rest of the country.

    • trobrianders

      By Tory you mean left wing and not Marxist like Labour?

  • Colin

    Zac has basically three weeks to start fighting this creep. The only possible, good outcome from a khan victory, is that when the inevitable corruption, cronyism, vote fixing and graft are eventually exposed, it will make what happened in Tower Hamlets look like a Gnat bite on a Hippo’s @rse. And, that may finally push the authorities into eradicating the egregious vote rigging, once and for all. You can bet your golden invite to your uncle jamal’s goat gang bang, that every vote fixing, “businessman” and “community leader” is working day and night to get the right result.

    • mandamus

      Hahaha and I thought you were describing the Tories. No wonder the Telegraph closed comments with all these racist comments

      • Colin

        How can you be racist towards goats ?

      • anonuk

        Maybe some of “Colin’s” comment was pure racism, but there really is and always has been a much greater incidence of political corruption and vote rigging in “Asian” areas- and I’m not talking about the Chinese. Do you really think it impossible that Sadiq Khan’s mayoralty will show some of the same tendencies that led to the downfall of Lutfur Rahman?

        • Colin

          You cannot be racist towards goats.

  • judyk113

    Based on the best available demographic analysis of the numbers of Jewish voters in London, there are about 93,000 of us spread across the London constituencies. In the Mayoral vote, it’s decided on total vote count, not on constituency count. Given the endless stream of stories about very unpleasant antisemitic outbursts in the Labour Party, including targeting of two Jewish women MPs in the most nasty terms, and the refusal of Corbyn to do anything about it other than make repeated ritual declarations that antisemitism and Islamophobia are unacceptable, the Jewish electorate of London will vote very solidly against Sadiq Khan. See pages 22-23 of this document for the numbers. Jews are enthusiastic about voting, and our age profile is older, which increases the turnout percentages. Some Jews who are lifelong Labour supporters have been leaving the Labour Party. Others, like myself who voted for Blair’s Labour, will never vote for Labour under Corbyn. Both Finchley and Hendon were predicted by newspaper pundits of the sort Isobel Hardman seems to be influenced by to go Labour at the last election. They went emphatically Tory, with greatly increased majorities. In the 2012 Mayoral election, the votes for London Assembly members in those constituencies went Labour. But the Mayoral vote went Tory, for Boris, who remains hugely popular in the Jewish community. In this election, the opprobrium, now attaching to the Labour Party will be such that the Tory vote percentage amongst Jewish voters should be rather higher.

    The Jewish community is also much better informed than the wider community about Sadiq Khan’s track record of supporting and campaigning for Islamist terrorists, and about the fact that he regularly lobbied the government when he was a Shadow Minister of Justice, to impose sanctions against Israel when it was fighting back against massive missile attack from Hamas in Gaza.

    They are not going to be taken in by his current professions of support and dedication to fighting antisemitism. He is weeping crocodile tears over the current scandals over antisemitism in the Labour Party but actually doing zilch about it.

    http://www.jpr.org.uk/documents/JPR.Where_Jewish_votes_may_matter_most.Guide_to_2015_General_Election.pdf

    Although London does of course have a very large Muslim electorate and some constituencies in which there are very large numbers with very close shared communal roots, it is very diverse indeed, including large blocs of Muslims from communities which want nothing to do with Islamism or traditional Pakistani or Bangladeshi communal politics.

    There is also a huge Hindu community, with a very large percentage living in local authority areas like Harrow and Brent. They too do not tend any longer to vote en bloc, but they are unlikely to be attracted by Sadiq Khan’s plea to vote for him as a Muslim in order to show the world that London is positive about Muslims.

    Isobel Hardman wrote a whole series of Spectator articles bigging up Ed Miliband and Labour’s chances in the run up to the last election. This article smacks of the same wishful thinking.

    • Shazza

      I really, really hope your analysis is correct.

    • Billo Qasira

      I hope you’re right. My sense is that people will fear saying they’re not voting Khan when contacted by pollsters because of the bullying by the Left and by Labour towards those who have doubts about him because of his long association with, and promotion of Islamists, Jihadists, and the Islamist narrative. Thus a ‘shy Tory’ thing is in play again. I also get the sense that Goldsmith’s vote is holding up well in outer London which are very important and Khan is not making headway there.

    • Billo Qasira

      “they are unlikely to be attracted by Sadiq Khan’s plea to vote for him as a Muslim in order to show the world that London is positive about Muslims.”

      — See here is the thing. Khan and Labour threw his religion into the ring first. They’re literally saying ‘vote for Khan because he’s Muslim’ and also saying that if we don’t vote for him we’re bigots. Its a form of bullying and its outrageous. It also makes them the ones who play the divisive religion card. It makes me angry. And I hope it makes the voters in London too. Its essentially saying, ‘Vote for me, or else…..”

    • Dominic Stockford

      Except that the Bookies are rarely wrong.

      • thomas_paine2

        it has been known.

      • judyk113

        The bookies always make a profit, but not because they correctly predict the outcome of an election. Making a book consists of calculating possible losses and making sure the odds are modified as the betting window remains open to ensure they’ll be able to pay out. Bookies only ever make losses when huge favourites win and they end up not having sufficiently hedged their bets. Bookies will making thumping profits if Corbyn wins.

    • Maureen Fisher

      Hope you’re right.

    • John P Hughes

      An important commentary which we don’t usually read in the mainstream press. The Jewish community used to vote Labour 50 years ago (Harold Wilson’s time) rather than Conservative or Liberal, for a number of historical and social reasons. That has gradually changed, over the decades, to the point when the Conservatives received the most votes from Jewish voters in 2015. (The Jewish Chronicle probably has published some estimates, though sound polling on this sensitive matter seems unlikely.)
      Until Margaret Thatcher’s time at No 10, the Jewish community tilted to Labour. She changed that, attracting a great many members of the community to the Tories. Her role in this change has been analysed ever since she left office. The JC articles about her and the UK Jewish community, following her death in 2013, are most instructive.
      In the run-up to the most recent General Election, it was David Cameron and Theresa May who came across as stalwart backers of the British Jewish community. Cameron was clear in his support for Israel. Mrs May as Home Secretary was firm in telling the police to deal effectively with anti-semitic attacks, which they generally did. As Foreign Secretary William Hague, who has always been a strong supporter of Israel, pushed the Foreign Office away from its pro-Arab tendency; it does not seem to have reverted to its old ways under Philip Hammond.
      London Jewish voters seem likely to repeat their choice in 2015 by voting Conservative next month.

      • judyk113

        Thanks for the appreciative comment. I agree with your article, but Hague was not pro Israel. He specifically said that he wanted to detach the UK from following US policy on Israel.

        At the time of the Hezbollah initiation of soldier kidnaps and missile attacks on Israel in 2006, he firmly called the Israeli response disproportionate (which under the laws of war it was not). He also upgraded the recognition of the Palestinian Authority (not a recognised state) to having its envoy here formally recognised as an Ambassador.

        Philip Hammond does not have this hostile attitude, having no great interest in the Israeli Palestinian conflict. But he stands firmly behind the deal with Iran, and has not been ready to acknowledge the validity of Israeli and Jewish community objections (Iranian terror targets Jews outside Israel as well as having its proxies fire missiles at Israel).

        • alberto

          Muh…..

      • Mr B J Mann

        “As Foreign Secretary William Hague, who has always been a strong supporter of Israel, pushed the Foreign Office away from its pro-Arab tendency”

        I thought his chief advise was an activist Muslim?!

    • Jeffrey Vernon

      The ‘jewish electorate’ is as fictitious as the ‘muslim community.’ People will vote on political lines as they always do. Some jewish organisations campaigned against Livingstone making exactly the same claim of antisemitism, and on grounds that were just as flimsy; they had been on the same room as a radical muslim, a member of the party criticised Israel, someone else had used the word Zionist, and that kind of thing. If you want to vote for Goldsmith go ahead – just don’t pretend that your political leanings are really a race question. Jewish socialists will vote for Khan, and jewish conservatives will vote for Goldsmith.

