Reasons to doubt Zac Goldsmith will be re-elected

So we have the first by-election test in London for the Prime Minister who wants a country that works for everyone. How does Zac Goldsmith stack up against this mantra (even if not the official Tory candidate)?

Firstly he voted to cut disability benefits by £30 a week, resulting in him being dumped by a local disabled charity.

Secondly he has never railed against the lack of affordable housing in his own area as Richmond Council allows more and more luxury flats to be built in a form of Bosnian style ethic cleansing as his friend Boris described the London housing crisis. He also supported the sale of precious social housing stock.

Thirdly he voted for and advocated Brexit. No matter the 70 percent of his constituents who voted Remain, the thriving German community in his constituency and the thousands of people in Richmond and Kingston who depend on the City for their income. My children go to school in his constituency and those parents I see regularly are still astonished about his position on Brexit.

But worst of all this is a man who in the heat of a Mayoral campaign sunk so low as to allow a picture of the blown up bus from 7/7 to be used alongside his article in the Daily Mail criticising Sadiq Khan and implying London would be at threat if he were elected. – A piece so bad it was denounced by a former Tory Chairman.

Maybe others have different standards for their MP but these examples clearly demonstrate Zac is not the man of the people he claims to be and hopefully the electorate of Richmond Park will remember all of this when the by election comes around.

* Chris Key is dad of two girls, multilingual and internationalist. He is a Lib Dem member in Twickenham who likes holding the local council and MPs to account.

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This entry was posted in Op-eds.


  • Fifthly, he has received an official endorsement from Farage/UKIP. That really helps to move the election onto the Brexit debate. Is Goldsmith (and can we please stop referring to him as “Zac” which makes him sound like a best friend?) a “Bluekip” candidate or a “Condependent”?

  • Lorenzo Cherin 27th Oct '16 - 8:03pm

    Chris , an excellent article ,but well done to Ben ,on this Bosnia parallel or aping of Boris Johnson comments, highly irrelevant and inappropriate , very well phrased by Ben !

  • Roger Billins 27th Oct '16 - 8:36pm

    Zac Goldsmith is the ultimate handsome rich boy but their time has passed-people are no longer interested in celebrity qualities in their politicians. He should be an easy target for us-Brexit supporting, scraping the barrel in the Mayoral election, never having had to work in his life and forcing a by election on Heathrow when there is no Government candidate. We should nail this man for what he is -a playboy.

  • My reference was just quoting Boris but take the point.

  • @Roger Billins: Zac Goldsmith may be a ‘playboy’ from the jetset, with his John Aspinall- derived environmentalism that he may believe validates his position of inherited super-privilege and wealth.
    But that would be entirely the wrong way to attack him. Wasn’t that the approach used in 2010 by the team trying to re-elect Susan Kramer, someone not known for being of an underprivileged background? And aren’t there quite a few relatively affluent voters in Richmond, of whom some might also be lotus-eating dilettantes?
    The approach should be:
    1. A very positive focus on the qualities of our candidate,
    2. The government’s clueless approach to ‘Brexit’ that doesn’t consult the very parliament that Brexiteers like Goldsmith and May’s Brexit negotiating team (Fox, Grayling, Davis & Johnson- none likely to be listened to by any EU neighbouring countries!) claimed should have supreme sovereignty in decision-making, which they argued the EU was weakening.
    3. Other negative impacts of the govt and local council upon Richmond residents local services
    4. Other negative impacts upon Britain’s poorer communities, which drove many to vote for Brexit as they didn’t see who was standing up for their part in the national interest
    5. What Conservative Goldsmith has done since being elected that is harmful, or ineffectual in what he professes to stand for- such as the 4 points that Chris Key’s article gives as examples.
    I’m sure there are many other examples?

