Having briefed the media for months on his Mayoral ambitions, Labour MP Sadiq Khan has given us a glimpse of the platform he’ll run on – ‘London for Londoners’.
The Tooting MP has endorsed an Observer editorial calling on Londoners to “start taking back their city” from wealthy foreigners:
The article implies that poor foreigners might be fine but the rich ones – those who help prop up our economy by investing in businesses and bankrolling major regeneration schemes – are definitely unacceptable and should be run out of town.
It follows a rather trashy and inaccurate monstering in the New York Times of London’s willingness to embrace investment, written in retaliation for the UK’s failure to levy economic sanctions against Russia.
That piece seemed to confuse London with Tim Burton and Christopher Nolan’s depictions of Gotham.
Fair enough, people are entitled poorly informed, innumerate and jingoistic views and they make for good click-bait which is important to sites seeking to make money from advertising.
But as a platform for running as Mayor of London, they leave a lot to be desired.
Were he to win in 2016, Khan would inherit oversight of, and stakes in, several developments reliant on foreign money.
Does he plan to explain to Londoners eying a job within the redeveloped Battersea Power Station how ‘taking back’ the city from foreign money men would leave the site to crumble for another 30 years?
Or, as with Tube ticket office closures, is he merely jumping on a populist bandwagon in the hope of some easy headlines?