I wish Mr Khan well as London’s new Mayor. He said the right things on taking office when he said he wishes to govern for all Londoners, and recognised the great strengths of the city he now administers. He then went on to spoil it by attacking the Conservatives after beating them and falling out further with Mr Corbyn.
I confess that I did not help Mr Goldsmith in the closing days of his London campaign, despite plenty of requests to do so. I have known Zac for several years during his time as an MP and always found him good company with a gentle approach and good Eurosceptic views. I did not understand the nature of the campaign fought in his name with its heavy negative bias and its constant challenges to the Labour candidate. I did not wish to go campaigning on that basis. Clearly it did not work, with Conservatives starting from behind and remaining well behind. The incumbents first contrived to look like the challengers, and then to look like losers.
As a part time resident of London who works a lot in Westminster I wanted to hear a positive vision of what London will look like in a few years time. The issues surely were transport, planning, the environment and taxation. What will the Mayor do about the shortage of road capacity for cars, vans, buses, lorries and cycles? How will the tube be expanded? When will there be proper 24 hour running? When will all trains be air conditioned with larger carriages? How will London create more affordable homes to buy and to rent? What will happen to the Council tax? Is there a working plan to improve air quality? These questions Mr Khan now has to answer. How can he afford his fares freeze and the large sums needed to expand capacity on the tube? How will he prevent the streets of London from snarling up under the pressures of reduced roadway, more roadworks and more incursions onto the carriageway from the myriad of building projects?
Mr Cameron the morning after the results suggested that they showed how campaigning in the centre ground as One nation Conservatives gave the party a good boost from third to second in Scotland. This was a curious observation. The crucial day before the elections in the Commons Mr Cameron chose to highlight the London Mayoral race, not the Scottish Parliamentary elections. His message then did not seem to be a One Nation emollient plea for the centre ground, and did not mention what we might do to make London better under Mayor Goldsmith. I think that was a missed opportunity. Instead he concentrated on angry challenges to Mr Khan, who emerged in many electors eyes unscathed from the attacks.