World In order to delight the London town hall, two candidates of the diversity

12:45  04 may  2021
12:45  04 may  2021 Source:   lepoint.fr

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  Pour ravir la mairie de Londres, deux candidats de la diversité © provided by the point

the one is of Pakistani origin, the other has Jamaican roots: from diversity, the two main candidates for the London town hall remain exceptions in the electoral landscape of a UK in full introspection on racism.

candidate for his succession during the municipal Thursday, the Labor Sadiq Khan, 50, is given winner in front of his conservative adversary of one year his cadet, Shaun Bailey, who grew up as him in a modest family of the capital of nine millions of inhabitants.

postponed from one year because of the pandemic, these local elections must also allow 48 million voters in England to renew some 5,000 seats in 143 local assemblies, and to the Scottish to designate a new regional parliament, a crucial vote on Background of independence vells.

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attributed to the cosmopolitan character of the metropolis where only 45% of the inhabitants declared themselves as "British White" according to the 2011 census, this face-to-face remains exceptional in a ballot where the majority of candidates of head are white .

It intervenes at the moment when the Black Live Matter movement relaunched the debate on racism and colonialism in a country where politics still remains the preserve of an elite shaped in the mold of the universities of Cambridge and Oxford.

"In 2016, the city has chosen me as mayor, showing how progressive it is", entrusts AFP Sadiq Khan, son of a Pakistanus bus driver who became the first Muslim edition of a great Western capital , succeeding the impetuous Boris Johnson.

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Shaun Bailey dreams of becoming "the first black mayor of London", a function enjoying great visibility at the national level, "and the first black politician of this scope in Europe", estimating with the AFP "important that People feel represented ".


In 2016, Sadiq Khan had beaten the Richissime Tory Zac Goldsmith, pure product of the elite whose campaign to Islamophobic lifts did not convince.

"It is not surprising that the Conservatives have decided to choose a candidate from an ethnic minority", in order to present himself as "a Liberal, Inclusive Party", Analysis for AFP Steven Fielding, Professor of political history at the University of Nottingham.

Shaun Bailey is not exempt from controversy, criticized for remarks, held a few years ago, aspects aspects of multiculturalism or deemed retrograde on women.

But beyond the origin of the candidates and partisan cleavages, their "personality" also plays, nuance the politicalologist Simon Usherwood, from the University of Surrey, with the AFP, recalling the case of Boris Johnson.

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Shaun Bailey abounds: "I have a unique experience thanks to my career, but that's not the only thing I can bring."

This former social worker raised by his mother, who was a special advisor to former Prime Minister David Cameron, wants to give London "a new start" with more jobs and housing.

It also promises a safe screw against the scourge of white weapon crimes, which Sadiq Khan is accused of failing to stem.

Progress "On the surface"

for experts, the situation in London attests to the progress made in recent years in terms of diversity in politics, even if the margin of progress remains important.

Several Conservative ministers come from ethnic minorities, such as those from the inside or finances.

But the question arises to know "how sincere it's" said Steven Fielding: the Labor and Conservative parties remain very white and struggle to solve racism, Islamophobia or anti-Semitism in their breast, which s especially on social networks.

for Dyesh Anand, head of the Department of Social Sciences at the University of Westminster, it is a "surface" progress only because political discourse remains essentially oriented towards the White United Kingdom, with a very right-handed and nationalist positioning. government.

thus, despite the examination of consciousness on racism, the latter has bought a controversial report refuting the institutionally racist nature of the country and defends the beak and nails of national heroes like Winston Churchill, questioned in the wake of the Movement Black Lives Mater He notes.

For the experts, the change will come through education, the mobilization of civil society or a reform of the mode of designation of the candidates.

Sadiq Khan wants to "optimistic" for the future, because "there is a new generation of really talented politicians from different horizons that will accelerate progress".

04/05/2021 06:47:03 - London (AFP) - © 2021 AFP

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