a reply to: tommo39
As a born and bred Londoner, I don't know whether this is the funniest or the most stupid discussion I've ever read.
Why did we vote for him? Simple - he's one of us. He's one of us and he told it like it is. Not a greenwashed son of a billionaire like Goldsmith,
not a member of a tainted party like the Lib Dems, not a candidate whose manifesto had nothing to do with the post like UKIP.
His dad was a bus driver. He grew up on the Henry Prince Estate (housing project, to the Yanks). Not the nastiest estate, even then, with some nice
open spaces and King George Park just over the way. I used to work with kids from there back in the 90s, before the area was gentrified, and they
were OK. That resonates with Londoners.
There were seven of them in a three bedroom flat. Back in the 70s and 80s, that was more common than you might think - and nothing to do with
ethnicity. That resonates with us older Londoners.
He went to a sink school. Believe me, I wouldn't send my dog to Ernest Bevin, even if he did create NATO. Not in the 70s, not in the 80s, 90s, 00s or
now. A sh*thole. Yet he managed to pull himself out of it. Maximum respect to the man.
He's on the right wing of his party, a centrist in the grand scheme of things. Forget the cobblers in the tabloids. He's not quite a Blairite but
very close. Appealed to liberals, the moderate left and the moderate right.
A lot of American's have trouble understanding London. We are a world city, like New York, but whereas the US has many centres, Britain really only
has one. London is the financial centre, the political centre, the cultural centre, the you-name-it centre (cue comments from offended provincials in
3, 2, 1...). It has the highest average earnings, the highest house prices (you try and buy a three bedroom flat on the Henry Prince Estate now for
less than £500k), the highest education standards and so on. It is both engine, bridge and lifeboat to the rest of Britain.
We don't have ghettoes like some US cities, we don't have the no-go zones you read about in shonky American websites, we aren't scared of our
neighbours. There are outliers everywhere but we rub along pretty well.
Khan didn't get my first vote but, because he is of and for this great city, he got my second vote...and I'd rather vote Tory than Labour.
The legal thing? Under the British system, lawyers - solicitors and barristers - have to assume the innocence of their client because it is for the
court, and only the court, to find guilt or culpability. It's due process. If I'm not mistaken, even prosecution lawyers have to assume innocence
but present the evidence to the court to establish guilt. It might be wrong there.
What's more, Khan was a human rights lawyer. Forget what you read in the tabloids: their job is to establish the boundaries of the law. They seek to
challenge and set precedents to help define what the law means in practice. He, like any other human rights lawyer, will take these cases out of
principle (OK, and for his careers). Same as employment lawyers.
There is a huge Ahmadi presence in his constituency. The first London mosque, built by the Ahmaddiya, is a mile or so from the Henry Prince. The
Ahmadi flagship mosque is about four miles away. It's about a mile about from where I'm sitting, typing, and the worst I can say about them is that
Lidl in Morden gets too busy after Friday prayers. They are pretty decent, high profile - lots of fundraising for secular charities etc - and
progressive in their ideas.
Ahmadis are considered kaffir in most Islamic states, and have been for decades, because they believe their founder was the Messiah. I'm no
theologist, but that's a pretty major f*cking issue there and you can see the mainstream mosques' point of view.
I'm happy to expain more and help people deny ignorance, but something tells me a lot of people would rather stay in their blogosphere comfort zone.