Until he became the Tories’ candidate for the London Mayoralty last year, many in and around the political scene might have thought that Zac Goldsmith had avoided inheriting the vicious unpleasantness that earned his late father James - the man who tried to close down Private Eye magazine, mostly out of sheer spite and because he could - titles such as the Shit Of The Year award. They soon realised that he had not.
Zac Goldsmith and The Other Khan
Once the campaign got under way, Goldsmith of his own accord was a full participant in the unrelenting diet of smears aimed at Labour’s Sadiq Khan, including the Tories’ adoption of campaign tactics used previously by the racist BNP back in 2005 - using a photo of the bus wrecked in a bombing on July 7 of that year as it traversed Tavistock Square. But now Goldsmith is hoping voters have short memories.
Yesterday he told his followers “US President retweets a white supremacist hate group … Labour leader supports radical Islamists - Hezbollah and the Muslim Brotherhood … Extremist parties getting support all over Europe … It’s hard to think of a more dangerous time”. The Labour leader does no such thing, and nor did Sadiq Khan last year when Goldsmith made the same accusation against him.
Indeed, in the run-up to the Mayoral election, which he lost, Goldsmith claimed “London stands on the brink of a catastrophe … aggressive socialism entering Britain though the back door … the world’s premier financial centre will be handed to the most hard-Left, intolerant, anti-business Labour Party since the days of Michael Foot”.
And on security, he went further: “if Labour wins on Thursday, we will have handed control of the Met, and with it control over national counter-terrorism policy, to a party whose candidate and current leadership have, whether intentionally or not, repeatedly legitimised those with extremist views”. But when it came to extremism, he got the wrong Khan.
As I pointed out at the time, “Zac Goldsmith goes back a long way with Imran Khan, former cricketer and latterly Pakistani politician, whose advocacy of dialogue with the Pakistan Taliban has led him to refuse to blame them for shooting Malala Yousafzai - even after the group claimed responsibility. Goldsmith has said Imran should be Prime Minister of Pakistan”. Imran Khan wanted to negotiate with the Pakistan Taliban.
One Pakistani commentator concluded “Imran Khan truly believes that the Pakistani Taliban have a legitimate cause and that they are people with whom negotiation, dialogue and compromise is a possibility. … the Pakistani Taliban is the most backward, savage, cruel and downright despicable group of fighters in the world today”.
And there is Zac Goldsmith backing the man who would negotiate with them. The reality, when it comes to terror, is that the problem is neither Sadiq Khan, nor Jeremy Corbyn. Quite apart from the barrel-scrapingly embarrassing campaign he fought for the Mayoralty, Zac Goldsmith is pals with one of Pakistan’s best-known terror apologists.
Zac Goldsmith is as despicable a shit as his father. No surprise there, then.