      • judyk113

        Dismissing statements in a dismissive tone doesn’t make what you have to say true. This is nothing much to do with what one person’s vote is. Jews are not a race anyway; they are an ethnic/religious group. The Jewish electorate and the Jewish vote are not fictions. They are not a single bloc, but there are constituencies where it can be demonstrated by psephological research that there are some Jewish voting patterns, and the voting of Jews is more influenced by particular issues in one direction or another than their neighbours and other psephologically comparable groups. Professor Geoffrey Alderman has been analysing Jewish voting patterns in constituencies over many decades and has demonstrated such patterns. Here in 2010 he refers to two London constituencies where he predicted the outcome might be affected by Jewish voters’ views.

        http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2010/apr/19/jewish-vote-really-does-count

        http://www.jpost.com/International/Britains-Jewish-Vote

        In the event, both constituencies went Tory as the Jewish voters perceived the Tories more in tune with their issues. In 2015 the same constituencies were widely predicted to go Labour; but for the same reason, particularly Jewish voters’ lack of confidence in Ed Miliband (as demonstrated by a Survation sample poll of a panel of 900 Jewish voters selected by Survation), both constituencies went decisively Tory, against the trend of, other London constituencies.

        The solidly pro-Labour Dave Rich, researcher for the Jewish Community Security Trust (also solid Labour supporters) (writing in the US socialist Jewish newspaper The Forward) attested that London’s Jews did not vote for Ken Livingstone in 2012’s Mayoral election, despite a very long tradition of them voting Labour.
        http://forward.com/opinion/156462/london-jews-relieved-at-livingstones-loss/

        This is actually easy enough to demonstrate, as in the borough with the largest percentage of Jews, Barnet, the voters in Jewish wards tended to vote for Boris for Mayor whilst voting Labour for the London Assembly member (for which Andrew Dismore was elected– but he was rejected by Hendon’s voters in the 2015 General Election because the Jewish population voted heavily for Matthew Offord because of dislike of Miliband and distrust of Labour.

        http://www.thejc.com/news/uk-news/135963/election-2015-live-results-blog

        • Jeffrey Vernon

          I was replying to what I regarded as your slur about support for terrorists. Two Labour mayoral candidates have been (improbably in my view) accused of this. The psephological data are interesting,and I didn’t know about them. But aren’t they telling us that Jewish voters just go along with the national mood? Livingstone lost, Milliband lost. What would be remarkable is a Jewish vote for the losing candidate.

          • judyk113

            No, the Jewish voters in the situations I have referred to were not going along with the national mood. It is very probable that the imbalance of Jewish constituency votes in Barnet (which were 10,000 more for Boris than votes for the Labour AM Dismore–each voter had two votes, one for the Mayor and one for the AM) were decisive in getting Boris elected as Mayor. Had the Jews of Barnet and elsewhere in London voted in line with their AM votes, Livingstone would have become Mayor. The evidence about Sadiq Khan supporting a terrorist is not a “slur”. It is a fact that he actually **led** the campaign to prevent Babar Ahmad being extradited to the USA where, Khan’s campaign having failed, Ahmad was convicted and sent to jail. http://henryjacksonsociety.org/2013/10/17/a-reply-to-sadiq-khan/ In respect of Livingstone, the evidence is much worse than mere support for terrorism http://forward.com/opinion/156462/london-jews-relieved-at-livingstones-loss/

          • Jeffrey Vernon

            Babar Ahmed was jailed for 12 months on a plea bargain charge of conspiracy; as the judge said in her summing up, there was no evidence that he was a terrorist or was involved in a plot. The UK campaign against his extradition was huge, and all kinds of people lent their name to it. In the end, what was at stake? In 2001, his website published two articles supporting the Taliban government. I was at Cambridge at the time, and I knew white boys who dropped out to go and join the mujahedin as soldiers of fortune; they came back and gave illustrated lectures of their gap year in Afghanistan. What BA did fell far short of that. If that is the key plank the antisemitism charge rests on, it does not look very substantial. Your Livingstone link does not help your argument either; it grudgingly admits ‘Livingstone is not an anti-Semite. He harbors no visceral dislike of Jews, and he repeatedly cites the Holocaust as the benchmark of evil. He speaks warmly and genuinely of the Jewish contribution to London and did much to promote Jewish life during his time as mayor…’ Once again, the argument is about Israel, Zionism, the history of the British Mandate. For some Jews, this is a real touchstone; it is not enough for KL to be free of taint, he has to go along with one approved and selective version of history, in which we don’t mention the embarrassing past of some Zionist leaders, or express any reservations about Israel today. His ‘concentration camp’ jibe to journalist Oliver Feingold was in poor taste, but the rest of it has been expunged from memory: ‘you are just doing your job, is that it?’ In short, the antisemitism claims make a great deal out of very little – I don’t say that Jews are unique in this respect, muslim and christian spokesmen are just as touchy about perceived affronts, and go running off to hate speech watchdogs, but it all goes with the correct temper of the times.

  • Bob3

    Why all the fuss, we have had two London Mayors from supposedly opposite ends of the political spectrum and both have been EU target and directive rubber stampers, it is a non job all we are doing is voting for a different type of public relations.

  • Dacorum

    Zac’s only chance of winning is that a sufficiently large number of non Muslim voters vote against Sadiq and vote for Zac, either as first or second choice, to keep him out.

  • locomotion

    What a true sign of the times, and a symbol of changing demography, that the capital city of England is about to have a Muslim mayor. If you’d told this to Londoners 50 years ago, or less, they’d have laughed in your face.
    So prepare for several years of race-hustling, division, casual corruption and ethnic conflict, folks, you sure got it coming.

    • milford

      …and mega mosque building. It will really help the Muslims get stuck in where they want to be: In the upper echelons of British politics. God help us.

    • anonuk

      Is Sadiq Khan going to be another Lutfur Rahman, then, just on a much larger scale?

      Let’s see where we are in 5 years.

    • jennybloggs

      The idea of giving London a mayor was an appalling idea. If London still had the GLC it would be better governed.

    • Jeffrey Vernon

      50 years ago no-one would have known what you meant. Muslims were invented in 1988, with the Rushdie affair. Before that, anyone with a brown skin and an Arabic or Indian surname was referred to as asian or pakistani, or even as black. I doubt that Sadiq Khan has stepped into a mosque in his life except on election campaigns.

  • Wet lettuces the lot of em

    I have heard next to nothing from the Zac campaign throughout this election.

    Nor have I heard a word from Cast Iron Dave.

    It gives me the impression that the Tories are happy for the Islamic and far-left factions of the Labour Party to remain strong in London, as a result further alienating their traditional working class voter base in the heartlands.

    Frankly having visited our capital a few times recently I think it makes sense for a Muslim to be its mayor.

    • Dominic Stockford

      It might ‘make sense’, but it will hurt. especially for those of us living and ministering here.

  • Alltaxationistheft

    Goldsmith or Kahn,pitty poor old London

    • thomas_paine2

      don’t worry, it doesn’t matter who is mayor of London, people behind the scenes pull the levers and press the buttons ; Bojo hasn’t done a thing in the last five years, just enjoy himself.

    • Dominic Stockford

      Least worst, Goldsmith. By streets.

  • trobrianders

    We have traded Reason for Correctness. Of course London is going to have a Muslim mayor. The rapid decline passes another marker. Perhaps having a Muslim mayor will hasten the coming right wing backlash. I hope it does.

    • Dominic Stockford

      Where there is hope there is life…

    • TrulyDisqusted

      It will be a right-wing backlash in parliament itself once they realise that they’ve given away their life of privilege and shoo ins.

      They’ll find out the hard way that rather than being Masters of the Universe, for generations all of the nice things in life were handed to them on a government funded, government favoured plate.

      Well the new ethnic political class will want to reward their own too which means the privileged lives our political class have taken for granted will end.

      Pity Israel when British nuclear subs are under the control of a Muslim Prime Minister and Muslim Cabinet!

  • Yorkman99

    Opposition parties do not win elections – it is those in power who lose them. If Labour do well it’s because of Cameron and the idiot he calls Chancellor.

    • thomas_paine2

      well said, agreed but hopefully they’re damaged after the referendum whichever way the vote goes.

  • He says ‘his’ government is pro-EU thus this spending his justified, but that’s bollocks. The Torys are split down the middle on this, so technically that £9 million should be halved as the other half of the party wants to leave. So what Dave has done is undemocratic, but that’s what I’d expect from the Eurocrat, they love to deny the existence of democracy and rule how they please.

  • Sir Derek Trotter OBE

    Why are the Telegraph and Guardian closing down comments online?

