When, in June 2016, an overwhelmingly anti-Brexit London was faced with the prospect of being cast out of the EU, there was a clamour from the left to have the city declared an independent state. The notion was all but a pipe dream, and soon petered out. Many Leave voters at the time detracted the idea; The Spectator claiming such a move would lead to a 'Thatcherite dystopia'. Now, one group is going a step further in its calls for a non-independent capital — petitioning for every UK citizen to have a vote on who the Mayor of London is.
Which makes about no sense at all.
The petition — Let the UK vote for the next London Mayor. It is our capital after all! — has been created by Lorraine Davis, and claims:
London being the capital of the United Kingdom, I believe we should all have a say in who runs it who is elected to be the mayor
After the disastrous last few years of Sadiq Khan being the mayor of London, let the people of the country elect the next mayor, as it does affect the rest of the country, what does and does not happen in London seems to have a roll on effect.
Firstly, it's notable that Khan is called out as the perpetrator of "the disastrous last few years". He's only been the Mayor of London for just over two years. Surely some of the perceived disaster, then, must be a result of former mayor, Boris Johnson? The 'roll on effects' of Khan's policies and actions aren't embellished on either — something you might consider important, given that you're trying to shake up the terms of democracy.
The main issue, of course, is that what the petition cries out for, could never happen. The government itself has already made this clear, saying: "When government devolves significant powers to an area, as it has with the London mayor, and with mayors of other city regions such as Greater Manchester and the West Midlands, it has done so on the basis that the mayors are directly accountable through the ballot box to the area they govern and serve."
Even if the whole of the UK WAS given the right to vote on the Mayor of London, impartiality would dictate that everyone in the UK would have the right to vote on all 23 directly-elected UK mayors. How dull and pointless would that be: "Fancy going for a pint tonight mate." "Sorry, can't, I'm out canvassing in Wimbledon for the Mayor of the Tees Valley."
And you do have to wonder what it is about Khan in particular that some British people have against him.
At the time of writing, the petition had gained just over 6.6k votes — significantly fewer than the 20.7k signatures for a similar petition, launched in May 2018.