With the excitement over the US presidential elections, I was admittedly not paying attention to the London mayor race. Now in hindsight I realize the mistake I made by not doing so.
History in that city has been made..
A Labour leader beat a Conservative candidate. But the history part: Sadiq Khan is the first Muslim to lead a UK city..
This showcases how the steady wave of immigration into Europe is dynamically reshaping their political spectrum.. Khan and conservative Zac Goldsmith had a nasty, nasty campaign. Religion and race became an issue.. Now as the firing squad looks for reasons they lost while circling the wagon, they are placing the blame on the “appalling campaign” from the Conservative.
Khan is the son of a bus driver from Pakistan and grew up with seven siblings in a three-bedroom government-subsidized apartment. He resonated in an expensive city where rocketing rents and property values are squeezing out even middle-class workers. Khan, a former human rights lawyer, has promised to be “the British Muslim who takes the fight to the extremists.”
According to a 2011 census, one in eight London residents are Muslim and 35% of those living there were born overseas.
But Khan did not run as a ‘Muslim,’ instead he ran as a progressive who wanted affordable housing programs to be implemented.. He also ran as a Labour leader who wanted the office after 8 years of conservative rule. He also showcases a brilliant social media campaign:
Teams out across London.
Polls close at 10pm – please make sure you vote!
I’ll be a Mayor for all Londoners. pic.twitter.com/Zt9X2kIbrA
— Sadiq Khan MP (@SadiqKhan) May 5, 2016
So yes the world did change a bit. But …. in the end, London got a Labour leader. And that’s just how things always happen.
The more things change the more they stay the same..
And politicians will be politicians regardless of the religious presence they showcase.