    • No idea.

      • Sir Derek Trotter OBE

        State security breach online through comments?

    • Graham Thompson

      Too much racism. Once the telegraph did it, a lot of the racists moved to the guardian, hence…

      • thomas_paine2

        don’t think that’s the reason.

        • Graham Thompson

          That’s the reason they gave, and it looks entirely plausible to me.

          I think the misogyny was a problem too, but mainly the racism.

          • John Andrews

            The Guardian is not allowing comment on the Panama Papers . You’d think they’d love everyone piling in against the Tories – but maybe they don’t want comments on their own tax affairs.

          • anonuk

            To be fair, Mossack Fonseca are lawyers and desperate, cornered lawyers at that. The Graun doesn’t want all the BTLers to end up in court, or for them to cause specific problems for the newspaper, as all the newspapers and media outlets involved in this leak are deliberately acting in concert.

          • anonuk

            What the Guardian sees as misogyny is often no such thing, but clear rebuttals of the wilder man-hating excesses of the feminist movement. Of course, Radhika Sanghani of the Telegraph stopped comments on her articles because so many people were pointing out what an abysmal writer she was, quite outside of her feminism. Julie Bindel had the same problem in the Guardian, but at least she faced the BTL music when she wrote her “Men Are Beasts” columns.

        • marvin

          You are right! See my comment above!

      • Sir Derek Trotter OBE

        The Guardian gave in to racism lol

        • marvin

          Does anyone remember that the EU passed legislation to prevent certain editorials from publishing certain material? In particular, those editorials that benefitted from EU funding!

          • Planet Vague

            No, I don’t remember it, for the simple reason that it never happened.

      • Cyril Sneer

        You have no idea what racism is, clearly.

      • marvin

        Please describe what you understand to be racism? Your response is rather confusing. Surely by referring to one class of people in favour of another as your comment states, is exactly that which you are complaining about. I have not read hardly anything ‘racist’ in the responding comments in any of the newspapers.

      • Planet Vague

        Twaddle. We all moved to the Spectator and Breitbart.

    • Cyril Sneer

      Because it is now undeniable that the majority of comments are now anti-mass immigration, anti-Islam and anti-EU. And it’s hardly surprising really.

      I regularly visit the Guardian comment is free forum to enjoy the sight of lefty commentators destroying the Guardian on just about any subject.

    • davidshort10

      The Guardian has been ‘moderating’ any views it does not like for years so presumably people now can’t be bothered to read a forum that has been brutally censored like some kind of banana republic. And they might have run out of rich kid moderators interning for no money while the senior staff feast on the zillions the Guardian got for its share of the Auto Trader sale and thoughtfully kept more of it by using a Cayman Islands shell company.

    • marvin

      Because the truth hurts those who receive financial benefit from the EU!

    • Planet Vague

      Because 99% of online comments are worthless, no more than the incoherent gibbering of the mentally impaired.

      • jeremy Morfey

        Are you implying this mirrors the political competence of the general electorate?

      • 100

        And here you are with a prime example

  • thomas_paine2

    Jeremy Corbyn’s position as Labour leader is invincible, no member of the PLP will dare to be a Daniel because they’re either all careerists or past caring.

    • Billo Qasira

      any attempt to unseat him will fail because the membership who decides is on his side. ‘Moderate’ Labour are going to have to plan for after 2020. Corbyn is going nowhere, and if he does for whatever reason step aside, McDonnell will be the next leader, voted for by the far-left Labour membership

      • thomas_paine2

        British politics, difficult if not impossible to predict. So is the EU referendum result, too many under 40s believe that it might be safer to stay as we are, never mind that our great nation is subjugated by Bruxelles or Berlin.

        • marvin

          The EU result is a surety unless the election is subjected to illegal actions. There are hundreds of 15 – 40 year old people who know as much about politics as a seasoned politician – and they are determined that they want the UK out of the EU!
          Millions of graduates in the UK want the UK out of the EU – they have witnessed their colleagues having to endure the hopeless task of finding secure employment at a decent salary – they know that they will face the same or have to move abroad. They have seen how the once revered position as a medical doctor has now been reduced to that of an obedient servant! They have seen how the once highly respected position of an educator has become no more than that of a regurgitater of EU rules! For the first time ever, it has been noted that London salaries have reduced to that below suburban areas!
          Figures released by our own government have shown that the GDP of the UK has been steadily declining since 1973, when we joined the Union.
          Figures released by the TUC show that unemployment is at the highest level ever known in the UK. The number of jobs lost when we joined the EU was ten times the figure that they are falsely quoting if we leave the EU!

          • thomas_paine2

            Believe me when I tell you, I almost pray for a decisive LEAVE on June 23, to the extent that Dave, if he’s still Prime Minister by then will not dare question ; let’s hope the ‘fear factor’ is revealed as total BS by then.

          • Jeffrey Vernon

            I hope you’re right, but as I read the polls most people under 30 want to stay in. The graduate employment argument is not convincing; at present there are large numbers of European graduates in Britain, and they are competing for the same jobs – but if we leave the EU, employers will still be able to recruit them, AND hoover up Indian and Australian and Russian graduates in large numbers.

          • gunnerbear

            “They have seen how the once revered position as a medical doctor has now been reduced to that of an obedient servant!” I’ve just got to ask…how is that an ‘EU issue’?

      • Daidragon

        I seriously doubt the PLP would allow McDonald onto the ballot. That’s one lesson they will have learned from the Corbyn farce. Never ‘lend’ your nomination to the loony left.

      • Jeffrey Vernon

        McDonnell wanted to stand last time round, but he has a heart complaint, and will not put himself forward next time. If there was a leadership election tomorrow, Hilary Benn would stand a chance, but anything could happen in a year or so.

  • Frank

    The London mayoral election is a proxy vote on this Government, so any sane candidate other than Zac would walk it!

  • Dominic Stockford

    And those of us living in London, but conservative in faith and nature, will be lost along with London.

    • Father Todd Unctious

      They seem keener to lose Cameron. The useless tax cheat.

  • anonuk

    “Sadiq will have an enduring platform to demonstrate an alternative way of delivering Labour values.”

    Does the Labour Party stand for the regular, underpaid, people of the country, irrespective of this and that, or for disparate and quarrelling groups of minority-interest communities trying to out-compete each other on privilege and oppression points? That’s the question Labour have had to face, since Harold Wilson at least. The answer swung dramatically to the latter during the Blair years and I can’t see Sadiq Khan improving things at all.

    Imagine the central zone, from Camden to Canary Wharf, full of futures and hedgies traders living in multi-million pound flats owned by the oiligarchies of the world, where the cleaners (and the teachers, nurses and everyone else) have to travel in from Sarfend and Warsaw. This zone is surrounded by a poverty ring of dingy fried-chicken places and high crime, interspersed by ever growing numbers of mosques. Then the suburbs, from which non-Muslim minorities have fled or been pushed out. This is not why people join or vote for the Labour party, but it could well be where we are if Khan is in for 10 years.

    • jeremy Morfey

      I don’t completely agree with your withering demolition of London values being something that will happen in 10 years. Isn’t it quite a good description of what London is today, and what any party will have to aspire to if it is to attract the London vote?

      I keep away from the place myself – Worcestershire is just about far enough upwind of it.

  • ROUCynic

    Pity Goldsmith decided to trash any remaining credibility he had on his sleazy ‘attack’ campaign. Yet another out of touch Tory with no moral compass.

  • Marvin

    Zac was always on a loser against a Moslem in Londonistan. We have more chance of inhabiting and colonising the SUN.

    • Alex

      12% of London’s population is Muslim so how does that work?

    • Marcos

      The Sun already speaks on your clueless behalf.

      • Marvin

        Must be true then! Well you understand very well, must be doubly true.

  • thomas_paine2

    London is essentially a conservative (small ‘c’) city so therefore Zac Goldsmith in with an easy victory.

    • david918273

      Of course. That’s why he’s getting hammered in the polls.

      • thomas_paine2

        you believe them?

    • jennybloggs

      Not a chance. The Goldsmith campaign is the most ineffective I have ever seen.

      • thomas_paine2

        might mean subconsciously he doesn’t really want the job ; I think Bojo got bored with it ; truth is, the Mayor of London like NYC is a figurehead, there are far more clever people behind the scenes making everything work.

