On Thursday, May 5th 2016 Londoners will go to the polling booths to elect their next mayor. The race is effectively between Zac Goldsmith of the Conservative party and Sadiq Khan of the Labour party.
As a Londoner, I have thought long and hard about whom I will cast my vote for. I have come to the conclusion that the best bet for London and the world is Sadiq Khan. Here are five reasons why you must not only vote for Sadiq Khan but also convince as many of your friends and family to do the same.
#1 Sadiq has a better story
Sadiq Khan grew up in a council estate as the son of a bus driver and a mother who stitched clothes. He built a successful business from scratch and eventually got elected as a Member of Parliament. Zac Goldsmith is the son of a billionaire and brother of Jemima Khan Goldsmith – a celebrity in her own right. Politics is often about people’s stories and brown immigrant from a poor background makes a success has a more inspirational story than connected billionaire’s son gets the job.
#2 Sadiq is Muslim
Following on from being a better story it is actually an advantage that Sadiq is Muslim. As you might have read in the news over the past 15 years Muslims are often the bad guys in the media. You can’t escape all the negative role models. Finally we see someone who can be a positive role model for Muslims around not only London but across the world.
Someone who worked hard and being Muslim didn’t stop him from getting to the top in a positive way. It is never a good thing to vote for someone based on race or religion but just as Barack Obama helped raise the confidence of black people by simply becoming president, I feel that Sadiq Khan will raise the confidence of Muslim people just by becoming mayor. This not only makes it better for Muslims but also non-Muslims who are seeking better role models to come out from the community.
#3 Sadiq didn’t go to Eton
There is quite a little old boys club in England. It goes like this. Go to Eton (GBP 34,000 a year that your parents fork up). Get into Oxford. Then run the government. Eton has less than 300 graduates a year and yet has produced 19 British Prime Ministers (over 25 %!). Admittedly Zac didn’t go to Oxford – but the current Prime Minister David Cameron (Eton, Oxford), the current mayor of London (Eton, Oxford), the Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne (Oxford), and Zac Goldsmith (Eton) are all somehow related. Do we want to tell the rest of the 60 million that didn’t get into these exclusive clubs that you can’t run the country?
#4 Sadiq supports the LGBT community
I know what you are thinking. A Muslim guy in government is bad for the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender community. But when I read that the LGBT community is supporting Sadiq and he is happy to get their endorsement, I was sold on Sadiq Khan. If he was not a supporter of gay rights I would not be voting for him. Seeing as he embraces a world where people have the right to choose their sexuality, I am sold on him. Zac Goldsmith is probably also a supporter but a Muslim guy is setting an example for the rest of the community to follow.
#5 Sadiq is pro EU
Zac Goldsmith is closely aligned with Boris Johnson, the current mayor of London. Boris Johnson is probably the most high profile anti-EU politician there is. Zac is also anti-EU and prefers Britain to pull out of its ties to Europe. I am a big supporter that Britain is Stronger In EU and so support Sadiq.
Both Zac and Sadiq are capable and passionate about doing the right thing for Londoners. But I feel that for the above reasons we should put our efforts towards helping Sadiq Khan get elected mayor of London on Thursday, 5th May, 2016.