The Fight for London II (16/4/12)

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Kapil’s Khichadi
Follow me on Twitter: @kdudakia

The Fight for London II

Last month I wrote about the upcoming London Mayoral elections. In particular I wanted to test the two leading candidates in relation to how they would respond to issues that emerge from our community. Well folks the results are in and I can say that whilst I have had a response from Boris’s team, regrettably it seems Ken has been too busy filling in his tax returns to bother responding. So the first points go to Team Boris who at least had the common sense to understand and appreciate that a Mayor has to consider all communities that make up London, and not only those who may grant their undivided loyalty and tribal votes.

I checked the odds at the bookies (not that I am a betting man!), and they show that Boris is odds on to win the Mayoral election, though Ken has been catching up over the past few months. The latest polls put Labour well ahead of the Tory Party, however in contrast Londoners, it seems, favour Boris over Ken.

When it came to responding to the questions I had posed, the response was poor. In Ken’s case he just did not bother. Whilst on the surface it might seem that Team Boris had made an attempt, in my view it was insufficient and not in keeping with expectations.

After the disastrous by-election in Bradford East, it seems Labour have gone into overdrive to try and get Ken elected at any cost. However, there are many in the Labour Party who just don’t seem to have any time for Ken, his politics or his style of leadership. Ken has made every attempt to secure the Muslim vote. No doubt he feels it is more likely that the Muslim community will vote en-mass and broadly in line with the direction given by the local Mullahs on a Friday. It will be interesting to see if the George Galloway style of ‘vote harvesting’ works for Ken as well.

Boris on the other hand relies much on his media charisma to reach the voters directly. Though the Tories are doing badly nationally, Boris it seems has singlehandedly kept the Tory torch burning in London with a poll lead over Ken. He has also published his tax returns which show he pays a higher proportion of his earnings in tax compared with some of his rivals. Though I have to say I am not sure if this truly reflects the full household income and family estate. Ken published his data but created huge controversy with the way in which his earnings were routed via a company structure. Accountants amongst you are better gifted to know if this matters or not – but the perception Ken has left with many voters has been negative.

Interestingly Ken has promised to cut fares by Oct 7th or he will resign. However, why is it that he cannot then give a guarantee that he will ensure there is a culturally sensitive crematorium for our community by a given date, and if he fails he will resign? Though to be fair Boris has not given any such undertaking either. I suppose there is still time!

For Londoners the question remains, ‘who do you trust most’ to do something not just for Londoners, but also for our communities as well? UKIP poll ratings are rising and are comparable now to LibDems in London. It is likely that most of them will have Boris as their 2nd favourite, but who will the LibDems have as their 2nd favourite?

The candidates no doubt will suddenly turn up at your local places of worship. One wonders if they come praying for votes, or playing the game to hood wink communities into giving their votes? Our leaders have to be savvy and should ask why they have not responded to the issues raised by the community? As a community we should not allow our hospitality to be abused every time there is an election.

The jury is out in terms of whether it will be Boris or Ken, though on paper Boris does have an edge at present. It is time that these two candidates make promises to us that they will keep – do they have confidence in their own rhetoric, or are they the custodians of platitudes of nil worth?

Think long and hard before you cast your vote. Make sure you get everyone you know to go out and vote – for only in large numbers can we ever show political entities, that our community deserves proper attention as well. Don’t let yourself down, and don’t be hood winked by those who speak with ‘fork tongue’. On May 3rd will Ken’s tactics of a ‘love in’ with the Muslim community work, or do people feel that Boris deserves another four years to prove himself?


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