  • davidshort10

    The London mayoral race is about personalities. Zac Goldsmith has no personality and he is only what he is because of his rich bully of a father so he has no chance. Nothing to do with the political parties. You don’t have to be a Spectator hack to know that.

  • The Laughing Cavalier

    Both London and the nation will be the worse for it if khan wins.

  • jim jones

    If London goes to Labour it is because of gerrymandering

    • Alex

      What a sore loser. Can’t possible be because people in London prefer the labour party to the born in to privilege and will do absolutely everything it can to maintain the status quo party.

  • Maureen Fisher

    In some ways it might be good if Khan gets in so people will have a fore taste of what a hardline leftist administration will look like. The pain to Londoners might be worth it in order to defeat these people long term. I don’t say this lightly as I’m a Londoner.

    • geyien

      Red Ken didn’t cure Londoners of their illness, nothing will because the demographics now mean the city is lost.

    • Alex

      Only two flaws in yr argument: i) Khan is not a ‘hardline leftist’ by any measure, ii) how much power exactly do you think a mayor has?

      • Maureen Fisher

        Transport, policing, the environment, housing and a 17 billion budget are pretty significant powers plus the fact that we are a magnet for the rest of the world.

  • thomas_paine2

    75 days to go people and Britain will at last be free.

    • congreve

      Delightful but not surprising that a notorious BFM should have taken up roost in these columns. I hope you are a reformed character, as am I.

      • thomas_paine2

        I realised what a disaster it was in June 1976, precisely (by coincidence) a year after I like millions of others had blindly voted to stay in, my motive being all the greatest world pioneers had come from Europe and their inspiration could be ‘pooled’ to create a better life for all. I confess Enoch Powell taught me it was all a con in a speech just a year later.

  • seangrainger

    Goldsmith isn’t pressing flesh and he is very thick. One of the worst selection choices I can remember. Sadiq Khan seems like a good bloke despite probably supporting Tottenham, is a Londoner and turns up on This Week where we can throw tomatoes at him.

  • marvin

    Zac Goldsmith describes himself as a Eurosceptic. Indeed, one of his friends who lives abroad – is a famous Political reformer in his own country. If Goldsmith possessed the same ideology for the UK people he would win hands down. It would be very difficult to imagine that someone from such a wealthy and famous background would ever be reduced to the corruption and reduced standards of many of those of the same party of which he is a part of.
    I do not trust anyone in Politics who acts to immediately stab a new elected leader in the back, whoever that leader is. The fact that the electorate, favouring that party – chose that particular leader – should be totally convincing to all its members. Those who do not accept the wishes of the UK people should immediately resign – not seek further personal advancement. Furthermore, the fact that this same person has an alternative allegiance calling on his commitments of office illustrates a complete conflict of interest against the British people.
    It is completely obvious who should take the position of a Mayor of London – the UK needs to improve its standards – any other choice would enhance the deterioration of the UK even further than it is at present.

  • Mrs.Cordelia Gil

    Khan? As soon as elected he will build the largest Mosque outside Saudi in London…(the hidden agenda), and if opposed will resign like Baroness Warsi, MP Rusharana Ali, etc..

    • jeremy Morfey

      The Saudi oligarchs living nearby still haven’t got round to patching up the gold on the dome of the Regents Park mosque. It is a tatty disgrace.

      • Hybird

        Having a mosque in London is a disgrace in its self. Islam needs to be removed from our country. How on earth we have come to this – a man who has a 7th Century version of Charles Manson as his role model, whose ideology sanctions wife-beating, FGM and punishments such as crucifixion is actually going to become mayor of our capital city?

        • Jeffrey Vernon

          Will the real Sadiq Khan please stand up? Depending on who you choose to believe, he’s a jihadi, a communist, a bleeding heart human rights lawyer. No two of these are compatible. In reality, he’s a second-choice run of the mill politician about to win a job he expected Tessa Jowell to get.

          • Hybird

            Khan is a Muslim infiltrator – like all the other Muslims who have been allowed (no questions asked) to infiltrate all our political parties. Does anybody really think that a Muslim like Khan can be a socialist? Does anybody really think that a Tory Muslim is a Conservative in anything other than a religious sense? Are the Lib-Dem Muslims liberal or democratic? Do UKIP’s give a damn about the UK? Are those who have infiltrated the SNP or Plaid really nationalists?

            It is the duty of Muslims to further the advance of Islam – not to make things better for the kuffar.

          • Jeffrey Vernon

            You can make up your mind that a man with a brown skin and an Arabic surname is a muslim, a muslim and nothing but a muslim (and moreover that this is synonymous with a jihadi). In reality, most people we call muslim in Britain are about as observant as the average christian – one fast a year, one feast, and an occasional trip down to community centre on a Friday. It is right to be alarmed by the rise of ISIS, but the first thing to realise is how exceptional it is; we are not going to defeat it by pretending that my muslim neighbour who eats my Jewish food and tells dirty jokes in Italian is just the same.

          • Alex

            Sorry to hear you’re a massive racist Hybrid.

  • Jeffrey Vernon

    Isabel Hardman should give up journalism and write that machiavellian politics novel she’s been keeping in the back drawer. If there was any serious campaign inside the Labour party to find a credible leader, it would have shown its face before Corbyn got the job. The plot against Corbyn is as fictitious as the plot against his opponents that we keep hearing about (along with the mass defections, resignations, election losses and membership collapse). Come to that, much of the folk-lore about the Blair years was made up by journos as well – the so-called Granita pact that would have handed the crown to Brown, for example. It suited both sides to let this story run when it appeared, but really…Brown was a nobody in 1994, and I had to check that he was actually an MP at the time. Journalists like to think that all institutions are like their own offices – that there’s a background hum of plots and reshuffles and shifting loyalties. If politics had no internal motor their jobs would be redundant, and the thought is, for them, too terrifying to contemplate.

    • jeremy Morfey

      Wasn’t Brown John Smith’s deputy in the Treasury in the early 1990s? When Smith became Leader of the Opposition, the obvious choice to be Shadow Chancellor was Brown. I don’t think it fair to call the Shadow Chancellor a nobody.

      The problem the Blairites had was that their project was roundly exposed as a sham, a sort of mock-Thatcherite movement, and by 2010 had lost most of its credibility with its core vote, which it hardly recovered for as long as Ed Miliband was hamstrung by their legacy. This was the position at the leadership election of 2015, making Jeremy Corbyn the only credible candidate of the four standing. This remains so today.

      • Jeffrey Vernon

        YOu are right, G Brown was shadow chancellor for a couple of years – but this is not a lofty office of state, and the current post-holder is John McDonnell. GB was not an obvious leader of New Labour in 1994; whereas Blair was angling for the job as early as 1987. Kinnock made him a trade and industry spokesman, but he was given permission to talk about all kinds of things that were not part of his brief – home affairs, morality, strikers, single mothers, welfare. When Smith died, everything was in place; a car rolled up outside Downing St, and out stepped Blair. Cometh the hour.

        • jeremy Morfey

          There were no Labour politicians of any seniority in any offices of state, lofty or otherwise, between 1979 and 1997. No ministerial car deposited Blair outside Downing Street in 1994, since it was occupied at the time by one John Major. Shadow Chancellor is senior to Shadow Trade & Industry Spokesman, although Tony Blair was Shadow Home Secretary when Gordon Brown was Shadow Chancellor, which are similar ranks. Kinnock made Blair Energy Spokesman and then Employment Spokesman. Kinnock’s Trade & Industry Spokesman was John Smith, succeeded by Bryan Gould and then Gordon Brown.

          John McDonnell is holding one of the most senior shadow posts right now, and his job is to hold George Osborne to account. He could well be a contender for leadership himself, should something happen to Mr Corbyn. I quite like his straight talking – he strikes me as a Labour version of Norman Tebbit.

          Being given permission to talk beyond your brief strikes me as somewhat treacherous. Osborne frequently does this – claiming credit for any of the good things his Cabinet colleagues should be claiming credit for, and then vanishing into the mist when bad decisions are made, leaving the hapless colleagues to ride out the storm without being able to build up political capital of their own.

          Blair was only elected to Parliament in 1983 (same as Gordon Brown), so to be angling for leadership after just four years an MP seems somewhat presumptuous. His behaviour since leaving office I found most disreputable – choosing to use UN money to bolster up his business interests, and making a fortune on the after-dinner circuit in the US, rather than sweating it out on the back benches as an elder statesman who’s been there and done it. He did seem to land Brown in the doo-doo by quitting just as the banking bonus scam blew up.

