Friday, 2 December 2016

The Guardian: Good riddance to Zac Goldsmith. His vainglorious political career is over

The Guardian: Good riddance to Zac Goldsmith. His vainglorious political career is over

by Owen Jones

"No mercy for this loser. Goldsmith is a multimillionaire chancer who attempted to seize the London mayoralty with a shameful and shamelessly racist campaign. He knew exactly what he was doing. He attempted to defeat his opponent by smearing him as the pawn of Islamist extremists. “I don’t think it was a dog whistle because you can’t hear a dog whistle,” as senior London Tory Andrew Boff put it. “Everybody could hear this.”

At a time when prejudice against Muslims is widespread, this was not simply reckless, it was dangerous. It would have legitimised bigotry. If one of the most diverse cities on Earth elected such an individual after such a campaign, a powerful – and alarming – message would have been sent.

There is a longstanding tradition in this country of rich white men doing terrible things but then being swiftly rehabilitated. Just months after his unforgivable campaign, you could already see this creep to respectability happening with Goldsmith, a man who repeatedly refused to apologise for what he had done. The government’s decision in favour of a third Heathrow runway led him to resign both from the Tories and from his seat. “Ah bravo, man of principle,” came the line. It was nonsense."

Good riddance. Goldsmith is wrong on Heathrow, even more wrong on Brexit and showed himself to be a swine in presiding over an Islamophobic mayoral campaign.

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