  • Andrew McCaig 27th Oct '16 - 11:01pm

    6. That Theresa May has made it very clear that the Tory change of heart on Heathrow is all because of Brexit, since apparently it will show we are “open to business” (presumably because we need to counteract the rather clearer signal that by leaving the Single Market we are “closed to business….” That is unless we are prepared to bribe particular sectors like the car industry and I daresay the City

    While of course what it will really do is make the SE richer at the expense of the north while simultaneously eroding the quality of life of many of its residents… And destroying any pretence at meeting our climate change targets..

  • Alfred Motspur 28th Oct '16 - 8:27am

    7. His tax history.

  • John Peters 28th Oct '16 - 8:51am

    @Chris Key

    If you had taken the point you would have removed the tasteless remark.

    It is ridiculous of the Lib Dems to compare ethnic motivated murder in Bosnia with a shortage of inexpensive housing in London.

  • John Peters
    While taking the point, the well-known saying “war is politics by other means” should be relevant here. In other words, if what is wanted by people is achievable by economic and similar non-violent methods, then they will use them. However, in the absence of effective non-violent methods, some will resort to violence. Why do you say the comparison is “ridiculous”?

  • John Peters
    While taking the point, the well-known saying “war is politics by other means” should be relevant here. In other words, if what is wanted by people is achievable by economic and similar non-violent methods, then they will use them. However, in the absence of effective non-violent methods, some will resort to violence. Why do you say the comparison is “ridiculous”?

  • @Chris Key
    “If you had taken the point you would have removed the tasteless remark.”

    Firstly Chris does not have the ability to edit his opinion piece (much like we do not have the ability to edit our comments).

    Secondly to remove Boris’ reference to Bosnia would make a number of comments to it difficult to understand. (It would be possible to request that the editor strike through the offending words.)

  • John Peters 28th Oct '16 - 9:19am

    @Michael BG

    There seems to be a bit of I was just following orders defence about this.

    The author chose to repeat a tasteless comment made by someone unrelated to the topic. I’m sure Boris has Lib Dem friends as well. Are the Lib Dems planning to slur them by association as well?

  • Surely, the proper thing to do is take Mr Goldsmith at his word, he wants to stop Heathrow, he failed to stop Heathrow as a backbench MP and as a Mayoral Candidate, electing him as an independent MP won’t make any difference, in fact the Government is so unbothered, they aren’t even running an official Conservative candidate.

    The only thing that will scare the Govt is the prospect of many Lib Dem MPs being elected in this part of London.

    He wants the election to be a referendum on Heathrow, the best thing he could do is withdraw as a candidate.

  • @ John Peters
    “@ Michael BG
    There seems to be a bit of I was just following orders defence about this.”

    I thought my previous post was very clear. I was not defending what Chris Key posted, I was criticising you for requesting that Chris take action which firstly he couldn’t do and secondly that would make some of the posts difficult to understand because you wanted the discussed offending phrases deleted. Perhaps your comment should have been referenced to someone else’s post.

  • David Pearce 29th Oct '16 - 8:40am

    I see 25% of Richmond voters support Heathrow expansion. Now will they go to Goldsmith or the liberal anti Heathrow candidate?

    The libs will only win as the anti Brexit party. Their candidate needs to convince voters that one extra liberal will say something different in parliament and clearly support Remain, otherwise the incumbent wins. What differentiation is there in ‘seeking the best deal possible but brexit means brexit’?

  • David Pearce 30th Oct '16 - 7:36am

    Here’s a cunning plan, worthy of Baldric. Nissan is threatening to leave the UK. Renault/Nissan makes electric cars. They say the government has promised to boost electric car takeup. A new runway cannot be built at Heathrow because the polution is too high, but if Londoners switch to electric cars (as the validation for Heathrow says they must), then it can. So plan a new runway for Heathrow. This then requires the government to give/subsidise londoners electric cars, which can only be bought from Nissan. WTO/EU rules would likely allow a massive boom in Nissan sales required by government investment in anti pollution measures. The third runway is really a very heavily disguised subsidy for Nissan.

    So how do locals enjoy being stuck with a runway to keep car production in the UK?

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