          In the end, it came down to the time-honoured US method of selecting leaders, by choosing the one with the flashiest teeth and the winningest smile. Plus Mandelson liked him, and friends of oligarchs win elections.

          • Jeffrey Vernon

            When J Smith died, it was treated as a parliamentary minicrisis – a meeting was held in Whitehall between leading figures of all the parties, but somehow Blair was always in the frame more than Margaret Beckett, the nominal interim leader. I was working in the House of Commons at the time and watched it all on the internal TV. The car, and Peter Mandelson. Blair never made any secret of his ambitions – in 1992 he was probably relying on Smith to clean up the post-Kinnock debacle. In December 1993, New Labour were already very obvious about the house – in that month I told a Labour grandee (now dead) that his socialist credentials were neither here or there, since the party was being run by sharp-suited young men with cellphones. J

            Just to add – John McDonnell was approached to stand as labour leader last time round, but he has a heart problem and was advised not to put himself forward.

          • jeremy Morfey

            Thanks for your inside knowledge. It’s always good to hear from someone who was actually there.

            I was an SDP constituency area chairman in the 1980s, but fell out with politics after the 1987 election. I remember well the Greenwich by-election in that year, which the SDP took briefly, and just before that a disastrous by-election in Fulham where Roger Liddle (who later became a Blair grandee) stood. The Tory (who later took the seat) had a preposterous campaign where they put out pink slips of paper saying “Matthew Carrington goes BOOM!”. This was before suicide bombing became a recognisable campaigning technique, so I really didn’t think they wanted to win it then. It was taken by Labour’s splendid Nick Raynsford, who later went on to take Greenwich and Woolwich off the continuing SDP.

            One thing that hit me about the Fulham campaign was the depressing number of sharp-suited young men and women far more concerned about a professional image and American campaigning polish than about the issues of the day or the public interest. Mr Liddle wrote in the Party newspaper about “majoring on centralities” and I wrote back asking him please to write in English.

            The first and only time I have ever voted Labour in a general election was in 2015. They put up by far the best candidate in my constituency, and frankly SNP involvement in the running of the UK did not worry me in the slightest.

  • uglyfatbloke

    Perhaps Labour’s collapse in Scotland had more to do with incompetence and corruption than neglect and complacency.

    • jeremy Morfey

      Would Labour’s collapse in Scotland have anything to do with collapsing walls of Scottish schools ever since Labour devolved the project to PFI?

      • uglyfatbloke

        Yes, but it’s part of a wider tradition I’m afraid and it’s so deeply ingrained that lots of councillors really don’t think that jobs for their cousins etc is in any sense dodgy.

      • uglyfatbloke

        Not really, it’s along term thing.

  • fred

    much as I adore mz Hardman I think she is off the mark.. Khan has been playing the same old class politics and also guilting white people into voting for him just to prove themselves as liberal minded..
    But I think London wont come out and vote for such an unashamed flip flopper who will say anything to get elected.. ps the polls have all been online and I wouldn’t trust them one bit

    • Alex

      You’ve got to remember most people in London don’t think in the kind of simplistic racial terms that you do so that explanation doesn’t really make sense.

  • fred

    the polls are completely skewed because they are all done online, the labour lot are less likely to vote, and most importantly Khans method of campaigning relies on making people feel guilty for not voting labour.. which is why the polls at the last election were so skewed. WAKE UP London! Khan is trouble

  • davidofkent

    Before explaining the result, it might be a good idea to wait to know what the result is.

    • thomas_paine2

      lol

  • logdon

    So can we expect a reciprocal signal from the Muslim world?

    A white Brit as mayor of Karachi or Cairo , say?

    • jeremy Morfey

      You’re confusing skin colour, ethnicity and religion. That white Brit you suggest may well be a Muslim settler, and the brown Pakistani or Egyptian may well be indigenous, Christian and under great repression.

      More to the point might be to have a Christian leader in an Islamic republic.

      • logdon

        You ‘re splitting hairs. This is where the problems start.

        • jeremy Morfey

          Actually no. There is a fundamental difference between the ethnic definitions used in forms in the UK and those used in the US and Australia, and we cannot apply the same definitions to both without a grave perversion of what they actually mean.

          The Anglo-Saxon/Romano-Celt/Norman racial definition you refer to as “White Brit” is indigenous to these isles in the same way that ‘Native American” or “Red Indian” is indigenous to the US, and “Aborigine” is indigenous to Australia. The settlers here often have pale skins, but fifty years ago, there was much settlement from Pakistan, India and the Caribbean, whose skins are anything but pale. Over the last decade, much settlement has come from Eastern Europe, who cannot be called “White Brits'” even though they have pale skins, In the US and Australia, it is the settlers that overwhelmingly have pale skins, and the indigenous folk have brown skins, although in recent times Australia has attracted settlement from East Asia. Complicating things in the US are the Africans imported as slaves, who should also be considered settlers, albeit unwilling ones. In the same vein, many unwilling settlers in New South Wales were transported convicts from Britain.

          Both Islam and Christianity place no racial borders on admission – therefore it is meaningless to refer to these religions racially. However, the two centres of these religions are based in Mecca and Rome respectively. They meet in Jerusalem. This may skew their cultural definition and racial perceptions.

  • congreve

    A splendid tour d’horizon of the inane, the ineffectual and the irrelevant jockeying for position to further trash the country.

    And what of poor Boris, a Latinist without a vocation and a Bullingdon without a clue?

  • Michael H Kenyon

    London is most definitely not England, as this map shows: http://petitionmap.unboxedconsulting.com/?petition=116762 .

  • Malcolm Stevas

    Just what the doctor ordered, and it’s hard to see how Cameron could disapprove given his previous remarks about learning from the Muslim world, and even having a Muslim PM: I’m sure he’d settle for a Muslim Mayor of London.
    It all seems drearily inevitable: successive governments foster the growth of very large immigrant communities who are certainly not composed of the super-qualified; these communities demonstrate clearly their uninterest in assimilating, in adopting English ways, to the surprise of no-one; our capital city’s population is 13% Muslim, and less than half “White English” according to the last census. Now, we face the strong likelihood of a Muslim Mayor.
    Yesterday’s news carried the results of an ICM survey for Channel 4, extract:
    — One in 25 Muslims (four per cent) said they felt at least some sympathy with people who took part in suicide bombings, while a similar proportion said they had some sympathy with “people who commit terrorist actions as a form of political protest”.
    — A quarter – 25 per cent – said they could understand why British school girls could be attracted to become “jihadi brides” overseas.
    — Less than half (47 per cent) agreed that Muslims should do more to tackle the causes of extremism in the Muslim community.
    — 52 per cent believed homosexuality should not be legal in Britain,
    — 39 per cent agreed “wives should always obey their husbands”, and 31 per
    cent said it was acceptable for a man to have more than one wife.
    Is England my country still? London certainly doesn’t feel like my capital city, and hasn’t for a long time.

  • thomas_paine2

    Londoners can have whichever Mayor they like with my pleasure, just so long as the vote on Thursday 23rd June is a huge LEAVE

    • malts

      Can we Londoners, please, vote to leave the UK and join Europe instead, like, properly, as non-bullies, not having tantrums if we don’t get our own special way al the time? We are tired of being dictated by an undemocratic institution: Houses of parliament being dominated by a party with 30% of vote shares, handing over laws to a chamber of unelected peers to ratify. Even UKIP with their 10% of votes could not get more than 1 seat out of circa 600. Pathetic and wrong. I might not agree with UKIP, but I still believe in fair representation. In the EU parliament at least they got that.
      The only reason the (Eurosceptic) Tories want us to quit is because they want to roll back things like employment and human rights. Things like TTIP, which is a real danger, and one where EU needs to say no, is a non-issue to them, this one they are actually in favour of and would still join even if not in the EU.

      If anything, we need a stronger EU parliament so that our direct elections of it matter more. Vote REMAIN.

      • thomas_paine2

        oh well, it’s a free country, we are all entitled to our opinion.

      • Alex

        Erm yes please.

