Is It Bullshit? 'Vote Sadiq Khan, Get Jeremy Corbyn'

Rachel Holdsworth
By Rachel Holdsworth Last edited 31 months ago
Is It Bullshit? 'Vote Sadiq Khan, Get Jeremy Corbyn'

During this election campaign, we'll be examining some of the candidates' claims for the whiff of bullshit.

The claim:

Labour mayoral candidate Sadiq Khan is a puppet of Jeremy Corbyn and would "experiment" with London.

What's that supposed to mean?

If you believe what the Conservatives are trying to tell us in billboards and leaflets all over town, Sadiq Khan is best buddies with Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, a man apparently so dangerous he wants to enact full communism right now. According to the Tories. (But not according to this assessment.)

Is it bullshit?

Yes. The Tories seem to be basing their claim on the fact that Khan was one of 36 MPs who nominated Jeremy Corbyn to stand for the Labour leadership last year — yet didn't actually vote for him. Cast your mind back and recall that many MPs nominated Corbyn to ensure he had a voice in the debate, but didn't think the man would win.

Khan and Corbyn also don't seem to get on at a personal level. In the recently leaked list that ranks Labour MPs according to their loyalty to the party leader, Khan is marked down as 'hostile'. And on a walkabout in Islington at the weekend the pair spent just a couple of minutes together, through what appeared to be gritted teeth, before splitting up to canvass separately.

As for the "experiment" line that's being trotted out every time a Conservative comes near a camera, it's so vague as to be meaningless. Experiment how? Do we all get free Bunsen burners under a Khan mayoralty? Because that would be kind of cool.

Seriously, to compare their policies: Corbyn is for rent control; Khan is not. Corbyn wants to renationalise the railways; Khan wants TfL to run metro train services (as does the government) and create a trading arm to run other transport networks to raise revenue. Corbyn wants to freeze rates for small businesses and bring in rent controls for local shops and small businesses; Khan wants to protect small business but doesn't go that far. Corbyn wants to improve mental health provision; so does Khan — how awful.

There are problems with Khan's candidacy — lack of charisma and energy, that hole in the funding behind his promise to freeze fares — but the Conservatives have chosen to play the man, not the ball. Much like the implication that Khan is dangerous and extreme because he's — whisper it — Muslim, the accusation that London will be subjected to some far-left experiment under Sadiq Khan is absolute bullshit.

Last Updated 29 March 2016