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I voted Goldsmith, but Khan better Symbol for Social Mobility in London

The reality is I voted for Zac Goldsmith as a Conservative - but Sadiq Khan is a better symbol for social mobility in London and I wish him the best as the new Mayor of London.

As conservatives, we could have selected Syed Kamall as our candidate, and he would have beaten Khan handily.

After all, Kamall is London born and bred, has a PHD making him an over qualified politician, ran his own business, is a family man, stood as a sacrificial lamb for the conservatives five times before we finally gave him a safe seat, and is so respected in Brussels as the senior British politician that he was selected leader of the third largest group in the European parliament.

I’m sure there is far more to Kamall than what I just outlined – but it proves that even as a qualified British West Indian Muslim, we as a party are still failing to provide equitable social mobility for all in a timely fashion.

We still simply selected Zac Goldsmith, because he was a safe pair of ‘white hands’ that would not alienate our older white voters and donors. Stack Kamall and Goldsmith up side by side and Kamall wins hands down, as he is the epitome of aspiration, ambition, and tenacity, which have led to his upward social mobility.

The conservative party needs to come to terms with the fact that London is no longer a majority white English city, and the fact that more and more BAME, immigrants and Muslim people will vote along ethnic and religious lines, the very same way whites have been voting for whites and along religious lines...  just go to Northern Ireland to understand the religious vote.

We must constructively work to bridge these gaps by building trust across ethnic and religious lines. This trust of others can only be solidified if white British people know for a fact that people of BAME, immigrants and Muslim backgrounds share their values.

We need to create policies that ensure non British people who move to London learn how to become British. This includes the European migrant.

We need policies which enable contact between Brits and non-Brits of all backgrounds - especially across ethnic and religious lines - in particular when it comes to Muslims.

At present, there is a growing lack of British influence in London. If we continue on this path it will eventually lead to our demise as a country. We need to start addressing this now as a nation.Yes, everyone must adapt British values, and that can be achieved without them having to abandon their  traditions, provided those traditions are not in contravention of our laws and way of life.

We should not have this free for all society, because it creates mistrust and works against social cohesion. Being British must be a shared identity that we have in common that we are all proud of.

Because modern Britain is a by-product of our once great empire and our commonwealth, we need to recognise that there are many different flavours of British, including Muslims.

What we share in common is our desire to succeed under the rule of law in an open society with equitable distribution of wealth, power and opportunities.That said, we need equitable representation of all ethnic groups at the highest echelons of British society, including across the political, economic and military spectra. All these areas remain almost exclusively white.

If BAME, people of immigrant backgrounds, and Muslims - adapt and adhere to British values, we will be able to trust them to rise to the top and lead this country on the right path. This must be something we seek actively.

Not compelling people to adapt British values only relegates them to the bottom of society. They become outcasts.Left wing liberal politics seek equality, but by not ensuring people integrate into Britain they only create victims and outcasts. We need people that move here to become proud Brits + anything else they came with…but it must be British first. That is the basis of trust.

We can only trust people we share something in common with.If this city will eventually be led by the immigrant populace, including Muslims like Khan, it becomes incumbent on us as conservatives to make sure they lead in the country’s best interests, based on this countries values.

Rule of law and equality are some of our most fundamental and sacred British values and provided we all huddle around them, we should be able to absorb people into our society and they should be allowed to equitable social mobility at all levels.

I believe we need to move beyond aspiration as a party - we need a physical path to forward and upward equitable social mobility.So I applaud the fact that Khan was elected Mayor of London, but it just bothers me that we didn’t do it first. Khan has shown himself to be a good Brit and the fact that we questioned his loyalty because he is also a Muslim and tried to link him to terrorism undermines our efforts to integrate Muslims and other BAME.

We cannot hold people to different standards. If they do the right things, they should be rewarded. The risk we are now running with campaigns like Zac’s alienate not just Muslims, but potentially the entire growing BAME population.

The darker this city gets ethnically speaking, the less we are going to vote for whites due to events like this.Another sad example was with Boris linking Obama’s support for the remain campaign to his father being from Kenya, which according to Boris makes Obama a Churchill hater and anti-British empire.

If white conservatives believe that we as BAME are not observing them blatantly attacking our role models like Obama and now Kahn, whites will be completely locked out of power in London over the next few generations - and no one will let them back in.

The larger the BAME numbers grow, the less we will be inclined to vote white.The better people like Obama and Khan do, the more we will trust our own kind ethnically speaking, as there is no point voting for someone who doesn't look like you, sound like you, cannot understand your social and financial struggles, and worse of all when you finally make it to the top, seek to diminish and denigrate you based on race or religion or some other prima facie fallacy.

So I am willing to work for our party and on the side of our party, but far too few conservatives want to have this discussion and want to start creating effective plans and policies to ensure people of immigrant backgrounds, Muslims, and BAME share British values, and to ensure they have the best interest of this city and country at heart when elected to office or when in positions of influence.

Integration is a two-way street and no minority group ever remains in power over the majority in perpetuity.Therefore, the conservatives must make sure BAMEs, immigrants and Muslims become and remain loyal conservatives with British values, to ensure we as a party remain the majority in London and the country and lead as one nation conservatives.

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Author:

Wilford Augustus, Partner at Trade Bridge Group London, and Deputy Chairman Political for Bayswater Ward, Westminster Conservatives. All political views expressed herein are his and not those of the UK Conservative Party. This article was first published on www.wilfordaugustus.com