A message for Labour from Sadiq Khan

London’s new mayor is Labour party candidate Sadiq Khan.

With Labour in disarray in the UK (and here) how on earth did he win?

Well, he won because he didn’t follow the current prescription of Jeremy Corbyn.

Have a watch of this video and understand his pointed message…that tribalism and pandering to the base is not how you win elections, and not winning elections is not how you can effect change.

Sadiq Khan has used his first major interview as Labour’s new Mayor of London to attack his leader Jeremy Corbyn.

In highly pointed remarks Mr Khan, who on Friday became the country’s most powerful directly elected leader, said Labour under Mr Corbyn was simply not doing enough to address the concerns of ordinary voters.

And he warned that unless Mr Corbyn changed tack and reached out to the whole electorate – not just natural Labour supporters – then party’s central mission to improve the lives of ordinary working people would be put in jeopardy.

“In Labour our mission is to improve the lives of people,” he told The Andrew Marr Show.

We only do that by winning elections. We only do that by speaking to people who have not voted Labour. There is no point just speaking to Labour voters – our core vote – we need to speak to everyone.

All too often we see Labour talking past people who used to vote for them, or worse abusing them for being stupid and falling for that nice Mr John Key. Have a look at almost every post written by Martyn Bradbury where he talks about Kiwi voters like they were hobbits and stupid blithely voting for something they don’t understand.

Asked how whether he owed some of his election victory to Mr Corbyn, Mr Khan replied: “Success has many parents and I think what’s important is the victory on Thursday was a victory for London. My point is very simple, we’ve got to stop talking about ourselves and start talking to citizens about the issues that matter to them.

And that isn’t the Panama Papers, or people with chinky sounding names.

His comments in the last 48 hours will have done little to allay those fears. In an article for the Observer Mr Khan, who ran under the slogan “a Mayor for all Londoners” added that the party needed a broader reach.

Squabbles over internal structures might be important for some in the party, but it is clear they mean little or nothing to the huge majority of voters,” he wrote.

“As tempting as it might be, we must always resist focusing in on ourselves and ignoring what people really want.

“It should never be about ‘picking sides’, a ‘them or us’ attitude, or a having a political strategy to target just enough of the population to get over the line. Our aim should be to unite people from all backgrounds as a broad and welcoming tent – not to divide and rule.

Mr Khan was backed by the former Labour Cabinet Minister Lord Blunkett who said party members were “kidding” themselves if they felt the performance in last week’s elections were adequate.

“The whole Labour project under Jeremy Corbyn and his allies is flawed,” he wrote in The Sun on Sunday. “They seem to think we won’t have to win back the support of those who voted Conservative last time to gain power in 2020.”

But the deputy Labour leader Tom Watson dismissed the prospect of Mr Corbyn facing a challenge and pleaded for “patience” after a “mixed bag” of election results.

Writing in the Sunday Mirror he said a leadership challenge was “about as likely as a snowstorm in the Sahara”.

But he acknowledged: “The truth is Labour still has a mountain to climb if we are to return to government in 2020.”

He said: “If there is one quality Labour Party members will need as we seek to return to Downing Street it is patience.

They are going to need the patience of Job.

 

-The Independent

 


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  • R&BAvenger

    A Mayor for all Londoners – except if you are white and work for London Transport. maybe up the gender balance a little, but too many white people? Isn’t that racists? No it isn’t if you are any other race slagging off Europeans.
    http://www.politics.co.uk/news/2016/03/30/sadiq-khan-there-are-too-many-white-men-on-transport-for-lon

    • OneTrack

      I didn’t get the impression he was talking about changing the gender balance.

  • Totara

    It is a very different approach in the UK where an ambitious politician uses the mayoralty of London as a springboard to go on and attempt bigger success in Parliament (although it doesn’t always work out for them).

    Here in NZ we seem to be stuck in the rut of using mayoral elections as a means to send useless MPs out to pasture. The list is long and includes plonkers from both ends of the political spectrum.

  • Andy

    I’m a Londoner by birth and am a little torn by my self-admitted bias against Islamism and Islamic Supremacism

    However, I do think Khan is a smart man and his words here make a lot of sense. I sincerely hope that he can unite Londoners and bring people together, not divide them. Division through identity politics is the cancer of our time.

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