Event: All great visions begin in Isleworth?

5 February 2016

Politicians love to present their “vision” during elections. They hope this will be a narrative that both connects with the electorate and gives a clear sense of purpose for the office they aspire to hold.

Sadiq Khan likes to call London the “greatest city in the world” and he chose to travel almost to its Western fringes to set out his so-called “Vision for London” earlier this week.

The choice of venue, the modern atrium of West Thames College, lies in the seat of Brentwood and Isleworth, one of Labour’s scalps during the successful General Election campaign in the capital masterminded by Mr Khan last year.

In an area meant to symbolise his electoral potency, Labour’s mayoral candidate launched into a flow now familiar to many observers.

London’s greatness lay in its opportunity, the same opportunities that had taken the son of a bus driver to become a successful businessman, a lawyer, and finally into the Cabinet.

But this was mixed with indignation about one of the key challenges facing the city, and an increasingly potent political and economic theme: housing.

Modern Londoners, Mr Khan said, were being “priced out of our city” and denied their chances to thrive.

If elected, he went on, he would deliver genuinely affordable homes with a “first dibs” for Londoners, freeze TfL fares for four years and deliver a strong, fairer economy. This vision took little under ten minutes to outline.

Afterward, surrounded by the press pack, Mr Khan provided eager journalists with a little more detail on his planned policies, including assuring DeHavilland that his plans for fare freezes were “fully costed”.

In a mayoral race lacking the boisterous egos of Boris and Ken, Mr Khan is seeking to establish his story as the one Londoners should aspire to follow.

However, he faces a difficult task as he seeks to praise the greatness of a city at the same time as picking up on its many faults.

Mike Indian, Political Consultant
Mike Indian
Political Consultant

Mike Indian is Political Consultant and a member of DeHavilland’s Content team, leading on infrastructure and Scottish affairs. He leads on DeHavilland's dynamic content, specifically videos and podcasts, and regularly appears in the media as a political commentator. A graduate of Lancaster University, he has worked as a freelance journalist.