Journalist Mariam Mansour explains why she’s taking the decision to vote Labour for the London Mayoral Elections on the 5th of May 2016.
I was at the London Citizens event on Friday where the assembled six thousand Londoners presented their manifesto to the two leading mayoral candidates Sadiq Khan and Zac Goldsmith. I got to hear the opinions, promises and pledges of both candidates on topics of real importance to Londoners, including but not limited to, the housing crisis, the living wage and refugees.
Nevertheless, while I found it hard to love the Labour Party‘s candidate Sadiq Khan, I wouldn’t go as far as to say I’d vote for the Conservative Party in the London Mayoral Elections this coming Thursday.
London needs a strong voice thats going to go head to head against government to protect and bring this city back to the habitable, workable city it was, but more importantly to bring back the sense of community that is slowly being ripped apart by invisible and visible hands.
Zac Goldsmith came across as an initially charismatic character, and yes you can see he loves London, but we all do, and loving it includes doing the right thing. I admired the fact that he admitted the difficulties London’s recovery would be, but that doesn’t excuse the rest of it.
‘It’s one thing making a law, another thing is making a law work’,
– Zac Goldsmith, Conservative London Mayoral Candidate.
Since the London Mayoral Campaign got launched, the Conservatives have led a dog-whistle, smear campaign, and while yes this is what politics often involves, they didn’t just attack a person or an idea, but they did everything in their power to attack different groups (ethnic and religious) of London’s community. This has been done under parliamentary privilege, by Tory’s including and not limited to Prime Minister David Cameron.
This is not to say that all Tory’s are condoning the way the Mayoral campaign is being lead. Some have spoken out about their disappointment.
— Sayeeda Warsi (@SayeedaWarsi) May 1, 2016
London’s community enhances the City with its diversity, faith and races; we are better as one, rather than being divided. If CitizensUK had failed to achieve anything else on the 28th of April, they definitely didn’t fail to show that London couldn’t be divided. Muslim Evening prayers were called, in the same hall where Jewish Passover was celebrated; stones throw away from where a band of musicians grabbed the departing audience in a dance of unity and glee.
That Copper Box on Friday showed both Zac Goldsmith and Sadiq Khan what London is made of, and quite frankly they should both be afraid. Londoners want their city back. I’m not worried about which of candidates win, I’m worried about the repercussions if they fail to help London rebuild and if they don’t put a stop to inner government and international pressure to rip apart the diversity and sense of community London has.
The event ended with a gift to both candidates, but echoed were the words by Revd Graham Hunter from Hoxton who said “The candidates have made their commitments, but our work as citizens is far from done”.
You as the voter have the biggest role to play, London needs you, you have the right to vote, do so.
Vote your conscience, vote for who you think will fix London, there is no right or wrong Party. One mayor doesn’t make London, we do. So vote for whoever you think is more likely to work with you on whats important to London.