Once upon a time Zac Goldsmith used to pretend to be "the nice guy" of the Tory party. He created this impression by talking up environmental causes, promoting cycling and pushing for the right to recall corrupt MPs. It was a good act, in fact it was good enough to fool me into thinking that he was one of the least objectionable Tories. Admittedly "the least stinky turd in the sewer" is damning with faint praise indeed, but it's testament to Goldsmith's "nice guy" act that he had me convinced that he was far from the worst of the Tories.
Zac Goldsmith's "nice guy" pretence took an absolute hammering even before the London Mayoral election when he was sacked as the patron of a London disability charity for voting to slash subsistence benefits for sick and disabled people by £1,500 per year.
Once the London Mayoral campaign got under way the "nice guy Zac" persona he had been carefully cultivating for so many years got well and truly thrown under the bus. His campaign has veered from Islamophobic smears against his Labour rival Sadiq Khan, through racially targeted fearmongering leaflets and then back again to more Islamophobic smearing.
It's been pointed out many times that the accusations against Sadiq Khan are desperate smears. It's also been pointed out that it's pretty damned hypocritical for members of a party that sucks up so pathetically to a brutal murderous Islamist theocracy like Saudi Arabia to go around criticising other people for having debated against Islamist extremists in the past. But it just doesn't seem to matter to Zac Goldsmith and the Tories. They know that fear and hate are powerful political weapons, and realistically the use of such tactics are the only way they're ever going to install another out-of-touch Eton posh boy as the ruler of London.
Just a few days before the election Zac Goldsmith's campaign plummeted to a dispiriting new low when he wrote an article in the Daily Mail making the same tired old slurs against Sadiq Khan, which was illustrated by a picture of the deadly 2005 Tavistock Square bus bombing.
The tactic of using images of this Islamist terrorist atrocity was first used by the BNP back in 2005 when they used a picture of the bombed bus in a by-election leaflet just a few weeks after the event.
The BNP were roundly condemned for exploiting the victims of a terrorist atrocity in their political propaganda, but times have obviously changed, since the tactic is now apparently considered perfectly acceptable by the Tory party.
A look at the comments beneath the Daily Mail article is revealing:
"I predict certain parts of london will be voting for the eye sis sympathiser, but hopefully the British parts of London will do the right thing..."
No capitalisation of the Word London, a bizarre misspelling of the acronym ISIS and a clearly bigoted assumption that the likes of Muslims and non-whites are not British.
"I wouldn't vote for him simply because he is called Khan. We all know where his loyalties lay and it's not with the British anglo saxon minority is it."An admission that the commentator wouldn't vote for anyone with a non-British name, a bizarre claim that white-British people (87.2% of the population at the 2011 Census) are a minority and a claim that people of non Anglo-Saxon origin are incapable of loyalty to the United Kingdom.
"London is no longer a British city"An utterly bizarre claim. The capital of the United Kingdom is not British! The tactics of speaking about culturally diverse places as if they are "lost" or sticking "istan" on the end of place names are right out of the BNP handbook on bigoted political posturing.
It's absolutely clear that Zac Goldsmith is desperately trying to whip up hatred and play the BNP style tactic of creating racial and cultural divisions, and that such tactics are highly successful with a lot of bigoted Daily Mail reader types. The problem for Goldsmith is that London is a culturally diverse and largely tolerant city, where diverse cultural groups have a long history of standing together in solidarity against the fascistic division tactics of the extreme right (like the Battle of Cable Street in 1936).
In the end it will be up to the people of London whether they see through these deliberate BNP style hatemongering tactics and reject the latest nasty Eton posh-boy the Tories have lined up to rule over them at the ballot box.
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