A NIGHTMARE has come to pass for the little Englanders of Great Britain who will be settling down for an evening of furrowed brows and kitchen grumbling following the election of London’s first Muslim mayor.
With the majority of first preference votes counted, Sadiq Khan is expected to reclaim London’s mayoralty for the Labour Party, after soundly defeating Conservative candidate Zac Goldsmith, whose campaign has been roundly condemned as divisive and outrageous.
As things stand the 45-year-old MP for Tooting is on course to secure a solid 12 point lead over his rival, who oversaw a doomed attempt to link Khan with Islamic extremists backfire before an unimpressed electorate.
It was a fascinating election campaign that saw its fair share of amusing moments, not least Polish candidate Prince Zylinski’s sword wielding antics, but took a far darker tone when Goldsmith’s management realised that their candidate was seriously lagging behind in the polls.
In a spectacular farce of a last-ditch appeal to the basest of instincts, the Eton educated son of a billionaire financier teamed up with the Daily Mail, the corporate incarnation of Joseph Goebbels, to portray Mr Khan as a terrorist and trade union loving fanatic dead set on converting the capital into some kind of dystopian communist caliphate.
The sheer desperation of the claims, which reeked of tabloid McCarthyism, was to be expected. After all the Conservative party has been stirring up latent hates and fears for generations.
What made the move the final nail in Goldsmith’s coffin was the unforgivable editorial judgement on the Mail’s part to juxtapose a photo of a blown up bus from the 7/7 terrorist attacks onto the piece in a disgusting attempt to link Khan with Islamic terrorism.
An unprecedented number of senior Conservative peers immediately condemned Goldsmith’s fear-mongering move before the voting began as they sought to control the damage, which in one fell swoop almost handed Khan the minority vote on a silver platter.
Khan, the son of a London bus driver, is an uninspiring candidate but has made a name for himself standing up against the conservatism which plagues segments of the Muslim community, fighting for marriage equality and women’s rights despite receiving death threats.
The former solicitor, of Pakistani descent, was also quick to denounce former Labour mayor Ken Livingstone following his controversial remarks last week, ironically attacked by a race baiting right wing media as anti-Semitic, as he sought to prove his independent credentials.
Goldsmith meanwhile dragged his party to a new low by sending a targeted letter to Sikh and Hindu families suggesting that Khan supports a wealth tax of ‘family jewellery’ thus implying that all Indians have a stash of gold in their attics.
That may or may not be true but it did Goldsmith no favour to align himself with the conservative wing most despised by the general electorate, especially in multicultural London which has a short shrift for those who ply ethnic hatred and lies.
Goldsmith’s chances were initially considered favourable precisely because of his independent streak which often saw him at odds with the Tories on environmental policies in particular.
He was portrayed as smart, young and visionary, about as distinct from the shrieking Katie Hopkins brigade as possible, and it was his unholy alliance with her and her ilk that ultimately sealed his downfall.
Mrs Hopkins vowed in her Daily Mail column to ‘run down Regent street naked with a sausage where the sun don’t shine’ if Khan was elected.
We shall soon discover whether, like her sociopathic idol, the lady is not for turning.