Kishan Devani is a candidate for the London Assembly for the London Wide list.
For a moment I would like you to imagine living in socialist London where unions call the shots, where a left-wing agenda permeates our institutions, where politicians like Ken Livingstone will be telling us how to live our lives, and where, more importantly, a tag team of Sadiq and Corbyn are running City Hall. The last permutation is for me the scariest thought, as all of the above could be how London is governed if the dangerous duo of chaos and incompetence are let into City Hall in May.
Many wonder what will happen to London after Boris, given the fantastic job he has done in cementing London’s position as the greatest city on earth. Will it be left in the hands of a left-wing, anti-business mayor? Or will it go to the natural successor to Boris – the man London needs, Zac Goldsmith?
His commitment to small businesses in London is at the heart of the true localism he believes in. One of Goldsmith’s pledges to small businesses is that if he is elected, he will deliver super-fast broadband across London through a new partnership between TfL and private developers. This is absolutely essential for the development of small businesses across our capital.
It is said Zac’s plans would help around 400,000 small businesses; this could be quite unprecedented. He will also commit to pressuring larger firms to ensure their payment terms are fair to smaller suppliers.
Being independently minded, Zac has a proven track record in holding the Government and the powers that be to account. I am sure his lobbying of the national government to devolve skills funding to City Hall will also be something he is successful at achieving, which inevitably will be beneficial to small businesses.
I have been privileged enough to accompany Zac to local businesses all over London, and recently to Willesden, in Brent. Brent electorally being a Labour stronghold, it was a pleasant surprise for us when we received a warm reception from local businesses for over two hours. Zac was welcomed with open arms, his innate concern for their businesses was self evident to all, whether it be in the local family-run Halal Meat Butchers or the Mediteranean/Turkish restaurant. He sat patiently, listening to their concerns and fears – all of which had one thing in common – the lack of support they are receiving from their Labour-run council with its anti-business policies.
From parking to general neglect of their needs as small businesses, complaints about the inefficiency of the Labour-run council were at the heart of the discussions. They were satisfied by the end of our visit that Zac is the man that can crack London’s problems and be a strong voice for small businesses.
What is always evident for me whenever I am with Zac is his passion to want to help everyone he meets, from all socio-economic backgrounds. What also strikes me is his ability to connect to all cultures and backgrounds. Coming from an ethnic minority myself I have witnessed first hand the respect Zac has within various communities; one such is the Hindu community, where he has been able to make a long lasting mark. His conviction politics and record of delivering allows him to stand above all of the other candidates, and I believe anyone who meets him will experience that themselves.
The choice could not be clearer. An independent-minded, competent, humble, committed personality to enter City Hall to represent the views of millions of Londoners, or the chaotic, flip-flopping Corbyn/Sadiq alternative that could forever damage London’s standing in an ever-increasingly globalised world. We must all unite to stop the prospect of an anti-business, anti-localism mayor entering City Hall. Zac is the only man who can prevent that from happening.