  • hippiepooter

    A Jihad war is being waged against us. Sadiq Khan has jihadi links, and he’s about to be elected Mayor of London? Has a people ever existed such as ours that has been in such a vegetative – not to say suicidal – mental state? We shall surrender at the ballot boxes, we shall surrender on our borders, we shall surrender to the EHCR, we shall never fight to defend our freedom. Never in the field of human conflict, have so many, helped so few, to defeat us.

    • malts

      Actually, just because he’s Muslim does not mean he’s extremist. For crying out loud, he had a fatwah issued against him for supporting gay marriage. His approach against terrorism is community-based, at the end of the day we need the silent muslim majority to rise up against the extremists, this is by far (all) our best chance against terror. I believe that with his background he’s in a better position to build bridges here. Personally I prefer an atheist mayor, I find religion a bit abhorrent, but there’s decent people in all religions, and Khan is one of them.

      • justejudexultionis

        Does Khan have the right to office given his religious affiliation?

  • red2black

    Why do we bother with Mayors?

    • thomas_paine2

      To entice us to believe they believe in total democracy rather like they made Scotland and Wales have their own legislatures.
      When in fact they are secretly trying to turn Britain into a dictatorship using the salami slicing technique.

      • red2black

        Nationalism has grown in popularity, but whether there’s a plot to create a dictatorship, I’m not so sure.

        • thomas_paine2

          The State is turning into our Stalinist master, I’ve watched it grow over decades ably assisted by faceless Bruxelles bureaucrats.

          • red2black

            That’s partly what explains the resurgent popularity of Nationalism.
            Even so, Stalin would have made short work of outfits like IS.

          • thomas_paine2

            Would Cromwell have made short work of outfits like IS ?

          • red2black

            I don’t know enough about Cromwell to say. America used nuclear weapons, so I suppose Stalin would use them if he was around now. Not that I’m recommending it.

  • fred

    I think there is an unspoken truth that we will begin to see clearly at this mayoral election:
    People do not want to see the continued spread of islam into the west. No offence to the individual muslim, but there it is..
    People wont say that out aloud quite obviously, and so the polling is well off the mark. Even London is not immune to the overwhelming truth of the situation.
    Its just a shame that the corbynistas have managed to get their candidate this far. Khan used his muslim status to court people with radical views in the past when it suited him to do so and he will likely pay for that in the election

    • I agree. Zac needs be more forceful in attacking Khan’s antecedents. Zac is holding off because he is a decent guy not used to fisticuffs. But now is the time to let rip with no holds barred.

  • fred

    Remember Khan supported boycotts of Isreali goods when it suited him? remember how khan played class politics all his career? now he claims to be a mayor for all Londoners. sickening

  • Jacobi

    Is the real reason that Khan is doing so well, certainly in your “bookies odds” graph, simply that London is just no longer an English or British city. It is increasingly a foreign town in which a diminishing numbers of Brits are more and more isolated. I haven’t been there for some time but friends and colleagues who do go assure me that the quicker in and out on business trips, the better.

    I am told that the Muslim population is growing rapidly and is far greater than admitted to. Much of this is from the Islamic parts of the Indian Sub-Continent .

    Is this not the reason for Mr Khan’s popularity?

    • Alex

      “friends and colleagues who do go assure me that the quicker in and out on business trips, the better.” I guess all your friends are scared little englanders then. To people like me- born in London, who’s parents and grandparents were also born here it’s a bloody brilliant vital and cultural city, mainly because it’s not totally white and british, I mean how unbelievably dull would that be.

      • Jacobi

        Then you guess wrongly. They are nearly all, 80%, from another part of the UK.
        Even where I live, I observe and feel sorry for groups of local youngsters, who seem more and more to huddle as they walk about their way. This contrasts sharply with the increasingly confident and loud-voiced behaviour of young Muslims youths .

        And all in the last five years!!

      • Oriental Imp

        I visited London very regularly and often over night for years until recently, when my job changed. It is one of my favourite places in the world. Full of life, full of energy, full of talent. I love it. It’s my second home.

        And it doesn’t fit the little Englander narrative but much of that is because of the amazing cultural and ethnic diversity. Sit in a meeting with Deloitte and it’s like the League of Nations.

        Last time I was there I got served a drink from a friendly and obviously intelligent Indian lad. What was he doing in London, I asked? Learning to be an Accountant. Working hard, and no doubt paying through the nose for his course. A very typical London story. I hope he makes his home there.

        • justejudexultionis

          Shame about all the Islamic bigots we’ve had to import for no apparent reason at the same time.

      • Richard

        Soon enough theatres, opera houses, bookshops, museums, etc., will start closing as dull, white people leave and vibrant, colourful Tnird-World monochrome brown are the majority. Local by-laws will prohibit drinking, and “louche” manner of dress will be proscribed. London is only just working because it hasn’t yet tipped. When it does, I imagine you’ll need to move away to some other spot until that goes the same way, at which point you’ll need to move somewhere else to be near “dull” white people.

        • Larry Bond

          Perhaps not — maybe it’s in places like London that Islam will soften and modernise…

          • Richard

            You need to spend more time living abroad. I have. The story is always the same, everywhere.

      • Larry Bond

        White or whatever colour the people, I agree — London is great…

    • Richard

      Of course it is. Brits have no idea how the real world works. Adapt or die is the operative phrase, and Brits are very definitely dying. And the strangest thing is how much they love that.

      • Jacobi

        That is because we Brits have forgotten our history. We derive from the old Roman Empire. Rome collapsed because of contraception and the willingness to hand over to barbarians. In the 5th 6th when the legions failed to return, the Northern Europe Angles Saxons and Jutes moved in. They were quite happy after a bit of plunder here and the to settle down and of course become Christian and then form the British nation.
        I rather think the present influx, increasingly Muslim, have other ideas. And yes, theatres and pubs will not figure amongst these.

        • Larry Bond

          Crikey — I’ve never heard about the Romans having contraception… Their birth rate then plummeted?

          • Jacobi

            That just shows what you know of your history!

      • Larry Bond

        What an impertinence… 🙂 I’m English by ancestry, upbringing and inclination — and tell you that England must and will endure…

  • Ominous

    Demographics favour Muslims dominating most major towns and cities in England. Birmingham and the Manchester metropolitan area will be majority Muslim within 20 years. The native population has orchestrated their own replacement by (mostly) Islamic peoples.

    • Richard

      It’s amazing to me, from the Old Commonwealth, just how thick Brits are. I had never imagined that. As Africa began destroying itself through ceaseless wars, corruption and other violence, Brits thought it would be a good idea to import millions of Africans. The more desperate Pakistan and India became, the better the prospect of importing their populations seemed. The more these people reproduced their home countries in Britain, the more wonderful they became in British eyes. All reality was ignored for some reason only a lunatic could understand.

      After centuries of ruling these people, not a single lesson about them had been learned. At heart, they all wanted to attend the theatre, have afternoon tea listening to the Archers, become tolerant, obey all laws, and just add a little frisson of culture. Never mind how they had revealed themselves over millennia, that didn’t matter.

      Shut the eyes and turn off the brain is Britain’s legacy.

      You have to admit, Brits aren’t quite sixteen annas to the rupee, are they?

      • Larry Bond

        Some groups from the Indian subcontinent have integrated well though. A business analysis who specialises in targeted marketing was telling me only two weeks ago about the Hindu community in Leicester and how it is flourishing and intermarrying.

        • Richard

          I still never see them in bookshops, museum, theatre, opera, concerts, participating in charity drives… none of the things that differentiate a First World country from a Third World one. It is still a low level of existence, even if a more affluent one. The only immigrants who really contribute in all spheres are Jews, and there haven’t been of those immigrating here for a long time. They emigrate more than immigrate.

          We are headed down the drain, no question about it.

          • Larry Bond

            Hallo Richard, I confess I can’t see enough of the total picture to be sure either way. Many immigrants are totally unassimilated, even hostile, that’s true. Have I understood you right — you fear the number of such people will rise to such an extent that Western society will gradually become something very different… fail, in effect?

          • Richard

            Understand I come from a colonial context, that is, a country that is now independent. What did I see there, and how has it informed my perspective? Well, since independence, everything has gradually run down. People are poorer, listened to less by the government, and in many ways abused through massive corruption, theft, etc. Standards at educational establishments have fallen, roads are pot-holed, etc. In an attempt to improve the situation – all of which is entirely self-inflicted – the Chinese have been brought in, in a spirit of neo-colonialism, but they are generally without any desire to engage in any real social upliftment in the way that the UK or other European countries were. Some are, but the proportion is much lower. All vestiges of First World civilisation have gone, so no theatre, bookshops, learned societies, etc. Essentially, weeds grow over the amphitheatre.

            As they have destroyed their own countries, and their own job-prospects, and overpopulate, these people now eye Europe, and even China and other Oriental countries, as places in which they can benefit from the goodies of the First World. However, it is only the goodies they are after, they do not wish actually to absorb or participate properly in the life of these countries. The goodies are free health care, schooling, social benefits, etc. Because they are impoverished, the Left willingly imports them, knowing they will vote for them (if I were they, I would also vote Left, knowing they would give me more money: people vote out of self-interest, after all, especially immigrants, that’s why they move in the first place) and so the general societal picture deteriorates. Kinship and culture do not disappear, they are very resilient, and all that can ever happen is social strife when large numbers of people relocate en masse, especially when there is no effort whatsoever to make them acculturate. In fact, in contemporary Europe, there is an effort to make sure they remain “true” to their own cultures.

            There is also a large difference in intelligence – IQ – between different ethnic groups. It would be nice if this were not so, but one cannot pretend otherwise. If you have an IQ of 70 and live and work with others of similar ability, nobody has an innate advantage over anybody else (usual distribution excepted). However, if you move people with an IQ of 70 into a place where people have an IQ on average of 100, they cannot compete, are likely to have to rely on state payments indefinitely, and frequently have to resort to crime to survive. That is exactly what is happening. And this difference doesn’t quickly disappear, either. We know that intelligence is at least 75% hereditary, its no use pretending otherwise.

            In any event, there is no political appetite to address anything, and so the mass movement of essentially lower IQ people into higher IQ regions (which are of course able to offer what greater intelligence can offer) will continue until that intelligence advantage has disappeared, at which point we will all become Third World, settling at a level somewhere around that of Egypt. This is happening quite rapidly: it is visible very much in large English cities like Birmingham.

            And so will Europe and the US fail? Undoubtedly. What I saw happening in Africa is now happening in these places, too. If China also loses its identity and turns Left (remember it has only taken seventy years for Europe to get to the point it now is) it will also succumb.

            Meanwhile, the Leftie party goes on, all for the self-gain of the Left, in terms of “cool” credentials, causing people of limited brainpower to cringe in submission to their relentless ability to ostracise those who disagree.

            I suggest you begin with Gibbon’s “Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire”: it makes a good field-guide to what is happening now.

          • Larry Bond

            I take your point about the deterioration of African countries post empire, but I’ve never heard anyone say it has to do with IQ; what scientific studies back your claim?

            As regards the academic abilities of Asians, a private school administrator told me Indian and Chinese pupils are greatly out-performing “native” British students now. Anecdotal, but if true might indicate something other than innate intelligence is at work in the inability of some countries to maintain efficient public services etc.

            There is a new spirit abroad in England, I feel that too; a moral decline, a sense that something vital has been lost. Where I differ, perhaps, with you is the extent of that change. London, though way too expensive for ordinary people, is nevertheless booming — success. Many of our specialist industries are also flourishing and thriving despite stiff competition.

            Assuming for argument’s sake you’re right and the West has had it, what do you personally intend to do, flee or stick it out come what may?

          • Richard

            Try “IQ and the Wealth of Nations”.

            Alternatively, just peruse an IQ map of the world. And education and diet makes little difference: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/science/science-news/12061787/Intelligence-genes-discovered-by-scientists.html

            Another good book is “The Ten Thousand Year Explosion” which explains how it all works.

            Not much I can do about it. I accept I originate from and live among intellectually and morally feeble people whose greatest ambition in life is to be “cool”. The next generation won’t know any different. Look at youngsters in South Africa these days: they don’t know that roads aren’t supposed to have huge potholes, that people shouldn’t rape virgins to cure themselves of AIDS, or that zombies don’t prowl around after dark. Imagine that that was where the world’s first heart-transplant took place! The mind boggles.

            The only place where advancement stands a chance is the Orient, and then only if they keep Muslims and Africans out. The rest of the world will settle into a low intelligence twilight, where diseases can’t be cured, food can’t be grown in sufficient quantities, and there will be few if any advancements. All available money will have to be spent keeping the criminals in dole to prevent the destruction of remaining infrastructure. Labour will be in office for a long time, as they engineered, until they eventually lose to the Islamists.

            That’s just how the cookie crumbles, as they say in America. We’re far too weak and stupid to survive.

          • Larry Bond

            You’re a good writer, Richard, and very witty — I burst out laughing at the cracks about the zombies, the roads and the “low intelligence twilight” (not laughing at you or your message…).

            Most of the world is basically stuffed if these things come to pass… I admit that there doesn’t seem much hope of sufficient change to turn back the tide. Which is a great shame because Western Civilization is a wonderful achievement.

            I shall continue to read your comments with great interest. Thank you again.

          • Larry Bond

            Do you think it would be true to say that if Western society was still strong and vibrant, the average IQ of immigrants wouldn’t be relevant, they would want to assimilate with something they admired?

          • Richard

            Yes, undoubtedly they would want to assimilate more. The difference in intelligence only matters when a certain threshold has been breached. Think about what it would be like if you tried to attend a hospital where all the staff were below average intelligence. Imagine knowing that your doctor could likely not solve a fairly basic mathematical or conceptual problem! “Nurse, pass me a scalpel, if that’s what I need!”

            In South Africa, the average engineering student has an IQ of 85, whereas the average in Europe is 125. 85 IQ is considered “dull”. An IQ of 125 in Africa is almost non-existent. In Japan, 125 is about twice as common as in Europe. Among Ashkenazi Jews, a 145 IQ is not that uncommon. In Israel, Jews are differentiated by their racial type, with Ashkenazi Jews scoring highest and Ethiopians scoring lowest. Ashkenazi Jews are Europeans, Ethiopians are Africans, and there are Arab Jews, too. Each scores according to their racial type, meaning Israel (which is only about half Ashkenazi) does not score very high.

          • Larry Bond

            This is all new to me, I confess; it never occurred to me that IQ could be such a determining factor in world events. Having hardly any knowledge of the field, having never visited sub-Saharan Africa, and seeing how well you’ve gone into it, I’ll keep an open mind and read round the subject.

            One thing, only anecdotal of course, I’ve noticed is that seemingly not very intellectually bright people, often judged by their use of the language, can blow you away with sudden demonstrations of profound understanding and superior brain power. An example that comes to mind is a fellow who could hardly string a sentence together, who invited me to play draughts with him. Simply couldn’t beat the chap — totally wiped the floor with me, moves ahead every time. What’s your thinking on this?

          • Richard

            Intelligence has many facets, and people generally excel at some but not all facets. For instance, Ashkenazi Jews excel at verbal and numerical intelligence, but much less so at spatial intelligence. This is how it is that you get many scientists, mathematicians, musicians and writers who are Ashkenazi Jews, but relatively fewer artists and engineers. It also explains how it is that some people can be very bright but entirely impractical. Orientals tend to be analytical, but not very creative. Ethnic northern Europeans tend to be more balanced between creativity and analysis, and have relatively better spatial intelligence than numerical or mathematical.

            In the modern world, in which brute force is less of a factor than previously, and where certain types of intelligence determine living standards and such, the correlation between success and IQ is strong.

            The thing is, the modern notion of equality is in fact based in legal equality, with which I agree, but it is untrue that people are equal in ability and faculty, because we see contrary evidence around us in the world all the time. We can only resolve problems by acknowledging and confronting them. Africans are not lazy or inept, they are simply less able. Arabs are theocratic and more primitive than modern Europeans – to about the same degree as Pakistanis or Indians (thought the caste system makes this a much more complex argument) – which is also explained by their relatively lower IQ.

            We can expect the Orient to surpass the West in due course, though their lack of creativity may thwart this.

            In the modern world, all movement is from lower-IQ regions to higher-IQ regions because people in lower-IQ regions cannot create the conditions they see in higher IQ-regions. This is resulting in average IQ in the West falling. In the UK, it has probably gone from 100 to about 95 over the past fifty years. In the US, there is potentially even greater a decline. That may not seem like a lot, but if you note that China has an average of 100+, it means we are losing any advantage we may possess.

            If a child is born of mixed white and African parents, it will have (100 + 70)/2 = 85 score, which is exactly what measurement shows. Once there are not enough whites into which such populations can breed, the level will become (85 + 70)/2 = 77.5, and so on. In other words, we are on a quick downward spiral. Through some poorly-understood mechanism, people tend towards the average of their ethnicity. If two Ashkenazi Jews marry, with IQs of 145 each, the likelihood is that their children will have IQ-scores of about 112, which is the average for that group. So the genes that control for intelligence seem to belong in discrete groups, meaning you can’t get some of those genes, you get all of them, or none of them, to some extent. That is perhaps why Ashkenazi Jewish women are so much more prone to breast cancer, and why Tay-Sachs is a problem with that group: the genes that confer the elevated levels of intelligence are grouped together with those that cause breast cancer and Tay-Sachs.

            It is a fascinating field, and holds the understanding to all sorts of disease and mental problems, but the Left does not want to know about it, because it differs from their “equality” ideology. Of course we know that there is no Neanderthal admixture in sub-Saharan populations, which is quite probably involved in this intelligence discrepancy.

          • Larry Bond

            It is fascinating — and, as you say, wouldn’t go down well with a lot of people (my first thought when I read your comments was: Better not bring this up in the office).

            Two final questions:

            1) At what point does a reduction in average IQ start to significantly affect the success and wellbeing of societies and whole civilisations?
            2) It strikes me that, properly managed, a low average IQ could be turned to a society’s benefit. Why on earth are people in South Africa with such low intelligence allowed into the professions? By selecting only the brighter people through a better education system surely that could be avoided. Less intellectually demanding work would then become the province of less intellectually able people — a good match.

            One of the problems with the British class system is that it frustrates the ambitions of the able of the working class, there have always been many Jude the Obscures. Wouldn’t fewer of those able people mean more harmony? There wouldn’t have to be a terrible snobbery, simply an acceptance of natural roles.

          • Richard

            In answer to your points:

            1) I don’t imagine there is any specific point. It depends on where the infiltration occurs. When decisions are made by people not able fully to comprehend the issues or facts, the consequences are obviously quite dramatic quite soon. In Africa, the civil service became incompetent quite quickly, so that services were not provided, skilled people to fulfil needs were overlooked in favour of politically-affiliated people of lesser ability (yes, corruption plays its role, too), less able teachers were promoted in preference to more able teachers, and so gradually everything winds down. Imagine it like the vascular system in a body, and the appearance of blood-clots that prevent the movement of blood and the potential consequences of this.

            2) In a purely capitalist, authoritarian system, what you say is quite correct. But that is not the system in operation in the West. Imagine if all universities began doing what CalTech does, and selected people only on the basis of their intelligence (in this case, SAT-type tests). You would have almost no blacks attending university. This would lead to huge political problems, protests, riots, all sorts of ructions. In a country like South Africa, that is broadly what happened.

            The main issue is that the equality brigade (what else can I call them) do not believe merely in equality, but in equality of outcome. That means, because everybody is exactly the same as everybody else, if there is any difference in outcome, it means there must be something obstructing the system. So, if there are fewer black neurosurgeons, for instance, it means they are being held back. Equality means exactly equal representation in all things by all ethnic groups as testament to this. If there are fewer black graduates within certain fields, make it easier for them to gain access. If fewer attain the requisite marks or proficiency, assess them with more lenient criteria. This is all to serve the notion of “equality” in all things. Interestingly, in areas where blacks excel – such as athletics – there is no concern about non-blacks being held back. In other words, there is more to it than simple ruminations about “equality”. One of the main drivers behind this is to be found in the expression of some of the values of the Enlightenment as expressed in the American Declaration of Independence: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal…” If this is taken at face value, and understood in terms of ability rather than legal status, which is how it has been manipulated by politicians of a certain ilk, it leads to affirmative action and similar warping of the skills/requirement balance.

            The class system in the UK has never prevented people from achieving anything entrepreneurial, as can be seen by countless examples of people of humble origin achieving great things. That, of course, is another example of how intelligence/perspicacity is able to create passage outside existing power-structures. Africa has very little entrepreneurship outside market trading, meaning almost everybody is contained within the (clientist) structures of the inefficient state. Inefficient, of course, owing to the intellectual gap.

            Understand that these things are on a sliding scale: where you might have 10% of a population in Europe able to operate at a high level of intellectual functioning, you might have 0.5% in sub-Saharan Africa, but those people are entirely thwarted by the low intelligence of the system within which they are working.

            The West is doing itself no favours by importing a lower-functioning component, as I think you can see.

          • JD

            “I never see these foreigners in museums ergo they haven’t integrated”. You never see me in museums either and I’m white and was born here. Have I not integrated too?

            Sub question, do you give your own comments an up arrow? Clue: yes.

          • Richard

            If all people were equal, they should be represented according to their proportion of the population. Individuals are not statistically significant. You can place your cursor on the upvote (don’t click, just hold it there) and you can see who has voted. I never vote for my own comments.

          • JD

            So, do you do a head count of “foreigns” when you go to the theatre, museum, concerts and charity drives then? You are just a party animal aren’t you.

          • Richard

            I am from the Third World. So naturally I look for other Third World people, and see very few of them. My supposition always was that they were too poor, or hadn’t been exposed to museums, which is why they were never to be seen in African museums. However, I now see that has nothing to do with it. They are exposed to museums when at schools in Britain, and the museums are free. So, I now understand it is simply not in their inclination to attend museums. Ditto reading or attending libraries for leisure.

            I generally try to live my life with my eyes open, and not only notice what I am authorised by the powers-that-be wish me to notice.

      • EdmundF

        It’s not Brits! It’s a million Muslims (just in London) who are here courtesy of Tony Blair’s open door policy. Sharia law will be introduced in some areas next. I’m not joking.

        • Richard

          BUT, and this is the point, people voted for Labour, though it was apparent from 1948 what they were about. Then, in more recent times, Blair abolished the “Primary Purpose Rule” immediately, and millions began swarming in. Did that stop Brits voting Labour? Not on your life! It was possible to see the changes happening all around on a daily basis, and it was in the press, but still people voted for them. For THREE successive governments! That alone made the scales fall from my eyes.

          Now that Brits have lost control of Britain (if you aren’t all there it isn’t hard to lose control of what you possess) some have started waking up. But it is far, far, far too late. It is all about nastiness, self-interest, name-calling, neurosis, vindictiveness, and all the other revolting parts exposed as the ladder of power is climbed.

          I am sorry, but what I said before stands.

    • Ian Cuthbert

      Birmingham has no ‘native’ population. It is the city of a thousand trades, people have been migrating here for its entire history and it’s all the better for it.

      In fact, there is no native population in the British Isles, we were all immigrants once and most of us – if we bothered to find out – would find our genetic heritage is a complete mix of peoples from all over the world.

      • Ominous

        Ian, thank you for illustrating how warped minded leftists are.

        • Ian Cuthbert

          I’m not a leftist, I’m a human. And Birmingham is my city, I know it very well. We’re all good here thanks.

          • Ominous

            When you become a minority get back to me and tell me how good it is.

          • Ian Cuthbert

            I probably already am in my neighbourhood, by your own bigoted measure. But I don’t see it that way, I’m just one of the 100% humans who live here. Thankfully not many have views such as your own, so we all get along great.

  • Alex

    Khan wasn’t the underdog at the beginning (unless you mean before he was nominated), the bookies odds have always showed him as the favourite although he has now edged even further ahead.

  • Richard

    The U.K. will settle somewhere between Pakistan and Zimbabwe. Good luck!

  • Josh

    Not sure how London would be a stunning victory for Labour as Khan’s always being the favourite. And polls suggests the Tories in Wales are as much of a threat as Plaid Cymru.

  • Ian Cuthbert

    Abysmal opposition? He has put Cameron and the Tories under more pressure than they have felt in 6 years in government. Have you not noticed: the NHS and doctor’s dispute, tax credits, the Panama papers, Tory election fraud, IDS’ resignation, BHS, Philip Green and dodgy Tory donors, the UK steel crisis – the list is endless. Which is why the Tories and their mate Guido turned to the nastiest of dirty tricks to unsettle them. The Tories only do this stuff when they feel threatened.

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